9 steps to build a killer marketing program: Part 2

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Last Updated October 25, 2023


In part one of this article, we walked you through the basics of marketing (starting with the four P’s), talked through analyzing your current marketing process using a SWOT analysis, helped you set measurable business goals utilizing the SMART method, advised you on how to devise a marketing plan with those goals in mind, and broke down the many communication channels available to you.

With the first five steps under your belt, now we dive into the remaining four steps to get you on your way to a killer marketing program. Read on as we discuss building a solid prospect list and referral base, how to embrace content marketing to engage your target audience, suggested tools for consistent evaluation (and tweaking) of your program, and—most important—staying in touch.

Step 6: Build a solid prospect list and referral base

Another critical aspect of a killer marketing program is a solid prospect list. This should be curated based on your ideal client and can be built in several ways, including:

  • List purchase: Firms can purchase a mailing list from a broker based on specific criteria (e.g., location, industry, organization size, role in the company). There are two downsides you should be aware of. First, purchased lists can be expensive. And second, emailing prospects without their permission is a violation of federal anti-spam laws. Look for a broker who provides lists where users have already opted in if you go this route.
  • Professional associations: Check with local and state chambers of commerce for member directories or with professional associations for lists. Keep in mind that organizations may not provide information to third parties due to privacy policies.
  • Organic list building: Build your list manually by performing simple searches on Google or LinkedIn for businesses within your niche. This method takes longer but produces high-quality leads.
  • Gated content: Grant access to free resource downloads on your website in exchange for names and email addresses. Promote this gated content with links on your social media channels to drive ideal clients to your website.
  • Onsite events: For firms that may attend trade shows, leverage onsite events where people sign up for a promotional giveaway. This allows interested parties to opt-in to receive more information about your firm while giving them the possibility of winning a prize. Who doesn’t like free stuff?

While organic growth may take longer, it provides quality leads. It also allows prospects to opt in to receive emails from you. An important aspect to keep in mind is to segment your lists. You don’t want to send the same content to clients as you do to prospects because the messaging may be irrelevant.

Don’t forget that happy clients are your best source of marketing communication. Maintain a list of satisfied clients who will advocate for your firm. Referrals are key when it comes to getting the word out. And remember, this doesn’t include just clients, but also partners, vendors and other professional services like attorneys or insurance agents. Consistent outstanding experiences with your firm will essentially write the script for referrals.

Tip 7: Embrace content marketing

Developing marketing content may not be easy for accounting firms, so it’s hard to know where to start. Content marketing aims to create valuable content that informs, inspires, and educates your target audience.

Before you dive in and start creating new content, take a look at what you already have. Do you have images, videos, blogs, eBooks or infographics? If an eBook is performing well (i.e., hundreds or thousands of downloads), there’s no need to recreate the wheel. Take the content that works and repurpose it into an article or additional social posts.

If you don’t have content that can be reused, think about what information will be helpful to your prospects and clients. This content can include materials such as eBooks, how-to guides, tips or niche-specific information.

Good content helps prospects to become clients. Providing the right content at the right time will help them in this journey. And don’t forget to tell prospects what to do when they get to the end of your content—be sure to include a CTA (call to action). The purpose is to have your target audience take action on your content—downloading content, listening to a podcast, registering for a webinar or signing up for an email list.

While creating educational content can be difficult for some firms, Rootworks members can enhance their digital marketing strategy by taking advantage of a monthly content package with curated content, such as blog articles, magazines and social posts, that can be pushed to clients through your website.

Tip 8: Evaluate results and make adjustments

When you start pushing content out to your audience, keep in mind that you’ll need to have the right tools to measure the success of your marketing goals. It’s important to track marketing activities, along with their costs and the results they provide, so you can determine if what you’re doing is working.

Social media schedulers such as HubSpot or Sprout Social include analytics so you can review what your audience likes (or doesn’t), what type of content performs well or what time of day most users are engaging. Use Google Analytics to see your Google My Business stats and measure your website performance.

A marketing strategy isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal. You must constantly evaluate and make adjustments as needed. Your strategy needs to grow and evolve over time to keep up with changes. A few questions to keep in mind as you evaluate your results:

  1. Are your leads and business opportunities the same as when you first launched your products and/or services?
  2. Have new rules or regulations changed the services you provide? Has your ideal client changed?
  3. Are your products/services making their expected revenue? What is or isn’t working?

Review current sales tactics to see if sales are up or down from the same quarter last year or if there are major differences in outside factors during that time.

Compare results to the measurable goals you set. Where do you stand? Where can you improve? It’s vital to consistently evaluate your strategy so you can make changes that yield better results.

Tip 9: Never lose touch

As we said before, marketing isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal, and this also includes follow-up communications. You want clients and prospects to keep your firm top of mind, so be sure to maintain consistent communication. We have a few ways for you to do this:

  • Post-webinar emails. Once a webinar you’ve hosted has concluded, send a follow-up email to those who attended with a note of gratitude and a recording of the webinar, if possible. You’ll also want to send a follow-up email to those that didn’t attend to let them know they were missed and include a link to upcoming webinars.
  • Create drip campaigns. Create an automated email campaign to keep in touch with your audience. A campaign can be triggered by an eBook download from your website, which would include a welcome email, then another email a few days later with additional must-read content associated with the eBook. If someone keeps viewing your products page but hasn’t reached out yet, send an email with reasons to sign up for services.
  • Monthly newsletters. Send out a monthly newsletter with helpful information, such as upcoming deadlines or tax regulation changes, along with educational content and any tips for making it through the coming months. Elevate your team on a rotating basis with a message to prospects and clients. Don’t be afraid to include referrals or success stories. People love warm and fuzzy messaging.

Remember to use multiple methods of communication—but start slow. Start with a drip campaign based on a downloaded resource to get the ball rolling. Once it starts to gain traction, incorporate other methods of communication such as post-webinar emails or monthly newsletters. Just be consistent.

It’s time to get your marketing on—progressively

You may be ready to jump in and start promoting your firm’s message to anyone who will listen. But remember, when it comes to building a marketing strategy, slow and steady wins the race. Start by evaluating your current marketing program and go from there. Follow our nine tips to help you implement a killer marketing program and crush the competition.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing, so set goals, be consistent, reevaluate often and pivot when needed. And don’t forget, the Rootworks team is dedicated to helping our members build successful marketing and sales programs. If you’d like to learn more about what a Rootworks membership offers, please contact us at

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