When it’s not tax season, a good CPA marketing professional might find the time to research the value of content marketing for accounting firms. Creating a campaign to increase the business next season and beyond is the way you stay busy in April.
To bring in more potential clients and keep existing ones, you need a digital content strategy. This is the best way for modern businesses to connect with those who want to work with them. Unlike previous advertising methods like newspaper ads and billboards around town, content marketing for accountants leverages the new reality that people spend their time online.
To implement your first CPA firm marketing plan using content, you’ll want to integrate the tactics proven effective in recent years for many industries. Learn the different kinds of quality content that work best for marketing accountants so you’ll know if technical writing or social media posts are better for your firm.
Then, you can create and execute the process strategically. It’s a matter of planning the work and then working the plan.
The Role of Content Marketing for Accounting Firms
Content marketing for accounting firms involves a process different from traditional marketing methods. With advertising campaigns, you create a budget and an ad for print or broadcast. The rate is usually based on how many people are likely to hear or see your ad, and then you simply wait for a prospective client to call.
With content marketing efforts, you create useful and valuable content — the type of resources you provide will vary based on what is relevant to your target market —and give it away for free. There’s a good reason for that: It’s part of a long-term plan that can help position your firm to stand out from the competition.
Benefits of Accounting Content Creation and Promotion
When you implement digital content marketing for CPAs, you will first notice the benefit of increased brand awareness. This is a crucial step in the customer journey, as it takes time to establish trust with a new prospect. It’s worth noting, too, that data from Statista.com shows that fewer than half of all millennials trust advertising. Content marketing is a solution to this new reality.
Not only will this strategic content marketing for accountants get your firm’s name and brand out there, but it also has the potential to position you as an authority.
For example, let’s say you create a series of blogs that answer the tax-related questions you often hear from your clients. When a potential client searches online for the same answer and organically discovers your blog, they’ll see that you have the answers. This makes you an expert — and the obvious firm to call for financial help.
One of the best benefits of content marketing for CPA firms, then, is that it can attract more clients. Sales conversions are just one of many content marketing metrics you can track to determine the success of a campaign.
Challenges of Creating and Promoting Accounting Content
Still, content creation is not without its challenges. More than anything, a campaign that resonates effectively with your target market requires a lot of forethought. It takes time to draft a plan, and you’ll want to get early buy-in from all CPAs and decision-makers in the firm.
If you lack the time or skills to create content, you will likely want to work with a content marketing agency. You’ll want to add the budget for working with professional writers and editors.
Accounting digital content marketing can require research, too. In particular, you’ll want to complete important keyword research to ensure search engine optimization, or SEO. The good news is that much of this work is done up-front, and quality content will pay dividends — especially if the content is “evergreen,” meaning it’s not time-sensitive.
6 Proven Tactics To Master Content Marketing for Your CPA Firm
Accounting firm marketing with content starts with a written document that outlines the goal, action steps, and strategy used for a time-bound campaign. This organized plan will be the leading document that everyone can collaborate on for long-term success.
You may find that the plan can change as you move forward. That’s OK. A dynamic document that adapts as you learn what’s most effective will save resources and get better measurable results for CPA firms.
1. Identify Your Target Audience and Build Personas
Every marketing plan is centered around the target audience, and content for accountants is no different. The narrower and more focused your audience is, the more likely you can create content that will resonate deeply and encourage them to choose your firm. Whether the CPAs prefer to work with private individuals or businesses, you need to clearly understand who you want to connect with each piece of content.
One way to do this is by building customer personas. These are avatars that have the same demographics, habits, pain points, and needs that people in your target market have. Use data from your region or current customer base to flush out the persona — and remember it as you decide on social media platforms, topics, and the rest of the campaign.
2. Craft an Effective Content Strategy Based on Goals and KPIs
Next, agree upon the definition of success or the goals for your campaign. A goal can be measured using key performance indicators or tools like a ROI calculator. Using a quantifiable metric, you can compare before the campaign and after the campaign to see if you’ve met a goal.
All goals must be connected to marketing accounting firms' big-picture business objectives. Don’t be scared to reach, but keep the goal achievable. Once you’ve set the goals, you can break the work into objectives and action steps.
3. Plan Your Strategy With a Content Calendar
When it comes to content marketing for accounting firms, no decision can be left to the last minute. Otherwise, you risk overlooking a crucial step that will cause last-minute stress and scrambling. A good editorial content calendar will prevent this.
