If you’re among those accountants who still use referrals and local networking events for client acquisition then you’ll probably need an upgrade.
It is not wrong to still use these strategies, however, they don’t scale and client acquisition is unpredictable. If you can manage your digital marketing well, you will get a constant flow of clients online.
What are the best Online Marketing Channels for Accounting Firms?
First, it is crucial to establish who you are, what your practice stands for, and why. This is the most challenging step, and it’s also the one most overlooked. Although you may be tempted to hire an outside expert to construct your brand and vision statement, only you can do so.
Next is choosing one or two recommended strategies for digital marketing for accountants to get started.
Here are some strategies that you can do that will cost you little to no money.
Using Social Media
- Optimise your LinkedIn profile
This may sound basic but many accountants have profiles that need some serious updating.
Many people will find you on LinkedIn and they will connect with you eventually so this is an easy way to build out your network in the online world. Be sure your profile is always updated.
You may also consider uploading a high-quality, professional-looking photo of yourself.
Accomplish the about section outlining who you are as a person. It’s better if you’ll have a more personalised approach.
Also, make sure your experience section is up to date and that you provide a brief description of what you do and who you help.
- Start joining LinkedIn groups around your niche
It is very easy to expand your networks by joining a few LinkedIn groups related to your target market.
Let’s say you have a Melbourne-based regional firm and you would like to target small businesses in that region.
You can easily head on over to LinkedIn and do a search for “Melbourne small business” or “Accountants Melbourne” then filter it by groups and you’ll get a fair number of groups that you can join.
Contribute valuable posts to the group regularly and start building your presence. You’ll create some good connections soon.
Just be mindful not to be spammy or promote yourself too much or you will get kicked out. You can also check out the group’s rules before joining.
- Post 2-3 times per week on Linkedin using hashtags
With your LinkedIn profile updated and connections established through LinkedIn groups, it’s time to get your brand out there.
Start posting useful, relevant content on your LinkedIn page to your target audience every week. This is not a time to advertise your services yet but a time to share valuable information related to the challenges and problems of your target market.
The content does not have to be original all the time. As an example, you find a new tax law article on LinkedIn, share it there, and give your opinion. You can also open the floor to audience questions to get them talking about topics of interest to them.
Lastly, do not forget to add hashtags to your posts. Hashtags sum up the topics in a post.
LinkedIn posts that have been well received can sometimes go viral and trend.
- Set up a Facebook group for your audience
Facebook is likely to be part of your social network. It’s also likely that you’re a part of at least one Facebook group.
Joining communities that provide useful information is appealing to many people so might as well create your own.
You can create a group around a local-based kind of keyword related to your specific niche. Then invite your current clients in and even without any promotion, you’ll be able to get other people searching for those kinds of groups joining.
The key is to consistently provide useful information and content to your members to keep them engaged.
- Make Youtube videos based on the searches your audience makes
A lot of people use YouTube. You may see some decent traffic if you are able to create videos that address some of the problems of your target market.
The same with LinkedIn, you need to optimise your content so that it can be found easily on YouTube. Using the wrong keywords may result in your videos getting lost among the millions of videos on the platform.
Views can turn to leads so if you’re into creating great video content then this might work best for you.
Building your own website
Many people and businesses seek information about accountants on the internet before trusting them with their finances. With an attractive, well-organized website, you can tell them everything they need to know about your company.
On your website, you should provide details about your education, certifications, experience, and areas of expertise. You should also include interactive tools that allow current and potential clients to contact you via email or social media.
Most importantly, it should demonstrate to them your ability to assist them with their taxes and other accounting questions.
Useful tips that you can do or add to your website:
- Write blogs regularly and optimise them for Search Engine Optimisation
It is best that your blog posts were crafted in a way that maximises your chances of hitting Google’s first page for the topic that you’re writing about. The result will be an increase in visitors to your website. There will be a percentage of that traffic converting to leads.
If you don’t optimise your blog post for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it’s more likely you’ll never make it to Google’s first page. Which is the biggest mistake in most firms that do blogging. Publishing content that will get no traffic from Google.
Simply put, no traffic means no leads.
So, how can you boost your chances of ranking high on Google by optimising your blog posts?
The first step is to identify the difficulties your ideal clients face. The blog post will serve as a solution to these problems. Put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes and think of what they would type into Google to find the answer. Your topic will be shaped by this. Come up with a few topic ideas based on this.
Keywords are the terms your ideal client types into Google to solve their challenge. A person might Google “tax filing deadlines” when looking for information about upcoming tax deadlines, for example.
You can head on over to a keyword research tool to validate a few things.
