How to use digital marketing to attract new accounting or bookkeeping clients
Today’s consumers are digital consumers. They research their options on the internet before parting with their hard-earned cash.
And that’s true industry-wide.
Today, digital marketing for small business is crucial, including accounting and bookkeeping services. In order to reach clients you’ll need a competitive digital marketing campaign up your sleeve.
That means an outstanding, client-oriented website and multi-channel marketing campaigns are no longer optional.
Think of them as the new baseline.
Traditional marketing methods such as newspaper, TV, and radio adverts are not obsolete, but they’re no longer enough. As accounting and bookkeeping firms, we’ve got to do more. Our digital marketing efforts could be the difference between success and failure.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Starting a digital transformation in your own practice is a great opportunity. And there’s never been a better time to do it.
Today’s digital marketing tools make it simple and affordable to reach a wide pool of prospective clients and, may I add, engage your existing customers.
Technology is transforming accountancy from the bottom up. Accountancy software is fuelling highly competitive billable hours rates. And that means it’s more important than ever to hold on to, and attract, clients before they head on over to the competition.
Don’t let digital disdain destroy your practice. By shifting your marketing campaigns online you’ll be sure to reap the rewards.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is a facet of marketing that uses the internet and online technologies as a promotional tool. With the world going online more and more, digital marketing is now the most powerful form of marketing available to businesses.
The stats don’t lie. Did you know that 70% of consumers now want to learn about products through content as opposed to traditional marketing methods like newspaper or TV ads?
Digital marketing for bookkeepers and accountants helps accountancy and bookkeeping firms promote themselves directly to their target audiences. How? By giving them the information they need, exactly where they’re looking for it – online.
That could mean:
- Your official website
- Blog posts and articles
- YouTube videos
- Social media posts
- Email campaigns
We’ll delve into each of these methods more deeply in just a moment.
But first let’s round up on our definition. In summary, any good digital marketing strategy aims to communicate directly with your target clients. To do so, you’ll need to be clear on three things:
1) Who you want to reach
2) How you’re going to reach them
3) How much you’re willing to spend
Once you know these three things, you’ll be ready to go.
Why you need to up your digital marketing game
If you’ve been umming and ahhing as to whether digital marketing for accounting firms is really necessary, let me answer that for you.
Yes. Yes it is.
And here’s why. The answer is simple.
In order to remain competitive in your market share you’ll need to be as good (preferably better) than your competitors. And chances are your competitors are on the digital marketing bandwagon already. So take a look at your competitors’ online presence.
What’s working well?
What can we adopt in our practice?
What can we do to be one step ahead?
Think of digital marketing as your portal to competitive advantage. It gives you a multi platform opportunity to tell your prospective and existing clientele exactly why you are the best!
Why should they pick you?
The days when word-of-mouth was enough to get by are well and truly gone. Referrals and local networking are great, but today’s customers trust in Google beyond all.
And that means, these days, a generous list of positive Google reviews is often better than a referral from family or friends.
How can digital marketing help your accounting and bookkeeping practice?
Okay. Enough with the preaching. Let’s talk tangible benefits.
There are so many advantages to digital marketing. Whether you’re implementing your own marketing campaign in-house or calling on a third-party-service to transform your digital footprint, online marketing is perfect for helping firms connect with clients and make lasting impressions.
So what does digital marketing do that traditional marketing doesn’t?
Digital marketing attracts the right clients
Digital marketing helps you hone in on, and target, the right customers for your business. It helps you get specialised, personalised content to the people who are most likely to convert into clients. Instead of a blanket marketing approach, digital marketing is targeted and precise. That way you can craft amazing campaigns with real substance, which speak to your clients’ pain-points and needs.
Digital marketing improves your brand
And guess what? When your marketing efforts are more targeted, your brand becomes more meaningful. Instead of appealing to all, your draw in those clients who truly align with your business values and mission. Not only will you attract new clients, but you’ll translate this value to your existing ones. That means client loyalty and satisfaction increases. It’s a win-win.
