Accountants focus on numbers and helping their clients achieve their financial goals, but an accountant marketing plan is crucial to any accounting firm. You may need a proper marketing plan to make sure you are getting the attention of your target audience.
Creating a digital marketing strategy can feel overwhelming, but we’ve created a list of simple steps to help you create a plan for digital marketing for accounting firms that will help your business grow.
Why Marketing for Accountants Is Important
Marketing efforts for accounting firms are an essential part of growing your business, and a big part of it should be a digital marketing strategy. Many consumers use the internet to find accounting firms and to learn more about them.
If your accounting firm doesn’t exist online, you could miss much of your target audience. For example, when potential clients search for accounting firms, they may search specifically for ‘accountants near me’ or ask a specific question to see which accountants in the area provide value-added content to help them.
Methods for Accountants to Market Their Business
Accounting firms have many options to market their business. You can pick and choose from the following methods to get a competitive advantage in the accounting industry.
Local marketing is the best way to attract clients in your area. If most of your accounting services are in-person, local SEO is essential.
When you create content for your accounting firm, it should target your local area. Some key phrases to include with your targeted keywords include the towns, zip codes, states, and neighborhoods you service.
Also, consider listing your service in directories, including Google Maps, Yelp!, and professional and local directories.
Content marketing helps draw in more traffic by showing that you’re a leader in the accounting industry. Content marketing doesn’t mean advertising your business; it’s a chance to show your target audience that you provide value-added services without asking for the sale.
Blog posts and other online content allow you to show your audience what you know and how you offer advice. Providing helpful and valuable content shows that your accounting firm is a trusted source.
Perfectly timed and written blog posts can help convert visitors into clients by showing your knowledge.
Content marketing also provides the option to take advantage of search engine optimization. SEO is the proper use of keywords to help your website have a higher search engine ranking. Since most people don’t go past the first page on Google and other search engines, you must rank on the first page to increase website traffic.
Email marketing is a cost-efficient way to remind your audience what you offer. It’s cost and time effective.
Like blogging, email marketing efforts allow you to get in front of your audience and show your worth. Of course, not every email will be sales related; that’s the number one way to turn potential clients away. So instead, you’ll provide tips, news, and other related content to entice your audience to learn more about you.
Emails should have a captivating subject line, a direct (and short) message, and a call to action while making it seem personal.
Social Media Marketing
You might not think social media marketing should be a part of your accounting marketing plan, but it’s essential. While you must follow compliance guidelines, there is plenty of room for accounting firms on social media.
Accounting firms have many options when creating a social media marketing strategy. It starts with determining where your audience is and the type of services you offer.
- Facebook – Good to market directly to consumers
- Twitter – Good for quick tips, news bits, and updates, especially to keep current clients engaged
- LinkedIn – Good for accounting firms that do business accounting
You may not need a social media presence on every site; consider where your target audience spends most of their time and focus your efforts there.
Putting your accounting firm on too many social media sites can defeat the purpose. The point of an online marketing strategy that includes social media is to give you a way to interact with your potential and current clients. No other marketing effort offers this option, and it can help you connect with your target market.
Relationship marketing can have many different looks, but it’s to bring more attention to your accounting firm. For example, you might build brand awareness through many marketing strategies, including social media, email, and content marketing. This allows you to build trust between you and your target audience.
You should also continue nurturing your relationships with existing clients. Just because they are your client now doesn’t mean other firms aren’t trying to get their attention. Keeping up your relationship with them keeps you at the forefront of their minds and prevents them from going elsewhere.
You may also consider building relationships with others in the industry to get referrals. This may include other accounting firms, lawyers, estate planners, influencers, and bloggers.
The key is building relationships everywhere to get more traffic and gain new clients.
A paid ads strategy can be a part of your overall marketing strategy. PPC marketing is a way to use paid advertising without exceeding your budget. You pay only for clicks on your advertisement relevant to your specific keywords.
PPC ads must have informative content, an attractive image, and a call to action. It should tell visitors what to do next to contact you or learn more about your offer. Most PPC marketing strategies lead to a landing page that collects contact information for future marketing efforts.
