Use this article to take a look at what content marketing is, what types of content will attract your audience, how to create and measure the success of the campaigns used by your accountancy firm.
- A strategic marketing approach focused on creating consistent content.
- Attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
- Create content that helps your accountancy firm build a relationship with your audience.
- Build your authority online.
- Become more visible thanks to SEO.
- Develop a content marketing strategy step by step.
- Using the types of content that works best for you.
- Measure the performance of your digital marketing campaigns.
On this page:
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
It is the development and distribution of appropriate, useful content to current and potential clients. When it is done right, this content conveys expertise and makes it clear that accountancy firms value the clients that they serve.
The consistent use of content marketing establishes relationships with new clients and nurtures them with existing ones. It creates a valuable, dedicated client resource. When your audience thinks of your firm as a partner interested in their success and a valuable source of advice and guidance, they are more likely to choose you.
Content marketing's history is closely tied to SEO (search engine optimisation) performance. And its evolution is linked to the ever changes in the Google Algorithm.
During the early days of the internet, a website need only feature a search term enough times to rank high on Google. Over time the algorithm was changed. Instead of just focusing on the search term, Google started looking at what the intent behind the search was.
Is the user after information? Do they want to buy something? Do they want to go somewhere? etc. etc.
As a result, companies had to change how they produce content for their website. They had to understand their audiences intent and what is behind their search. Companies had to provide detailed, informative and useful high-quality content to gain better search rankings.
What are the benefits of content marketing for accountants?
Great content marketing is an important asset that has multiple benefits. It can be used to communicate directly to your target audience based on the issues facing them and by meeting their need for information.
This will help capture your audience’s attention and reinforce a positive brand impression. In addition, it can create positive experiences for your potential clients and compel them to keep coming back for more.
Quality content can also help your firm gain traction on social media by increasing engagement.
And creating content helps your firm build a relationship with your audience. You can answer their questions and interact with clients. When you create value without taking anything in return, your audience is more likely to trust you.
It will also help build your authority online. If your practice is established as a credible place to get information, you are more likely to rank higher in search engines.
How can accountants use content marketing?
One of the key benefits of creating content marketing is that it can keep your firm’s voice and values consistent while offering multiple platforms and formats that can meet the differing needs of your audience and client base.
Some people are visual learners, while others prefer to read. Others only want to skim bullet points, and still others would rather just watch a video or listen to a podcast.
It will also generate additional marketing materials to distribute on social media platforms, email campaigns and on your website.
Formats that can be used for digital marketing include:
- blog posts
- white papers
Your business will also become more visible thanks to SEO. This is because the more consistent, professional content you produce, the better it will be for your SEO content writing efforts.
For example, your content should help your firm become visible online and build trust and authority with your audience. In addition, with a developed content strategy, such as the pillar/cluster model, your content should help you and your accountancy services rank higher in search engines.
What are the steps to developing a content marketing strategy?
To create an effective content marketing strategy for your accounting firm, it is important to follow these steps.
1. Define the target audience
You can only create effective and successful content if you know who the content is meant for. It is fundamentally important to know and define your target audience. This will help you be successful in creating relevant digital content that ranks well, making your brand visible in search engines.
2. Identify target keywords that your audience are looking for
Before you can target anything, you need to determine what keyword phrases are likely to bring in relevant traffic. There are a host of free tools that can help you do this when planning your own strategy.
3. Establish how your firm can solve their problems
Once you have established what your audience is looking for you can use content marketing to connect their needs to your knowledge, expertise and products.
4. Determine what content to create
Good content involves hard work and producing it can be expensive. A long-term content creation and publishing plan is therefore all the more important.
Seasonal topics can be covered in a content calendar, as well as when the right moment to publish is. Long-term production should also be managed via scheduled topic planning.
5. Create content and publish
Once you have determined the content you want to publish it and the channels that it suits best you will need to create it. Writers and designers can work with in-house experts to achieve this.
6. Atomise the content for further reach
Content atomisation is the process of sharing an idea, campaign or concept across the various marketing channels that are available to us today.
To achieve content atomisation, you need a solid anchor piece of content. This could be a whitepaper or a detailed article or blog post. From this anchor piece of content you can then create podcasts, video content, social media posts, infographics or even pieces of print literature. All of which reference and relate to the anchor piece.
