It’s my experience that too many accounting firms ignore digital marketing. As of 2021, the average accounting industry only spends 3% of its annual revenue on marketing efforts, while the average across service industries lies at 8.7% (Forest Research).
At first, I thought it was because traditional advertising along with word-of-mouth marketing and referrals marketing for accountants was enough for such a commoditized B2B service. But research showed that most successful accounting firms tend towards established inbound digital marketing tactics in a more online marketing-oriented manner over advertising alone.
But why is digital marketing for accountants so important? Well, to start, 68% of all buying journeys begin with a search query. if you don’t have an online presence, then your accounting firm is missing out on two-thirds of all prospective clients.
Why CPAs’ advertising campaigns without digital marketing are not enough.
Traditional advertising in newspapers, radio or TV stations, or billboards is not sufficient or efficient anymore. 60% of antenna TV views have migrated to online streaming services, newspapers have been replaced with online publications, and billboards haven’t been effective for years.
While radio still reaches 90% of adults daily, it becomes increasingly more cost-prohibitive to most small to medium-sized accounting firms every year, and listenership is starting to share time with podcast and other online audio streaming services.
Four reasons digital marketing for accountants is crucial to attract new leads.
Here are four reasons why accounting firms should consider investing in a digital marketing campaign:
1. Digital marketing for accountants is effective.
When done properly, online marketing can be extremely effective in reaching new clients and driving traffic to your website. Studies show that internet users are more likely to click on an ad if they see it on a web page than if they see it anywhere else.
2. Digital marketing for accountants is measurable.
Thanks to the right tracking tools, you’ll be able to see exactly how your digital marketing campaign is performing and make changes as needed. For example, if you notice that people aren’t clicking on any of your ads, you can adjust them until they start drawing more attention.
3. Digital marketing for accountants costs less than traditional advertising.
Many accounting firms find that digital marketing is less expensive than other forms of advertising. For example, when you use online ads in specific locations (such as in search engines or social media), your ad won’t compete with others for attention – meaning you’ll reach an audience that’s more likely to be interested in what you offer.
4. Digital marketing for accountants allows your firm to be efficient.
Digital marketing allows you to be extremely selective of who your ads are delivered to. This means you aren’t wasting money showing ads to an audience that will never buy from you. If you are a B2B accountant, you are less likely to be successful with advertising to an audience that doesn’t own or manage a business.
Seven common digital marketing methods for accountants
Search Engine Optimization for accountants.
SEO is a process that can help accounting firms rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). If you don’t rank highly, potential clients won’t ever see your website, and your firm will miss out on 68% of the potential clients actively searching for your services.
Clients who find your website organically (through search results) will read through the information your firm provides and be more likely to decide to use your accounting firm. The key to success is providing high-quality content that meets the needs of your target audience.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing for accounting firms.
PPC is a way of buying ad space on the internet to get your business noticed or sell a product. Google Ads is just one type of PPC campaign and it’s the perfect digital marketing tool when marketing for accountants because affords control of bids and budgets so firms only pay when someone clicks on an ad. This means that the cost per click (CPC) will be cheaper than most other types of advertising such as print, radio, or TV ads which have more costs involved with getting the attention of your target market – like production costs and airtime.
Google Ads also offers many features such as tracking how well your digital marketing efforts are working by breaking down the numbers of how many clicks your ads get, what demographics are interested in your ads, and more. Finally, you can optimize bidding so that your ads are more profitable and garner higher ROI.
Social media marketing for accountants.
Social media is one of the most effective ways to engage and communicate with your client base. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks are designed to keep people in touch with each other day after day — and they can keep in touch with your accounting firm, too.
Whether you’re looking to attract new clients, improve your public image, or simply make your accounting firm more personable, strong social media marketing strategies are the answer. There are many social media platforms available, so it’s important to choose the ones best suited to connect with your accounting firm’s target audience and is cohesive with your digital marketing strategy.
It’s important to remember that your accounting firm doesn’t have to make a social media post every day. Your audience doesn’t need to see your brand as often as Facebook will tell you. Is is better to keep a constant presence than an overbearing one.
