CPA’s and Financial Planners Must Market Differently. It isn’t a question IF accounting firms, CPA’s and financial planners convert to internet marketing, it is more of a question of when. The traditional marketing model is broken, as people shy away from traditional marketing efforts like telemarketing, direct mail, television and radio advertising and other “old school” methods of customer acquisition.
When was the last time you hosted a dinner event promising no-obligation value-packed workshop? What was the real cost-benefit you derived from this tactic?
Accounting, CPA’s, and financial planning firms that embrace innovation, creativity and non-traditional marketing moves experience better brand awareness, increased lead generation and lead to customer cycles that are measurably shorter than in years past. Customers and potential customers are searching out firms to do business with that are easily found on the internet, because the yellow pages don’t work anymore. And efficacy rates for advertising are not where they used to be either.
Innovation in marketing is a mindset that embraces brand differentiation, the use of engaging content that is readily for download from interactive web sites and a general attitude of making people’s lives better through the use of a company’s products or services. The status quo is no longer a viable solution for customer growth.
The real innovation is actually making the move from offline (traditional marketing) to online (inbound marketing), of informing the public about information that helps people become informed in a general fashion, to create an ongoing relationship with a potential consumer, and not trying to sell them all the time. People are sick and tired of being sold. That model is broken, and will not be getting fixed anytime in the near or distant future.
Through the implementation of engaging content, compelling website design, internet marketing (aka inbound marketing) techniques such as SEO, blogging, calls to action (known as CTA’s), landing pages and embedded video, today’s CPA firm can lead the industry in innovation, growing customer rosters, and boosting top line revenues.
Supplying free, quality content in the form of special reports, white papers, eBooks, blog articles and unexpected extras, today’s accounting firms and financial service providers can surpass their competitors, as this niche has yet to fully embrace the marketing niche. The firms following these practices report enormous gains in their business development.
Pay per click is another form of internet marketing, but is not for the meek. Costs vary from one search engine to another, and success should not be pinned solely to this form of advertising. The digital landscape has plenty of less expensive, more successful means by which to fill the lead funnel. Unless, of course, you have a very large budget and don’t flinch at a $15.00 cost when someone clicks on your banner ad.
If you presently have a website on the internet, you may consider having it updated, as internet marketing has evolved dramatically in the past couple of years. Should your site not change often, it is considered static, and therefore, to the unknowing consumer, it may appear that nobody is home. By offering interactive links to landing pages offering specific free content offers, the site and its keywords can be kept up to date. Google and other search engines (Google leads the way) update the most searched keywords monthly, and Google Adwords provides that listing for easy consumption. Your webmaster can run an audit from time to time to keep your site fresh and at the top of the rankings. Again, if your site is static, it is no wonder your site is ranked low in the standings. Fresh content with strategic keyword placement assure higher rankings.
Accounting, CPA’s, and financial planning firms are always in the market for new customers, as more and more their services are needed all year round. It pays to have a high quality, interactive site that performs for the reasons for which they were meant. Inbound marketing is the way business is done in this new century, and the concept is under constant evolution. It pays to take the plunge sooner, rather than later.
After all, new customer acquisition is the cornerstone of business.