Staying relevant is the core principle of any business. It’s 2023 and the world of accounting is transforming like never before. As a result, outdated practices are behind the times and cannot be sold to consumers of today who are more aware.
Traditional methods of marketing, such as referrals and word-of-mouth, while still valuable, are no longer sufficient on their own to stand out in the crowded marketplace. To avoid the limitations and to expand your accounting practices, you need to join this race and formulate creative ways in which you can relate to your ideal clients.
How can you make your marketing strategy so creative that your ideal clients can do nothing but become your customers?
Let us see 20 ways to do just that in this article.
1. Host webinars
If you're looking to show off your accounting know-how and connect with potential clients— hosting webinars is a fantastic way to go. Teach topics related to finance like budgets, tax filing, etc., that everyone is eager to know. And make sure you use a professional tone during these online sessions.
As they say, “Teamwork makes the dream work”. So invite some experts from your firm to join in and share their wisdom. This will require you to use some social media platforms like Instagram, email marketing, and partnerships with industry associations to get the word out about these webinars. The goal is to get those ideal clients tuning in to your webinars, building engagement and trust. Further, hosting such information-packed webinars helps your accounting firm position itself as an authority in this field.
2. Interactive workshops
Put together workshops (both online and offline) where participants can learn how to use accounting software or understand financial statements. These workshops can cover various topics — from tax planning to budgeting and financial analysis.
A mix of real-life case studies with theory offers the participants the right amount of hands-on learning experience. When participants actively engage in hands-on learning experiences and see positive results, they are more likely to trust your firm. Financial industry clients rely on expertise and integrity, so trust is essential in such matters. Workshops are the best way to go to build that trust amongst customers.
3. Client success stories
Client success stories are powerful marketing tools for accounting firms. Any best marketing tactic in recent times involves storytelling. Even reports suggest this fact - when a brand incorporates storytelling, it is likely to boost conversion rates by 30%. All you need to do is describe how your firm helped clients reach financial success, whether they were using tax strategies, recovering from setbacks, or scaling their businesses.
Stories like these humanize your business and show potential clients what you're all about. Including testimonials and before-and-after data to show the impact of your services is also a wonderful idea to go about it. Finally, ensure this story is being talked about on your website, all social media handles, and newsletters so prospects will feel more confident about choosing your firm.
4. Create infographics
Creating infographics is an excellent strategy for accounting firms to convey complex financial concepts clearly and engagingly. These visual illustrations break down complex topics like tax regulations, investment strategies, or retirement planning into digestible, bite-sized pieces of information.
Use eye-catching graphics, charts, and icons to describe key points. Keep the text concise and use simple language to ensure that even those without a finance background can grasp the concepts. You can use software like Canva or Photoshop to create these infographics. Shareable infographics can boost your firm's online visibility and attract a broader audience interested in financial info.
Ever thought about starting a podcast on finance, accounting, and all things business? Well, podcasts are not only a way to share insights but are also practical marketing tools. You can invite some big names in your industry for some insightful discussion. Create a content calendar that covers topics your audience cares about. Think about what keeps them up at night, their FAQs, and those pesky pain points.
Promote your podcast on your website, social media platforms, and email marketing. Don’t forget that consistency is key. Aim for a regular release schedule to keep your listeners coming back for more.
6. Content marketing
Let's talk about a winning strategy for accounting firms trying to shine in a tough market. It's called content marketing— the all-time favorite game-changer. Content marketing, simply put, is achieving organic growth through content on the internet. Over time, sharing knowledgeable content makes you a credible figure and attracts clients looking for answers to their financial questions.
For example, these days it’s easy to place your firm as a reputable source of knowledge in the industry by developing a blog with educational articles on accounting trends, tax advice, financial planning, and other related topics. Keep your blog or any content friendly and conversational. Don't go all jargon-heavy on your readers. Make those complex financial topics feel like an easy read.
7. Social media challenges
To enhance your accounting firm's online presence and engage your target audience effectively, consider implementing creative marketing strategies such as social media challenges. Launching challenges on various social media platforms centered around financial literacy or budgeting can be an engaging way to connect with your audience. For example, The "No-Spend Challenge" was one such popular challenge where people committed to not spending on non-essential items for a set period.