Inbound marketing is like a funnel that turns potential clients into paying clients. It starts with an email after capturing contact information. From there, you continually market to your potential clients through email newsletters, follow-up emails, phone calls, and other targeted material, such as blog posts.
Creating an Accountant Marketing Plan
Every accountant marketing plan looks different because no two accounting firms offer the same accounting services or have the same audience. Here are some simple steps to create a successful accounting marketing strategy.
1. Create Your Marketing Goal
First, determine your marketing goals for your accounting firm. Ask yourself the following:
- Are you trying to attract new clients?
- Are you trying to nurture existing clients?
- Are you expanding into new markets?
- Are you trying to upsell current clients?
Your overall marketing goals will determine your accounting firm’s most powerful marketing strategy.
2. Identify the Target Audience (Niche)
Your target market is the key to creating a successful accounting marketing strategy. Consider creating personas for each group you’re targeting.
Chances are your target market is comprised of many different types of clients. Think about what makes each category unique.
For example, do you cater to seniors, entrepreneurs, young families, business owners, or retirees? You may work with clients in several of those categories. Gather as much information as you can about your potential customers so your online marketing activities reach them in ways that help them convert to clients.
3. Describe What Makes You Unique
Next, consider your competitors. See what they offer and what they don’t. Then compare this to what you provide and determine which voids you fill. This can help you create content and a marketing strategy, setting you apart from the competition.
When you write content, create videos, and use other digital marketing strategies, you can focus on what makes your accounting firm unique. As you know, many accounting firms advertise online, so you must find a way to set yourself apart from them, giving your audience a basic understanding of what you offer and how you’re better than the other firms.
4. Determine Your Budget and Timeline
When creating a marketing strategy for accounting firms, you must consider your budget and timeline. No accounting firm marketing strategy will offer instant results; all marketing strategies take time.
However, your budget is a crucial factor. Small businesses typically budget 8.11% of their revenue for marketing. You may spend more or less depending on your marketing goals. For example, if you’re simply nurturing existing clients, you may not need as much paid advertising to increase website traffic. However, you may need a larger marketing budget if you’re trying to grow your business and get more clients.
5. Wisely Choose Content Platforms
Throwing yourself on every content platform can be tempting, but you’ll spread yourself too thin. So, choose a few platforms you know you have the time and budget to manage effectively.
For example, you may create content for a blogging strategy and have a presence on one social media site. This allows you the time and funds to put all your effort into those two channels and get the most out of them.
Creating a presence on every platform available doesn’t allow the time or funds to effectively manage each platform, making them less than worth your while and money.
6. Execution and Tracking
The final step is to execute the marketing strategy you created and to track the results. Even if your accounting marketing strategy looks great on paper, you won’t know how it will work out unless you track the results.
Use Google Analytics and other metrics to determine how well you’ve increased your audience, email lists, and sales. Look at the big picture, but give any strategy you create time to work. You won’t see results overnight, but you should see changes in your bottom line with time.
Additional Marketing Ideas for Accountant Marketing
In addition to the accounting marketing strategies mentioned above, some of the following strategies may help you reach more prospective clients.
- Ask for client testimonials – If you have happy clients, ask that they share their thoughts online. Many prospective clients rely on reviews for ‘real people.’ Consider using a third-party app for reviews, such as Google Maps, so the testimonials are ‘legit’ and not coerced.
- Respond to reviews – You may not always get good reviews, and that’s okay. Respond to all reviews, good or bad, to show potential clients you are responsive and willing to go the extra mile for clients.
- Ask for client referrals – Happy clients usually don’t mind sharing your information with friends and family. Offer an incentive for your current clients to refer others to your firm’s services.
- Digital PR marketing – Digital press releases are often a part of viral marketing. If you want your brand awareness to explode, consider PRs that announce new services or bring attention to your accounting firm. If you have a good digital strategy, you may get other businesses, bloggers, and media firms to offer backlinks to your PR.
- Networking events – While we’re mainly discussing online tools for marketing for accounting firms, in-person networking events are essential. You can combine your local SEO efforts with in-person networking to maximize results. At networking events, you may meet new clients or develop relationships with local businesses that may help with referrals.