Your social media strategy isn’t to generate new leads or immediate website visitors straight from Facebook or other social media sites. For accounting services, we are looking to build trust and report with our target audience and build a strong online presence.
Social media advertising for accountants
Social media advertisements are targeted ads served on social media platforms based on user interactions within the platform. The ad can be a sponsored post or branded content in newsfeeds, videos, photos, etc., which means every time your target audience sees them they should relevant to you. This targeting allows your accounting firm to reach more people with less money because your firm only pays when leads interact with your advertisement rather than paying per view as is done on other online advertising platforms.
Content marketing strategies for accounting services
Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy used by CPA firms of all sizes to drive leads and sales by creating relevant and engaging digital marketing content that their target audience wants to read, watch or listen to. This approach increases your online presence while establishing expertise within your industry and making it easier for potential customers to find your accounting firm when they need your services.
Content marketing is a critical piece of any successful digital marketing strategy by helping you connect with potential clients, promote your accounting services, and build online brand awareness.
Email marketing for accounting firms
Email marketing is a form of direct digital marketing for accountants that uses Email to promote their accounting services. It can help make your clients aware of your latest services or offers. It can also play a pivotal role in teaching folks about your brand or keeping them engaged between accounting or tax projects.
Accounting firms can use Email marketing to:
1. Build and maintain relationships with business clients and prospects
2. Promote new business services online
3. Improve business and operational efficiency
4. Generate new leads online
5. Convert potential clients to new clients
6. Enhance goodwill for your business among other business owners and clients
7. Increase customer retention rate
8. Raise online brand awareness
9. Provide valuable information about new or existing services to clients
10. Enhance your business profile.
There are other ways Email marketing can help accounting firms. The possibilities are endless. The key is to be creative, keep your target market in mind, and remember that potential customers are not the only ones reading your Email marketing.
Online reputation management (ORM) for accounting firms
Online reputation management ensures that people are talking positively about your firm instead of focusing on negative things. What sets ORM apart from other digital marketing methods and digital marketing strategies is that it focuses on what’s being said about your business, rather than what you’re trying to say about it.
Think of your reputation as a real-world representation of your target audience.
Video marketing for accountants
Video marketing means using videos for promoting and telling people about your accounting services. It helps increase engagement on your digital and social channels, educates your online audience, and allows you to reach them with a new medium.
Today’s audiences have become accustomed to seeing more visual content in their everyday lives so it makes sense that they would want the same from brands they follow online. There are many ways to execute digital marketing for accounting services with video. Think of all the how-to videos you can make to help your audience better understand the complexity of your services.
Creating a digital marketing strategy for your accounting firm.
The key to digital marketing for accountants is getting started. But it’s hard to know where to start if you don’t have a strong marketing strategy, you will end up running in place. A lot of accounting firms hire a marketing agency to carry out various digital marketing services for them. The marketing services digital marketing agencies provide are a great resource for a firm that doesn’t have a lot of digital marketing experience.
If you can’t afford to hire a full-service marketing agency and are looking to grow your business then you will need to create a digital marketing strategy on your own. If you are looking for a simple way to simplify your accounting firm’s strategy, you should read The Rule of 26. The book reveals three revenue needle-moving online marketing objectives that will drastically increase your website traffic, website conversion rate, and the lifetime value of clients coming from your website.
The book also shares effective online marketing methods and tactics to achieve the three digital marketing objectives in the Rule of 26. Here are seven examples:
Seven digital marketing tactics for accountants
1. Create an informative website
As an accountant, you want to attract more clients and be the go-to professional for all things financial. But how do you do that? One great way is to have an informative and entertaining website.
Your website should include all of the basics – your education, certifications, experience, and areas of expertise. But it should also go beyond that and offer interactive tools that allow potential and current clients to get in touch with you. Plus, it should include content that demonstrates your ability to help people with their taxes and other accounting issues.
