For many accountants, marketing their services hasn’t changed much over the past few decades. Their firm sponsors golf outings and other community events and runs ads in local business publications. Partners and managers join the local Chamber of Commerce and other business networks and attend industry conferences and seminars in their niche to meet potential clients.
These marketing strategies are effective and will always have their place in a well-balanced marketing plan, but to compete in today’s marketplace, your plan must include digital marketing as well.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is essentially any marketing effort that uses an electronic device or the internet to connect with current and prospective clients. This can include search engines, social media, email and websites.
Why is digital marketing important for CPA firms?
One of the first rules of marketing is to go where your clients are and your clients are online.
Consider the following statistics:
93% of people use the internet to find local businesses
91% of online adults use search engines to find information on the internet
Businesses with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without
In essence, if your firm isn’t taking advantage of digital marketing, then you’re losing out on the chance to connect with potential clients.
What is your digital marketing strategy?
Hopefully, the above statistics convince you that your firm needs to engage in digital marketing, But it’s important that you don’t just dive into creating content, buying social media or search engine ads and sending email newsletters to clients.
While these can all be effective digital marketing initiatives, your first step needs to be creating a digital marketing strategy.
Firms that don’t have a proper strategy typically take a slapdash approach to digital marketing. They aren’t sure exactly what they want to do, which clients to attract and what goals they hope to achieve. And if you don’t know what your goals are, it’s tough to know when you’re hitting your targets.
With the right strategy, your firm can ensure that you’re prioritizing the right digital marketing activities to help you reach your overall marketing goals.
So how do you create that strategy?
Step 1: Ask questions
What is your goal? Do you want to increase awareness of your firm and your services, grow your email list, improve the click-through rate for your existing email newsletter or generate more leads for a particular niche or service?
Your overarching goal may simply be to grow firm revenues, but it’s important to get dialed in to the specific goals that will get you there.
Step 2: Identify the right digital marketing channels or activities
Based on the specific goals you identified in Step 1, you can develop a plan to invest in the right marketing channels and activities.
For example, suppose you want to grow your email list. In that case, you may want to incorporate lead magnets into your website to encourage website visitors to subscribe to your email list in exchange for a valuable piece of content, like a checklist or white paper.
Or, you may want to grow your advisory niche in the restaurant industry. In that case, you might create a content calendar with blogs and social media posts geared toward that niche or invest in paid search or social media advertising targeting restaurant owners.
Step 3: Establish KPIs
Once you’ve identified the specific marketing channels and activities you want to invest in, you need to decide how to measure success.
For example, you may want to grow your email list by 1,000 new subscribers, increase website traffic by 50%, get 500 new followers on Instagram, or generate 25 new leads per month from your blog. Set specific, measurable goals.
In the beginning, you might not have a clear understanding of what’s possible, but it’s important to start somewhere. You can review those initial targets each quarter to decide whether you need to create new stretch targets or tweak your strategy.
Step 4: Create an efficient process for execution
Creating an efficient marketing workflow eliminates confusion, establishes expectations and helps improve consistency and scalability.
For example, if you want to create new pillar pages for your website, you need to select the right layout, create the copy for the page, have that copy reviewed and approved, and get the new pages live. Create a workflow, assign responsibility to the right team members and set due dates. Also, decide who will be responsible for managing the project. This ensures critical tasks don’t fall through the cracks.
Developing your digital marketing strategy can be complex, but it’s critical for firm growth. Take some time to learn about digital marketing and create a strategy for executing that strategy in your firm, and you’ll have the potential to expand your client base exponentially.
Do you need help with your firm’s business development and marketing strategy?
Boomer Growth Consulting can help with marketing and business development strategy, refining your marketing messaging, selecting the right marketing technology and more. Schedule a discovery call today to gain confidence in your firm’s marketing efforts.
As a Solutions Advisor for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Megan works to provide the highest level of client service to existing and new clients through building and maintaining relationships. Her primary focus is on Vendor/Sponsor relationships. Megan is passionate about helping clients excel through Boomer Consulting Services.