Did you know that 30% of small business owners place accountants at the top of their most trusted advisors?
This role has become increasingly strategic and particularly in times of crisis, organizations need expert assistance when it comes to cutting their operational costs, lowering their taxes, and obtaining valuable business advice.
But, given that accounting is a very competitive industry, all this won’t help you grow and expand your accounting firm unless you find a way to reach and attract your target audience.
Another stat that you should take into consideration when coming up with marketing ideas for accountants says that 97% of people learn more about a local business online than anywhere else. Therefore, digital marketing should be a go-to marketing strategy if you want to improve your online presence and make sure your accounting business stands out from your competitors.
Here are some marketing ideas for accountants that will help you promote your accounting services and generate new business opportunities.
- Build a Strong Brand Identity
- Leverage Email Marketing
- Update Your Website
- Start a Blog
- Improve Your SEO
- Get Started with Paid Ads
- Ask for Referrals
- Start Running Webinars
- Speak at Industry Events
- Offer Free Consultations
- Raise Your Profile with Local Billboards
How do accountants get more clients?
There are a number of different answers to this question, but building a strong brand identity is the first step you should take as it’s something that will impact all your marketing efforts.
The term “brand” is frequently associated with a logo and other visual elements, but branding and online marketing for accountants are much more than that. A brand is what defines your business and differentiates it from the other accounting firms.
It’s how your accounting firm is perceived by your clients and prospects, as well as your entire target audience. Your brand identity is the personality of your business, and it’s what helps people remember and distinguish it from other firms offering the same or similar services.
The three most important elements of a branding identity include:
- Clear messaging that allows you to communicate your unique value proposition to your clients and condense the benefits they will get if they opt to hire your accounting firm;
- Your logo and brand colours have the purpose of helping your potential clients memorize and recognize your brand;
- Exceptional customer experience has become the key brand differentiator, overcoming product and pricing. Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure every interaction of your clients with your business is positive.
Trustworthiness and credibility play an important role when business owners choose an accountant, and that’s one of the reasons why you should take branding very seriously. People are more likely to do business with companies they have heard of.
A strong brand identity:
- Helps you identify and target clients that are the right fit. Knowing who’s your ideal client is important for tailoring and communicating your marketing message. If you understand your target audience, you will be able to reach out to them using their language and deliver messaging consistently across different channels.
- Allows you to avoid clients that are a bad fit. At the same time, this approach will also help you disqualify clients who are unprofitable or difficult to work with, thus allowing you to focus your marketing efforts properly.
Use social media and other marketing channels to amplify your branding efforts.
Email marketing is one of the most convenient and cost-effective strategies for promoting your accounting firm.
It’s particularly successful when it comes to growing your customer base relatively quickly. Weekly newsletters are a great method for sharing valuable information with your potential clients, educating them, and keeping your accounting firm top of mind.
Apart from having the right contact information and staying compliant with data protection regulations, it’s important to craft your emails properly in order to engage your recipients.
Here are a couple of email marketing tips to help you make sure your open, click-through, and response rates are decent:
Create a Catchy Subject Line
Your subject line is the first thing that your recipients see in their inbox, so it’s crucial to make it stand out. Keep it short, compelling, and intriguing, but don’t try to deceive your audience. To ensure that it will display properly on smartphone screens, don’t use more than 50-60 characters.
Always Deliver Value
Sending an email just to touch base with your audience and without providing any value will result in unsubscribes. To keep them tuned in, offer only relevant, useful information and do your best to help your recipients solve their pressing pain points and issues.
Stick to a Consistent Email Marketing Schedule
Sending out your weekly newsletter on the same day and at the same time, every week will minimize the unsubscribe rate. This way, your recipients will know when they can expect your emails which is great for building trust.
Automate Your Email Marketing
Besides your regular newsletters, it’s a good idea to send triggered emails, that is the ones that are automatically launched depending on your recipients’ behaviour. For example, it’s a nice touch to wish your prospects or existing clients a happy birthday. Similarly, they will appreciate it if you remind them about the upcoming tax season or other key accounting deadlines.
Having a website is a must for every business that wants to come across as professional and relevant.
But, if your website is poorly designed, it will only hurt your reputation and online performance, which is why conducting an audit should be among the top marketing strategies on your priority list.
Your website should show your accounting firm to its advantage, as well as engage your visitors and encourage them to explore your services. It’s an excellent opportunity to make a memorable first impression, so don’t waste it.
