Over the last 20+ years, advancements in technology have influenced consumer buying habits and how consumers engage with companies. This fundamental shift in consumer behavior and the overall decision-making process has many accounting firms considering new ways of marketing and engaging with their clients to keep up with current business best practices.
Unfortunately, it’s sometimes difficult for accounting firms to rise above the noise of others vying for client attention, making it more important than ever for firms to focus on effective marketing strategies to create more personalized experiences for their audience.
Below are 6 ways to start (if you haven’t already) promoting your firm to engage with today’s digital savvy consumer:
- Company Website – Today’s consumer relies heavily on the Web to find the information they need to make informed decisions about companies. Your Website is most likely the first impression made on a potential client. It needs to be a good representation of your firm while also being a hub of communication for current clients. The focus needs to be on building a site that is easy to navigate and frequently updated with fresh, relevant content. Also, with 80% of Internet users owning a smart phone, make sure your Website is optimized for mobile usage.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Once your Website is built, you’ll want to start generating valuable traffic to your site. SEO is not only good for firm visibility but for firm branding as well. SEO helps people easily find you when searching for accounting firm services, making it imperative that your firm appears as high in search rankings as possible. SEO is part science, part art, and not something you’ll want to exclude from your firm’s overall marketing strategy. So, you’ll want to hire an SEO professional to ensure it’s done right.
- Premium Content – Once you have a Website created with information about your firm as well as valuable content added, consider another great opportunity to showcase your firm’s expertise by creating a company blog. A company blog with informative content will not only help you connect with potential clients (see SEO above) but will also help establish your firm as an industry influencer or Subject Matter Expert (SME). Clients will remember your firm when searching for an answer to their question and people searching for answers online will land on your pages, ultimately increasing your brand awareness and overall reach.
- Advertising – Having a stellar Website and blog are great when people land on them through a specific search. However, advertising helps your firm to amplify everything you’re doing online while creating awareness by placing your valuable content (and Website) in front of people who normally wouldn’t be visiting your site. Plus, advertising is the only channel that you control completely. You can create marketing campaigns to target very specific clients. Opening a new office location? This is a great opportunity to target clients in a specific region through different advertising channels.
- Social Media -If your firm isn’t on social media, it needs to be. One of the main reasons firms might hesitate to allocate company resources to social media marketing is due to the misconception that social media has no practical advantages and no immediate Return On Investment (ROI). Social media marketing might not be the largest revenue channel, but there is huge potential to build brand awareness, drive Website traffic, manage customer service issues, and help build and foster relationships with clients. When consumers can’t reach someone on the phone, the first place they’ll go to is social media to connect with a company. Spend a few hours each week dedicated to engaging with potential and current clients on your social media channels. It will pay off in the long run.
- Analytics – Building a Website, optimizing it for search engines, creating exciting content, and interacting with clients on social media is great. However, without the ability to measure the success of each marketing initiative, your firm won’t know where to allocate the most time and money for the best return.
Google Analytics is a free analytics tools that measures digital marketing initiatives while providing client insights. It provides valuable information about consumer search habits, such as how they navigate your Website and interact with your content. Analytics will help your firm make more informed business decisions.
As accounting firms begin to embrace new technology and digital marketing best practices, they’ll start recognizing the impact that a solid digital marketing strategy has on attracting and retaining clients. Is your firm allocating the appropriate time and money into a digital marketing plan? How does your firm leverage digital marketing to attract new clients? Let us know how you measure success!
– Dallas Miles, Content Strategy Manager