Why to Start Marketing your Accountancy Firm
Whether you follow the financial year (where Jan-Mar is Q4) or the calendar year (where it is Q1), this is an important time of year when it comes to marketing for your accounting firm.
For businesses following the financial year, tax savings and initiatives are increasingly important as the end of trading approaches. Companies following the calendar year will be looking to make a strong start to the new year.
In both cases, businesses will be ever more reliant on advice and input from their trusted accountants. Equally, they may be considering moving towards new representation.
For accounting firms, this is a good time to consider marketing for your accounting firm. Opportunities are available to both acquire new clients and to retain existing clients.
Why Is Setting a Budget Important?
Many accounting firms don’t have a set budget in place for marketing spend. Instead, they spend on accountancy marketing as and when they feel necessary. However, having a budget has several significant benefits.
- Without an accountancy marketing budget, you cannot control spend. You will spend on ad-hoc, random marketing activities. These activities are often not linked to a wider plan and may not support organisational objectives.
- A budget allows you to link marketing activities to the business plan. This ensures your marketing activities support your wider objectives.
- Through setting a budget, you can easily monitor results. This means that you are able to capture how much income you are bringing in as a result of your marketing activities. From this, you are able to determine which form of marketing is most effective, what your return on investment is and make decisions accordingly.
Having a budget is clearly important but how can this budget be spent?
Plan for Marketing Your Accounting Firm
Marketing is essentially communicating your firms key message to current and potential customers. In a sector where services offered are highly homogenous, the key challenge is getting noticed. This is where accountancy marketing comes in.
Different accountancy marketing strategies exist depending on whether you are trying to acquire or retain customers. Ideally, any strategy will be a combination of the two so a blend is typically required.
Key Marketing Mediums for Acquisition
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is one of the most obvious methods of marketing your firm. SEO focuses on organically (at no cost) improving a websites ranking on search engines. By doing this, the theory is that the higher you are in the rankings, the more visitors you will get to the site and therefore more customers.
- PPC (Pay Per Click) is one of the easiest ways of getting to the top of a search engine.
PPC is effectively a way of buying visitors to your site. Your advert will be placed strategically on either a search engine or a web page (depending on which option you choose- you can have both) and every time someone clicks on that advert or banner, they will be directed to your site and you will be charged.
Used well, this can quickly gain new and relevant potential customers visiting your site and give you the opportunity to convert them into actual customers.
- Content marketing builds upon SEO. Content marketing is the creation of useful, relevant content which attracts a relevant audience to your site.
An example of content marketing is having a blog on your web page. You can write about current, relevant topics and when your target market are searching for these issues they could click on your blog. Once they have done that, they are on your site and again you have the opportunity to convert them to actual customers.
Another benefit of having a blog is that it establishes your authority on issues. You are able to promote yourself as the expert on the issues.
- Press releases, whilst similar to those of yesteryear are now far easier to release. No longer do you have to go through a long process prior to release. You can simply write good content and release online.
Similarly to content marketing, this works in the way that it helps you get relevant visitors to your site from readers of your releases.
Other benefits of press releases include linking to your site which is rewarded by Google resulting in better SEO and reputational brand benefits.
Key Marketing Mediums for Retention
The benefits of acquiring new business are obvious and often focused on by organisations. What is often neglected is that of retaining existing customers. Retention of customers tends to be significantly cheaper than acquiring a new customer and generates the same, if not more revenue so is important to do. Here are a couple of ways in which online marketing for your accounting firm can help you do this.
- A massive percentage of losing customers is due to the lack of contact. Lack of contact effectively means a lack of relationship between you and the customer. Where a lack of relationship is present, then the likelihood of loyalty to your firm is reduced.
Email marketing can help resolve this issue. Well timed, regular, informative and keep in touch emails can help you stay in touch with your customer base. Emails can also be used to send offers to customers and promote repeat business.
- Social media feels like it has been around forever but it is still in a boom. In particular, organisations using social media is becoming increasingly important.
Social media allows an organisation to engage with customers in a new way. More and more customers are turning to social media to ask queries whereas previously they would have picked up the phone.
Having a presence on social media allows you to build a brand and communicate directly with customers. It also shows that you are a modern, forward focused accounting firm.
No matter how you look at it, this time of year is important for accounting firms. There are opportunities for both acquisition and retention of customers and various accountancy marketing strategies are available to help you achieve this. The first step is to agree a budget and then use this budget to plan your marketing activities in line with your overall business objectives.
Contact Accountancy Marketing Professionals - Whitefish Marketing
Find out more from Whitefish Marketing, based in Folkestone, Kent. Let us show you how we can help utilise your firms marketing budget, to generate more clients for your accounting practice. Contact us today on 01303 720 288 and let's have a chat.