Here are a couple of factors that you should have in mind when polishing your website.
Aesthetics can have a powerful impact on the success of your website. Numbers don’t lie – 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if its content or layout is unattractive. That’s why you should consider enlisting the help of a web designer who will make sure your site looks visually appealing.
Navigation and usability
Potential customers want to find the information they want as quickly as possible, without having to provide personal information or click back and forth endlessly. Your navigation menu should be placed prominently, while the usability will be additionally amplified if you implement search functionality.
As people use different devices to access your website, your web design should be responsive. This approach will allow your content to adapt to different screen sizes so that people can easily browse through your website from their mobile devices.
Don’t let your visitors wade through the clutter on your website before they can find the information they’re looking for. Less is more, in this case, so opt for a clear design with a lot of white space. Too much content will only overwhelm your audience and distract them.
Content is what your entire marketing strategy should revolve around.
It’s what drives traffic to your website and provides value to your potential and existing clients. Blog posts are a great vehicle for marketing your accounting services and telling your prospects more about your firm and the benefits they can expect if they trust you with their financial affairs.
Therefore, starting a blog is a logical move.
Still, many business owners neglect the importance of having a regularly updated blog, packed with useful pieces that offer solutions to their audience’s common pain points. Stats say that
Include some of the following content types in your plan:
- Checklists with tips on how to do taxes and prepare for this process
- A vocabulary of common accounting terms and their explanations
- Guides and how-tos about getting business finances in order and growing business
- Interviews with experts
- Case studies in which you’ll present how you helped a client and improved their business
Don’t limit yourself to articles and blog posts – video has become a very powerful content marketing format as it’s easy to consume and digest. Customers like it because it’s entertaining and memorable.
Besides, even a short 2-3 minute video can convey as much information as a lengthy blog post, which appeals to today’s busy audiences.
Regardless of how great and useful your content is, it won’t achieve much in terms of popularity if your audience can’t find it while searching the internet.
That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential aspect of every successful content marketing strategy. This practice will help you improve the searchability and visibility of your content and allow your potential clients to find your accounting firm more easily in search results.
SEO for accounting firms is important because it will boost your Google rankings and bring you a lot of organic traffic that you can turn into clients. It’s worth mentioning that search engine optimization is a long-term strategy that will start yielding results only after a couple of months.
Here are a couple of tips with which you’ll turn your website into a powerful lead generation machine for your accounting firm.
Optimize your site for local searches
46% of all Google searches are local.
Another stat that highlights the importance of local Maps SEO says that 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone end up visiting a local business within one day. Not optimizing your website for local search means leaving the money on the table.
First of all, create and verify your Google My Business account as that’s the easiest way of showing up in local searches.
Although Google dominates the global search engine market with more than 92%, don’t neglect other search engines, as well as review sites such as Yelp, Yell or Clutch as these citations will ensure that your name will pop up among all the other accounting firms.
Another thing that you have to get right if you want to do your local SEO right is to ensure NAP consistency. NAP or Name, Address, and Phone Number across the web. This will, in turn, make Maps experiences more accurate and reliable, thus improving your local SEO and helping your accounting firm reach the right prospects.
Speed up your website
As an accountant, you know that your clients are busy and most probably very impatient. Stats say that 40% of visitors abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Even worse, 80% of those who bounce off are so unhappy that they never return to the website. And, Google takes notice of all this and concludes that if searchers leave your website so quickly, then it’s not relevant.
And boom! Your rankings come crashing down.
Opting for a faster web hosting provider, compressing your images, and using a content delivery network are some of the tactics that will improve the performance fo your website.
Get authority links
Since accountants heavily rely on their reputation for generating new business opportunities, it’s important to improve the credibility of your website by obtaining links from respectable and trustworthy sources.
When a credible source links to your website, it’s in a way vouching for the quality and relevance of your content. If your link-building efforts are effective, Google will reward you with higher rankings, and more traffic.
Boost Your Social Media Presence
There are 3.5 billion social media users worldwide and your potential customers are among them too.
Therefore, you should build a strong social media presence on the networks your target audience frequents. But, this doesn’t mean that you should spread yourself too thin and start posting on every social media platform out there just for the sake of it – pick the ones that your clients prefer. (Read social media for accountants)
LinkedIn is an obvious choice for your industry, as all your prospects, customers, and competitors are there.
