5 items of content marketing that every accountant must use

Two accountants content marketing discussion

For go-ahead accountants content marketing is the way to go.

If you are looking to grow your practice, or if you just want to make sure your current clients are more engaged and understand all the services that you offer, then you need to be producing content.

And there are some bits of content that are absolutely essential for your content marketing.

So here’s my list of the top 5 things you need to be doing to make sure your accountancy firm stays ahead of the game with its marketing.

#1 – Blog posts

You have got a blog haven’t you?

This the absolute number 1 thing you need.

Firstly it shows your clients that you are an up to date, current practice rather than a firm that put a website up just because it was the done thing.

Make sure you are producing useful stuff though, and make sure its relevant to your focused target market.

And if you don’t have the time then pay me to do it.


Yellow tomato - content advice for accountants
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#2 – Technical updates

OK so I’m not talking about technical updates in the way that you or I understand them.

What I am talking about is a digest of a technical development but presented in an easy to understand format.

The aim here is to inform your clients about changes like MTD or RTS but in a way that makes is accessible for them.

Essentially you are saying “here’s a problem, here’s how we can solve it for you.”

#3 – Videos

OK so I know you don’t like to see yourself on the screen and you hate the sound of your own voice but 82% of Twitter users for instance consume video content.

But don’t worry. It’s perfectly acceptable to employ an actor to voice or present your videos and they can be surprisingly cheap.

You can also use things like Powtoon to produce an animated video that doesn’t even need to feature you as a talking head.

#4 – Webinars

Remember that you aren’t really selling anything on your site, as a professional what you are looking to do is to increase your credibility in the mind of the client.

Webinars on specific subjects of interest to your clients are a great way to do this.

Look at linking up with other professionals who may have more experience and pool your resources and this can be a very cheap way of driving traffic.

Just make sure you record it so that users can watch it later on.

#5 – Expert reports, white papers or eBooks

One of the first questions that academics get asked when they are looking for a job is “what have you published”.

It’s a way of potential employers understanding how much of an expert the professor or researcher actually is.

So that’s my question for you – “what have you published”?

Producing a meaty piece of content that explores a subject in depth and cements your reputation as a subject matter expert is perfect.

It’s also great for using in an advertising or link building campaign.

Use content marketing for your accountants to grow your firm

Content marketing has a great ROI and done properly it can be long lived and very cost effective.

There are tens, maybe hundreds of types of content marketing that accountants can use but you MUST have these five.

Admittedly this takes time and may need a bit of expert advice and that’s where I come in.

call now or drop me a message and let’s talk about how I can help you boost your practice marketing.

Do keywords matter when you are copywriting for accountants?

An accountant who needs copywriting

This is a question that pops up from time to time as I’m regularly asked if I will put some keywords into the copywriting for accountants that I do.

The problem is of course that the answer is that ‘it depends’.

So in this post, I thought I’d explore this in more detail and look at the whole issue of keywords.

Getting accountancy clients isn’t physical sales.

To my mind, the debate has been taken over by physical sales marketing, in other words, the use of keywords and phrases is all about a transactional relationship with the client.

The problem is that this is rarely the way to sell accountancy services as they rely on the build-up of trust between the client and the firm.

So simply packing blog posts with keywords is probably going to do more harm than good, especially in the eyes of Google.

So keywords are no good then?

Nah, that ‘s not what I said.

Keywords are fine for pointing people at the valuable content you have on offer.

They are a way of telling Google what is on your site but I’d argue that once the visitor is on the site it is much more about building a level of trust.

And the truth is that for trust based services like accountancy, people generally don’t buy because they saw you at the top of the search engine results pages.

I’d also say that marketing for clients works much better when it is away from the Google search pages and done on an individual basis.

In short, I think that when you are commissioning copy for an accountancy practice you are better off looking at the meat of the copywriting rather than the fluff of keywords. Treat them as a ‘nice to have’.

Copywriting for accountants – what’s the use?

Well it’s all about credibility.

Look at it this way, imagine you were wanting to find a good practice near you that was up to date and had their finger on the pulse.

You go to a website and find that the last blog post was written in 2014 and was about tax rates.

You’re pretty certain that the tax regime has changed since then (it has) so you are suddenly mistrustful of the site and it puts you off.

So you go and look at another site and you find that they have a wealth of posts about different areas of their practice.

You even find out something that you didn’t know.

So you feel much more confident about the firm, the people and about contacting them for more information.

And this is the crucial difference between selling services and DVDs.

A great set of keywords will sell DVDs directly from the site.