Simply type in your keyword and you’ll get information on monthly searches and the difficulty of ranking for that keyword (i.e. SEO Difficulty score). It’s not 100 percent accurate and should be used as a guide, but you’re looking for volume and a low difficulty score.
You don’t need a lot of volume. Even if something gets 20 hits a month, you’re still fine. If you pick something with a low difficulty score, you will have an easier time getting on Google’s first page to drive traffic to your blog.
When you manage to do these two things right, you’ll already be ahead of most firms that blog.
- Offer free access to premium content
According to a survey of CPA firms last year, content marketing was the third most effective way of generating leads among accountants, only behind industry organisations and networking. Thus, you should absolutely consider doing so. But, also be aware that your competitors are most likely already doing it as well.
You may want to offer premium content in addition to maintaining your blog and posting useful articles on your site. It should have a long shelf life and be tailored specifically to the market that you’re aiming to reach.
A potential marketing strategy for your accounting firm can be to write an ebook about one of your areas of expertise or to provide a downloadable handbook that assists clients with their accounting.
Creating this content can take longer, but it can also give you an opportunity to ask for something in return. For example, we offer free marketing guides on our site, but a few of the best ones are only accessible if a visitor provides their email address.
In exchange for a resource that takes days to create, one email address may not seem like much, but think about it this way: Once you’ve written the resource and published it, you can keep it on your website for as long as you like. If it becomes popular enough, it can continue to attract downloads and start building your email list without any additional effort.
- Host webinars
Most of your target market faces the same problems and challenges. Using a webinar to present a solution to these challenges is a great way to attract new leads.
Try to put out high-quality webinars that deliver solutions to your audience’s problems.
It will not only strengthen your existing customer base but also brings in new leads as well.
Getting people to attend your webinar is obviously the most challenging part. You can begin by inviting your current clients and asking them to invite people they think might also be interested. In addition, you can promote it on your social media pages and on LinkedIn groups that you have access to.
- Use a lead magnet to collect email addresses
Although this one requires more technical knowledge, it promises big benefits if carried out correctly. This is the same idea of creating an ebook that clients can get in exchange for their email address that was mentioned earlier.
If you provide something valuable for your website visitors as a lead magnet, they are more likely to provide their email addresses. Our next step is to look at how you can use your newsletter to advertise yourself.
The title of your lead magnet should be engaging and the content should address a problem your target market is looking for a solution to. Guides, toolkits, cheat sheets, reports, ebooks, and case studies are all examples of lead magnets.`
Lead magnets can be included on a few different pages of your website.
You can first include them in some of your blog posts. These forms can be found at the beginning or end of your posts. They can even appear as pop-ups which can be annoying at times so choose which suits your audience better.
- Include a call-to-action (CTA) on the homepage of your website
You should design your website to convert visitors to leads. This is an area where most accounting firm websites fail.
Including simple calls-to-action (CTAs) on your homepage is the easiest way to get people to act. The call to action on your website is simply something you ask your visitors to do.
It’s important to have a few buttons on your homepage that ask visitors to take the sales process to the next level, whether it’s by completing a form or scheduling a meeting.
Using Email Marketing
- Send regular newsletter
By sending monthly newsletters, you can stay in front of your customers often and build and nurture strong relationships.
You can easily mention your new services in your newsletter if you have any new services to offer, and you are certain to get some hits. Start by adding your current clients to the list. Several of the strategies listed in this article can also help you grow your subscriber base.
Follow these simple tips if you want an effective newsletter:
It’s essential to be consistent.
You should let your subscribers know when they will receive your newsletter. Establish a habit of sending out your newsletter the same day and time every time.
Decide on a theme.
Remember that your subscribers need to know exactly what they’re getting every time they open your newsletter.
This is one of the most important points. Your newsletter will not be successful if you treat it as just an advertisement! Nobody wants another email in their inbox. If you’re sending out an email, make sure the content you are providing is valuable.
Lastly, you may want to check out some anti-spam laws to ensure that you are in compliance.
The third step involves signing up for scheduling and reporting tools. There are tools like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and Google Analytics, while most social media platforms have their own built-in analytics tools.
Except for Facebook, social media channels have limited reporting capabilities. You will want to use an external reporting tool to augment the reporting. You can expect to spend $20-$70 per month on a tool.
The final step is checking your analytics and reporting regularly. Every week, schedule a 30-minute time slot for reviewing your reports.
Whether you offer accounting services to individuals or multinational companies, your clients most likely use the internet to research their options. And you’ll definitely need digital marketing if you want to reach them when they conduct this research and convince them to choose you over your competitors.
However, with all the steps and tips listed in this article, you can probably have an idea that digital marketing for accountants involves many strategies and tasks. If you take on all the responsibilities for marketing your accounting firm, managing multiple channels, tasks, and employees is virtually impossible.