9 Free Essentials of Marketing for Accountants
Marketing for accountants is fundamental for attracting new customers and retaining the customers you already have.
However, many accountants report that they struggle to translate their technical expertise to new customers or are worried about giving up information online. We find the perceived cost and difficulty to be a barrier, so to help break that down we have put together four quick and cost-effective marketing ideas to help your accountancy business attract new clients in 2018.
#1: Business Directories
Getting your business listed on online directories is a great way of helping customers find you when they need your services. The great news is that most of them are free! The popular ones you have likely heard of are Yell or Yelp but you can find around 20-25 reputable directories via Google. There are also directories specifically for accountants, such as Search Accountant and Accountant Directory.
Signing up to directories can also give your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and page rankings a free boost, but please make sure that you are consistent with your business name and contact details across all directories to avoid any punishment from Google. Also, we have had reports of a spike in unwanted calls from other businesses offering you their services once you have listed for free but this seems to be a temporary effect and we believe it is worth this risk for the SEO and lead generation results it can bring.
#2: Social Media
Everyone has heard of social media and utilising it effectively for your business is a great free way of attracting new clients. We recommend thinking about where your customers ‘hang out’ online.
As an accountant, your customers are likely to be other businesses so LinkedIn is a likely candidate, but do your customers also use other types of social media? If you are limited for time, spend your energy where you will receive the most results and do not worry about trying to be on every platform all of the time.
If you can build a great following and do not want to pay for promotion or adverts initially then social media is another great free way of marketing your business.
#3: Turn Your Customers into Promoters
This strategy sounds like a dream right? It is one of the fundamental principles of the Inbound Marketing Methodology. To do this, you have to ensure you deliver customer service throughout the sales process, but, once you have completed your sale, you can help your customers become promoters in a number of ways.
Firstly, you can use free survey software such as Survey Monkey to ask your customers the questions that matter to your accountancy business. This will allow you to identify any areas you can improve upon. If there have been any areas of the process which could have been improved it can be a way of allowing customers to vent, rather than having them vent online or to other prospective customers.
Secondly, you can turn these "negative" reviews into opportunities to improve your service and business; it's a good idea to reach out to past customers and turn their experience from negative to positive -that way they can tell anecdotes about how they were unhappy with your service, but how your excellent customer service turned that around.
Conversely, if their experience has been exceedingly positive you can reach out to them to ask for a testimonial or use the survey to remind them to tell others about your business.
You are reading this blog so we don’t need to preach about the benefits of a great blog. Blogging does take time, but it does not need to be costly. The benefits of blogging are many and varied.
It helps with SEO, allowing your customers to find your website when searching for a particular topic and increases your page rankings. It is also an opportunity to become a ‘thought leader’ in your field of expertise which is a great way of generating new leads and customers.
When blogging, try to avoid the temptation to create a blog promoting your business or services. Instead, think about a topic or problem your customers may search for online.
For an accountancy practice this could be: ‘5 Ways the 2018 Budget could affect your Business’ or something similar. Keep it relevant, keep it interesting and have a go. Remember some blogging is always better than no blogging.
As an inbound marketing agency, you might be asking why we put such value on email campaigns. Well, for one, sending emails can cost you as little as... nothing.
86% of businesses prefer email as the number one option for sending communications. If that won’t convince you to take advantage of email, perhaps you should consider that it is lauded as the top channel by at least 73% of people for being able to measure return on investment.
We use email here at Digital Media Stream and it can be brilliant access to your customers and leads to give them the information and content that they crave.
If you are to start using email, just remember to take a look at our guidelines to stay clear of GDPR!
#6: Video Content
This frightens most people. Accounting and video content seldom mix, but what better way to stand out from the crowd? Video content allows you to provide valuable content to your leads and share industry knowledge in an accessible, easily-digestible form.
The average internet user spends 88% more time on a website with video. While this is great for SEO, it also tells us something about the way people consume information. If your content is in video format, your visitors are more likely to see the value in it and generate valuable leads for your business.
Video content might seem expensive but anyone can create video these days! All you need is a smartphone and a laptop. Get filming!
We’ve mentioned it before but SEO is the thing that brings all of your online marketing together. Do not ignore it!
It might not surprise you that 79% of global desktop search traffic went through the search engine in 2017. If you want any of your content to be found, you’ll need to optimise your site for SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
There are ways that you can manufacture yourself onto the first page of Google but these are all paid features. What will encourage you and fellow accountants is that you can, with a little work and attention, organically rank on Google’s first page.
SEO is something we at Digital Media Stream specialise in but there are a few tricks you can use to maximise the content you have to get more traffic. Best of all… it’s free!
There are certain tools that you can pay for to give yourself a better overview of the SERP landscape like SEMrush, but most offer free features to give you some SEO basics.
Forums are a great, inexpensive way to get yourself out there. Sites like Quora or Reddit (the self-styled “front page of the internet”) can let you know exactly what people are searching for, an in-depth knowledge of their problem and you can even provide an answer.
While most of these sites frown upon or explicitly ban self-promotion, you can help their users out with useful industry tips to help answer their questions. Share your expertise with the world and be part of a community designed around helping people out. People will soon see your value and it won’t cost you a penny!
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Through sites like Canva, who offers free design tools and stock imagery, you can maximise the content you create by offering it in multiple forms. People prefer a visual takeaway of your content that they can more easily consume.
Infographics are also more shareable and they let others do the work for you. With sites like Pinterest and, Twitter and Instagram, you can publish your bite-size infographic and let the content speak for itself. Images like infographics take on a life of their own and can help spread the word about your business and your accounting expertise. It’s a great way of converting a non-visual industry, like accounting, into something people feel compelled to share through no cost whatsoever.
Using some or all of these methods can be a cost-effective way of beginning some marketing for your accountancy business which over time will generate results where it matters - in visitors to your website, new leads and new customers.
Now you are on the marketing train why stop there? You can find out more about the best marketing ideas for accountants, by downloading our 5 Ways You Can Grow Your Business eBook now.