Petrol prices have increased fourfold since November 2021. For businesses operating on tight profit margins, pivoting their operations to mitigate the effects of the fuel crisis and supply chain disruption will be crucial to their survival as a brand.
Furthermore, changes in business tax regulations, the ongoing impact of Brexit, and pandemic restrictions are also placing intense pressure on company leaders.
Consequently, everyday consumers are also seeing their spending power dwindle as inflation reaches a 30-year high.
Right now, the majority of us are feeling the squeeze of widespread economic uncertainty and would welcome any help in managing our fuel expenses during this period. Accounting professionals are uniquely placed to provide free advice and support to businesses and consumers struggling financially.
This article will explore the potential for accounting firms to use content marketing to help their clients and communities weather the continuing fuel crisis and its wider impact on our financial health.
In September 2021, headlines spoke of an incoming fuel crisis, and millions of UK motorists rushed to the petrol pumps to stock up on fuel. While there has been much speculation as to which organisations sparked the panic buying spree, experts across multiple industries predicted months in advance that disruptions in oil supply chains could cause widespread shortages.
The warning signs of trouble in the world’s energy and fuel industries were noted by many economic experts, including;
- Pandemic shutdowns of businesses worldwide causing manufacturing plants to halt production. For example, the semiconductor shortage has created a huge spike in consumer demand worldwide.
- The Suez Canal incident, where a haulage vessel ran aground, held up supply links from China for months. This event also caused shipping prices to rise.
- Brexit confusion caused delays in visa approvals for EU-based trucking companies, resulting in a shortage of fuel truck deliveries.
- 98% of all food in the UK is transported by road freight. COVID worker absences may have also contributed to fuel delivery delays.
- The continued conflict in Ukraine is raising the prices of commodities produced in the region (including fertiliser and energy from the Russian power grid).
These events and more are compounding to produce a widespread fuel and economic crisis that is unprecedented. The tumultuous economic period we’re living in also shows no signs of slowing down.
Economic research and analyst teams are well-versed in monitoring financial trends at a macroeconomic level. However, in contrast, accountants are uniquely skilled in measuring the impact of world events on individuals and businesses.
Therefore, an accounting firm can not only inform their clients of the direct impact of geopolitical events on their finances, but they can also advise on reducing their impact on their clients’ livelihood.
By sharing their accounting firm’s resources through content marketing, accountants can become an informative source of business finance tips and trend forecasting.
More formally, accountants also act as the intermediary between a person’s finances and contributions to government spending. Therefore, up-to-date regulatory and tax information can also prove very useful for anyone seeking advice in the areas of accounting compliance.
We have explained the importance of becoming a value-adding accounting firm for your clients in previous articles. With close monitoring of financial KPIs, accounting firms have a wealth of insight into how companies of all sizes and types can lower their operating costs or increase their profits by selecting suitable pricing models.
As well to practical advice on lowering business costs, the best accounting firms also offer to conduct valuable financial assessment procedures, including:
Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) assessments
Examining different economic conditions (such as fuel costs rising by a further 10% in one quarter) on behalf of accounting clients can help you build customer loyalty. Likewise, sharing this information with a broader audience can help you expand your network and attract new clients and expertise to your accounting firm.
Focussing on your accounting brand’s content marketing strategy could be considered one of the cheap and easy ways to help the community. So, make sure that you invest time and effort into pitching your industry insights to as many people as possible.
When consulting with your clients, find out your audience’s main problems (rising fuel costs, for instance) and make sure that any content you produce guides readers towards a credible solution. In content marketing, finding out more about your target audience’s problems is called Customer Avatar building. You can use tools like Google Trends to help you glean demographic insights from millions of internet users.
Once you have identified your audience and their problems, use an SEO tool like SEMRush to help you find the keywords that could help drive internet traffic to your site.
Come up with ideas for blogs or articles that include popular keywords and consider enlisting the help of freelance copywriters to create valuable accounting content.
Content marketing is not limited to articles and press releases; it includes polls on social media sites, videos, case studies from past and existing clients, and more. Be creative when coming up with ideas for content marketing campaigns. Once you have the keywords and reassurance that you can target an audience interested in fuel crisis assistance, all you have to worry about is making your advice engaging. In most cases, posting content regularly can help you build an audience faster.
Creating a content calendar is a fast and effective way to ensure that all eyes are on your company’s advice at opportune times. Calendars also offer you the flexibility to update the content at regular intervals to ensure that the information is fresh and relevant. Some ideas you may want to include in your accounting content calendar include:
- Tax deadlines
- At the end/beginning of each financial quarter
- Seasonal events and bank holidays
- Dates of accounting trade shows –– especially if you are in attendance, make sure you review and share your experiences.
- National interest holidays –– for example, on Earth Day, your firm could blog about lowering fuel costs.
The bottom line is that accounting firms should be using their expertise to help consumers and businesses get through the ongoing fuel crisis with their finances intact. Content marketing is one of the easy ways to help the community, and it can also help you build trust and loyalty with your existing clientele.
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