How to grow your accounting firm through content marketing

The trouble with advertising is that people hate ads.

An alternative strategy to consider is content marketing—a less intrusive—and when done well, effective—method to grow your accounting firm.

Creating content helps to stimulate interest in your firm, build trust in your brand, create awareness, and helps to build your credibility and positioning in the industry or your market niche. 

Think: blog posts, webinars, eBooks, and email newsletters.

Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing isn’t focused on the hard sell. But like traditional ads, it still generates around three times as many leads, plus, it can cost 62% less.

The golden rule of content marketing is all about providing meaningful value to your ideal clients. In all that you do, you need to provide them with educational or entertaining material that addresses their needs.

Not all content marketing strategies will suit your accounting firm and resources. But here are four content areas to consider.

1. Start a blog

Blogging helps to nurture your prospects, slowly moving leads through your marketing funnel and preparing them to choose your firm for their accounting needs.

By using your blog to talk directly to your target market’s needs, you’re providing them value even before they’ve formally engaged with you.

And the benefits to your accounting firm, right off the bat, compared to firms that don’t blog include:

You’ll want to make sure you don’t just blog about anything though. Take the time to build a content strategy that considers your audience and their situations, needs and pain points.

It’s also a good idea to diversify your blog types to keep your content dynamic and interesting.

Best blog post formats for accounting firms

  • Listicles—these help readers to digest information in bite-sized chunks.
    Example: ‘7 top tax tips for millennials’ or ‘9 ways to save money on payroll’

  • How-to guides—where you simplify complicated accounting concepts.
    Example: ‘How to simplify debt and equity financing for your clients’

  • Checklist blogs—simplifies and personalizes material for your clients.
    Example: ‘The ultimate checklist for buying your first home’ or ‘Starting a business? Make sure you tick off these important items first’

Tip: Creating click-worthy content that potential clients crave will keep them coming back to your blog. Remember, it all starts with the title of your blog—it needs to hook the reader immediately.

Whichever styles and topic you choose, it’s important that you always incorporate a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages readers to take action. It can be to contact you, learn more about your services, download another piece of content, etc. Either way, you want them to stay engaged with your content.

2. Send out email newsletters

Email is one of the most powerful marketing mediums, with 3.9 billion daily users. So it’s important to include it in your content strategy.

Email newsletters that include accounting tips, company updates, and industry trends are low-cost, easy to send, and easy to measure

You should aim to send an email newsletter on a consistent basis. It can be monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly—the important thing is maintaining cadence.

Email newsletter tips for accountants

  • Personalize messagescustomized newsletters have an average open rate of 18.8% and an average click rate of 2.1%.

  • Keep your subject lines clear—short and punchy subject lines are more enticing than convoluted messages that get cut off in the preview.

  • Encourage readers to click—include CTAs throughout newsletters to get readers clicking through to your website.

  • Keep things interesting—use images, videos, GIFS, colours and headings.

Tip: When you give people the option to sign up to your newsletter (i.e. via a subscription form on your website’s homepage), make sure you set expectations. You might call it a ‘Monthly email newsletter, covering industry news and tips’. By saying this, readers immediately know they can expect to hear from you on a monthly basis with accounting news and tips for their own finances.

3. Write an eBook

Unlike blog posts and email newsletters, eBooks focus on producing a longer-term investment return. They take longer to create, but by gating them, you’re directly capturing lead contact information (i.e. name and email address).

Simply, gated content is an exchange of information between a person and a website. If you offer an eBook called ‘Building your wealth during COVID’, people will need to provide their name and email address (at the least) in exchange for your expertise.

Your eBook can be about almost anything accounting-related, from personal finance to tax tips. Just make sure it resonates with your target audience. And don't forget to track reviews of your eBook on social media and Google.

Use your content as research

Content like eBooks can also provide insights into your target audience, informing your overall content strategy. 

For example, learning that 80% of prospects who downloaded your ‘Buying my first home checklist’ eBook were under 25 years old should encourage you to tailor more content to this demographic. 

Tip: Create a comprehensive content strategy by placing your eBook toward the end of your marketing funnel. Blog posts and email newsletters should be at the top of the funnel, used to nurture prospects until it's time to download your eBook. 

4. Host a webinar

Webinars establish authority, boost engagement, and build long-lasting relationships.

Consider how your various content marketing efforts can benefit from, and inform, actual webinars. For example, do the four chapters of your recent eBook make sense as four individual webinars?

It works the other way too. If you host a webinar, does the content discussed warrant offshoot blog articles?

It’s all about being clever with your content.

Webinar tips for accounting firms

  • Remember to host your webinar on the right day and at the right time—consider your intended audience’s timezone (if you have prospects across the world, make sure they can receive a recorded copy of the webinar to avoid tuning in at all hours of the night).

  • Host your webinar for free—services like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, or YouTube Live provide free versions for you to kick-start your webinar content journey.

  • Choose topics that interest your audience—remember to consider your target audience. What are their interests, pain points and desires?

  • Use the right equipment—make sure your lighting, microphone and headphones are set up according to best practice.

Tip: If you host a website with a partner company, you’ll double your reach when promoting it, thus, increasing your lead generation.

Keep it simple

Content marketing might seem like an enormous undertaking. Especially with an ever-increasing workload. But by locking your strategy and focusing on one or two executions, you’ll be able to track and assess your results. That way, you can grow your content marketing efforts in-line with your accounting firm.