A great set of keywords won’t sell your accounting services, but when people hit your site, poor quality content will certainly lose you the sale.

Want more information about digital marketing?

I’ve produced an in-depth guide that you can download for free by clicking here

Copywriting for accountants – what is LSI?

Financial copywriter at his desk

When you start to think about getting some copywriting for your accountants practice you may well come across the phrase ‘LSI’ and wonder what on earth it is.

Well wonder no more. This post will tell what it is and how to get it.

Latent Semantic Indexing – LSI

OK so let’s take a walk back in time to the dawn of the internet.

If you wanted to know something about paperclips then you’d probably type into Ask Jeeves and you’d get presented with a series of results based purely on the amount of times the pages mentioned ‘paperclip’ in their text.

The problem with this is that people can game the system and so by simply using the word paperclips a gazillion times on their pages they can rank highly.

This is where things get interesting

Fast forward a few years and Google decides to stop people playing the search engines and start presenting results based, in part, on LSI.

Cut to the chase – what is LSI?

So LSI means all the words that are likely to exist around the word or phrase you are looking for in normal speech.

So for example, let’s imagine you are looking for information about paperclips.

Take two sites, one is a Will making site and one is a Paperclip supplier site.

The Will making site may have a phrase “don’t paperclip things to your original Will because they may go missing”.

Whilst the paperclip site may have a phrase “Paperclips are usually made from mild steel and plastic and are often sold in paper or carboard boxes.”

So the LSI for paperclips would be words like ‘Steel’, Plastic, ‘Cardboard’, ‘Paper’.

You wouldn’t expect these words to turn up on the Will making site.

But if you were looking for Wills then you’d expect things like ‘Testament’, ‘original’,’document’ etc.

So Google knows that one site is about paperclips because it says paperclips and because it has the words around it that make it more likely.

So how do you find your own LSI keywords?

One of the easiest ways to discover what your LSIs are is to do a Google search on your keywords.

Then just scan down the results and make a note of the words that keep appearing in the little snippets of the site.

Assess each word or phrase for whether you would naturally expect it to turn up next to your keywords.

Voila!

You have a list of LSI keywords.


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Copywriting for accountants – 6 ways it can help your marketing

copywriting for accountants

When I say “copywriting for accountants”, many people tell me that they are unsure about what a copywriter actually does.

I thought I’d put together a post and show the ways that a great copywriter can really make a difference to the marketing output of a typical accountants practice.

Copywriting for accountants is a specialised profession and truthfully not every copywriter can do it, so we should all play to our strengths!

What is a copywriter?

Let’s deal with the word first of all. What exactly is a copywriter?

Well I suppose the best definition is that we are wordsmiths.

We work with words in the same way as accountants work with numbers.

Think about all of those little tricks and tips you have picked up over the years, dividing by 9 to see if the difference you are seeing is a transposition error, making absolutely sure that balance sheets actually balance etc.

All of these tips go towards making you a brilliant accountant and much better and quicker at doing the work for your clients.

Copywriters are the same.

A good copywriter for accountants will have a basket full of techniques that they can bring to bear to help your marketing shine.

Now not all copywriters are equal, we all have our strengths and weaknesses and some might specialise in a particular area whilst others are more generalist in nature.

So here are the ways that using great copywriting for your accountant’s practice can really help.

Tip #1 – They will professionalise your website

This is probably the first thing that any potential client will look at when they are checking you out.

A great copywriter will refine your content so that it speaks directly to your target audience.

They will tease out the points of difference that will help you compare very favourably to the opposition.

They will also be able to make sure that your on-page SEO is up to scratch and that your website ranks as high as it should do.


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Wondering whether you need a financial copywriter for your firm? Click the image to find out more.

Tip #2 – Developing your tone of voice

It may seem odd to suggest that writing on a page has a ‘tone of voice’ but it does.

Check out these two examples one from Virgin wines here and one from BMW here.

Both completely different businesses, both very successful but with totally different language and manner.

A great copywriter will be able to work with you to make sure you are speaking your client’s language.

For accountants this is really important as if we are being hones, we can get a bit technical at times. A copywriter for accountants will understand this and ensure that the copy is accurate and accessible but not dumbed down.

Tip #3 – They will write outreach mails that work

If you receive enquiries or if you buy mailing lists then you will need to speak to your potential clients.

A great copywriter will be able to craft a mail, whether that be snail mail or email, that will really resonate with the recipient.

Personally, I’d estimate that getting a copywriter to write your outreach emails will at a minimum double the response rate.

Tip #4 – They will be able to write content that really works.

