What’s the truth about content marketing? Does it really work for accountants?
You can spend a fortune on content marketing and it is easy to get swayed by the bold claims that marketers make (after all they are in marketing!).
But if you spend your money will you get bang for your buck or is there a better way to bring in new clients?
In this post, I am looking at the real-world issues with content marketing and at the end, I promise I’ll give you my opinion (it might not be what you think).
In this post:
- What is content marketing?
- Why accountants?
- The problems with content marketing
- Why you may not get the return you expect from your content marketing
- Doing content marketing right
- The ROI of content marketing for accountants
- Opinion: does content marketing work for accountants?
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the process of providing things of value for potential customers in the expectation that they will love you and buy your services.
Content can include;
- White papers
- Video explainers
- How-to guides
- Podcasts and webinars
Most of the stuff is given away for free but some may require an email address if you are trying to build a list (and you should be).
Because getting clients for accountants is all about two things;
- Showing them that you know what you are talking about and;
- Showing them that you are their kind of person
And content marketing is ideal in this respect as it is the perfect way to build your credibility by writing authoritatively about a particular subject.
If you produce podcasts, webinars or videos then people will also get to see your personality and winning charm.
I can guarantee that whatever method your potential clients use to find out about you, they check out your website before they call or email.
Be fair, you do it yourself.
The problems with content marketing
Content marketing isn’t rocket surgery or brain science and I’d argue that anyone can do it, even us accountants.
There’s one massive problem with content marketing for accountants though and some little ones too.
The massive problem is that it takes time and effort and if I know accountants (and I do) they are invariably very busy and time-poor.
Who has time to sit down and write 1000 words on IR35 or record a video about super deductions for capital expenditure? ( I have a cure for this).
One little problem is knowing what you should write about. You can get someone to work this out for you or you can check out my post on the subject here.
Another problem is that you need to have a website with blogging capabilities. Most forms of Content Management Systems (CMS or a posh word for WordPress) have this and sometimes it’s just a case of turning it on.
Why you may not get the return you expect from your content marketing
Many people end up being really disappointed with the return they get from their content marketing and the reason for this isn’t hard to see.
Often people write a post and then publish it to their website and then wait.
It’s a bit like going to a networking event and sitting in your car the whole time, wondering why people aren’t talking to you.
You see most people don’t bother to publicise their posts which means that people don’t find out about them which in turn means that people don’t read them.
Typically they get into the cycle of despair and their blog withers on the vine, they stop doing videos and then they believe that content marketing doesn’t work.
Want to find out what the cycle of despair is? Click on the image and download my free accountant’s guide to content marketing
But content marketing does work… if you do it right.
Doing content marketing right
There is a simple step by step process for doing content marketing right.
- Understand what questions your customers are asking (try using Answer the public)
- Work out how you will answer them (blogs, videos etc.)
- Work out how you’ll develop hero content (see this post)
- Get a list building form sorted out
- Work out your keywords based on your subjects
- Set up a content plan
- Write your content
- Publish and then put out publicity posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and anywhere else
- Tell your clients
- Rinse and repeat
Number 10 is really important because just doing one post won’t do anything. Putting out 10 posts is great but putting out 100 is epic.
BTW don’t do 100 posts all at the same time. Do them one a week for two years and watch what happens.
The ROI of content marketing for accountants
The good news is that for most accountants you only need to bring in one or two good clients to make your content marketing worthwhile.
You’ll already know the value of a client so if each client is worth say £2000k per year you probably only need to bring in 2 strong leads to make your entire year’s worth of content worthwhile.
But remember, the more you do, the better it works.
One post won’t earn you anything.
Opinion: does content marketing work for accountants?
No it doesn’t.
Shocked that a content marketer should say that?
Of course you are, because the world is full of lying liars who constantly tell lies and when someone tells you the truth it’s like getting a bucket of frozen eels down the back of your shirt.
But let me explain.
Content marketing doesn’t work for accountants because most accountants don’t work their content marketing.
They don’t focus on a tight target market.
They don’t work out a content plan.
They don’t work the plan.
And they don’t tell people what they have written.
So it fails miserably.
But there’s some really good news here – they are your competition.
Which means that you have a really good opportunity to set yourself apart and do it properly.
So content marketing can work, you just have to pick that low-hanging fruit off the tree.
Dude – would you expect someone to be able to reconcile a bank account when they’ve had no training whatsoever?
Of course you wouldn’t.
So give yourself a break, let’s have a chat and let me show you how I can help.
Book a call now