Regardless of your firm’s size, it’s crucial that you maintain effective marketing campaigns. When it comes to competing against regional firms, you need to ensure that you stand out as the ideal solution for prospective clients. But how do you get started?
Each year there will be more individuals that need your services than ever, and standing out can make the difference when it comes to generating regular growth outside of referrals. If you want to understand how to market your accounting and tax services, this blog post can help. Here are five tools that can help shape your marketing strategy.
How does marketing relate to accounting and tax firms?
The world of accounting marketing is undergoing a major transformation. Gone are the days of relying solely on personal relationships and limited geographic reach. Instead, accounting firms are embracing a multifaceted, technology-driven approach that relies on expertise and scientific techniques to target specific audiences across a wide area. This new approach can profoundly impact a firm’s reputation, visibility, new client acquisition, service offerings, pricing, client retention, and recruiting.
1. Define your brand
Branding is an essential opportunity for accounting firms to differentiate themselves from their competitors, but unfortunately, many firms need to pay more attention to it. According to recent studies, differentiation is the top marketing priority of high-growth firms. A successful branding program is comprised of three essential components, though different branding agencies might categorize them differently.
Firstly, setting a strong strategy is critical before moving on to your visible brand. Understanding your marketplace and defining a clear position for your firm that differentiates you from your key competitors is essential. For larger firms, it’s also necessary to consider how each practice area will compete and how each division fits into a larger brand architecture.
Secondly, creating a brand identity involves developing a logo supporting your positioning and differentiating your firm from competitors. Although a logo is not the entire brand, it is a crucial visual identifier that is inseparable from your business. Your brand identity also encompasses your tagline (if any), stationery, and brand style guidelines.
Lastly, building your brand tools is the process of applying your new brand to the suite of tools you use to market your firm. This includes your website, brochures, pitch decks, tradeshow materials, and other marketing collaterals.
2. Have a strong website
Your website is a crucial component of your marketing strategy, acting as the central hub for your online presence. Studies show that over 80% of prospective clients will visit your website to learn about your firm. Therefore, it's important to ensure that your website reflects the quality of your brand and services. In fact, a poorly designed website is a top reason that potential buyers may rule out a firm, often before they even contact them.
In today's content marketing-driven world, a high-quality website is a source of leads and the engine that drives a sophisticated lead nurturing system. However, creating a modern, lead-generating website requires a wide range of expertise. Most accounting firms outsource this work to specialized agencies that have a team of professionals with skills in online marketing, user experience, graphic design, writing, search engine optimization, web development, and analytics.
In addition to these skills, your website development team must deeply understand the accounting industry, your target audience, and their unique needs. With this knowledge, they can create a website that differentiates your firm and speaks with authority to your buyers, potential partners, and prospective employees.
3. Maintain a blog on your website
A blog can be a valuable tool for accounting firms to establish themselves as thought leaders by sharing their partners' and staff's expertise and knowledge. By creating content on topics that are relevant to clients, a blog can attract readers and establish the firm as an authority on current business issues. Additionally, a blog can provide regular content to support social media and email marketing efforts and improve the firm's presence in search results, especially if it is hosted on the same domain as the firm's website.
To make the most out of a blog, consistency is key. It's important to commit to a regular schedule and stick to it, as building a following takes time and requires readers to trust that they can consistently count on the firm for quality content.
However, writing about accounting topics can be challenging, as complex regulations and technical language can be difficult to explain in simple terms. One solution is to hire professional writers with backgrounds in accounting, legislative reporting, or finance, who can interview subject matter experts and translate their ideas into engaging, clear language. If the blog is part of a content marketing strategy, the writers should also have a solid understanding of SEO to ensure the content is optimized for search engines.
4. Use emails to reach new audiences
While many accounting firms use email to communicate with their clients regularly, they often need help to maximize the potential of this platform fully. To make the most of your email marketing efforts, it’s important to provide your clients with updates and attention-grabbing content that focuses on business strategy and financial tips, rather than just accounting matters.
Similar to your website, ensuring that your emails are mobile-friendly in design is crucial. Avoid lengthy pieces of content that can overwhelm your readers. Instead, provide short and interesting snippets with links back to your website. The aim is to entice your readers to visit your website for more captivating content. Remember, your website is the ideal place for clients to engage with your services. Therefore, it's best to keep your emails concise and use them as a tool to direct clients to your website.
5. Research your market
Accounting firms can benefit from market research as it allows them to gain valuable information that can help them attract more clients and serve them better. By conducting market research, firms can identify their target audience and uncover important insights, such as the type of lifestyle and needs of their audience. This information can be used to create ideal customer profiles, which are fictional characters based on data gathered through market research. These profiles make it easier for firms to put themselves in their audience's shoes and determine how to attract them.
Market research also helps firms create more effective marketing materials by identifying essential information around what to publish, where, and when. This includes understanding which marketing channels and methods their audience and competitors use, and which are most effective for their firm.
Competitor research is an important part of market analysis that enables firms to understand how they measure up against their competitors. Through competitor research, firms can identify what competitors do well, what they don't do well, and which marketing methods appear to be most effective among their audiences. This knowledge can be used to define the unique selling point that sets a firm apart from its competitors.
Market research can be conducted through field research or desk research. Field research involves collecting first-hand information about the accounting market and its clients through surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups. On the other hand, desk research involves researching existing data sources such as online journals, directories, and competitors' websites. Combining both methods provides a comprehensive picture of the market as it looks for the firm today.
Market research helps firms gain insights that enable them to make data-driven business decisions. By eliminating biases and assumptions, firms can identify areas where they excel and areas that require improvement. Ultimately, market research is a crucial tool for accounting firms to attract and serve their clients more effectively.
How can Taxfyle help?
Finding ways to improve your staff’s ability to make more meaningful connections with clients can be challenging, especially when they’re on the verge of burnout from excess work and stress.
Luckily, there’s a solution to alleviating workflow issues without increasing your firm’s overhead costs. With Taxfyle, you can outsource your excess work to our network of licensed and verified accountants across the country.
By partnering with Taxfyle, you can augment your firm and begin making more value-added connections with your clients because your staff and partners have more time freed up.