accounting-marketing-guide-2021
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Ultimate Accounting Marketing Guide 2021

You know you need to market your business, but it can be difficult to nail down a way to start. 

What does a marketing strategy look like? Who should create it, what does it need, and why is it so important?

It can be easy to shrug all of this off. After all, you’re a professional who knows what you’re doing and you have a killer team.

Shouldn’t that be marketing enough?

In a perfect world, yes. But unfortunately for you and your business, the world is full of people who haven’t heard of you yet need your services ASAP. 

That’s where we come in. We want to help you figure out your accounting marketing strategy and understand how it will work, make you money, and keep you in the running as one of the accounting or CPA firms in your area.

Keep reading to learn more about how the right accounting marketing can help your business climb the ranks of Google result pages and consistently bring in high-value clients.

A survey conducted by Databox in 2019 said 70% of marketers found that using the right keywords for Search Engine Optimization generated more sales than a Pay Per Click ad campaign.

Accounting Marketing: How to market an accounting firm

When you need something done in your home or office, maybe a repair or an update, where do you look for a professional? If you’re in the majority of professionals, you go online and find a service provider with good reviews, lots of experience, and who comes up to the top of your search results. 

We don’t do this because it’s better than asking friends and family for a reference. We feel drawn to finding professionals online because the internet keeps all of our histories. 

If a plumber or electrician consistently gets bad reviews, we can see the issue right away and save ourselves the headache. The sight of five-star reviews and tons of enthusiastic comments lead us to someone we might not otherwise hire.

Smart professionals know what to say and how to say it in their websites, blogs, social media and headlines. By planning out what to say and how to say it, they bring in new clients they might otherwise not find. 

For an accounting firm, marketing can do a lot of things. It can guide the sales team, help you reach out to your surrounding area and make the most of nearby clients in your town or city.

Marketing your accounting firm also helps you leverage specific times of the year, like tax season. A good banner ad in April can get you more seasonal work than you ever dreamed.

To do all of this, you need to focus on digital marketing and get those Google searches to show your company name up near the top of the result list. Getting a higher listing, or ranking means significantly more visits to your website and clicks on your services.

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Digital marketing for accounting firms

Digital marketing for your accounting firm differs from sales in that sales happen as a result of good marketing. Getting potential or former clients to join your Facebook group is marketing, turning those members into paying customers falls under sales. 

Sales can’t happen without good marketing. You and your clients need to find one another, so you need to have the right signage in place to guide those clients to your door.

A few things included in digital marketing are:

  • Blogging – Also called content marketing, this helps get you organic traffic as people type questions about accounting into Google. You want your site to come up as a place with professional, usable advice.
  • Newsletters – Your blog can double as a newsletter, putting you right inside your clients’ inboxes. Email is an incredible marketing tool and we recommend you make regular mailing a part of your strategy. 
  • Social media – One of the most powerful tools available to you is online groups. Creating and managing an online community is a great way to get yourself recommended, learn more about your customers, and connect with your clients on a deeper level.
  • Search Engine Optimization – Also called SEO, this is a collection of words and phrases your clients use when they search or hang out online. By using the same language, you can help them find you. 
  • A good website – This is your home, the place where people can find you and hire you with a few clicks. You need a site with great SEO, good visuals, and easy-to-follow instructions to help your clients go from casual visitors to long-time customers.

All of this can be overwhelming, so let’s break down some of the main branches of your marketing to clarify what you need and where to start.

Websites for accountants 

A great website sets the tone for your business. It also gives you a chance to show off your logo, pictures of your staff hard at work, and maybe feature a video about why you’re passionate about what you do. 

Any good website for accountants or accounting firms needs to have three distinct areas – who are you as a business, what do you do, and how can people hire you. If you can answer those three questions in clean, beautifully designed pages, you have the beginning of a great page.

