Your firm’s brand is the most important marketing tactic you have at your disposal. A strong brand will allow you to compete with other big names in financial services while spending less money on marketing or advertising.
Branding is the foundation for all your marketing efforts and starts with establishing what sets your firm apart from others. Why should prospective clients choose your firm? If your branding isn’t up to scratch, your marketing will fall flat.
Join us as we explore the essentials of branding for accountants and CPA firms and how to use powerful marketing tactics to build brand credibility and increase revenue.
CPA brands are often associated with attributes like integrity, competence, and objectivity. Because these characteristics are common, your firm’s key to successful brand development is to determine your unique characteristics, personality, and culture. Successful branding for accountants and CPA firms usually follows the same key principles:
Start with Market Research
Market research is crucial to creating a credible brand for your CPA firm. Survey your partners, staff, clients and other referral sources to establish your firm’s mission, values, unique strengths, and qualities that separate it from your competitors.
Next, select three or four competitors and determine their market position, what services they offer, as well as their values, tone of voice, and chosen colour scheme. Use this market research to determine your firm's brand and positioning.
Maintaining the same design across the board is more critical to your branding than you might think, so make sure your colour scheme, logo design, fonts and tone of voice remain consistent across every platform your use. Whether it’s social media, brochures, letterheads or advertisements, having a consistent design looks professional and increases revenue by up to 23%. Colour also improves brand recognition by 80%, so be sure to include some in your branding.
Update Your Website
Think about your own experience when looking for products or services. Most of us will stop engaging with a website if it’s slow or unattractive in any way.
Your firm’s website, particularly the homepage, must communicate who you are, what you offer and how clients will benefit from choosing your firm. The website copy must be clear, professional and direct, and the design must align with your overall branding.
Develop a Buyer Persona
To create a brand that brings in new clients, you must first understand who you want to reach. Your potential client already has a list of options, and your goal is to prove to them that your firm is the better choice. Developing a buyer persona also helps you put a face on your target audience and model your firm around your client’s needs rather than the services you offer.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when building your buyer persona:
- Who is our ideal client?
- What are their pain points, and how does our firm solve them?
- What is the best way to reach them (social media, email, advertising etc.)?
- What are they passionate about? What makes them tick?
Once you finish the branding for your CPA firm, it’s time to determine the best marketing strategies to reach your buyer personas. Below are marketing tactics that prove themselves over and over again:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Choosing your branding and updating your website to match involves selecting keywords for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO refers to the process of maximising the number of visitors to a site by ensuring the site appears high on search engines’ listed results. Each time your clients search for something on a search engine, they use specific keywords. Boosting your website SEO means including keywords and phrases that your clients search for.
Keeping up to date with SEO standards is often challenging, which is why many companies choose to outsource these services to specialist agencies.
Maintain a Regular Blog
Content marketing pulls 3x more traffic than traditional marketing and costs 62% less. Long-from content brings in more organic traffic to your site than any other marketing method. Maintaining a regular blog covering topics your clients are interested in using keywords they search for significantly improves your SEO. A blog also allows you to showcase your expertise, which will build trust and credibility with your existing and prospective clients.
Use Social Media Efficiently
Social media is all about dialogue and a perfect way for CPA firms to ‘humanise’ their business by liking and commenting on posts and strike up conversations with their followers. If you do your market research and buyer personas properly, you’ll know which social media platforms your clients use the most and when. That way, you increase your chances of your posts reaching as many clients as possible.
Marketing automation uses software platforms to automate routine and complex marketing processes to reduce costs and improve effectiveness. You can use automation for your marketing across multiple channels, including your website, social media, and email marketing.
Start with your current clients and look for cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Softwares like MailChimp help you create, schedule and distribute email marketing campaigns to reach the right audience at the optimal time. Programs like Hootsuite can also help you manage your social media profiles by targeting specific followers and posting updates regularly.
Staying relevant in the accounting profession is a never-ending process and updating your branding and marketing to build a loyal following is critical to reaching clients in the modern climate. Staying open and agile, embracing new trends as they arrive and putting clients first will give your firm a true competitive advantage in a busy, ever-changing and over-crowded market.
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