Digital marketing is always active
Finally a mega plus point for digital marketing is simply that it’s always on. Whether customers want information at 11:30 in the morning or during an insomnia-induced 3am Google trawl – they’ll be able to find your content, nonetheless. You’ll continue building brand awareness well after you clock off work at 5pm.
How to attract new clients with digital marketing
We know why digital marketing is important. And we know why it works. But how can we reap these rewards? For digital marketing to work, it has to be implemented right. By following these top-tips and strategies, you’ll be sure to increase client acquisition and retention in no time at all.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
Here are some of our favourite digital marketing strategies and techniques.
1. You’ll need a wicked website
First things’ first, you’re going to need a killer website. Your clients will want to garner as much information about your practice and practitioners as possible before making any financial decisions. A professional, user-friendly website that functions perfectly on web browser and mobile is crucial.
Things to include:
- Attractive design and user-friendly interface
- Your credentials (experience, expertise)
- Detailed list of services and prices
- Engaging, informative content
- Contact information
- Links to social media platforms
- Client testimonials
- A great Call To Action (CTA)
2. Informative content
To stand out from your competitors, add value with meaningful and informative content. Blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks – whatever you fancy – offering customers professional information will show why your firm is the one for them.
Your content backs up your credentials and helps your clients out with actionable advice. By writing about topics that fall under your area of expertise, you’ll show your readers just how good you are.
Whilst you’re at it, don’t forget to optimise your content for SEO. For your content to be seen, it needs to rank in Google’s top 10. Driving traffic to your website is essential for leads. You could use an SEO software or service to help you out with this. You need to figure out what your target clients are asking, and what they are typing, every time they hit the Google search bar with an accountancy related issue. Make sure your content gets seen and answers their question first-time.
3. Social media
Love it or hate it, social media is an important part of contemporary life and marketing is not exempt. Being active on social media isn’t just a bit of fun on the side. Oh-no, social media platforms are one of the best ways to raise brand awareness, generate new leads, boost marketing reach, and increase customer loyalty. Social media marketing is now a beast of its own. And getting it right will be some serious competitive ammunition in your back pocket.
Social media to-do list:
Create a Facebook group aimed at your target market
This should be a hub of mutual interest, valuable information, and community building. By updating group content regularly, you’ll keep your target consumers engaged.
Get on LinkedIn
If you’re not already, get yourself on LinkedIn. Update your profile with relevant information and include a high-quality, professional image of yourself (if you’re a sole practitioner) or your company logo. A good profile alone can help prospective clients find you.
To get one step ahead of your competitors, try to engage in regular activity on LinkedIn. Join relevant groups and post a few times each week using relevant, engaging hashtags.
4. Experiment with multimedia content
There are so many online platforms to choose from, so why not get a finger in a few more pies? Multi-media content is a great way to promote customer engagement. Did you know that 72% of customers prefer video over other methods for learning about products? And, even better, 92% of users watching video on mobile will share it with others.
Video is a huge asset that often goes unused in the accountancy industry. And video can be used in so many different ways. Why not try hosting informative webinars, creating a YouTube channel, or starting a podcast?
5. Email marketing
Finally, don’t forget about email. Email might feel like a dinosaur compared to all of these trendy media alternatives, but don’t be fooled. Email is still going strong and personalised emails are the new dynamite when it comes to customer engagement. Emails with personalised subject lines generate a whopping 50% increase in open rates.
There are a few things you can do to maximise your email marketing efforts for today’s marketplace.
- Make emails mobile friendly
- Capture email addresses with a lead magnet
- Send regular newsletters (to a consistent schedule)
- Offer value (don’t be too salesy)
- Include review links (because reviews mean conversions)
Don your digital marketing cap
Despite years of reliance on word-of-mouth referrals, financial services today must step up to the plate when it comes to relevant marketing tactics. In order to remain competitive and valuable to the clients that matter, digital marketing is non-negotiable.
If you’re ready to embrace the digital age for your business, get in touch with IPA’s preferred education provider – Monarch Institute. With online marketing courses you can study in your own time, and get support from trainers when you need it.