Do you struggle when it comes to finding new ways to grow your accountancy business?
Well you’re not alone.
Lead generation and client retention are two of the most significant problems for accountancy businesses today. This is where keeping up to date with the latest inbound marketing methods can really help.
Traditionally, outbound marketing focuses on using methods such as cold calling or TV adverts to send messages to large audiences. One of the main problems with this strategy is that it results in businesses pushing their messages onto people who don't ask for it and therefore will most likely ignore it.
Inbound marketing is all about attracting prospects to you by creating valuable content that will benefit them, obtaining their contact information and converting them into leads, then nurturing them into customers through lead nurturing tactics such as email marketing.
Not convinced that outbound marketing is on the way out? Check out our blog on how inbound marketing is helping business generate more cost effective leads.
So, with all this talk of inbound marketing, you're probably wondering exactly how you can use it grow your accountancy business. Well, we have nine ways you can use inbound marketing to do just that.
Inbound marketing is all about providing the solutions to the problems that consumers have, which means that you first have to know your customer in order to market to them.
So before creating any marketing campaign, you must ask yourself: what does my ideal customer really want?
In order to answer this question, you need to create buyer personas. Buyer personas, also known as customer profiles, are fictional representations of your ideal customer. They identify basic personal and professional characteristics such as age, job status and salary.
However, the best profiles are more detailed than this. At Luminate we conduct interviews with existing customers to develop personas that are based on reality, not assumptions, and identify exactly what your buyers want (and don't want!). By uncovering these priorities and challenges you can then address them and easily improve your sales.
The more detailed and in-depth these buyer personas are, the more you’ll know about your ideal customer. You’ll then have a clear picture of who you’re trying to sell to, what problems they have, and what solutions you can accurately provide in order to earn their business.
Three to four customer profiles usually account for 90% of sales, so ensuring your business's marketing is targeted to them is essential.
Finding and modelling your blog posts around the right keyword can be the difference between ranking 1st and 11th on Google.
This is incredibly important as users rarely venture beyond the first page of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) when they type in a query. If your site is on the second or third page, the number of potential visitors your site receives will drastically go down.
Here at Luminate we conduct our keyword research using the best tool on the market, SEMrush. We then use keyword metrics such as number of results and SERP analysis to identify keywords that our clients can rank #1 for.
If you do the same, then you'll benefit from all the extra website traffic that comes with ranking on the first page of Google. With a strategic use of calls-to-action (CTAs) and forms across your website – which we’ll talk about later – you can then nurture these visitors into leads and finally turn them into paying customers.
Prospects now have unlimited business options available to them, so it’s vital you create content that’ll attract them to your site.
To do this, consider these two consumer questions:
- "Can I trust this company?"
- "Do they have the ability and experience to help me with my problem?"
Aim to create content that answers a big yes to both these questions. If a potential client doesn’t think you can help with their problem, or if they feel you aren’t trustworthy, they simply won’t engage with your business.
Again, think about the common issues that your potential clients may be facing or common questions they might want to know the answers to. If you think your ideal customer will want to know how to submit their tax return, then pick the keyword ‘how do I submit my tax return’ and write blogs around this topic.
A CTA is any element on your website designed to prompt visitors to perform a certain action. This could be downloading an eBook or signing up for a free webinar. In this way, CTAs form the bridge between your website content and your landing pages, which allow visitors to download free offers for the small price of a name and email.
Once a visitor has provided this information, they become a lead, which is your cue to nurture them into a customer. You can do this with tactics such as email marketing to establish a good relationship with them, and move them closer to purchasing.
Blogs are a great way of distributing your content!
Creating quality blog posts on topics your customers are interested in is a sure fire way of providing solutions to their problems. Once you have their attention, a great way of nurturing them into a lead is to input a ‘related content’ section at the end of your blog post to keep them reading and interested. You can then input several CTAs to direct traffic to forms where they can input their information and start their journey to becoming a customer.
If a visitor stays on your site for long to read your content, this also increases the average dwell time on your site, which is a factor Google looks at when ranking your content. The higher the dwell time, the higher Google ranks you, and the more organic traffic you can receive!
According to a 2015 report, 79% of accountants use social media; having an active presence on social media sites can really boost your reputation and help generate more interaction with your business.
By having several social media platforms you can provide information about what your company does and promote your content to drive more traffic to your business's website. Inputting options for prospects to share your content on their social media is also a great way to receive free marketing, as they’ll be promoting your business through word of mouth and directing more interested consumers to your site.
A win-win all around!
Millions of people still use email on a daily basis so why not market your business through emails too? The key to a successful email is to know your target audience (find out how to discover your target audience here) and pick a common topic to write about. The topic will need to be educational and something they find valuable.
Emails are also a great tool for turning leads into customers. When you’ve received a prospect’s email, then you can start sending them promotional offers or free trials so they can experience what your business has to offer and be inspired to purchase.
Posting offers onto your website, sharing blogs on social media, or sending educational emails to potential customers are great ways to build relationships and trust, but how do you know which actions have been most effective?
Tracking your data can show you how many emails have been opened, or how many likes or shares your blog has had on Facebook. You can then analyse your data and determine which methods are converting the most visitors to leads, and which methods aren’t getting you the results you want and could therefore be improved upon.
There is, after all, no point in sending emails if nobody is opening them.
So, for example, you may need to establish why people are not engaging with your emails. Is the subject of the email not inviting enough for them to take action? If you feel that this could be a reason, then think of a new subject line and try again
Analysing your marketing efforts is not as difficult as it may sound. There are many marketing platforms which can help you analyse your efforts, though some are better than others. The leader of the pack when it comes to marketing software is HubSpot - click on the link to find out more about HubSpot's great features.
Backlinks are incredibly important to your Google ranking.
A backlink is when one site links to another. So if another website has linked to your website, then your site has received one backlink. Google looks at how many quality backlinks your site receives when it prescribes you a domain authority. This is a number from 0-100 that reflects how ‘trustworthy’ your site appears in Google’s eyes. The more quality backlinks you receive, the higher your domain authority, and the higher Google ranks your website on its (SERP).
If your site receives one backlink from another website with a domain authority of over 50, then all the pages on your site get pushed up Google’s SERP. So, when asking other sites for backlinks, target those with a domain authority of higher than 50, as receiving a backlink from a site with a lesser domain authority will do virtually nothing to your SERP ranking.
The higher your site is ranked, the more organic traffic it receives. This means more visitors, more leads and more customers for your business to benefit from.
Now that you know a little more about how inbound can help grow your business, don't stop there! To find out more ways about how you could grow your accountancy business, download our guide: 5 Ways To Grow Your Business.