Marketing is becoming more important than ever to Accounting and CPA firms of all sizes. Why? First, competition is increasing from local, regional, national and non-traditional accounting service providers. Second, marketing has changed radically in the last few years, and accounting firms, conservative by nature, have been slow to change. Third, like other professional service firms, CPAs do not invest enough in marketing, or implement as many marketing initiatives as other industries.

So why should CPAs reconsider their marketing?

Because the modern and digitally-focused marketing mix is proving to deliver dramatic and yes, measurable marketing results, regardless of company size and financial resources.

This blog will show you how with the Top 10 Marketing Best Practices for Accounting and CPA Firms, along with 2 additional blogs in this series that highlight marketing case studies including a top accounting/CPA firm, and a leading accounting technology value-added reseller (VAR).

Top 10 Marketing Best Practices for Accounting and CPA Firms

1. Analysis and Planning
2. Website Search Engine Optimization
3. Content
4. PR/Publicity
5. Email
6. Blogging
7. Social Media
8. LinkedIn
9. Webcasts and events
10. Lead Management

So these all look straightforward. But let’s take a closer look at some of the detail for each item, and then circle back.

CPA Firm Marketing Best Practices Detail

1. Analysis and Planning–identify existing and future vertical market segments (segmentation), identify decision-making process and targets, undertake keyword search analysis, map competitive positioning, determine branding and messaging; develop and manage all marketing via an activity calendar

2. Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO)-run website search engine diagnostics to identify problems and opportunities for improving meta-coding, link-building, etc; conduct keyword analysis (including competitors), subscribe to IP tracking and reporting; deploy mobile web

3. Content–conduct keyword search analysis to refine and prioritize topics; develop case studies, white papers, eBooks, surveys and industry studies; search and curate content from other publishers; use submission services

4. PR/Publicity–write and distribute news or press releases on new products or services, new clients or staff, training programs; regional and national print editor list; use free and paid news distribution services

5. Blogging–repurpose all of above content including PR and curated; search optimize and social share; calls-to-action; build links via blogroll and submission services

6. Email–horizontal and vertical eblasts to customers and prospects; use email service provider (ESP) to measure open and click-through rates (CTRs); list procurement and building

7. Social Media–build-out profiles including Facebook business page, relevant Twitter profiles, YouTube channels, Google+, Pinterest; add social profile links and RSS to website and blog; add social share tools (including bookmarks) to website and blog; push content and notifications from blog to profiles

8. LinkedIn–profile optimization for top execs and biz dev and client-facing staff; company page, LinkedIn Groups, InMails, applications (events, SlideShare, etc.)

9. Webcasts and events–develop frequent webcast events on hot topics and communicate via email, PR and social media channels; elicit registrations

10. Lead Management–all above focused on lead generation, develop offers and calls-to-action, create landing and registration pages; code, track and report leads; re-market to leads based on interest, vertical, etc.

By now you have probably ascertained that these accounting and CPA firm marketing best practices are decidedly digital. Internet and Inbound. Why? Because this is how today’s client finds accounting and other professional service providers.

Yes networking, referrals and word-of-mouth are still important. However, a recent study identified up to 70% of sourcing professional services begins via search engines. And a small but fast-growing portion of searches are being done via smart phone and tablets, so mobile web and blogs are now a requirement.

By the way, these modern marketing techniques are also more lead-generating and measurable than ever before.

Want to know more? Modern Marketing Partners offers specialized marketing services for accounting and CPA firms of all sizes.  For a complimentary and no-obligation consultation, please contact Modern Marketing Partners.

Additional Resources:

The High Growth Professional Services Firm: How Some Firms are Able to Grow in Any Market

In the meantime, in the spirit of modern marketing best practices, please bookmark,  comment and share this post with your accounting associates and CPA partners who want and need to make a difference with marketing that really works.