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Beyond that, it’s essential that your website feels like a friendly stopping place on the big, bustling internet. Keep your tone and appearance friendly and don’t be afraid to write in the same style you use to talk to a friend or a colleague. 

Great websites have lovely visuals, often with a face or a nice image of your city right at the top. Make sure visitors see something familiar and a nice, comforting smile right away. 

As visitors scroll down your site, you want to give them quick snippets of information with snappy, short paragraphs here and there. Be sure to intersperse them with more pictures as you go. 

Towards the end of your homepage, you can add more text about your policies, your company’s backstory, anything you want your customers to know. On a separate page, you can start a blog, create a spot for customers to make an appointment or a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. 

After you have all of those staples on your site, you can start to investigate SEO and learn more about your visitors and what they need. 

SEO for accountants

SEO is an important yet slippery thing to keep in mind as you design and write titles, headings, and articles for your accounting webpage. You need to invest some time and possibly money into market research about what people want from accounting firms like yours, a CPA, even what they’re curious about in general. 

To start, visit Google and type accounting or accountants into the search bar. Let the site autofill the rest for you and see what comes up. 

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This gives you a quick look at what people want to know more about. The autofill reflects the commonly searched terms. 

The next thing you want to do is master your Google Analytics, or the rundown of how many people use your site. You can also see the reverse – how Google finds, indexes, and reads your site to make sure it reflects the correct number of pages and doesn’t bury you deep on the third results page.

Finally, consult SEO Services for Accounting Firms or with an SEO expert to nail down the best ways to make use of your headings and subheadings, your buttons, and your content. 


Content Marketing Services for Accountants & Accounting Firms

Let’s take a moment to talk about content marketing. You want your business to reflect your professionalism and be a source of information. 

You can do that with solid content or articles, photos, and resources for your visitors. Talk to your existing clients about what struggles they have with balancing their books, monthly budgets, or tax time. 

Take each of those concerns or questions and address them in a blog post, an infographic, a comic, anything you think your audience might like. That will help drive what’s called “organic traffic” to your site. 

Organic traffic helps to balance out your paid traffic, or clicks, you get through a small ad that pops up in Google results. Read more about paid traffic lower down in the article. 

With a solid content marketing strategy for your accounting firms, you can start to build up backlinks.

Backlinks

A backlink connects you to other websites online. It’s up to you to reach out to other sites and ask them to please link to an article or feature on your site as a resource. 

Building up backlinks takes time, but it’s always worth it. The broader your reach, the more you can build up your reputation as a professional source and respected group of accountants. 

Good links to other sites is a key part of your accounting marketing, so reach out to us for help on making the most of your links as you add content to your site. 

There are tons of other ways to market your accounting firm. Here is a quick look at each one to get you started on your new marketing strategy.


Social Media Marketing

Any effort to make the most of your Facebook professional page or group, an Instagram account, your Twitter or TikTok counts as social media marketing. As accountants, you can answer questions, offer budgeting advice, or share moments of office life as part of your organic traffic. 

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Online advertising for accounting firms

  • Pay Per Click or Paid Ads – Google offers this as a service to anyone who wants to buy a search result. You want to pay for an ad if the keywords you plan to use aren’t too expensive; that means it will have to compete with tons of other sites to rank. 
  • Facebook Ads – A similar service specific to Facebook. You let the site know what geographic areas, age groups, interests, and types of workers you want to target and they help users see a post you pay to place in prominent spots on the site.
  • Instagram Ads – Instagram ads look like regular posts, a photo with some text. But the ads include a link that leads directly to your website and helps browsers find and contact you for their company. 
  • Google Maps Ads – Google lets you pay to make your company show up as result number two or three in a map’s search, and marks it in purple. It’s a great option for getting more foot traffic into your store, displaying reviews for people in need of an accountant, and marketing your work in real-time.
  • Know your Return On Ad Spends (ROAS) – A breakdown of how much you spent on ads versus how much your company made over a period of time. This is ideal for an A/B test of two different ad campaigns. 
  • Know your Return On Investments (ROIs) – A formula that divides the benefit of an investment by the cost of the same investment. ROIs give you a snapshot of how well your money worked for you in a particular ad campaign.

