In this day and age, marketing has become a necessity rather than an option. The Internet has shifted the plane of marketing to digital strategies. People extensively use the Internet for marketing as it enables them to reach millions of potential customers.
Prior to the emergence of digital marketing, accounting firms used conventional methods of marketing to acquire leads and turn them into clients. But now the scenario is completely different.
As various accounting firms are marking their territory in the accounting domain, new marketing strategies are being implemented keeping the current market and prospective clients in mind.
Here are some of the key aspects of marketing for accounting businesses that will keep you ahead of your competitors.
1. Marketing Strategy Is The Key To Success!
The primary step for marketing of any accounting business is to have a well-planned marketing strategy. To put in simple terms, marketing strategy focuses on who to sell, what to sell and how to sell.
- Know your customer base – You should have information about the people or firms that will be willing to avail your services. Once you know your potential customers, it becomes easy to market your product or services.
- Do a SWOT analysis – SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threat) analysis is done by business firms to analyse the company’s performance and the bottlenecks that are hampering productivity.
- Know your USP – USP is the Unique Selling Point that differentiates you from other accounting firms. Most accounting firms offer decent services to their customers. The customers should know the difference between your firm and others.
- Long and Short-term goals – Always set long and short-term goals for your marketing process. It helps in analysing your progress at a certain point in
2. Your Website Tells Everything About You!
A website is the face of your accounting firm in the digital world. A client situated in a separate country gets to know you only through your website. Hence, it is vital to make the website relevant and engaging.
You should keep updating the website regularly with new features and content to convey that you are a proactive business. According to Adobe, there are 12 Do’s and Don’ts of Web Design.
A majority of visitors leave the website if they find it unattractive or unresponsive. Many vital factors help in making a website that can engage visitors and stamp your authority as a major accounting firm.
- SEO – SEO or Search Engine Optimization enables you to optimize your webpage so that it turns up higher in the search results. Many businesses deploy a team solely for search engine optimization. The easier you are to find on the internet, the more visitors your website will get. For example, when someone searches for ‘accounting firm’, if they find your website on the first page they will imply that you are one of the top accounting firms in the business.
- Page Load Speed – Page Load Speed is the time taken by the page to load on the user’s browser. When a user opens your website, he/she makes a perception about your website in the first few seconds. If the user finds that the page is taking too long to open, they get disinterested in your website.
- Appearance – Of course! The website should be attractive. A website is an online representation of your accounting firm. If it is dull and unappealing, the customers start associating the theme with your firm.
- Mobile Friendly – The websites should be designed to be responsive for every platform. Nowadays, people use a variety of devices like laptops, PCs, mobiles or tablets to access the same website. You should make sure that your website is responsive to every device.
- Contact Information – The various methods of contact like chat, call or mail should be visible very clearly. It is also preferred to display the contact information right on top of the webpage. The user should be able to contact you without any trouble.
Here are some quick facts to highlight the good practices to follow with the website:
- Given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain.
- 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive.
- 48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business.
- You have 10 seconds to leave an impression and tell them what they’ll get out of your website and company. After this time (and often before), they’ll leave.
- Once your page loads, users form an opinion in .05 seconds.
- 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load.
3. Social Media Is King!
No one can deny the impact of social media in today’s world. According to Statista,
Almost all accounting businesses use social media to widen its spectrum and reach out to a variety of users. However, it does not imply that they are using the social media to their utmost advantage.
Marketing on social media means connecting to people and interacting with them. Being an accounting business, you should look to help people with the issues they are facing with accounting.
Along with providing them with information about your company, you should also post informative articles useful to them. The key thing is to build a community where the users can share their thoughts and gain knowledge.
For instance, you can share insights on the latest accounting software, best practices for CPAs, current developments in the accounting industry, etc. It helps in building trust and establishing you as a major brand in the market.
There are various multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that can help you build a strong social media presence. Using these platforms appropriately is vital to a business.
Forecast of social network user numbers in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2015 to 2022 (in million users), source – Statista
Facebook – Follow pages related to your line of business, that is, accounting. Share your thoughts about the latest trends and developments. Create an informative as well as an exciting page with videos and photos of recent events in your company.
Twitter – Post interactive tweets to engage users and reply to their comments. Use appropriate hashtags related to your tweet and the accounting domain like #Accounting and #DigitalAccounting.
LinkedIn – Publish articles about a variety of topics. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform. You can follow the top executives from a variety of domains and share your insights with them.
4. Let Your Clients Get A Word Out!
Sometimes the conventional method is the most effective one. The testimonial of your existing clients is the most trusted source of feedback a prospective client can get. Hence, you can request your clients to refer your accounting business to their associates.
When the prospective clients hear good things about your company from the present clients, he/she needs no further validation. You need to constantly interact with clients and tell them to share their experiences of your firm with other people. They can also put a word out in their circles that if anybody needs accounting services they can contact your firm.
5. Write Engaging And Relevant Content!
Content Marketing is a key aspect of marketing strategies for most businesses. Writing relevant content is a challenge. You should be up-to-date with the latest developments and events.
For instance, you can write about the accounting software like Sage or QuickBooks and how it simplifies accounting. You can also inform the users about the amendment in tax laws, best practices for CPAs among other topics.
There are two main aspects to Content Marketing – Content creation and Content Distribution.
a) Content Creation
Content can be of many forms such as articles, infographics, videos, whitepapers, case studies, etc. While creating content, you should be well aware of the users you are targeting. For instance, a user related to the accounting domain will like to read about the tax laws.
You should have an in-depth knowledge of the article you are writing. It should not be a copy-paste job. Make the users connect with your content by writing in a language that is easy to understand.
The topic is the most important element of your content. The users will not proceed forward if they view your topic as non-relevant. Hence, you should choose a topic that is relevant to the targeted user base.
b) Content Distribution
Creating content is one thing. But it should be able to reach the targeted demographic. Engage the users by inviting discussions on the content and answering their queries. Accept any suggestions from the user and encourage them to read other articles written on your website.
Use social media platforms to share your content. Follow relevant pages and people and share your content with them. You can also encourage your clients to create content to be published on your website.
Every Aspect Is Important!
In the case of marketing, you cannot rely on one aspect to get you results. You have to make a concerted effort to make your business thrive. Since the advancement of technology, the digital forms of marketing have taken precedence over the more conventional ways. But the good old ways like customer referral is still prevalent.
Attending events and meeting people offers a personal touch that no technology can offer. Meet new people and discuss with them the USP of your firm. Anyone of them can turn out to be a potential client. You can also attend or hold seminars to have a personal interaction with people of high authority.
As an accounting business, it is paramount to construct a website that is attractive, easy in navigation and with relevant content. The first thing that the customer views is your website.
Social media is the best way to reach millions of potential customers. Inform the customers about latest trends in accounting and get valuable insights from them.
In this competitive world, it will be highly beneficial to keep yourself updated with the latest marketing trends.