Running an accounting firm today is just as much about delivering a great service as it is about developing a strong digital marketing strategy.

» DOWNLOAD NOW: The 7-Step Checklist To Sign New Clients Effectively as an Accounting Firm

But why is marketing your work proactively so important?

According to Google,

“57% of the B2B buying process today is complete before the person who wants to purchase even contacts the company.”

What this means for you is that prospects need to be familiar with your accounting firm before you know about them in the first place.

Given the lengthy buying cycle for accounting services, it's critical to have a significant and trustworthy online presence.

pl accounting solutions accounting firm website marketing
A good marketing website should highlight your accounting firm's services

The key is to make sure you have enough content on your site so people can find answers when questions come up - but also try to answer any question in advance as much as possible through proactive customer service.

To adapt to change and harness the power of digital marketing, there are a few strategies you can use as an accounting firm...

Businesses Are Looking For Accountants Online

Today, the buyer's journey invariably starts on the internet, with a business searching for "something" via Google, social media, or forums.

That includes accounting services.

As they travel along this path, the content that is out there gives them the answers they are looking for, and the first place they'll go back to is the website that gave them the most comprehensive look into the topic.

A marketing plan will usually provide content in 3 "funnel" stages:

  • The Top Of The Funnel
    At the beginning of their journey, prospects are looking for answers to broad questions. This is where you provide a high-level view into a topic or concept they are not fully-familiar with. The goal here is to increase awareness, grow retargeting lists and website traffic.
accounting firm business marketing tips blog post tofu
Use educational materials such as blog posts to attract attention
  • The Middle Of The Funnel
    Once the prospect feels "prepared," they will start looking at what's available out there that might address their issues. This is where you provide content to highlight your expertise in relation to your competition such as case studies and comparisons.
accounting firm checklist marketing file download mofu
A downloadable resource can help you gather information about your leads
  • The Bottom Of The Funnel
    Once the prospect has done their assessment of who's who in the marketplace and is considering hiring an accounting firm, you need to provide content to resolve any objections they may have. This is done with demos, free trials, webinars, or live meetings.
client hub product tour bofu marketing
Use your sales assets when the person shows interest in your services!

Although producing content for each step of the funnel is a good start, you need to understand how to position yourself against your competition.

Your Competition Is Visible Where You Aren’t

With the massive growth of cloud-based accounting, your competitors aren’t just local anymore (and you shouldn't be either!).

Using digital marketing to make your brand stand out and forging the right connections is an important part of achieving a competitive advantage.

Exploring Partnership Opportunities

quickbooks proadvisor partner network accounting firm marketing
The QuickBooks ProAdvisor network is an important directory to be featured in

An example of how to position yourself is to partner with large accountancy software platforms such as Quickbooks or Xero while describing what makes you different from other accounting firms in their networks.

Your ideal customers likely won't want to do without these tools and you'll only make it harder for them to choose you if you're not willing to use them.

"Your ideal customers won't want to do without accounting software like Quickbooks, so joining their partner networks is a smart move."

Referrals and word of mouth have always been a powerful tool in any accounting firm’s marketing strategy. Investing in key touchpoints like specific partner networks allows you to amplify that effort.

Accounting workflow tools like Client Hub offer integrations with QuickBooks to help accounting firms like yours increase productivity and pitch themselves as one place to handle all your clients' needs.

Making The Best Of Each Touchpoint

accounting firm workflow process google search marketing
Publish content on your site that answers people's queries on Google

Ensuring you appear in front of your ideal clients for the right queries is at the heart of a good digital marketing plan for your accounting firm.

To be competitive is to be visible.

This means mapping your customer journey and making sure you have a presence at every touchpoint they tend to visit. A great way to achieve this is by maximizing content, partnerships, and technology across:

  • Each stage of the buyer's journey (top, middle, bottom)
  • The critical touchpoints of your digital channels (partner networks)
  • Google search, social media, and other "organic" channels

The latter specifically is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal, so it's important that you invest in not only producing content, but doing so in a way that is appealing to search engines without disrupting a reader's experience.

That is known as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

5 Digital Marketing Strategies For Your Accounting Firm

You can't get returns on your digital marketing if you don't invest in targeting the right audiences, in the right places. In order of priority, we've listed 5 of the best digital marketing strategies for an accounting firm to pursue below:

Strategy #1: An Interactive & Buyer-Friendly Website

Frequent updates to your site content, performance, and SEO are critical.

