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Accounting Firms Should Use Inbound Marketing to Get Found Online
Lucas HamonApr 1, 2015 5:30:00 AM8 min read

Accounting Firms Should Use Inbound Marketing to Get Found Online

Inbound Marketing is like online dating for your business

In this co-installment of my Inbound VS Outbound Marketing & Marketing VS Advertising blog series', which focuses on organic marketing strategies designed to deliver long-term, sustainable results that pay for themselves, I'll be covering how your accounting firm can get found online using the powerful digital marketing tools: Blogging & Social Media.

There are right ways and there are wrong ways to approach these mediums, and as you wrap up with busy season, you are no doubt thinking about your upcoming vacation, and, upon your return, how to add steam to your summer with new project and client accounts. You've probably even been looking at these two paths, trying to figure out how they work.

Now, I can't help you with getting bathing-suit ready for Bora Bora or Hawaii, but I can help you with how to sell accounting services digitally. What better time for you to ramp up for the summer and September than by getting a tan while your marketing teams roll-out your most powerful marketing campaign ever back home?

Here are 10 ways to do it with Blogging & Social Media:

It's not about you; it's about them.

One of the things you do really well is cater to your clients' needs. You provide quality service and always look for ways they can save money on their taxes without getting them into trouble. When powerful credits and incentives are updated, you conduct research and provide valuable analysis that they can literally take to the bank.

But your marketing efforts don't really reflect what you're doing internally. You're not nearly as client-centric there, and spend most of your time talking about you - your experience, your awards, your likes, and your specialties. Traditional broadcast advertising is simply wired to perform like this, so it's not all that uncommon.

With the rise of digital marketing, however, consumers themselves have changed the way they shop for solutions to their problems. The path to helping them find you is no longer linear, but rather, totally random, and typically starts with a simple Google search. Blogs and social media are at the center of it all and have proven beyond a doubt that they are here to stay.

Simply stated, the firms that are serious about being on top are serious about blogging and social media.

1. Authentic Blogging

Blogging should be real. It shouldn't be a cheap ploy to get hits on your profile or shares on social media. It shouldn't be sensationalist or aimed at going viral. If you help people learn something valuable and write it from your heart, you'll get engaged readers, not just bouncers.

Yes, you should follow a tried and true method for effective blogging that integrates with the rest of your marketing and is properly structured, but substance will rein supreme over style any day of the week.

2. Authentic Social Media

Broadcast advertisers beware. By the very definition of the word "broadcasting," we are breaking the rules of social media the minute we resort to a barrage of ads. Being authentic means being social, which means connecting with others and telling your story by sharing theirs.

3. Telling a Story through Blogging

Blogging is all about telling stories, but don't let that deter you from educating your readers. The best blogs do both. This is where it is extremely beneficial to bring experience and real-life examples to the table. You understand what your clients are going through because your past clients had similar stories.

Share those stories from their point of view. Remember, making your blogs about your clients is how you win in this race. Don't worry about showing off your expertise. That will come through automatically because of how well you know your clients and their tax predicaments.

4. Telling a Story through Social Media

This one may be a little less obvious, because social media isn't really effective when you're doing all of the talking, right? Well, sort of... Remember, this is about telling the stories of your clients, so why don't you curate content that tells that story? You can share industry publications they read on issues they care about, and that happen to be related to accounting. This means steering clear of esoteric jargon that only an accountant would understand.

Make it relevant to you, but about them by playing in their sandbox.

5. Interact with Blogging

There are a couple of ways you can interact with blogging. If you have ties to an organization like the AICPA or more local organizations, you can guest-blog for them. Not only will you get more eyes on you, but it's great resume material. Remember though, the only people who will likely see those blogs are other accountants, who can be influential in the decision-making process, but business owners are more likely your main targets if you're working with companies under $100 million in revenue.

But let's say, for example, that you fill a specialty niche like payday lenders. What do they read? Maybe try guest blogging for the OLA (online lenders alliance). Don't yet have ties? Get social then!

Another form of interacting is in the comments section. Don't be afraid to respond to the folks who comment on your posts. Be ready to debate, because great blog ideas articulate new discoveries that may be contrary to popular thought.


6. Interact with Social Media

Get involved in others' conversations. Like their posts and speak up in discussions on LinkedIn or other online message boards.

Don't forget though, that you should be curating 3rd party content more often than your own. I like the 10/4/1 rule (10 3rd party posts - 4 blog posts - 1 ad or content offer). Share content put out there by others and you'll gain visibility among your peers AND your prospective clients.

Social media marketing for accountants shouldn't be about hoisting your firm's flag, but rather, about their tax and growth problems, and ways your firm would solve them (without actually talking about your firm).

7. Convert with your Blog

It is incredibly important that you're getting something of value out of your blogging. Don't do it just to generate more traffic to your website by way of its juicy SEO implications - That won't get you anywhere but frustrated... Pop in a couple of Calls-to-action and inbound links that lead to conversion forms, so you can actually gather contact information from your visitors or even set appointments.

Remember though, this is step one of their buyer's journey, and they may not be interested in that appointment right away, so you should be ready to nurture them through emails and other forms of communication. (See our free ebook on inbound marketing for professional accountants)

Don't pounce on them the second they arrive.

8. Convert with Social Media

Remember the 10/4/1 rule? By posting 4 of your blog entries for every 10 from 3rd parties, you are providing 4 opportunities to lead them to your website where your blog resides, full of gorgeous inbound links and CTAs. Then, of course, you have your ad or content offer, which is a little more straight forward.

Because you're social and sharing others' content, they are likely to reciprocate and share yours, wherein you'll have leads coming your way through referrals you didn't even know happened. My favorite is when I post a blog on LinkedIn and they go semi-viral because when one person likes it all of their contacts see that, providing more exposure and opportunities to be liked. (don't forget to like and/or share this post! ...pretty please) 

9. Boost SEO rankings w/ Blogging

If you're trying to figure out how to rank higher on google, you should be blogging. There are no two ways about it. Great blog ideas are developed by analyzing your keywords strategy (and like we mentioned before - shaking the tree), and focusing on those that represent your core message and have promise to generate traffic. The more you blog around your keywords, the better chance you have at ranking for them. 

10. Boost SEO rankings w/ Social Media

Not everything is about that on-page keyword rank. Sometimes social media will elevate you long before your website does. When you distribute your blogs through social media, and use keywords as part of your clever statements about the blogs, you provide opportunities to be found through the search queries.

Think about it. Google and Google+ are related AND Google has made it a point to release algorithms that support more specific answers to people's questions - as in, no longer sending them to the main site pages, but rather, blogs and content shared through social media. In fact, I have written about the value of sharing blogs through social media in relation to the impact it has in SEO in the past quite extensively.

Integration and consistency are key:

Blogging without a lead conversion path is about as effective as filing tax returns without populating any of the required indentifiers (names, SS#s, EINs, etc). Social media marketing without compelling reasons for readers to visit your website is like online dating without internet.

But you also must remember to blog and share often. When you stop, so does your social momentum, especially in the beginning when you are trying to get the engine started. Remember, though, that not every social media platform should be treated the same. The frequency and the type of content you post will differ more than you may realize between the four .


Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.