accountant marketing

Accountant Marketing – The Ultimate Guide

By: Frank DePino | February 15, 2021

Around tax time, everyone needs a certified public accountant or CPA. In the many months in between, how do you keep your services top-of-mind and relevant? On top of retaining the clientele you do have, how do you increase your audience base even further?

Through marketing areas such as web design, lead generation, SEO, advertising, email marketing, and content marketing, you can check off every box of your marketing approach so your campaigns are full-bodied. 

A comprehensive accountant marketing plan consists of:

  1. Creative accounting web design
  2. Lead generation for strategies for new and prospective clients
  3. Local and national search engine optimization tactics
  4. Advertising strategies and implementation
  5. Engaging email marketing campaigns
  6. Creation of thought leadership content via content marketing

The way you pursue your marketing approach as part of an accounting firm isn’t the same as how a retailer would do it or even a small agency in a non-financial industry. That’s why we put together this ultimate marketing guide for you. 

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about accountant marketing. By the time you’re finished reading, you can confidently proceed in launching your first marketing campaign based on this information:

Why It’s Time to Consider Digital Marketing for Accounting Firms

Before we get into the marketing channels you should use, let’s talk about the ones you may already rely on. Perhaps you still mail out tax reminders to your clients or use print ads. These forms of offline marketing are sometimes advisable, but often as part of a multichannel media campaign. 

Maybe you still attend networking events for accountants, where you shake hands and pass out business cards. Networking is a viable means of furthering your business, but your reach is so much smaller than it is through digital marketing.

At a networking event, you can only connect with those who are already there. With digital marketing, you can connect with just about anyone.

marketing for accountants

You may even still be using referrals.

The problem with this tactic is that around tax time, from January to April, you’re slammed. Then, once the tax deadline passes, things get quiet. 

Through accountant marketing, you can expand your audience reach, use more reliable marketing methods that appeal to your clientele, and have a consistent influx of leads throughout the year. 

This stabilization creates the perfect environment for more lead conversions. 

1. Web Design for Accountants – Solutions to Reach Your Target Audience 

You see now accountant marketing can benefit you. You’re ready to prioritize your market, but where do you get started?

We recommend focusing on your website to start with. First thing’s first: if you don’t already have a website, you need one. Today, building for and hosting your own website is easier and more cost-effective than ever. You can also hire third-party services to get your site designed and online.

FinancesOnline.com, in data from 2021, states that technology literacy is the top skill accountants must have, with 57 of surveyed accountants agreeing. You can showcase your own technology literacy with a clean, well-designed website.

We’ll talk in the next section about the facets of website design, but for now, what kinds of goals can you hope to achieve with your site?

The goals are multiple, including:

  • Better brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Lead conversion
  • Increased traffic 
  • Reaching your target audience

It’s that last goal we want to zero in on specifically. 

Before you begin work on your website design, you need to be able to answer a basic yet complex question. Who is your target audience? 

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Given the financial services you offer, your accounting firm will attract adults, perhaps a mix of younger and older adults. Your audience will probably be hyper-localized considering accounting firms are common in many cities and towns. 

You must be willing to put in the research to understand your audience inside and out. You need more than geographics and demographics, but psychographics as well. What inspires a client to reach out to a professional accountant? What are their recurring pain points?

Most of your clients will have financial difficulties, either issues with managing their money, saving money, or planning ahead. Others will need assistance with their taxes. Through accountant marketing, you can alight on all these pain points and present your firm as the solution. 

Targeted, tailored content that speaks to your various audience segments will win you more than just a quick click onto your website, but time spent on the site browsing around. 

You could even get an initial phone call or email from a lead who’s curious about your services.

For an example of segmentation, if your firm offers retirement services, this audience group is very different from younger first-time homebuyers. You can get even more specific should you want to, like separating your audience by those who do personal taxes versus business taxes and then which kinds of business taxes. 

cpa marketing

Knowing your audience is one big piece of the puzzle that is marketing for accounting firms. You’ll also need to focus on SEO rules, which we’ll discuss a little later, as well as your website design. 

You must prioritize the design of your accounting firm website. Here are some elements of your website design that you shouldn’t skip.

Mobile Optimization

Did you know that, as of 2019, 3.5 billion people across the world have a smartphone? Oberlo notes that the amount of time a person spends on their phone is increasing more and more. As of 2019, the average amount of phone screen time is two hours and 55 minutes. 

All this data makes clear that most of your site visitors are probably going to access your website on their smartphone. If not, then they’ll probably log on through their smartwatch or tablet, but not as much on their laptop or home/business computer.

Whether you’re in charge of the design elements for your site or a graphic design company is, any and all elements must be optimized for mobile users. That includes photos to videos and the copy as well. 

You’ll not only lose out on those potentially valuable customers, but you’re handing clients to your competition on a silver platter. 

Concise Navigation

The next part of accountant marketing for websites is site navigation. What design you prefer for your website navigation is up to you. No matter what you choose, make sure the navigation is easy to use. 

