If you’re searching for the best ways to grow your accountancy practice, investing in marketing should be at the very top of your list. However, that “investment” does not necessarily need to be financial.
One of the most effective approaches to business development for accountancy practices is the use of digital marketing to produce excellent results in a cost effective way.
From the creation of high quality websites for accountants, to generating of relevant traffic, to the conversion of those visitors into leads, this guide highlights a number of ways to make your accountancy practice visible online and optimised to invite new clients – without increasing your overheads.
Why Do You Need an Online Presence as an Accountancy Practice?
Many leading accountancy firms have already effectively harnessed the potential of digital marketing, but a fear of being left behind shouldn’t be your only motive for building a strong online presence.
Nowadays, search engines and social media are among the most popular ways to research relevant businesses. As a result of investing time in digital PR, you’ll become more visible to members of the public seeking out your services. The higher up the search results particular websites for accountancy firms appear, the more likely they are to achieve a greater volume of traffic.
Expert digital PR for accountants can also help to build the general public’s trust in your company – something that will result in far more engagements. These benefits render digital marketing one of the most powerful ways to grow your accountancy practice.
Ways to Make Your Accountancy Practice Visible Online
The key approaches to digital PR for accountants are surprisingly simple. Once you know the methodology involved, it’s easy to apply it over and over again. All you will need to invest is your time.
1. Plan ahead
Deciding on your approach and setting yourself goals – both in the form of a calendar of activities and a list of your ideal achievements over time – should be your first step. For the best results, your company should regularly update the information on all of its online profiles and platforms, and this needs to be reflected in your plan.
Your online activity should be carefully managed, and the content you intend to share needs to be well informed. Assign only one or two people to these tasks to ensure the tone of voice stays consistent.
Your marketing schedule should include details of what you intend to post each day, and you should take the time to include extensive research into the topics involved. It’s really important to focus on trending terms and current affairs, as these will be the subject of the most searches.
This doesn’t mean you need to stay glued to social media all day.
These free online tools let you keep an eye on popular hashtags and breaking news for you to include in your online content and social media posts.
- Google Trends
- Social Mention
- Geofeedia (which allows you to follow trends by location)
Everything you share needs to be relevant. No single sentence on your website should be wasted, as your priority should always be to attract the right kind of traffic.
2. Invest your time in digital PR
The more time you spend ensuring that every element of your online presence is working for you in the best way possible, the greater the payoff will be. While you may decide that paid search (PPC) and social media promotion are worthwhile ways to make your accountancy practice visible online, most of what you can achieve can be done through organic and original methods such as digital PR.
Digital PR for accountants is something that ought to be tackled with sophistication, but if executed successfully – it can really take your business to the next level and raise your online profile as a professional in your field.
It’s worth putting together a digital PR strategy rather than going in blind. Think about the publications you want to appear in, how you want to position themselves in them and what you’d like to talk about and share – all the while ensuring that the content you’re outreaching is newsworthy and will benefit both parties involved – yourself, and the publication.
Some common methods of digital PR to test and explore for accountancy practices can include:
- Running campaigns such as statistical researching and publishing that relate to your target industry.
- Publishing business wins and updates to the relevant press. If your company saw a record turnover, tell the media about it.
- Build relationships with journalists who write for sectors of the news that would be the most relevant to your industry, they may contact you for an expert opinion on a subject – which would result in great PR for yourself.
3. Build relationships with journalists
The opportunities created through networking with journalists and other popular content creators can result in superb business development for accountancy practices.
Once you have forged these connections, it’s highly likely that you will be asked to provide your expert opinion or analysis as a part of one of their online articles or blog posts in the future.
They’ll cite you as an expert in your field, which will serve to improve public trust in your firm’s name.
You should also take the opportunity to request that they link back to your website and contact information from the article. “Link building” in this way extends your company’s reach across the internet and will vastly improve your visibility the more you do it.
4. Guest posting
Another effective approach to link building is to create free content for others. You might write a post for a relevant blog or build an interactive tool such as a tax or loan calculator for another company to use on their site. It can then be linked back to your own online profile in much the same way as we mentioned previously.
Take care to be selective in who you do this for, as it is a real investment and needs to attract relevant traffic.
5. Social media
The popularity of social media doesn’t seem to be waning, and platforms such as Twitter are regularly used by individuals to seek out professional services, make recommendations or leave reviews.
In fact, according to Hootsuite, 40% of all Twitter users have made a purchase based on a recommendation from someone they follow.
The Washington Post tells us that Twitter boasts approximately 126 million daily users, so it’s certainly a good idea to have an active presence on the platform.
To make the most of your Twitter account, you should post or share content multiple times a day. When coming up with an update of your own, remember to include relevant, trending hashtags and, if you wish to engage a particular individual, use the @ symbol before their handle.
Share, quote or retweet good content from your network to make yourself visible as part of a wider conversation.
LinkedIn is a purpose built platform allowing members of the public to look up providers of professional services and facilitating productive networking between service providers.
Your profile should include details of your firm’s achievements, testimonials, links to publications you’ve worked on and, most importantly, your up-to-date contact details. It also displays your “connections”, allowing you to create a network of relevant users with whom you can communicate.
Facebook is still by far the most popular platform and works in a similar way to Twitter in terms of hashtags and handles and the sharing of posts.
You may also consider using YouTube and Instagram if you wish to upload visual content such as vlogs, video guides and infographics.
Remember, your company’s social media platforms should contain only relevant information. As tempting as it can be to share your opinion on all important global affairs, posts that digress from your practice are less likely to attract attention from individuals who are likely to use your services.
In brief, if you follow the steps below in a way that is consistent and diligent, it’s highly likely that a greater volume of traffic will find its way to your firm’s site:
- Plan your digital marketing strategy thoroughly and stick to it, focusing on relevant themes and undertaking research regularly
- Optimise the keywords in all of your online content to improve your search engine rankings
- Keep all of your online profiles and platforms up to date
- Network with relevant professionals who are likely to share or feature your content and display links back to your services
- Stay active on social media, taking great care over what you post, who you follow and how these aspects will attract more people to your firm
When undertaken well, all of these digital marketing approaches will constitute effective ways to grow your accountancy practice. If your site is up to scratch – that is: attractive, easy to navigate, clear and concise in its language and regularly featuring straightforward means to get in touch – the visitors you attract will naturally convert into leads.