Create great content to build your brand authority online.
Building your brand visibility online is crucial for developing new business. A tax and accounting practice can use content marketing to showcase and spotlight its areas of expertise. By sharing your smarts and expertise, you can quickly build up a following online and start dominating the search results, attracting prospective clients who are looking for answers to their problems.
Tax laws and business trends change all the time. However, it is news, tips and advice that draws the public’s interest. The issue is how to develop quality content that gets read and rewarded by the search engines.
Let’s get started.
When it comes to content development, we try to stay on top of newsworthy stories. We also like to write about life events that speak to a very specific audience. An example would be marriage and filing status or coverage of important legislation like the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015.”
First, you want to keep your clients up to date on issues that will affect them in the coming years. Second, by producing great content that your audience wants to read, you will find your brand and your content moving up in the search results. This means that, if done right, your blog posts will actually start getting you more client engagements, web traffic and leads.
Warning! There is a ton of poorly written, technically inaccurate content on the web. So, if you are going to write your own content, make sure you have a proofing process, not just for grammar but the technical accuracy of your articles.
There is a lot of noise out there from so-called “SEO” experts on what Google wants. If you are writing for Google’s Panda algorithm you are already making a big mistake. Thin content or content stuffed with keywords will actually hurt your brand in the search results. There are studies that tell us that longer articles are better in general (over 2,000 words), while quick takes might be better for your on-the-move readers. There is no right or wrong answer. However, someone writing about a topic they know inside and out will probably do much better than some hired gun writing for SEO purposes.
Here are the most common types of content:
- Blog posts covering breaking tax news, strategies, business start-ups and growth and accounting-related articles
- Video blogs
- LinkedIn Pulse
Building an audience.
Savvy tax accounting firms know that their client database is their biggest asset. They make sure that they update contact information year round. They monitor their bounce reports to see which clients have changed addresses. They include opt-in newsletter forms on their websites and social media sites. They try to drive users to want to hear from them year round.
The email database is just step 1.
With much of the world online, social media becomes an extension of your email client newsletter. Better yet, sharing your content on social media makes it easier to expand your voice into new markets.
We work with clients to help them expand their followings. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook should be your bare minimum. However, each social media site includes its own special rules for engagement. Buying followers in a big no-no. We see it all the time where professionals have large followings but very little engagement with their content. Quality over quantity is key. When you talk, you want people listening. You want to be an informer versus posting salesy content.
Check out this great article from Fast Company on some data-driven best practices to build up your social media following.
It takes patience and perseverance.
Deciding to use content marketing to grow your brand reputation will deliver lasting results, but it takes consistency and dedication. There is no magic pill for overnight success.. It takes at least three months to start seeing the initial results. It took us a little over one year to grow our Twitter following for TaxBuzz from zero to over 2,000—and that included developing hundreds of articles and videos for the blog feed. It took us one year to grow the TaxBuzz.com web traffic to over 40,000 (and growing) per week.
I am too busy to develop content.
This is a common thing we hear from our clients. Tax accounting marketing firms like ClientWhys do this for professionals as part of their marketing subscriptions. We have the expertise and technical review processes to get it right. More importantly, with thousands of pieces of content, we know what gets read. For the DIY professional, you can try freelancers or write it yourself. We recommend using a service like Papercheck.com to review your content for grammar. It saves you from embarrassment and is an affordable insurance policy.
But here’s the thing…
When done well, content marketing will help you increase your lead funnel, grow your following and increase your billing rates in the long term. You should actively share your smarts and experience with your audience.
Lee Reams II
I am a marketing junkie who has spent the last 20 years developing and executing "best in class" word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. With over 10,000 happy clients I think we are on to something. The explosion in web marketing and social media have redefined the way independent professionals market their practices. Follow my blog to see if you can take some of our actionable ideas to market your own practice.