We published a blog post with 25 great accounting web design examples that you should take a look at. As you do, you’ll see all sorts of different navigation styles.

cpa website design

For example, Wouch, Maloney & Co. LLP use simple navigation with all the menus right at the top of their site. You click one and get to where you need to go. You can also use their search bar to look up information you don’t see on the homepage.

Pinnacle Tax Services puts their navigation into an appealing bar at the top of their homepage. Each navigation item has a dropdown for more information on topics like tax tools, accounting services, and their tax services.

The accounting firm Van Reybrouck uses a drop-down menu on their homepage that’s accessible by clicking the hamburger menu.

Even with such disparate navigation styles, none of these accounting firms try to cram too much into the navigation area. You shouldn’t do so either. 

Clean Design

The navigation menu is arguably the most pertinent part of your accounting web design to keep clean, but the rest of your website should be visually concise as well. Keep in mind that clean here does not mean bare-bones.

We again refer you to our list of examples as you narrow down your design choices. Many of the accounting firms use a large image that’s the background of their homepage to convey a point. One such firm, Verdant, has a picture of a tree in the background with homepage copy that states “a partner in your business, dedicated to help you grow.”

The wordplay–talking about growth–combined with a picture of a tree is smart marketing. 

Your website can feature videos, photos of your staff, or appealing graphics, that’s up to you. A/B test your website layout to ensure it’s clean and appealing. 

website design for cpa

CTA

You cannot afford to skip a call to action or CTA for your website. This is another very important aspect of accountant marketing. Most companies use a CTA button, as you can see from the accounting firm websites we showcased. Yet where do you put that button? What color should it be?

Here are some CTA best practices to keep in mind:

  • Keep your CTA button above the fold, meaning the user doesn’t have to scroll down (or up) to see it. 
  • Repeating CTA button placement is an option, such as at the top of your page and then again at the bottom. You can also have scrolling navigation with the CTA button so the site user never loses track of it.
  • When selecting the color of your CTA button, make sure it contrasts with the rest of your site. If your website’s color scheme is shades of purple, for example, a purple CTA button would fail to stand out.
  • Bigger is not always better with CTA buttons. The button can look lopsided with other site elements, especially on mobile devices.
  • Keep your button copy action-based and simple. The user should know what the button does when they click it. For example, a CTA that says “talk to us” indicates the site user will be redirected to a contact page.
  • Test, test, and test some more. Even once your site goes live, keep A/B testing and improving upon your CTA button. 

2. Lead Generation for Accounting Firms 

Your website is now a lean, mean, traffic-gaining machine. The next area of accountant marketing is lead generation

Besides your website, you should also generate leads through paid advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, and SEO. We’ll talk about most of these forms of marketing in the sections ahead, so make sure you keep reading.

Here are yet more methods that can result in more leads.

cpa lead gen.

Keep Up Those Referrals

The referral system that your firm has used to get leads doesn’t need to be discontinued now that you’re using digital marketing. If anything, now is a great time to double-down on your referral network and build it so it’s bigger and stronger than before.

How do you do that? We have a few suggestions:

  • Make it easy for those in the referral network to connect with potential new referrals.
  • Give those in your referral network an incentive to work with you once and keep referring new clients to you. You might offer tiered giveaways or prizes based on the number of referrals, with the most referrals winning the best prize.
  • Treat those in your referral network like gold, sending them thank-you emails, giving them exclusives, offering discounts, and the like. 

Strengthen Your Brand

We mentioned before the prevalence of accounting firms within your own city and town, let alone your state. One way that you can differentiate yourself from the competition and thus stand out more to leads is to work on your branding.

If you don’t already have an established brand voice for your firm, now is the time to create one. Whether that voice is wise but friendly or even a little funny at times is a personal choice, but your brand voice must gel with your firm’s values.

Having an instantly memorable logo will also strengthen your brand. While you’re building your website, it’s not a bad time to work on your logo as well. Make sure you use the logo as often as you can, such as on your website, your social media profiles, and in email and written correspondence with your clients going forward. 

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

10 Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Host a Contest 

People have a hard time saying no to free prizes, so a contest or giveaway will certainly increase the clicks and traffic to your website or social media accounts. The influx of curious leads you have will dry up once the contest ends, so make sure you’re actively converting the leads as they come through. 

3. SEO for Accounting Firms 

No matter the industry, it’s the dream of any company for their website to be the top result when someone searches for a business like theirs on Google. With how steep the competition is among accountants, you’ll rely heavily on SEO to get your firm to the front page of Google’s search results, maybe even the top result.

Google drives the algorithms that dictate what’s hot and what’s not in SEO. Those algorithms are ever-changing, and trying to follow them to the letter will make you want to tear your hair out.

A much better use of your time is following general SEO best practices that–so far, at least–have yet to go out of style.

SEO for Your Accounting Website

Since you put so much time and love into it, let’s talk about optimizing your accounting website using SEO rules.

