Why all professional services firms need to embrace digital marketing

Why all professional services firms need to embrace digital marketing

Published on 25th June 2019

If you are a partner within a small-to-medium sized accounting business or indeed any professional services firm you know that remaining competitive and differentiating yourself from the competition is the key to thriving in the market and to creating a niche for yourself.

One of the most effective ways of achieving this is through the use of digital marketing. However, technology is constantly evolving at an ever-quicker pace and if your business isn't keeping up with the current trends, it will inevitably be left behind. Therefore, more and more small accounting businesses are shifting to online tools and resources to promote their brands.

But what are the tools needed to make this happen? Well, having started my career in professional services recruitment and then moving into a digital marketing role I have been surprised since returning to recruitment by how little small to medium-sized firms are currently doing in terms of online marketing.

Here are some simple steps that can be taken to improve your firm's digital marketing activity.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing should be an intrinsic component of any digital marketing campaign. Statistics show that 80% of all internet users have social media accounts. Leveraging the power of social media is an effective way of promoting your brand. It helps your accounting business to reach out and engage with prospects and current clients. A well-established social media marketing plan helps to direct more traffic to your website. Sharing content that is engaging and relevant to your audience, gives an insight into your business and prospects become more interested in what you have to offer.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Your website is your main marketing asset online. Through your website, clients and prospects can learn more about your business and the services you offer. When clients need accounting services, they tend to first search the internet. If your site appears at the top of the first page of the search results, potential clients are more likely to click on your site.

Ranking high in the search engines helps to direct more traffic to your site leading to a higher conversion rate. This is due to the fact that ranking high helps build your business credibility and exposes your site to almost everyone who seeks the services you offer. Statistics show that 70% of internet users don't click past the first page.

This is the role of SEO. It involves all techniques that increase the visibility of a website to users of a search engine. This involves investing in keyword research and optimisation, improving user experience and ensuring your page contains only relevant content.

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective techniques of digital marketing. It has a very high rate of return on investment. Emails help your accounting firm to constantly keep in touch with its clients. Other than promoting your business and its services, you should strive to provide your clients with important and useful information such as financial tips, and business advice tips. This helps to keep them engaged with your business and may well attract new business.

Content marketing

If you have been following digital marketing trends, then you are aware of the saying, content is king. The content you provide your audience should be:

  1. Consistent in all channels
  2. Relevant and useful to your target audience
  3. Answer questions that they might have
  4. Fresh, educational and engaging

Providing such content helps to generate more interest in your business. You can utilise blogs, infographics, newsletters and videos to convey the information.

Therefore, in this technological era, digital marketing is a necessity and not an option. If your small accounting business has failed to invest in the above marketing techniques, then you are missing out on a lot of business opportunities.

In order to implement a digital marketing function to your business then I would recommend adding dedicated digital marketing professionals into your marketing team. As this type of work requires a specific skill set and level of experience, furthermore in the long run by hiring a team or individuals to implement your digital strategy it will be much more cost effective in the long term for your business rather than outsourcing to an external digital agency. 

However, the issue many professional services firms face when hiring digital marketing professionals into their team is the fact the market, in general, is slightly behind the curve when it comes to digital marketing. So, employers need to consider candidates from outside of the professional services sector we looking to recruit as the pool of candidates with this type of skillset with professional services experience is currently very limited.

So, in conclusion, if you are a small to medium size accountancy practice and you are looking to improve your digital marketing activity then the tools listed above are a good place to start. However, if you don't have an internal team currently who can implement this strategy, I would recommend bringing in a dedicated digital marketing professional to execute this for you. 

If you have any questions on anything I have discussed in this blog or want to discuss the market for digital marketers currently in the professional services market then please contact me directly on my email below - christopher.warman@ambition.co.uk