10 minute read.
In this blog we cover the benefits of content marketing for accountants, and how it can help build your practice.
Tax and accounting practices have often been slow to adopt a full marketing plan, instead relying on word-of-mouth and reputation to build and sustain their practice. But in an increasingly competitive and complex tax market the need to create a strong marketing strategy is more important than ever.
If you’re new to marketing it can seem expensive, time consuming and overwhelming especially as traditional marketing is becoming less effective. Content marketing on the other hand is rising in popularity as an inexpensive and effective marketing strategy and is a tool that accountants can use to their advantage.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating, publishing, and distributing content for a specific target audience. But it does not focus on sales or brand promotion. Content can include blogs, articles, white papers, videos, and email newsletters.
Is content marketing suitable for accountants and accounting firms?
Accountants and tax professionals are experts in their field. It’s what the industry is based on and the demonstration of specialist knowledge can be powerfully persuasive for clients. Also, the tax market is constantly changing giving a near-unlimited source of content that can be produced. So, these factors plus the benefits that content marketing can achieve makes incorporating content marketing into your marketing strategy is a must.
What are the benefits of content marketing for accountants?
There are many benefits to using content marketing as an accountant, including:
- Boosting sales through soft selling
- Building brand awareness and visibility
- Demonstrating your authority and expertise in the industry
- Generating traffic to your site
- Creating customer loyalty, trust and engagement
- Appearing higher on Google search results
- Increasing website conversions in volume and speed of conversions
- Showing how you are different from competitor firms
- Encouraging clients to come back to your website
- More word-of-mouth referrals from content sharing
- Giving added value to clients and potential clients
How to start content marketing for accountants and accounting firms
Now you’ve seen the potential benefits of this marketing strategy, this is how your firm can get started.
Setting content marketing goals
In the list above we set out the many different benefits that content marketing can give. It is important though to prioritise which area would most benefit your firm.
The main categories of content marketing goals are:
- Sales and lead generation
- Growing your email list
- Getting your accounting firm brand noticed
- Setting yourself up as an expert
Which goal you want to prioritise for your content marketing will determine the type of content you decide to produce, as well as the call to action you direct your readers to do.
For example, if your priority is to be seen as an expert in the field your content will be more focused and technical in language, and would be better suited as case studies and white papers.
On the other hand, if growing your email list is the priority, downloadable articles and tips which are topical and have the widest possible appeal to your potential clients.
Brand building vs lead generation – which is better for accountants?
This is the fundamental question for your strategy, and it is debated which is more suitable for the specialist service of accountants.
On the one hand, brand building aims to get your firm’s name out to the most people possible, on the other, lead generation requires you to focus on the narrowest audience segment possible to get the highest conversion rate.
|Brand awareness||Lead generation|
|Broader content around your firm and services will increase recognition of your firm and the services you offer||Specific content focused on solutions for problems may only create demand for the content you’ve made rather than your services|
|Difficult to measure the effectiveness and direct results||Much easier to measure the return on investment|
|Gives a good foundation and creates trust for lead generation||Can be ineffective and seen as a hard sell without work to increase brand awareness|
|Doesn’t directly lead to potential clients and may be difficult to find time to produce timely content||Potentially more time effective for smaller firms in identifying possible clients quickly|
Once you’ve defined a goal you can research tactics that will help you achieve that goal and can use that to decide what form your content marketing will take.
Creating content marketing personas
You’ve set your goals. Now you need to figure out who you’re writing for – this is where marketing personas come in.
An audience or marketing persona is a profile of your target client that describes them as though they are a person.
Your audience persona should have: name, age, gender, location, career, education, family, interests and the problems they face. The more you can flesh out the persona the better, and its better to have several personas that represent different types of clients.
To create your accounting client persona you’ll need to conduct demographic research on your audience. There are three main ways to do this as a sole practitioner or small accounting firm:
- Use a company such as SurveyMonkey to send out a questionnaire out to your email list
- Go through your historic client records to try to compile the information yourself
- Interview your clients when you speak to them one at a time
Once you’ve created your persona you can use this to decide:
- What format of content your audience will prefer: a video, short article, long report, presentation
- What channels you can use to deliver the content: social media, email, post, website
- The tone that your content should be delivered in: formal or informal, funny or serious, chatty or authoritative
Content marketing support
If you would like to use content marketing but aren’t sure where to get started, our new content marketing service might be for you. Read more about Practice Marketing.