  • Test your site structure: When a user clicks the about page on your website, does it redirect them to the correct place? What about smaller pages? A site structure that works logically will certainly appease the SEO algorithm.
  • Sitemaps: The presence of a site map with Extensible Markup Language or XML language further illustrates your site structure in a way that search engines can understand. 
  • Title tags: If your website isn’t already using title tags, you need to change that immediately. These HTML tags are part of your website’s various headers that display the title of each page. Through keyword optimization, you can title your webpages in such a way where they’re informative and utilize a short-tail or long-tail keyword. 
  • Meta descriptions: Between your page header and your title tag, Google might still not have a clear enough idea about what your website is supposed to be. Meta descriptions provide more detail than what the title tag allows.
seo for cpa

4. Advertising for Accounting Firms 

One of the best ways to get the word out about your accounting firm is through advertising. The following digital marketing avenues for accounting firms are those that we mostly highly recommend for professionals in the industry.

Social Media Advertising

If it seems like every social media app has its own advertising platform these days, that’s because they do. From LinkedIn to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, if it’s in your budget to pay for advertisements on each, then by all means, do so.

If you can only pick one or two social media sites to advertise on, let your audience data guide you. 

YouTube and Other Video Ads

Although YouTube is technically social media as well, since it’s video marketing, we wanted to talk about it separately. Video-making resource Animoto says that of all the ways consumers find brands, video is the top of the list.

Making a video ad that not only grabs the attention of your audience but doesn’t come across as too salesy is admittedly a challenge. Unlike most online ads, which a user can scroll right past, a video ad demands that they stop what they’re doing and pay attention. It has to be good. 

social media for accountants

Remember, while it’s tempting, don’t go into controversial territory to get more videos on your video advertisement. You’ll achieve your goal, but you’ll get tons of bad press and lost customers in the process. 

Remarketing

Also referred to as retargeting, remarketing is a form of accountant marketing that works on almost all social media platforms, so it’s definitely an ace to have up your sleeve. By placing a small pixel on your site, that pixel keeps track of all your site visitors. For those visitors that do engage, they never know the pixel is there.

The ones that jump off your website will soon begin seeing advertisements for your accounting firm on other sites they visit, including social media. It’s like your ads are following them around the Internet.

We mentioned a stat on our blog that through remarketing, your conversion rate could jump by 161 percent! 

5. Email Marketing for Accounting Firms

You’ve got the website, now you need the email marketing strategy. This form of accountant marketing has twofold benefits. For one, you can continue to increase your flow of leads with email marketing. You also nurture the relationships with your existing clients.

Without a segmented list of contacts, your email marketing will go nowhere. 

Since you already researched your audience back when you first began designing your website, you should have a solid contacts list to work from. Even still, it pays to prune your list about every year, removing subscribers whose emails always bounce or who never bother opening the emails you send.

We can’t stress how much time and work you’ll save with marketing automation software.

Email automation can schedule when your messages will go out, auto-send them for you, and even automatically message your subscribers at crucial points.

email marketing for cpa

For instance, when a lead subscribes to your email list, they’d receive an automated welcome email. You can even automate follow-ups. Automation makes it seem like your accounting firm is open 24/7 even when it’s not.

Pop-up software Sleeknote, according to 2021 data, says that Tuesdays and Thursdays are still some of the best days to send emails, with the former having the higher open rates of the two days. Email open rates are good on Mondays as well.

You may find that following the above email schedule doesn’t work for your accounting firm, which is fine. 

Just avoid sending emails on the weekend if you can, as most of your clients aren’t thinking too much about money on their days off!

6. Content Marketing for Accounting Firms 

We saved one of the most important areas of accountant marketing all the way to the end. That’s content marketing

Although your expertise lies in numbers rather than writing blog posts, making videos, and producing infographics, all that and more is crucial for your content marketing campaign. Outside of those three areas of content, you can also focus on content marketing avenues like the following.

Webinars

You have expertise that people want, which is why your clients come to you. Share some of that expertise in the form of a webinar. You’ll get to flex your email marketing muscles as you build a list of attendees and send them relevant email content leading up to the webinar. You can also use social media and paid advertising to promote your webinar to maximize signups.

Webinars, besides their added value, have ROI incentive as well. You can charge for attendance to the webinar for starters, as well as for replays of the webinar. If you produce a transcript of the webinar, you can sell that too. 

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

10 Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Guides

The guide you’re reading right now is high-value, right? Imagining putting together all your smartest tax tips or financial information into a guide. Those who want to know about these subjects will be happy to read every word.

eBooks

For topics in which a guide just isn’t long enough, consider writing an eBook. This is an exhaustive exploration of a financial topic of your choosing that’s anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 words. 

Besides being valuable assets from a content marketing perspective, the above content is handy in that you can use it as a lead magnet. You might offer a free chapter of your eBook or a webinar transcript for free to get a lead to exchange their email address. This continues building your list while you strive to convert more leads.

marketing for cpa firm

Conclusion 

Digital accountant marketing entails many areas, as we’ve illustrated in this guide. If you’re struggling with email marketing, SEO, or web design, our team at Mediaboom can help. We’re a digital marketing agency that gets results.

Whether you want more qualified leads, brand awareness, web traffic, or all the above, we’ll get you there.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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