Reasons for Failed Account Marketing Plans
Unfortunately, not all marketing plans succeed. In our experience, here are the top reasons we see accounting marketing fail.
Poor Goal Setting
All marketing for accounting firms plans need goals. Without goals, you don’t have something to focus on or measure.
Consider creating SMART goals:
- Specific – Know what you’re trying to achieve and the necessary steps to get there
- Measurable – Be able to measure the progress your efforts have made and make necessary changes
- Achievable – Set goals with short timespans so you can see progress quickly
- Realistic – Don’t set goals that look great on paper but aren’t practical in real life
- Time-bound – Set a time limit for each goal to motivate all involved
Lack of Tracking
If you don’t track your marketing for accountants’ results, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not. You need to understand the results to know when certain factors must change. Not tracking your efforts is the equivalent of throwing money out the window.
You should always keep your eye on your competitors. What are they doing that you can do better? Also, what are they not doing that you can offer to fill the void?
Your competitors likely have their eye on you too, so always be one step ahead to ensure you get the lion’s share of your target market.
Relying Only on One Marketing Channel
Putting all your eggs in one basket doesn’t work in any industry, including accounting marketing. So while you shouldn’t spread yourself so thin that you can’t focus on all platforms, you must diversify, using at least a few platforms to reach a larger audience.
Avoiding Hiring Professionals
You specialize in accounting, not marketing. If you try to do it all, you’ll likely leave prospective clients for your competitors. Working with marketing professionals lets the experts handle the marketing for accounting firms, getting you desired results.
Keys to a Successful Marketing for Accounting Firms
Running an accounting firm takes a lot of time and effort, but marketing for accountants is just as necessary so you can keep your business growing. Here are some key skills you’ll need to ensure your marketing for accountants is successful.
- Organization – Marketing for accountants requires time and patience, but also analytics and strategies. Tracking your strategies and their performance can help you make key decisions about your marketing efforts.
- Sale funnel strategies – Increasing your website traffic and getting more leads won’t increase your bottom line. You must know how to move your leads through the sale funnel to guide them to become clients.
- Web design skills – Your website must be user-friendly and give viewers actions to take, including booking an appointment with you. Knowing how to design and manage your website is important.
- Quality CRM – A quality CRM program can help you manage your leads and customers without too much manual labor from you. This ensures your customers are cared for and updated as often as necessary to keep them engaged.
- Writing skills – You must be able to write engaging and SEO-optimized content that turns your leads into clients. Written blog posts, advertisements, and other content will keep your target audience engaged.
How Do I Track the Performance of My Financial Advisor Marketing Campaigns?
Your digital software programs often include many analytic tools, and you can also use the powerful Google Analytics to get more results.
How Do Accountants Find Their Clientele?
Accountants find clientele through online marketing and in-person events. Taking a holistic approach to accounting services marketing is the key to capturing as large of an audience as possible.
How Do You Advertise Yourself as an Accountant?
There are numerous ways to advertise yourself as an accountant, including paid advertising and organic marketing for accounting firms, such as blog posts, social media marketing, and networking events.
How Much Should I Budget for My Accountant Marketing Plan?
Every accounting firm has a different marketing budget, but generally, you should budget between 7% – 10% of your budget on marketing.
How Long Do Accountants Need to Market Themselves Before Seeing Results?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to how long it takes to see results from in-person or digital marketing efforts. Instead, the key is to track your results monthly, make necessary changes, and be patient.
How Often Should Accountants Send Emails?
On average, potential clients like to receive weekly emails to be reminded of the services a company offers they’ve displayed interest in, as long as the emails aren’t 100% sales-focused.
Do Accountants Need to Be on All Social Media Platforms?
Accountants don’t need to be on all social media platforms and shouldn’t be. Instead, pick a couple of platforms to which you can pay the most attention and get the greatest results.
Get Professional Help with Your Accountant Marketing Plan
Don’t let your accountant’s marketing plan take the back burner. Instead, get professional help to create the strategy that helps your accounting firm reach as many people as possible. You can grow your accounting firm to reach your goals with the right strategies, platforms, and effort.