Networking Strategies for CPA Firms

A networking strategy can help build your business and keep your personal career growth on an upward trajectory. It’s important to know how to network and how to expand from your existing clients and colleagues to a broader audience.

You can network at events like social mixers or conventions, but it’s also important to take advantage of smaller events. Try attending mentoring fairs or job fairs at college campuses, offering an afternoon of free services at retirement homes or a community centre. 

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Get your website printed on your business card to make sure people know exactly where to reach your team. Also make sure you set out a sign-up sheet for your company newsletter, (more on that later). 

After you do an event, be sure to follow up with anyone you meet within 24 hours. Showing that you remember someone from a busy, crowded place makes them feel special and gives them a nudge towards your front door.

For one-on-one interactions, practice your elevator pitch. See if you can say something about why you love accounting and why someone should hire you in 30 seconds.

A good elevator pitch includes a hook or something to inspire questions from the other person. You want the polar opposite of the declarative sentence, “I’m an accountant.” 

Instead, you want people to remember you, so try something like, “Well, I love to help people with big, complex problems and math was always my favorite subject, so I got into accounting. It’s great running my own firm, but I have some bigger goals I hope to accomplish.” 

Your elevator pitch needs to inspire at least one question like, “You run your own firm?” or “What goals are those?” The idea is that the listener wants to become an active participant in the conversation and tries to keep it going and, hopefully, asks for your card.

Remember that any time you want to network, you want to dress professionally, have your business cards with you, be concise and don’t try to work the room. Instead, focus on a few key contacts and build up quality connections, not endless phone numbers.


Inbound marketing for accounting firms

Inbound marketing forces businesses to rethink the customers they already have. Instead of putting your efforts into bringing in new clients, you lean on the accounting clients you’ve already acquired and find ways to add value to their experience.

The idea here is to engage and delight your audience so that they feel happy to recommend you to their circle of people. When you position yourself as a knowledgeable, helpful professional, your customers feel better about passing along your firm’s name. 

A great way to do this is with content marketing.

Content Marketing

Content includes any videos, photos, articles, or social media posts from your company’s account.

If your firm doesn’t have anyone who can professionally write or manage your blog and social media, it can help to outsource the work to a professional who can best represent your voice.

Blogging

A blog post needs to be something your clients can visit over and over again to find answers to their accounting questions, concerns about running a business or balancing a budget, and tax laws. As people search for the answers to their questions, they’ll get one of your articles as a reference.

There are lots of ways to leverage your site’s blog to make it valuable to your accounting clients. 

Guest Post

A guest post is a great chance to have an established professional write a piece for your blog and hopefully have their fans come and visit your site. To attract writers with a big following, you need to pay for the writer’s time and effort. 

With some careful planning and a gracious invitation, you can get a stellar writer to guest post for you. That can drive up traffic to your site significantly and give your accounting marketing a massive boost.

Lead Magnet

Have you ever signed up for a newsletter, a free ebook, a pdf full of advice, or the results of a study in exchange for your email? If you said yes, you already have experience with lead magnets.

It never hurts to create a lead magnet that doesn’t require a ton of time and effort yet still gives your client a good reason to hand over their email for future mailings. There are lots of things people want as freebies from accountants.

Try a spreadsheet budget people can download and use each month, a PowerPoint that breaks down some tax law basics, or a video about how to get started with double-entry bookkeeping. You may find these already on the web, so you need to find ways to make your version unique.

You can tie them to a place, your state or city, to make them more relevant to your community. Or, you can bring in clients who want to participate or perhaps an established professional who can answer questions or interact with clients online.

