Another year. Another digital revolution. What is hot when it comes to accounting marketing? I’ve gathered the top 10 accounting marketing trends to include in your marketing plan to stand out from the competition. From personalization to paid content, learn what’s coming in 2019.
1. Personalization - 2019 is the year of YOU. Content creators are tailoring subject lines, calls to action (CTAs), headers, and, well, everything to speak directly to their readers. Make it about them, even in the images you choose for your website.
We recently did an A/B subject line test for an email, with subject line A broad and general, “Great Ideas You May Have Missed,” and subject line B purposefully tailored towards our audience: “How You Can Gather Really Great Testimonials.” That positive, specific and personal shift led to subject line B performing much better than A.
2. Google Business Listing - If your firm does not have a tailored Google Business listing yet, create it right now. A listing set up (and set up correctly) for each office location helps your overall Google ranking and acts as your online and mobile Yellow Pages.
Use your 750-character description strategically to include key words and phrases about your services.
3. The New Paid Social and Search - Notice the shift in how company pages are shown (or not shown) in feeds on LinkedIn and Facebook? This will make ad strategies even more important in 2019. Social advertising is a powerful B2B tool with robust capabilities to precisely target your audience and deliver a higher return on your ad investment. Plus, you can manage the budget and stay visible 24/7.
In addition, Google Ads has expanded its features and targeting options to give you more opportunities to capture attention, drive traffic to meaningful content and generate leads. The key to effective paid social and search strategies lies in effectively identifying your target market and communicating how you solve their needs through attractive CTAs and meaningful, personalized content.
4. Reviews – They are not going away. Surveys by Google and Bright Local have shown that people trust online reviews about the same as referrals from friends and family! Let’s not debate the logic of this. It’s an emotional factor that contributes to a prospect’s (or candidate’s) overall decision to contact your firm — or not.
Invite your best clients to share their experience with your firm on these sites. Own your review page! Reinforce your review rankings with case studies and testimonials on your website.
5. Motion Graphics and Video - Last year marked a big shift in motion design, with a greater emphasis on social content. Motion graphics offer clients a faster way to engage with your firm. It’s self-directed, too, which they (and we) love.
In the same way, people crave video. Whether it’s a timely partner update, a live video forum or evergreen tutorials, video quickly communicates your brand personality. Make it a priority this year.
6. Paid Content - Some media offer “communities” of professionals while others offer firms their own paid channel. You gain visibility from their media reputation (and SEO) as well as control of content. Getting followers is key. Make the articles and blogs valuable for your reader rather than self-promotional.
Continue to seek earned media opportunities, too, with your paid content channels serving as deep niche lead nurturers and website magnets.
7. Design Simplicity – We like clean, uncluttered design in our hectic daily lives. With an emphasis on simplicity, your firm can improve conversion rates. As an example, CTA buttons will stand out better on a clean, uncluttered website layout. Visitors will identify relevant content faster, which makes your firm appear very service oriented and uncomplicated.
8. Logos - Tied to design simplicity, high-growth firms are rebranding with vibrant and clean logos. Add secondary colors and glyphs (symbols) that tell a story. Consider a client-focused tagline that communicates innovation.
9. Personal Brands - Related to personalization, firm and industry leaders produce much more organic engagement than general firm or business social media pages. Include key leader social profiles into your social media posting strategy. Also, promote your experts on social through custom visual posts with their photo, personal details or key industry insights. Elevate your experts’ niche expertise through speaking, ghostwritten whitepapers and PR about their industry involvement.
10. Talent Brands - Last but certainly not least, the value of communicating your firm’s core values and total rewards (defining what flexibility and autonomy mean along with compensation and benefits) help your firm shine with candidates who have a lot of choices. Create an internal branding strategy for recruiting and retention.
A bonus tip! Search Trends.
It’s all about key phrases. With the evolution of voice search, phrases like “near me” and “where do I find” are a product of using digital assistants for search. Think about how you talk to Siri or Alexa, and frame your SEO to match that evolving consumer approach.
There you have it - the top 10 accounting marketing trends for 2019! Leave a comment below and let me know if you see these as emerging trends for 2019.
Dawn Wagenaar is principal of Ingenuity Marketing Group. Previously, she led the marketing and PR efforts at two accounting firms, and is now living her goal of building a successful business. She offers over 20 years of marketing strategy and business development expertise. She understands how to tie revenue goals to marketing strategies that bring in the right leads and cross-sell services. Her focus includes leadership coaching, team sales training and integrated marketing strategies to support your firm’s growth. Professional service leaders who are concerned about transition planning and ROI value Dawn’s direct guidance to build a successful marketing and sales culture. Expect a collaborative advisor and an enterprise builder who takes action beyond 9 to 5.