7. Measure the results
Measuring success takes place in the channels on which you have provided content. Google Analytics, for example, gives you an overview, but social media channels have their own analysis tools too.
Different types of content marketing
There are a variety of content marketing types to choose from. The key is to use the type of content marketing that works best with the subject matter and promotes your practice effectively.
People most readily associate content with articles or blogs. Having a blog post on your own website that corresponds with your product and its market attracts potential clients looking for the services you provide. Blog posts improve SEO and can be a low-cost way to boost organic traffic.
However, there are a range of other formats available, including infographics, slideshows, calculators, podcasts, white papers and videos.
Each format has its own strengths. For example, white papers tend to be packed with data and information. By contrast, Infographics are so fun and can wake up a marketing strategy with eye-catching content. They are bright, visually captivating ways to present stats or processes. Meanwhile, videos can engage an audience quickly. Videos are also a versatile medium; you can create a variety of content that engages your market.
Best (free) tools to use for content marketing
Although it involves showcasing the expertise of your accounting firm, content marketing doesn't need to be expensive. It can be achieved with simple tools, many of which are available cheaply or freely on the internet.
The primary aim is to understand what people are looking for. Once that has been identified it is vital to make sure content is well written and that you employ a method to monitor production.
Some helpful tools include:
- answer the public - tool that can be used to find out what questions people on Google search
- Google Search - People Also Asked... - Results page on Google can show what type of questions/problems people are having
- Hemingway App - helps format content in a way that is SEO friendly
- Trello - Kanban board that can monitor production, keep track of progress and deadline dates
- Google Docs - Free writing software perfect for collaboration
How to create a content marketing calendar
A content marketing calendar is a living document that maps out all the marketing activities across an organisation. Its purpose is to keep stakeholders organised and accountable to their marketing responsibilities in the future. It also documents the details and timings of what has been accomplished in the past.
Creating a hub and spoke system will allow you to link the areas to focus on with product offerings. The hubs are areas to focus content marketing on while the spokes are the different formats of digital content linking them to the product offerings.
It is a good idea to consider seasonal events and specific trends when creating a content marketing calendar. Most business sectors have a natural flow of events through the year and products will often be sold of pushed at certain times to meet this.
Ideally, content hub topics should be evenly distributed throughout the year so fill in the spaces with other topics that you have chosen to cover.
How to measure content marketing performance
It is important to measure the performance of your content marketing as it will be judged by the value it generates for your business.
To measure and analyse the performance there are a few different metrics that you can focus on. Google’s toolset including its Search Console and Analytics can help measure these metrics so you can analyse your performance.
The Google Search Console measures how many impressions, clicks and average ranking of the page each piece of content achieves.
Google Analytics shows how many times content marketing is a landing page and what the average reading time spent on it is. Google Analytics can also help tracking other goals and in lead generation for your Sales team.
Third-party content marketing solutions for accountants
Sharing original content is important. Your clients need to understand your services and how they fit into the wider tax and business landscapes. So, understanding what is happening in your industry and being able to explain it to others is helpful.
However, creating that content is a time-consuming process. This is where using a third party like Mercia can help accountancy firms.
Mercia produces a wide range of content marketing solutions, which is created specifically to help promote accounting services and can be branded for your practice.
These include Briefings & Newsletters, which provide topical in-depth content available for use within your marketing activity throughout the year. Or our eNews product that gives you regular news items that can be published on your website to create your own 'newswire' and encourage clients (and targets) to visit your website.
Mercia’s Client Letters are produced frequently in response to what is happening in the business world. Our Your Guide To series of guides highlight your expertise on key tax and financial planning issues for specialised areas from Agriculture and Farming to Year End Planning.
Finally, Mercia extensive range of factsheets include relevant content for your clients whether they are individuals, employers or businesses.
The power of content marketing is available for anyone to use and has the capability to reach a wide audience of prospective clients.
However, to use it to its full potential means creating quality content and targeting your audience carefully. It takes careful planning to make sure you can present the information people need while highlighting your expertise and ability to help them.
Content marketing for accountants can display your knowledge and services to businesses and individuals.
Planning and creating quality takes time and specialist skills. Mercia can supply both to your practice to assist you in creating an effective content marketing campaign that will help your accounting firm shine.