Leads

Leads in sales are essentially clients, but digital marketing helps you identify those potential leads. Digital marketing happens in phases, and once a customer reaches a specific phase, they transform into a lead and your sales associates can guide them all the way to paying client status. 

This is a great example of why a good marketing strategy for accountants is key – solid marketing gets you leads who then become clients.

Marketing Funnel

This is a term you hear get thrown around a lot. Essentially, it’s a set of steps readers or curious shoppers follow that funnel them down towards the product you want them to buy. 

For example, you have your blog full of great content, but at the end of each blog entry is an option to sign up for your newsletter. That newsletter arrives and announces a big discount for any clients who want extra help around tax time. 

The client clicks on the link and reads the ABOUT page for the deal, then reaches for her wallet. Your client has successfully travelled through the sales funnel and is now paying for an extra service from your firm. 

Sales

Sales are any transactions that happen after the marketing comes to a close.

Know your target audience

Also known as your demographic, this is a group that you need to define for your accountants and make sure they understand who they need to reach. A firm located in rural Idaho may have older, more traditional clients than one in downtown Chicago.

Accounting marketing has to appeal to the customers the firm wants. Those older, more traditional types might respond better to ads about family and security while young professionals in the city might want to hear more about investments or growing a business.

Budgeting

Your accounting marketing budget should reflect your business goals and be positioned as an investment, not an expense. Sit down with an expert to walk through all the different things you want to see happen and how best to put your sales funnel to work to cover the cost. 

Video Marketing

This is any kind of video you use to increase engagement in your social media or on your site and get clients interested in what you do as a firm. This is a great way to address any questions your customers send you, let them know about what services you offer, or give advice on money management.

Google My Business

Putting your company on Google My Business helps you connect with your customers directly in the search engine and in Google Maps. Once your firm signs up for a Google Business account, you can upload photos, save and show any reviews and ratings, and help people find you more easily. 

Referrals

Referrals drive any business and a great page, excellent social media, and a solid sales funnel help people feel comfortable referring you to a new client. Reviews are a great start, but a referral from an established customer is a priceless piece of marketing, so keep finding ways to help out your clients in ways that help them.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is incredibly powerful as it brings you directly to your customers instead of hoping they’ll come to you. In fact, one study found it can be 40 times more effective than a social media campaign and the numbers can only go up. 

One of the best tools your company can have is a regular, high-value newsletter.

Newsletter

Your newsletter needs to arrive in your subscribers’ inboxes about twice a week. What you add to it can include promotions, a look inside the office, articles from your blog, or photos showing community outreach or happy clients. 

Newsletters are incredibly powerful, but it’s essential you offer a well-written letter that responds to what your readers want. If all you send out is constant advertising or long-winded breakdowns of tax policy, your subscribers will quickly cancel. 

Talk to your customers about what they hope to see in a newsletter and consider hiring a professional to write your weekly letter. A well-crafted piece can drum up tons of new business and help your existing customers feel increasingly loyal to you and your firm. 

Podcast

Money podcasts are incredibly popular, so consider turning what you do at work into a weekly conversation you can post on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. You can also post episodes directly on your website, but keep in mind most people want podcasts available on their phones. 

Consider what conversations you already have with clients and use them as inspiration for podcast episodes. Try to make each episode feel casual, like you’re out for a beer or catching up with a friend as those do the best with listeners.

As always, it can be a good idea to contact a professional to help you develop and produce several episodes and keep them on file so all you have to do is post them once a week.


To Sum UP!

We want to see you succeed and marketing is a unique journey that can often leave you feeling lost or intimidated. Finding, speaking to, and learning how to sell to your audience takes practice and a set of skills entirely unique to accounting. 

If you want to get to know your customers better than ever before, make the most of your website and social media, or perfect your sales, please contact us today. We can get you to new levels of sales and engagement with a honed, specialized marketing strategy. 

Don’t wait – contact the professionals at Growth Accountancy today. Let us do what we do best – help you soar. 

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