Websites aren’t just online brochures. This is where you guide prospects into your funnel. This is essential for an accounting firm’s marketing.

cta bottom of accounting firm website page for consultation
Use a call-to-action (button) to draw attention to the start of your sales process

From capturing their contact details to helping them purchase, you’re supporting them in navigating the different stages of your sales process.

To do this well, it’s essential to have a well-designed, fast website that showcases your brand and services accurately.

Strategy #2: Strategic Partnerships

An excellent question to ask yourself when considering where to focus your efforts in terms of digital marketing is:

“Who already provides products or services to your ideal client without directly competing in your area of expertise?"

Figuring this out and forming the right partnerships can skyrocket new client acquisition. It’s one of the cheapest methods of business development.

Typical partnerships include:

  • Aligned professionals such as lawyers, commercial property specialists, or recruiters
  • Financial institutions, banks, or mortgage brokers
  • Technology suppliers such as cloud workflow services, Xero, Quickbooks, or Sage
  • Professional associations such as ACCA

It's important that you build relationships with people at these organizations; try and figure out who's responsible for partnerships at these companies and, if you can't find anybody, pitch your own idea for a potential partnership!

Strategy #3: Content Marketing For Your Target Audience

Starting and maintaining a regular blog is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. Great content is the lifeblood of any business that is planning to go (or has already gone) digital.

accounting workflow process firm marketing
Google Autocomplete is a great place to gather ideas on what content to produce

Type in some keywords that are relevant to your target audience in Google, explore what comes up with their Autocomplete feature, list the options in a spreadsheet, and draft some article titles based off of them.

You can even check their popularity on Google Trends!

Then, you can either hire writers externally on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, work with an agency, or create content internally.

Strategy #4: Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns

Email and secured communication channels are still some of the most dynamic ways to build direct value for customers.

It helps segment your audience into specific "buckets" and increases ROI of your marketing spend significantly.

"Email marketing is tricky to pull off, but it's also one of the most valuable growth tactics for your accounting firm when done right."

Email marketing is also tricky to pull off today as people who share their data become more and more aware of how digital marketing tactics work.

Focus on sending out valuable information with your emails and use one call-to-action (a link to a next step in the buyer's journey) to send those who receive the email to a resource that they have to take action on.

For example, you could send them to a meetings link if the audience you're sending the email to is composed of leads. Whereas for subscribers, you could send them a simple email "blast" with the latest post released on your blog.

Strategy #5: Creating Community Via Social

Using social media effectively to create conversations through content builds communities of interest. This is often overlooked as it may feel distant from the reality of something as serious as running the numbers for other businesses. But it really shouldn't be, and here's why:

  • Businesspeople who are new to the game are desperately looking for information they can trust in a sea of trivial content. That's where a community on social media can answer their questions without necessarily having to go through an entire blog post.
  • Even in business, people like to feel part of something. When you gather people together to share the successes (and failures) they've had with accounting, they tend to stick around far longer than some non-engaged customer that reaches out every few months.

What's great about building an audience this way is that you can actively gather feedback from them in a way that is not forced or sales-y. They will naturally gravitate towards what you offer simply by the fact that you provide immense value for them in the form of consistently answering their doubts.

Growth Requires Sound Backend Workflows

While developing your accounting practice, it’s important to remember that power has shifted to the connected. Accounting firms are part of the digital economy, which means having a strong digital presence is necessary.

Introducing a way for clients to effectively communicate with you, integrating online and offline processes, and automating your workflows will boost your accountancy firm’s marketing strategy multiple folds.

why customers choose client hub

That's where a client portal like Client Hub comes in, making it easy for accounting firms like yours to not only provide great service consistently, but increase productivity and directly affect the bottom line.

Client Hub offers everything modern accounting firms need, from secure client communication and file sharing to workflow automation as well as task management and key integrations with accounting software like QuickBooks.

Try it out free for 14 days »

Originally published Aug 30 2021

new accounting firm client onboarding checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good way to market an accounting firm?

One of the best ways to market an accounting firm is to partner up with other companies or organizations which are already in talks with your ideal customers. In digital terms, this manifests itself in partner networks (such as QuickBook's) or in direct partnership with smaller organizations.

Which digital marketing strategies are best for an accounting firm?

Great digital marketing essentially boils down to producing great content that strikes a nerve with your target audience and helps them take the next step towards becoming customers. From blogs to educational resources, of all the online strategies, content is by far the most important.