The rise of digital marketing over the last 15 years has changed the environment for small-to-medium sized businesses looking to grow their clientele. In fact, marketing budgets are forecasted to grow even further in 2015, with a focus on digital marketing in particular. Mobile ad spending is expected to increase exponentially.
As you start and develop your accounting business, it is essential that you are familiar with current digital marketing trends. Knowledge of the trends will help you determine which platform is the best fit for you and the most effective use of your advertising and marketing budget.
Facebook currently has 2 million advertisers and a majority of those advertisers are small-to-medium sized businesses. The advertising platform on Facebook can be used to generate traffic and exposure to your website or create a larger database of high-quality customers. 85% of Facebook users are on mobile devices.
Millennials will have higher spending power than Baby Boomers within the next few years. What do millennial customers expect out of their CPAs? Smart phones are slowly becoming consumers main computers. Millennials socialize, invest, and even date on their phones. The chances are high that your millennial customers will be looking for CPAs on their mobile devices, and will want to communicate with their accountants via mobile.
Keep in mind that customers use Facebook mainly to socialize and interact with their friends. You want your advertisement to naturally fit into a customer’s newsfeed. The content in your advertisements and posts should have a friendly and natural tone and should clearly address the pain points that your accounting business solves.
Google currently leads the digital marketing world with 31.1 percent of the total space. Make sure your business information and location is accessible to your customers via Google search, Google Maps, and Google Plus. Pay-per-call advertising on Google is another great feature that allows mobile customers to call your business directly from the ad. If users are searching for accountants from their mobile devices, it is highly likely they will turn into a potential customer and call you directly from their smart phone. Even Google says that 70% of all mobile searches lead to a phone call.
Another way you use Google to gauge customer interest in your product is by using the Google keyword tool. You can go into the tool and type in keywords like “accountant” or “CPA” to see how many people are searching for those words per month in a specific location. From there, you can decide if you want to dedicate advertising money toward bidding on ad space. You can use the Google keyword planner to research your customer behavior and set up your business with the Google basics.
Once you have built your customer base and store your customer contact information into a necessary CRM application, such as Canopy, you need to engage with your customers on a consistent basis through email marketing. 73% of marketers state that email marketing is a central focus of their marketing strategy. According to the 2013 Direct Marketing Association, the ROI in an email marketing strategy is $43. Brands that embrace strategic email marketing see it as sales conversion tool and a way to share company values with clients.
The graphics and content in your emails should to be appealing and clear. Ensure the emails are designed for mobile viewing. Offering free white papers and other valuable material is a popular way to build your email subscriber list and generate traction to your website. To really refine your email marketing campaigns, you need to have a strategy that includes time for intriguing content creation, editing, and content promotion. Email is a great way to connect with your customers on a more human level and build brand loyalty, all while building your customer base and capturing future sales.
With all the digital marketing options available today, focus on the platforms that bring the most back to you. Track your marketing and advertising investments closely and re-evaluate on a regular basis. Providing your clients with a relevant and valuable content experience will set you apart from your competitors as a company that is aware of current digital trends.