Do you think that marketing an accounting practice comes with limited options? You may be missing out on fantastic opportunities if that’s the case. Try using more than one marketing strategy to reach your goals.
As the owner of an accounting firm, there are two ways that you can position your brand as VITAL for your clients. Two marketing strategies that can help you grow your business.
What are they?
Content marketing and direct response marketing. Like many other accounting firms, yours probably emphasises one over the other. I understand this choice because it’s the easy way out. It doesn’t require you to learn new tricks or split your focus.
But I also speak from experience when I say that this is the wrong approach. It’s important that you leverage both marketing strategies to position your brand. Each offers a unique way for you to share your value with your ideal clients.
And there are times when one is better than the other. Remember that your sales funnel has different stages and each may require a specific approach for you to connect with the leads.
That’s why I want you to consider using both content and direct response marketing. Use a full arsenal to target your hunting niche and position your firm as VITAL.
Content Marketing (And Its Pros and Cons)
Content marketing, or inbound marketing, involves creating content. Do you have an active blog? If so, everything you do with that blog falls under this marketing category.
To market with content, you create content to share with prospects and clients. Mostly, this involves sharing essential facts about your accounting firm with the goal of getting people to reach out to you.
It’s one of the ways that you can generate interest and show your value. It makes people want to know more about your firm and services. More than that, they want to know what you can do to help them where others can’t.
Now, content marketing is not without its own pros and cons. There’s a time and place for it, and in certain situations you may want something else.
Pro #1 – Attracts Relevant Clients
Through content marketing, you can attract your ideal clients. How?
Because it allows you to release targeted information. It helps you share valuable insights with the people you want to reach.
Pro #2 – It Helps You Go Viral
A strong piece of content can keep producing new leads for weeks or months to come. Great content appeals to large groups of people.
If you answer the most important questions, people will find their way back to your posts. This means that you don’t have to hook someone right now with an article. Maybe that person or business isn’t interested in your services or doesn’t need them yet. But they might come to you in the future.
Pro #3 – Leverages Meaningful Content
Content marketing is the best way to leverage meaningful content. This means you have to first create your content to get that emotional response.
If you can do that, it helps you establish a legion of followers. It also enables you to gain loyalty and true fans who are much more likely to become life-long clients.
Pro #4 – Positions You as Reliable
If you post regularly, you become a reliable resource for your audience. Those that want to learn something turn to you and your knowledge base.
Therefore, you can build a formidable reputation on the back of content marketing.
Con #1 – It Requires Creativity
It’s not always simple to dive right into content marketing. Producing meaningful content requires creativity as much as knowledge.
It’s also essential to have people of diverse skillsets on your team.
Con #2 – Can Be Pricey When Outsourced
If you want the best people handling your content marketing, you may need to outsource. But this isn’t always ideal for smaller accounting firms as outsourcing can be expensive.
Some accounting niches are highly competitive. In those situations, you may have to spring for paid advertising too.
Con #3 – Can Be Time-Consuming If Done Wrong
There’s no denying that coming up with great content takes time. That’s the main reason why many firms outsource this work.
If you take on too much of it yourself, you may not have time to deal with bigger priorities. But if you outsource too much, you may end up spending a lot.
That said, you can find balance with this. It just takes some time and experimenting with different options and strategies.
Direct Response Marketing (And Its Pros and Cons)
Direct response marketing is probably a term that you’re less familiar with. But I’m sure that you must be doing it without even knowing it.
How does it work?
Direct response is when you encourage prospects to take action and give you an instant response. It’s a type of advertisements that elicits immediate action and helps with quick lead generation.
It’s not something that sets you up for long-term growth, unlike content marketing. And yet it has many perks. Keep in mind that direct response marketing comes in the form of short campaigns where each has its own specific goals.
So let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this strategy.
Pro #1 – Highly Engaging
This is a direct technique of communication. Therefore, it engages prospects more instantaneously and invites them to take action.
It’s also a better way to build trust courtesy of the direct and personal approach.
Pro #2 – Easier to Target High-Value Clients
With content marketing, there is some room for personalised messages. But more often than not, you’re speaking to the masses.
A significant advantage of direct response marketing is that you can target individuals. You can personalise messages that speak to specific clients, which isn’t hard to do if you use customer segmentation and profiling.
Pro #3 – Doesn’t Raise Competitor Awareness
If you want to position yourself as VITAL, you have to know what your competition does to reach the same objective.
And with content marketing, everything you do is public knowledge. Here’s where the alternative comes in handy.
Personalised messages don’t get out in the open. Your direct response marketing strategy targets individuals, often through targeted ads or emails.
This means that your competitors don’t get to access your secret marketing techniques. They can’t see your approach to talking to your prospects and hooking them.
Pro #4 – Sense of Urgency
Direct response marketing compels prospects to act faster. To reach out and contact you or purchase your services directly.
That’s because you can induce a sense of urgency. You can use this technique to share limited-time offers. Or, share insights on the fears your prospects have that need immediate attention.
Con #1 – Can Seem Intrusive
It takes practice to leverage direct response marketing correctly. In some cases, direct marketing may be too intrusive and turn off your leads. This may be especially true with email campaigns.
But with better management and understanding your clients, you can overcome this.
Con #2 – Focuses Less on Long-Term Achievements
Direct marketing can work wonders in short-term campaigns. But it doesn’t do as much for your long-term plans.
That’s because it’s easy to over-promise. It’s also easy to miscalculate the long-term ramifications of immediate direct actions.
At the same time, this type of campaign doesn’t help a lot with building client relationships.
Con #3 – It Can Overwhelm You
Due to typically high and fast conversion rates, direct marketing can overwhelm. You may not always be ready to handle a high influx of clients.
While it helps boost your client acquisition or retention over short periods, it’s not something you should do all the time.
Use All the Marketing Tricks at Your Disposal
There’s more than one way to position your brand as VITAL to your ideal clients. Marketing involves a variety of strategies. For accounting firms, two of them reign above all else – content marketing and direct response marketing.
I never recommend using one or the other. You need both to grow your business. Each marketing channel offers unique benefits and serves a specific purpose.
You can use content marketing to reach your long-term goals. Use it to establish a valuable brand, develop client relationships, and build trust.
On the other hand, you may want to use direct marketing for specific campaigns. It’s useful in giving you a boost in client acquisition. It’s great if you want to promote new service packages, among other things.
Both strategies can take your business to a new level of success. It just comes down to figuring out when you need one or the other.
For that, it’s critical that you understand the fears and aspirations of your ideal clients. Of course, it’s also important to understand the strength and weaknesses of each marketing strategy. Only then can you fully leverage your firm’s marketing and improve its sales funnel.
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