While it is important to show how awesome of a CPA you are, you must make the homepage all about your prospective clients. To attract new visitors to inquire more about your brand, you first need content that expresses the fact that you understand their problems and your services can help them get to achieve their goals.
Once you have content that shows how much you care, you need to show that you are trustworthy. There are many ways to accomplish this. Create content that answers these often asked questions. For example:
What have you done for previous tax clients?
How do you approach tax season?
How would you answer the most common tax questions people business owners ask accountants?
There is no doubt people need your services, but you must connect with them before asking them to do business with you. With that said, make sure there is a call to action on each page, your phone number, and a way to contact you via email.
Last but not least, you need to pay attention to your web design. Your site needs to be inviting, clean, and lead your visitors to action.
2. Create informative blog posts and articles
Write about the topics that you know are relevant to your services and reflect your areas of expertise. If you host a blog, post frequently enough to keep people coming back. If you decide to write guest blogs instead, choose sites that you know attract the kinds of business prospects you want to reach. Corporate prospects, for example, don’t visit the same sites as small businesses or high-net-worth individual.
3. Host accounting webinars
People and businesses need accounting services but often turn to the internet for information on what they can do themselves. While a blog post or article can go a long way towards answering their questions, webinars offer another dimension to their relationships and is a wonderful source of lead generation for your firm.
Webinars can be a great way to engage with potential clients, establish your firm’s credibility, and generate more leads – but only if you choose your topic and target audience carefully.
It is important to consider when you are planning your webinars what type of content you are providing. A webinar on taxes, for example, would be most relevant between January and the middle of April, whereas an estate planning webinar could generate interest year-round. The timing of your webinars can make a big difference in terms of how well they are received.
Unlike local in-person seminars, webinars can be replayed infinitely, offering a way to create new leads 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The key to using webinars to attract new clients is to create evergreen content so you don’t have to constantly be creating new presentations.
4. Create premium content for online marketing
Content marketing is an extremely effective lead generation tool for accountants; in a survey of CPA firms last year, it was ranked as the third most effective digital marketing strategy, surpassed only by industry organizations and networking.
This means that you should be doing it—but it also means that your competitors likely already incorporated it into their marketing efforts. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means you need to add it to your digital marketing strategy sooner than later.
So, what is content marketing? In a nutshell, it’s the creation and distribution of valuable content (such as blog posts, articles, white papers, e-books, infographics, photos/videos, etc.) to attract and engage potential clients. Content can be delivered through owned media (such as your website or blog), paid media (such as advertising), or earned media (such as press coverage).
Content marketing is effective because it allows you to define your brand, develop thought leadership, build trust, and generate leads. As Forbes states, “The most important thing about content marketing is that all of the components work together to make your company more findable, trustworthy, and credible.”
5. Optimize website for search engines
SEO and content marketing are two essential aspects of online success. The content you create is what provides the answers and solutions that people are looking for, and it’s also what search engines use to determine which websites are most relevant to specific queries. Creating high-quality, engaging content is key to attracting visitors to your website and generating leads and sales, but it will have a hard time reaching your target audience if they can’t find your firm on search websites.
If you can’t hire a marketing agency to do your search engine marketing for your firm, you could use a do-it-yourself platform like Dizyo. Platforms like Dizyo help you research, strategize, plan and execute organic search marketing without having to learn the art itself.
Some of the basics Dizyo can help you with are:
Researching profitable keywords
Discover how different terms and phrases perform in search results. It is important to try to use more detailed long-tail key phrases that fit your specific target audience and most desired prospective client. It’s also fruitful to see what your competition’s website is ranking for to see where you can best compete.
While it is important to use your profitable keywords that relate to your accounting services, you must take care not to “over-stuff” these words on your website. Two downfalls to what is called “keyword stuffing” are:
- You will come across as cold and robot-like, which won’t connect with the human clients you are trying to attract.
- Your website will get demerits which will push your search ranking down.
When you start feeling like you’re using the same words too many times, try working in synonyms. Google also likes when you use semantically related words.
