6 marketing ideas for accountants: making things add up
You’re the unsung heroes who make a massive difference to thousands of UK businesses each year. You’re frequently the butt of jokes at social gatherings, but you take it in characteristically good humour. Tax Advisers and Accountants: today is all about you!
It’s about time that we looked at some marketing ideas that apply to more traditionally “white collar” businesses. And as accountancy firms provide a vital service for SMBs of all kinds, it makes sense to include you first.
So, if your online efforts aren’t adding up, and you need to stop your social media assets from being a liability, take ten to read over our six suggestions. We hope you find them useful!
1. Make a plan – branding and strategies
Before you start, you should be certain of your business brand. Specifically, you should have professional imagery and logos, as well as values and mission statements. The big fish have all of these features, so your business really ought to as well.
You should also have a marketing plan in mind. For example, you may want to target businesses of a certain size, or you may wish to specialise in a particular industry or service niche.
Don’t take it from our humble team of online marketing consultants: take it from Accounting WEB’s blogger and commentator Mark Lee, who had this to say
on embracing specialisms in accounting:
“You will secure more clients faster if you are perceived as having a special focus on a specific niche – be that clients in a specific business type (e.g. shop owners, hospital consultants or dentists); those with specific issues (e.g. overseas property, divorce, large family, business start-up) or those willing to use your preferred bookkeeping and accounting software.
Most accountants start up with no such focus and simply try to be all things to all people. You will be more successful faster if you have a clear focus.”
Once you know your brand and your target markets, make a plan for how to establish your brand and reach those customers. Clearly, your website should be the first port of call for brand identity, so make sure to spell out how and why you are different.
Top tip: find out where your target market are active online, and then meet them there. For example, if your clients are primarily from retail, hospitality, or fitness industries, then take a look at starting a Pinterest or Instagram account for your business.
2. Content marketing for accountants – validation and resources
Once you are attracting traffic, you really want to achieve two things: converting new clients or building trust. That’s why we advocate a two-pronged approach to your content creation efforts.
Firstly, you should try to encourage people to get on board by validating their decision to click “Contact”. Making a testimonials page or, better yet, a case studies page will help to establish your brand and show that your current clients are seeing real value in employing your services.
You should also write your content with customer benefits in mind, rather than service features. So, rather than “we take a timely approach to tax returns”, push it as “your tax returns will be submitted in plenty of time to stay well clear of last-minute problems”.
Secondly, if you can offer any expertise or resources for free, then you can help establish trust. So, if you have a branded Self-Assessment checklist PDF that potential clients can download, they are more likely to remember your business when they need assistance.
Top tip: share your free resources via social media or email too – more on those later – taking a little time to create a free shareable resource could continue to pay off over time.
3. Directory listings
This advice isn’t just specific to tax advisers or accounting firms, but it’s always worth repeating that a well-chosen directory listing can assist with your web traffic. If you search for “accountants Edinburgh”, the second listing that appears is Yell.com’s page for those terms.
Many people still use directories and reviews as an index of how trustworthy a potential service provider may be. With that in mind, you should check that your listings are all up to date, professionally presented, and branded wherever possible.
You should also strongly consider searching for the
name, address, and phone (or NAP) of your competitors, to see what local business or industry-specific directories turn up. You may also find references in financial sector websites or blogs – make a note of these citations and think about how your firm could earn a reference as well.
Top tip: it makes sense to use local directories even if you serve clients across the UK – initial searches tend to be geographical, while leads from further afield may more likely come via referrals.
Simply put, LinkedIn is the place to be for B2B networking. If your business works (or intends to work) with any “white collar” companies, then you should have a complete company profile and engaged employees.
If you are focusing on a niche market, then LinkedIn can be invaluable. The large search bar at the top of the screen allows you to investigate contacts, companies, and groups by industry or location. That means you can network easily within your area of preference by employing one simple search.
You can InMail new contacts or join Groups to engage with your prospective new clients. If you or anyone within your company makes a little extra time, you can post interesting updates or even useful articles to build trust and hopefully generate leads.
Top tip: be sure to complete your company profile fully, with images and descriptions, and encourage all employees to join and engage with their contacts for maximum networking potential.
5. Other social media
This is more of an honorary mention: LinkedIn should be the
de facto social network of choice for an accountancy business. But if your target market is specialised, then you should consider meeting your customers on their stomping ground as well.
Social media content ideas may not be crystal clear on first impressions, but very few businesses have done badly out of the following posts:
- Human interest stories – charity events, staff news, behind-the-scenes photos
- Shareable content – videos, motivational quotes, cute animals, cute animals with motivational quotes
- Follower questions – ask your followers what they want to know about, post fill-in-the-blanks questions
There’s a wealth of information out there on how to
pick a Pinterest plan or avoid fouling up on Facebook. With a little research to see what your customers are doing, and you should be able to join in the conversation in no time at all.
A well-placed joke may strike a chord with your clients
Top tip: remember to be timely with your social media campaigns - our infographic guide to posting on social media features optimal posting times and much more!
6. Email marketing
Being in an office environment, tax advisers and accountants often conduct a lot of communications via email. It’s a simple and natural move to make the step up to email marketing. A few strategic campaigns throughout the slower parts of the financial year could help drum up new business.
You should try to start cultivating client email lists from a variety of sources, whether they amount to “current clients” or “website inquiries”. Email management tools such as MailChimp are readily available out there, so you can quickly start creating and sending campaigns to maintain trust and build leads.
For example, a “Self Assessment tax return advice” page, complete with a free checklist that is available in exchange for an email address, could give you a list of potential new clients. Sending timely reminders of deadlines and required documentation to your list could either remind them to act or inspire them to call you instead!
Top tip: send initial subscriber updates at the traditionally high impact period of 2pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, to establish a baseline for campaign impact. Then, try experimenting with subsequent update release times - 10am, 6pm, or weekends - in case your target market is different.
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