Whether you are posting to your blog, adding content to social sites or sending out hard copy newsletters, a great copywriter will be able to produce the goods.

Truthfully, there’s no point in putting stuff out there that doesn’t deliver and one of the best ways of achieving a ROI for your marketing budget is to get great copy right from the start.

Writing copy for accountants is an important part of the marketing mix so make sure that you have someone who knows what they are doing.

Tip #5 – Copywriting for accountants will increase engagement with your current clients.

Everyone loves to feel like they belong and one of the best ways of ensuring that you retain your clients is by giving them that sense of belonging.

A great copywriter for accountants will be able to produce content that really speaks to your clients and lets them know that they are valued and an important part of the practice family.

Tip #6 – Copywriting for accountants will increase your per client revenue.

One of the easiest ways to increase revenue and profit is to sell more to the same group of clients.

Having a specialist accountancy copywriter on board will give you the ability to introduce new services to clients who wouldn’t ordinarily take advantage of them.

By using carefully crafted case studies, white papers and ebooks a copywriter will weave in stories of how your services can really help add value for your clients.


Want a free guide to content marketing for accountants? Click the image.

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Copywriting for accountants really does make a difference

You only get a sense of how good a copywriter is for an accountancy practice once they start producing really good content.

You’ll start to see enquiries increase, engagement take off and per client billing rocket.

After all that’s what we want, happy clients and more of them.

Using the services of a specialist copywriter for accountants mean that you can forget about your marketing and concentrate on your day job.

Now where could you find one?

What happened when I bought some cheap writing

Why buying cheap copy is a mistake

Anyone who runs a business will have heard the phrase “we’ve found someone who can do it cheaper”.

It’s annoying but understandable.

After all, it takes a lot of work to earn money and you want to know that you are getting full value for your Pounds, Euros or Dollar.

But I thought I’d have a go and see what it goes like when you buy cheap writing.

I decided to use one of the most popular freelance sites (I won’t say which one) and set a project.

I posted a project that asked for people to write a 600-word blog post called “6 things to think about when choosing a payroll system” and chose three writers to work with.

The replies began to ping into my inbox almost instantly which gave me a first clue.

Not all the people offering to do the work were writers!

I posted the project and within seconds I got proposals.

From graphic designers

And WordPress developers.

Now don’t get me wrong. They might well have been cruising the site and just pinged off an application but I’m suspecting not.

In fact I think they have a really clever bot that sends a standard application the moment a vaguely matching project gets posted.

Which means that the vast majority of applications I got were from people that weren’t really writers at all.

Frankly, if I wanted to get someone to do some copywriting for my accountants practice I’d want someone who did it at least part-time!

What content did they provide?

There were three different outcomes from the people I chose.

The first guy sounded the best and so I held out high hopes for him and sure enough 600 words arrived on time.

It was well written, made complete sense and I could tell that it was written by someone who really understood the subject.

Which is understandable because he’d stolen it off a website.

I put it through my plagiarism checker and guess what? He’d not even bothered to change a word.

Imagine the damage that would do to your business if you posted this and the original owner found out.


Content marketing is like a hot air balloon
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Number 2 was a lady who looked like she knew what she was doing. I sent off the brief and then waited.

Nothing.

So I sent her a message and asked what was up.

“Oh yes, some problems but I’ll get it to you tomorrow”

Nothing.

I sent another message but got no reply. Ever.

When you are working to a marketing plan it’s very very inconvenient if copy you expected doesn’t turn up.

I had high hopes for number three. After all we can’t have three duds in a row can we?

So this guy was a day late with the work, but at least he actually did it.

It wasn’t plagiarised and I could see why.

It included such gems as;

” So before making the system fully functional it’s functionality check should be carried out so that when it gets deployed in practical there are no chances of errors the working goes smooth.”

Or this

There are a lot of advantages a Payroll system have like it gives much accuracy , saves time and all the things become automated so human resource is saved.”

What you can’t be doing is paying good money for content that you have to essentially re-write or constantly have to speelcheck (just my little joke).


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Why quality copywriting is important for accountants

Any content you produce as an accountant (or for any professional service) is designed to show your competency in a particular field.

So if you are paying for content that isn’t accurate, well researched and grammatically correct then you are becoming a hostage to fortune.

Quality content does cost more, but employing an expert financial copywriter means that you’ll get work that you don’t have to check for accuracy and that will show your practice in the best possible light.

A great financial copywriter will also understand on-page SEO, which means that your posts are more likely to rank highly on Google.

Buying cheap is rarely the best option.

Want to talk about financial copywriting?

Mail me, call me, fill in the form and let’s have a chat.