If you’ve ever wondered if digital marketing for accounting firms is necessary to your firm’s success, let me throw you a hypothetical scenario…
Let’s say I need tax and accounting services for the first time in my adult life. I’ve purchased new properties, made a few investments and done some freelance work. And say that my husband has a full-time job and he’s also part of the gig economy. We’re at the point where TurboTax just isn’t going to cut it anymore. So, being the expert Googler that I am, I do a quick search for “accounting firms near me.”
Needless to say, the results are overwhelming. I’m met with over 14.6 million hits. And the first three that pop up by location have exactly zero Google reviews. In fact, only two out of the three have a website. That leaves me with very few options. I either go to my neighborhood Facebook page (and brace myself to weed through the drama) and ask for recommendations or I start clicking on each available website in the search results to see what information I can get.
To be honest, neither of those options sound appealing. It’s going to add a lot of work to my already full plate, and I’m going to have to call (something this introvert hates doing) to ask about the services each firm provides…and maybe even seek out a few references. (Accountants have references, right?)
That’s not really the kind of experience you want for a prospective client. And that’s why digital marketing is so important in a modern firm. Maybe you’re just starting to wade into the waters of the digital world. Or you’ve been killing it since flashing scrolling website marquees were a thing. Either way, here are five ways your firm can use digital marketing to enhance your brand and help potential clients find you.
Know your niche
When it comes to digital marketing for accounting firms, the first order of business is knowing who you serve (i.e., your ideal clients). And that stems from your business model. If you’ve been around the Rootworks community for a while, you know this means the WHO, the WHAT and the HOW. Here’s how it breaks down:
- The WHO. No, not the band. It’s knowing who your ideal clients are (i.e., the ones you love to serve and are good at serving).
- The WHAT. These are the products and services you want to sell and are great at supporting.
- The HOW. This is how you deliver your products and services to your ideal clients.
If you specialize in serving small businesses, such as dental or optometry practices, these are ideal verticals—your target audiences to focus on. You’ll know what type of services they need from you, and that’s how you entice them (and retain them). Well, that and your online presence…
Build a robust online presence
Think back to my hypothetical scenario. Search results spit back a list of firms without any Google reviews and some without a website. In the age of digital, I was not only surprised but put off. When it comes to digital marketing for accounting firms, the importance of a strong online presence can’t be overstated.
Your online presence is your digital storefront; it’s how prospective clients find you. The lack of one doesn’t mean you won’t welcome any new clients but it does mean that you’re missing a huge opportunity to attract ideal clients effortlessly. So, what should your online presence entail?
- A dynamic and engaging website. Your firm’s website is the heart of your online presence. It should include:
- A place to do business where clients can access everything they need from online invoice payment and appointment scheduling to client accounting applications and video conferencing tools.
- Clearly defined product pages so potential clients know exactly what you offer.
- Educational content, such as blogs or gated content that showcases your expertise on relevant topics. (Spoiler: Rootworks can help with that.)
- An optimized Google Business Profile. If you haven’t yet, you need to claim your free business profile on Google. It’s a great way to showcase reviews and increase your online presence.
- Multiple active social channels. When I say “multiple,” I really mean at least two active channels. You don’t need to be on every platform. Chances are your prospective clients are on LinkedIn and Facebook. Whichever social channels you choose, post consistently—whether that’s two days a week or once a day.
- Recent online reviews. Businesses with current positive reviews can bring in more business. Ask existing clients to leave honest reviews. And if a negative review pops up, respond to it immediately. This shows you’re engaged with your clients and that you care about their experience with your firm.
Personalize your email marketing
Personalized emails are a crucial aspect of digital marketing for accounting firms. We’re bombarded daily with a deluge of generic emails. That’s why the ones that are tailored to our interests and needs stand out.
Start by segmenting your lists into clients and prospects. This will help ensure that relevant content gets to the right audience.
You may want your clients to receive emails or newsletters that detail tax updates, financial advice or insights relevant to their industry. On the flip side, send prospects information about your services, client testimonials or introductory service offers. It’s important to consider your target audience and plan your content accordingly.
Use email marketing solutions that help you track important data. This data includes email opens, click-throughs and responses. This helps you tailor content further to ensure you’re giving your audience what they need (and want). Also, keep in mind how often you send emails. (You don’t want to end up in spam.)
Make use of analytics
One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing for accounting firms is the ability to track, measure and analyze results. Use analytics provided by your social channels, email marketing platforms and website traffic data to gain insights about your audience’s behavior.
Did you experience an uptick in revenue when prospects received (and opened) an email about introductory services? Are some social posts getting more engagement than others? Did you receive good feedback about an educational newsletter? These are all questions that can be answered by data.
Use the analytical tools available to you to gain insight into your audience(s), their preferences and how they interact with your brand. Use this information to tailor their experience with your firm further and (hopefully) bring more ideal clients on board.
Partner with experts
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Yeah, Emily, there’s no way my firm can take on all this extra work with everything else we’re doing,” I get it. You’re numbers people—not marketers. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the perks of digital marketing. That’s why it’s recommended that you partner with a team of experts to take care of everything for you. (Hint: We know a good one.)
The right partner can handle everything from crafting engaging social posts, managing online reviews, personalizing emails and helping you produce educational content. Outsourcing your digital marketing to seasoned professionals allows you to focus on what you do best—providing top-notch accounting services.
Harness the power of digital marketing for accounting firms
Like accounting, digital marketing is an essential part of doing business. It’s a multifaceted process. And while it may seem daunting, the payoff can be enormous. Think increased visibility, client engagement and—ultimately—business growth.
Let our Marketing Solutions team help you unlock the potential that the digital world offers.