A quick recap!
In Part 1, we spoke about the results from the recent 2015 Digital Strategy Benchmark Report and the real opportunity for accounting firms who are willing to take the plunge into digital to create a strong competitive advantage by somewhat “owning” the digital space. Part 1 looked at how to use Digital as a Business Tool and reviewed customer expectations as well as using your website to capture leads and work to assist meeting your business objectives.
In this part, we’re looking at different marketing channels you can trial (and we say “trial” because there is no hard-and-fast rule for success in digital) to improve your digital presence and ultimately increase leads and conversions.
The biggest thing with anything digital (and anything in marketing as well really!) is to trial and measure performance. Everything we provide below are ideas only, and while we’ve recommended these based on successes seen in the industry so far, this does not mean they will absolutely work for you. Make sure you trial things, but also have a measurement and tracking system in place to enable you to track the performance of different digital channels and identify which are working and which are not. It’s these insights that will allow you over time to leverage your marketing efforts by investing in the channels that provide relevant traffic and leads (and removing those channels that are not performing from your digital marketing strategy).
This inforgraphic provides a quick snapshot of the digital channels you should consider for your accounting firm) with recommendations on the regularity of actions for each. Please note that this is not ALL the options you should trial but really just the tip of the iceberg. We believe these are a good starting point for accounting firms and measured correctly, will provide a solid base for marketing refinement in the future.This inforgraphic provides a quick snapshot of the digital channels you should consider for your accounting firm) with recommendations on the regularity of actions for each. Please note that this is not ALL the options you should trial but really just the tip of the iceberg. We believe these are a good starting point for accounting firms and measured correctly, will provide a solid base for marketing refinement in the future.
Let’s now break down a few of these recommendations.
Email newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your current client database. The key thing to remember with email marketing is content is king! Your emails need to provide content of real value to your clients – the latest news for businesses or tax reforms, tips and hints from your blogs, upcoming events, and the like. Providing content of value will keep your customers opening and reading your news month-in, month-out. Emails are a great way to retain customers and improve loyalty. Providing great content might also encourage your current database to share the information with their friends and colleagues; growing your brand awareness through their own networks.
Top Tip for Email Marketing: Always invest in a custom branded email template. A template created specifically for you will generally put you back around $500 - $1000 depending on your developer and is well worth the money spent. A custom template provides a branded and professional-looking email which will be designed to fit the style of your company. Free templates are an absolute eye-sore, particularly for the ever-savvy customers of today.
If nothing else, remember this – content is great! Creating regular and relevant content on your website is fantastic. We touched on this in Part 1 but will reiterate here.
SEO loves content. If you are trying to help your organic search ranking, start a blog or news section on your site and update it regularly with great content.
Customers love content too! Giving your website visitors something fulfilling to read on your website helps in a few ways; firstly, they are likely to stay on your website longer to read (this also helps with SEO by reducing your bounce rate), and secondly, by educating and informing customers, you are subtly building your brand and loyalty, heightening the chance of a future conversion at the point in time your website visitor needs your services.
Top Tip for Blogging: Keep it regular. Create a “Blog Calendar” and list out a number of topics to write about over the next 3 months. Try to write at least once a month (although really the more regular, the better). If you are struggling to keep up, consider partnering with a digital partner who can help keep your content on track.
Social media is a huge ship and one that can provide great results if used correctly. Which networks work for you will depend on who your target customers are and which social networks they use. For example, if you’re targeting business customers, get on LinkedIn. For consumers, check out Facebook. Twitter and Google+ can also prove useful, and if you have video content YouTube is a very big (and largely untapped) social network for businesses.
The big thing to remember with social is that it’s a conversational tool. This means that you need to engage customers regularly on it. Unfortunately, this does mean that while social is “free”, it can be highly time consuming. Keep this in mind when developing your digital strategy.
Top Tip for Social Media: Social media is a great avenue for sharing your blog content. Make sure you have a process whereby any content created for your blog is shared through social media. If you’re using LinkedIn, also consider sharing via LinkedIn Publisher.
A final area to consider trialling advertising through pay-per-click ads and remarketing. While search results might not have a huge number of average searches per month within accounting as compared to other industries, you can be pretty certain that someone searching say for “smsf auditor” is probably looking for a SMSF Auditor. Selecting the right search terms (even just a small number of keywords) and bidding at a higher price could really pay off. Even if you have to pay $8-$15 per click, wouldn’t that be less than the value you would place on a warm lead?
Remarketing is one of the top tools at the moment used by marketers. It basically “follows” website visitors around the web. So if someone has visited your website and then searches tomorrow on Google for something else, remarketing works by displaying your ad (either display/picture ad or text ad) on their screen (usually the sidebar of results, but can also target websites with advertising spaces and Facebook). It’s a great way to remain top-of-mind and continually (and somewhat subliminally) increase brand awareness.
Top Tip for Advertising & Remarketing: Leveraging PPC (pay-per-click) advertising all comes down to your choice of keywords. Invest time in researching keywords (and perhaps those your competitors are using) and you’ll enhance your chances of success through this medium.
We hope this helps shed some light on just a few of the digital marketing opportunities you might want to consider for your accounting firm. At the bottom of the infographic, you’ll also find a couple of ideas to help capture leads – from your website and from your Facebook page (if you decide to set one up). Remember that while digital marketing can help increase the number of visitors to your site, it’s your website that need to perform the task of translating those visitors into leads. If you’re getting good traffic but no leads, it’s probably worth taking a look at the useability and design of your website.
In our final Part 3, we’re going to touch on Time-Saving Practices for your Digital Presence. There are a few key ways you can integrate technologies into your website to help cut down administration time – and these can be incredibly useful for streamlining business processes.
Arcadian Digital are experienced website developers and digital marketers. With experience in the accounting and finance industry, we can help create a digital solution that meets your goals and budget. From small WordPress sites to highly customised Ruby On Rails or Sitecore sites, we can get your website responsive, customer friendly and capturing leads. Ask us about our digital marketing solutions as well; we’re a trusted partner to many businesses and provide various channel solutions to grow brand awareness and increase leads.