These challenges serve a dual purpose. They motivate participants to actively engage, gain essential financial insights, and, concurrently, serve as a conduit to portray accounting firms as trusted resources. By sharing valuable content and doing these challenges, you're setting your firm up as the go-to place for financial wisdom. They won't just see you as a resource; they'll see you as a friend they can trust with their financial questions
8. Free financial assessments
Embracing innovative strategies is the way to go in 2023, and one tactic that's gaining substantial traction is offering free financial assessments. This thoughtful gesture not only provides potential clients with a glimpse into the value you bring to the table. What's truly thrilling about this marketing strategy is when you offer these complimentary assessments, there's a significant possibility that people who find value in your services could very well become your future clients.
Once clients experience the quality of your assessments, they can become your most potent marketing advocates. Satisfied clients are likely to engage in word-of-mouth marketing, bringing more people into your orbit. This loop will continue till you follow this strategy.
9. Partnerships with startups
Partnering with startups can be a game-changing marketing strategy for accounting firms. When accounting firms join forces with these startups, they open the door to clients with exciting potential for rapid growth. Also, as an expert who is already established in this field, you can guide and show the way for these startups to grow in the market, acting as a mentor figure.
How can you find a suitable startup? You can actively participate in local and industry-specific startup events, conferences, and networking opportunities to find suitable startup founders. These gatherings are ideal for making connections, learning about emerging startups, and showcasing your firm's services. Isn’t it a win-win situation when we support the next generation of businesses while growing our own?
10. Holiday themed campaign
Holiday-themed campaigns can infuse a dash of creativity and seasonality into the otherwise serious world of accounting. Run seasonal campaigns around tax season, year-end financial planning, or specific holidays, offering relevant tips and services. These campaigns not only demonstrate expertise but also foster a sense of trust and accessibility among clients.
Whether it's a cheerful tax season countdown or a year-end financial checklist wrapped in the holiday spirit, these strategies can make accounting services feel more relatable and timely, encouraging clients to consider their financial needs during these pivotal moments in the year.
11. Video tutorials
Enhancing your firm's online presence involves more than just traditional methods. One powerful strategy is creating informative video tutorials that simplify common financial tasks, such as budgeting and expense tracking. Video tutorials can be made using tools like Canva and Loom. Before putting out any content think about what your ideal audience would search for to know about to find interesting topics.
You can also explain common financial tasks via video tutorials, such as budgeting and expense tracking. If you want to get the most out of your video content and reach a broad audience, try platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook for sharing your tutorials. They provide a vast audience eager to absorb valuable financial insights. But why stop at one-way communication? You can also host live video sessions where viewers can ask questions and engage in discussions.
12. Local community involvement
The importance of local community involvement shouldn't be underestimated. When you participate in the community, relationships will be developed, and your firm's reputation will be enhanced.
What exactly does local community involvement mean? Here are some things that you can do as a part of local community involvement.
- Sponsorship: Join a local event, charity, sports team, or cultural festival as a sponsor. Additionally, this will help your firm gain exposure and demonstrate your commitment to supporting local initiatives.
- Organize charity drives: Donate clothing and food or organize charity drives for them. Ensure your team and clients are encouraged to participate, cultivating a feeling of giving back.
- Workshops and Seminars: Educate your community about financial planning through free workshops or seminars. It is possible to educate the public about critical financial topics through these events, establishing your firm as an authority in the field.
- Volunteer: It’s an excellent way to get your employees involved in local causes. Volunteering helps your firm showcase its values and connect with the community.
13. Be an authority in your niche
Accountants and tax preparers don't want anyone just "good enough." They prefer professionals at the top of their field. Moreover, in a crowded marketplace, being an authority sets you apart from competitors. As an authority, you can also command higher fees for your services. Clients are willing to pay a premium for the confidence that comes with working with a recognized expert in their niche.
So what's the secret to becoming an authority? One thing - Making your knowledge available and known to others. There are various ways to increase authority, including lectures, podcasts, articles, and networking. As you assist others in your field or those closely related to yours, you are more likely to be hired. People will think of you when they need help with their contractor's taxes if they hear your speech about taxation.
14. Add chat to your website
During the initial weeks following your website's launch, you may find it challenging to personally respond to chat messages, especially if you're a medium-sized firm already juggling a substantial workload. However, this is where automatic chat features come to the rescue. These chat bots come with a quick response feature ensuring your clients are helped with everything they need immediately. This fast and responsive interaction can play a crucial role in reducing bounce rates and boosting the chances of conversion by swiftly addressing visitor inquiries.
