The demand for accounting services remains high, due to a mix of factors including a strong economy, a complex tax and regulatory environment, and globalization. This is great news for those in the industry, as the projected rate of employment for accountants and auditors is 10%, which is faster than average for all occupations.
The key to standing out in the crowd, then, is to understand how you can best market your firm to attract new clients. No matter the size of your business, successful marketing must be present in order to maintain a solid customer base and to sustain business growth.
Brand awareness is just as important for the financial industry as it is for fashion. Potential clients are seeking a personalized experience, so make sure you are delivering this as part of your marketing plan.
Just because accounting is in high demand doesn’t mean you can let the marketing side of things slide.
Globalization helps accounting firms to be more accessible, but if you want to be visible as a potential service, you need to stand out from all of the other firms that are also easily available to prospective clients. It’s never been easier to find financial services online, so make sure that you are focusing your energy on how to personalize and market your own firm. In order to be as effective as possible, you need to understand and keep on top of the trends.
Authenticity is an important factor to consider, and marketing strategies need to include sincerity and transparency for customers who have come to expect these things from service providers. Loyalty grows from honesty, so take the reins and align your goals with your content.
If accountants and bookkeepers stay on top of the latest trends, and incorporate what they’ve learned into their own marketing, their firms will be well-positioned to take action and stand out.
Here are some 2019 marketing trends for accounting firms:
General content is a thing of the past. Customers are looking for service providers who hear and address their needs. Don’t expect an upsurge in new business if your content is solely based on the features of your products, without taking into account how they will help consumers.
- Targeted messages that provide solutions to potential problems are a great start
- Tailor calls to action, headers, and subject lines so that they are in conversation with your readers
- Engage your audience in discussions and use the feedback to drive more personalized content
- Choose visuals that represent your unique client base
- Remember the power of social media: when used effectively to promote your brand, this tool is going to be a dominant force
Growth of Content Marketing
Content marketing is constantly evolving, so making sure that your firm is continually sharing relevant content that is smart and well-written will keep readers coming back for more. The reason this is so important is that these returning visitors can become new leads, which can then become clients.
- Ensure content is well-sourced and on-trend
- Professional content needs to carefully observe grammar and spelling, so hire experienced writers with an eye for detail
- Research common problems your customers may experience and write solution-oriented content that addresses these concerns
- Consider hosting live events or questionnaires and surveys for better engagement with your clients
- Maximize your reach by sharing on a number of different platforms such as LinkedIn, as well as keeping a regular blog on your company website
- Marketing means exposure, so consider partnering with other services in the industry to extend your reach via shared links back to your site and vise versa
- Focus on gearing your content towards influencers who can help to promote your services
Expanding Artificial Intelligence
Much like the continued upward trend of content marketing, AI is not going anywhere. Embrace it: targeting potential leads becomes easy, in addition to data analysis and giving your firm the time and extra money to spend elsewhere by taking over difficult tasks.
- Automating many common tasks such as invoicing, data inputting, and payment reminders means fewer errors and a higher quality of work that takes less time to complete
- AI can help you to assess your customers’ online habits to offer better services
- The automation of reports generated from your data means easily accessible information that points to potential inefficiencies early, and is a great indicator of how to build evolving business goals based on your unique information
- Give your clients more time by allowing AI to take on some of your more fussy tasks, with the knowledge that the work completed will be accurate and that you are taking that extra time to foster your existing relationships with loyal customers
Use of Chatbots
Have you been to a site recently and watched a small box emerge from the bottom of your screen with an offer of assistance? These chatbots are becoming common with accounting firm websites because they are effective and immediately offer some engagement with visitors.
- Consider a chatbot a small concierge of sorts, whose sole purpose is to communicate with users and to help them to quickly find the solutions to any questions they may have
- Text chats allow for a more personalized experience, and it is possible to incorporate some verbal conversations into the mix if desired
- Chatbots can take on many different tasks, from providing general and specific advice and information, as well as automating basic customer support functions
Refined Video Content
Just as you are careful to embed the appropriate SEO keywords into your written content, it is important to focus your video content with SEO firmly in mind.
- Improve SEO rankings with optimized video content that includes keywords in titles and descriptions
- Adapt your content to the changing algorithms of search engines
- Videos are often more engaging than lots of text on a page. You can further refine yours to not only embed SEO keywords, but also to have a bit of fun content that draws a stronger emotional response and invokes the desire in its viewers to sign up for your services
- Videos are shared a massive 1200% more often than text and links combined, so make use of this specialized content that can reach many viewers
- Titling your video with a question that is geared toward your intended viewers is a great method to get hits from prospective customers
- Stay on top of trends as you do with written content to ensure relevance and innovation
It can be fun to give online reviews to great restaurants you’ve been to, or poorly written books you wouldn’t recommend. It can be much more nerve-wracking to see written reviews about your firm and services, but these aren’t going away any time soon. Research shows that people actually trust online reviews just as much as from their friends, so make sure that you don’t ignore giving attention to yours.
- It’s OK to ask your best customers to write a quick review of their experience with your firm
- By adding testimonials to your website, you can bolster rankings. Case studies help with this, too
- If you own your review page, you can curate the contents. That doesn’t mean erasing negative reviews, but cutting down on inappropriate comments will certainly help
Content is driven by artificial intelligence, so take these trends under careful consideration when creating your own marketing strategy. Use these tools to gain insights about your target audience and their needs so that you can anticipate these needs and better serve them. Mapping content your visitors are consuming can also be an excellent tool for better content creation on your own site.
Give yourself and your clients the gift of more attention and clear a space for recurring relationships by integrating these trends into your practice. Do the research so you can specialize and personalize, and then get to work!
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