Decide how often you want to connect with your audience, and then set publication dates on a spreadsheet. With each date, list:
- Type of content
- Platforms for publishing
- Person responsible for producing content
- Person responsible for editing/review
- Person responsible for posting on platforms
Your calendar may have additional or fewer sections. Creating an infrastructure within the document that works for your individual accounting firm's marketing team and goals is important.
4. Create High-Quality and Relevant Content
Now comes the creative part: You’ll need to decide on what types of content you’ll use for your content marketing strategy. The length of your campaign is up to you, so don’t feel like you have to make video content, enhance your email list, and be active on all social media channels at once. Choose your content based on your goals, audience, and message strategy.
Blog Posts and Comprehensive Guides
A blog is perhaps the most popular piece of content for marketing accountants because it provides a good opportunity to answer all those common questions. Blogs will range in length from around 500 to 1,500 words each.
Guides are similar but provide action steps for readers, while blogs can just discuss topics. You’ll want an effective blog writing toolkit to start publishing a blog.
You can create a weekly or bi-weekly schedule for producing a new blog or publish even more frequently as the tax season approaches.
Social Media Posts
A large percentage of your target audience likely spends some of their free time on social media platforms, so those sites are a good place for content marketing for accounting firms.
In particular, video is becoming an increasingly popular content style for social media. Try a campaign that features one of your CPAs giving top financial tips. Reels only need to be 10 to 20 seconds, so you can make many of them to gain brand awareness and increase sales.
Accounting email newsletters are another powerful type of content to consider for your firm. Email marketing allows you to connect directly with your current customers, and you can encourage them to forward it to a friend. This also allows you to build up a valuable email list to help you communicate important firm news.
When your clients give you their email address, they want to receive email from you. You can strengthen the relationship by helping them with problems they may be encountering. If you know your audience well enough and segment your email list effectively, you can personalize your message to really resonate.
Case studies are articles that detail the experience your clients have working with the CPAs in your firm. Let this powerful content serve as an in-depth testimonial that you can share everywhere: in email newsletters, on social media, on your website, and any place else you can imagine.
These help potential clients build trust in your firm through real stories. Demonstrate how you helped a client navigate a financially challenging situation, and you’ll let prospects know you can do it for them, too.
SME reviews is a term that includes the shorthand for subject matter expert. This kind of content is done in collaboration with an expert in your industry. Sometimes, an SME will write the content on behalf of a client, and sometimes, they will review the work to ensure other professionals are accurate.
Working with an SME when handling content marketing for accounting firms is a good idea, especially when the work has anything to do with tax laws. This helps you avoid mistakes that would work against your campaign goals.
Another kind of content is eBooks, which take a longer form than a blog or a guide. These electronic books can be as long as necessary to cover the topics your potential customers are interested in. These establish your firm as an authority in your field and a credible source for accounting help. Prospects may want these valuable resources in exchange for their email address. Current clients may appreciate the book as a thank you for working with you. It’s a big project that can have a high ROI for years.
White papers are yet another kind of content to consider. These are well-researched documents that outline a specific topic in a way that provides context and clear understanding. For example, you could publish white paper writing about a new tax law that will impact clients in a way they may not have considered. You may even be able to garner earned media by letting local reporters know about the technical white paper.
5. Optimize Your Content for Search Engines
All the online content will help your firm’s website rank higher on a search engine results page — if you complete and follow a keyword research report. Google’s algorithm will scan all written words published on your site, so make sure you’re incorporating the short- and long-tail keywords whenever you can.
Plus, you’ll want to follow the Google best practice known as E-E-A-T. This stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. If your content meets these quality ratings, you’ll have better SEO and reach a bigger audience.
6. Measure Your Content Marketing Campaign’s Performance Regularly
As you complete the draft outlining your content marketing for accounting firms, clarify when and how you will measure the impact of your work. Create a baseline and then track the key performance indicators at periods throughout the campaign cycle. This is how you’ll know if your marketing for accountants is working — and then how to continuously improve so the next effort will be even better.
Master High-Quality CPA Content Creation With Compose.ly
If you’re ready to move forward with a content creation plan for your CPA firm, you may already know that you’ll want to work with a content management agency. As you consider options, look for an agency with experience working with accountant marketing teams. Compose.ly can help you create and execute a strategy that will meet your firm’s goals. Contact Compose.ly’s finance writing services team today to learn more.