Moreover, if managing the chat seems overwhelming, there's an alternative solution. You can opt to outsource this task to a third party. They can effectively handle the chat feature on your behalf, collecting and forwarding initial intake information, ensuring that your potential clients are still attended to promptly and professionally.
15. Create a newsletter
When you are regularly in your clients' inboxes, you will be the first person they think of for accounting-related needs. Newsletters help you achieve that kind of familiarity. Email Addresses of potential customers can be acquired by offering freebies like E-books, and free tools etc., Now, once you have their email, send a weekly or monthly newsletter to your clients— it should be valuable and must include relevant information about changes that can affect their personal or business finances.
This method can also position you as an authoritative figure in the accounting field. Ending the newsletter with subtle CTA like “For accounting-related queries, visit our website” can serve as a powerful lead generator. Consistent and engaging newsletters can provide you with a larger audience base.
16. Use review websites
People often seek recommendations from their social circles, turning to friends and family for referrals. However, when they lack personal connections, their next stop is online reviews which have become the go-to source for people seeking services, including accounting. So platforms like Capterra, Trustpilot, G2 are your tools for marketing online, dishing out insights into businesses' performance.
If we talk in numbers, a whopping 93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. So, for accounting firms, those online reviews on Trustpilot are one of the many ways of marketing their firms. The real game-changer in this strategy is all those shining, positive reviews. It's hard to remove a bad review, but you can get good reviews by providing excellent customer service and promoting your accounting firm.
17. Apply For local awards
Yes, we all know “Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues." But when it comes to marketing if you don't toot your own horn no one else will do that for you. Applying for local awards may sound like a self-promotional affair, but it gives you the exposure that you need. Many of these accolades necessitate applications or nominations and are only awarded to those who are truly experts in the field.
Self-promotion may not be comfortable for some people, but if you think about it, everyone else who wins the award would have also been nominated the same way. It is all in the marketing game. When you apply or get nominated, you're not just promoting yourself; you're also showcasing the value and excellence your business brings to the table. In a competitive landscape, where recognition can make or break a brand, seizing these opportunities becomes a strategic move.
18. Email marketing
Email marketing consistently delivers a remarkable return on investment (ROI). According to recent data, for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average ROI is a staggering $36. Your clients will love it as it will keep them updated about your new products and industry news. Managing your email campaigns with MailChimp or Constant Contact is easy, but monitor their results and if you need to make adjustments.
Now, about managing your campaigns—these platforms indeed make it user-friendly. However, actual growth happens when you meticulously track your campaign's performance. The work doesn't end when you simply put in place the systems. You need to carefully analyze open rates, click-through rates, and conversion metrics to refine your content and strategy to achieve the best possible results.
19. Creating a client-centric website
The most significant source of your website's traffic often comes from search engines, making it a crucial asset for your online presence. A client-centric website is designed with the user in mind. It prioritizes user experience, making sure that visitors can easily navigate, find information, and achieve their goals. This leads to longer visit durations and lower bounce rates, indicating a positive user experience.
Further, Your website should facilitate clear and effective communication between your clients and your firm. As we talked about earlier, you can incorporate chat features for a seamless experience. Having a team specifically set up to handle the responses to your website can also lead to a great customer experience.
20. Building a strong brand
Branding isn't just about getting noticed; it's about creating loyalty. Around 59% of consumers prefer to buy products from brands they're familiar with. This underscores the value of building a recognizable and reputable brand.
How can you build a brand that stands out? Start by digging deep into your business’s goals. Your mission? As you answer these questions, design a distinctive style, a memorable logo, and a consistent color palette. Incorporate brand elements throughout all your marketing collateral, from your website to social media profiles to your email marketing campaign. Through these practices, you're creating recognition, trust, and a special connection with your audience. It's not just a pretty logo; it's your brand telling the world who you are and why they should care.
These 20 creative marketing strategies are tried and tested by many accounting firms. While some can bring you tremendous results, some might not work out for your firm. It all depends on each firm's audience base, skills, and experience. So choose the one that you are more inclined towards and work on it regularly. You can analyze and compare your before-after results and then decide which marketing strategy works best for you.