Use this social network to connect with your prospects, as its premium version offers very sophisticated and granular targeting features. To grow your following and generate traffic, you should join specialised groups for your target customer and start participating in discussions.
Also, it’s important to share helpful and relevant content and interact with other people, as simply having a profile on this social media network won’t get you very far unless you’re actively building relationships with your audience.
Despite not being a social media channel tailored for business professionals, Facebook has almost 2.8 billion users and it’s this huge audience that makes it indispensable for marketing purposes. Regularly post and share relevant content, respond to your prospects’ questions, and take advantage of Facebook advertising.
Although it’s not a traditional social media platform, this Q&A site can help you generate high-quality traffic. Namely, by sharing your expertise and helping others to solve their tax problems, improve their cash flow, or set up a business, you’ll catch the eye of your prospects and they might decide to reach out to you.
Although social shares, likes, and comments won’t directly affect your rankings, social media engagement and lively interactions will drive valuable traffic to your website and improve your visibility.
To additionally improve your chances of attracting the right prospects, you should combine and coordinate your SEO strategy with paid ads.
By opting for PPC, you can target your audience with ads appearing above organic results in Google search, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Paid ad campaigns can send traffic to your site more quickly than SEO, but if you don’t optimize them properly, you might end up with random leads that don’t have the potential to convert into paying clients.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of PPC campaigns.
- Build a relevant landing page and align its messaging, copy, and keywords with the ad
- Leverage negative keywords by specifying the ones that aren’t a good fit for your firm
- Write device-specific copy so that on mobile it, for example, says “Shop on your phone”
- Use UTM codes to better track the performance of your campaigns
The key tip is to constantly review and tweak your PPC strategy in order to get the most bang for your buck.
Your existing happy customers can be a major source of new business opportunities.
If you maintain a healthy relationship with every client you don’t have to hesitate to ask them to recommend your services to their friends, family, and business partners.
Such word-of-mouth marketing is very effective because it’s based on loyalty and trust – an existing client will introduce you to a person that they know for sure needs your services and will surely benefit from doing business with you.
You can even use incentives or a loyalty program, and reward both new clients and those who refer them.
People are more inclined to trust and do business with experts.
Webinars are an excellent way to help and educate others, show your expertise as an accountant, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. As a result, you’ll reach a broad audience and generate a lot of fresh, high-quality traffic.
To tap into the power of these digital events, it’s best to team up with another local business and start co-hosting free webinars in which you’ll share your knowledge and experience with your target audience.
This approach will allow you to double your reach and attract more people interested in what you have to offer.
Speaking at industry events is one of the best tactics to connect with new prospects and establish yourself as an authority.
Even though conferences and trade shows have gone digital, you can still greatly benefit from these events. Thanks to the fact that they’re largely virtual, you can reach much more people than that’s the case with traditional, in-person events.
This way, you can grow awareness of your business, generate new leads, get in touch with potential partners, and position yourself as a thought leader. As for your lead generation efforts, offer to share a white paper or research produced by your firm. This way you’ll have an opportunity to collect the contact information of the interested attendees and get in touch with them later on.
One of the most effective marketing ideas for accountants is offering free consultations. Not only will you put the reciprocity principle to work but you’ll also build rapport with your prospects.
In other words, people sometimes don’t know how exactly an accountant can help them and make their life easier, so a 15-minute call can make them see all the benefits. At the same time, they will feel obliged to reciprocate the favour by deciding to do business with you.
Since the likelihood of converting these leads into paying customers, investing your time into 10-minute consultations is a fairly cost-effective marketing strategy.
While online marketing is certainly taking over traditional strategies, you should also consider amplifying your local marketing efforts and boosting your visibility with billboard advertising.
Since billboards are situated in busy areas, they get a lot of views and impressions, especially when compared to other traditional marketing methods.
Don’t forget that you want to captivate the attention of passers-by and drivers, which is why your billboards shouldn’t be cluttered and overwhelming. Instead of multiple images and too much text, choose a simple, minimalistic design and a straightforward message that’s easy to remember.
Also, your firm’s name should be prominently placed so that your prospects can associate the message with your brand.
Besides traditional, static billboards, there are also digital ones with different images that change every couple of seconds or animations, and they can engage your audience even more.
Making the Most of These Marketing Ideas for Accountants
Finally, after you’ve implemented these ideas and strategies, it’s equally crucial to keep on monitoring their performance, testing different approaches, and adjusting them based on the feedback and behaviour of your prospects and customers.