Title tag optimization and meta description
A title tag is what first shows you when viewing a listing on an organic search results page (SERP). Ensure it speaks to the topic of the page it’s referencing, use your brand name when feasible, and keep the character count between 45 and 55 characters.
Your meta description is nestled under a title tag on the SERP and should be between 150 and 160 characters. It’s a concise explanation of your content and should entice people to click through to the page. You can also include keywords that you want to be associated with your website.
Optimize website images
Site speed is a critical component of user experience, and the faster a site loads, the less likely human users are to leave your website without engaging (bounce). Load time consequently is an algorithmic factor and affects your website’s standing in the search engine results.
In many cases, the largest contributor to page load times are images, so having compressed image file sizes is always recommended. When it comes to optimizing site speed, there are many different tactics you can employ, but compressing your images is one of the simplest and most effective measures you can take.
Link to related websites
Google likes a website that is connected to another website that they already liked and trust. This is called backlinking and operates under the notion that a rising tide raises all ships.
Link to content on your own website
When it works, create links on your website that point to other relevant pages. Be sure the link uses a keyword related to the topic you are linking to. This not only creates new traffic to older content like blogs posts, but it also expands the depth of the content for your visitors.
Optimize for mobile-first indexing
Google penalizes websites that are not optimized for mobile devices. The easiest way to accomplish mobile first-indexing is to build your website with a mobile responsive website content manager like WordPress or Buzzbuilder.
Analyze data and track progress
Dizyo SEO automatically tracks your data and gives you easy-to-read dashboards and reports so you can monitor your progress. If you are doing search engine optimization manually, install Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to analyze visitor behavior while they are on your website.
Tracking SEO metrics will aid in gap analysis so you can make informed decisions on what is and is not working on your website. Analytics helps you keep on top of strategic and tactical adjustments to your SEO and marketing strategy.
6. Local SEO
Local SEO encompasses the marketing efforts to rank on Google Maps. Even national accounting firms should pay attention to their local SEO because almost half (46%) of online searches are consumers searching for a business in the local area or a specific service area (Hennessy).
Ensure your local information like website address, phone number and local address are correct using Google’s free Google My Business Page. This is also where your Google Reviews are displayed along with business hours, company updates, events, and even special offers.
Using platforms like Dizyo Local makes managing your Google Maps presence very easy and allows you to track your rankings and reviews for multiple locations while scheduling out GMB posts weeks in advance.
7. Be active on social media
Many businesses mistakenly think that social media is only for companies who want to seem fun and engaging to their customers. However, social media can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, businesses can use Facebook and Twitter to share important updates, announcements, and news stories. Additionally, businesses can use social media to connect with customers and answer questions or resolve complaints.
Social media is an important part of a company’s overall marketing strategy because it’s very useful for building and maintaining relationships with potential clients.
If you’re just getting started with social media, here are some tips:
- Remember that every social media platform requires different types of content at varying frequencies
- Think about what your audience wants and select the platforms where they engage most. Also, be sure to engage on all platforms
- Don’t just do social media for the sake of doing it!
Accounting firms should use social media to:
- Create brand awareness among potential clients
- Nurture new leads and new clients
- Increase customer loyalty
- Establish brand values
- Leverage reach with other marketing tactics
- Learn from a new client base of service needs
Wrapping it up
Marketing for accountants is much like any service-centric business. Of course, the industry has its idiosyncrasies but in the end, accounting firms are made up of people serving people. It is important to keep this in mind when building an online presence.
We have unpacked a lot here in a short amount of time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. You mustn’t try to eat this elephant in one bite. Instead, choose one thing you can take action on in the next week and start there.
We offer marketing services for accountants
If you don’t want to tackle the digital marketing of your accounting firm alone, Buzzworthy Integrated Marketing offers a wide range of digital marketing services that can help your accounting firm achieve its business goals.
Our team of experts is well-versed in all things digital marketing, from search to social media marketing. We have a holistic digital marketing strategy that will increase your online brand awareness, drive leads, and nurture customer loyalty.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your accounting firm succeed online!