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10 Local Marketing Ideas For Your Accounting Firm
You’re an accountant and a professional service provider. Say, you’re placed in Bristol. Would you advertise your services in Newcastle? You probably wouldn’t, and for a good reason. That’s because you intuitively understand what local marketing is.
As wonderfully explained by Marketing-Schools.org,
“Local marketing—also referred to as local store marketing or neighborhood marketing—specifically targets the community around your business. Promotional messages are directed to the local population, rather than the mass market.”
Local marketing is all about common sense. However, in order to get the most out of it and help you generate new business for your accounting firm, you’ll need to learn an additional thing or two.
See our great ideas for local marketing that won’t break the bank, but will reap great results:
1. Get on social media
When it comes to marketing strategies that are easy on the pocket, nothing beats social media. Join Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or any other platform that you know your target audience hangs out on.
With professional service providers like yours, it’s not about getting large numbers of followers. On the contrary, fewer followers is fine as long as you build solid relationships with them. In order to do that, they have to be interested in what you have to offer.
With the help of social media tools such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck, you can now target your audience by their geolocation and step up your local marketing techniques. TheNextWeb explained this point on the example of HootSuite’s new geo-targeting feature:
“It enables (HootSuite’s) enterprise clients to create user profiles with location-based settings, so that the target audience for any published status update is restricted by either the language or location of the user on Facebook.”
2. Good content takes you far
We say this time and again, but there’s just no way around it – content is king. Explore your own marketing ideas and start an accounting blog, create appealing infographics, educational videos, webinars…
There’s a plethora of options out there, so pick whichever ones convey your message best.
You can also tailor your blog and website so that they’re local-search friendly. Bear in mind SEO keywords can point potential customers in the area towards your accounting firm. Make your articles and pages local-specific by addressing some key issues related to accounting and finance in your community (there’s never a shortage of those!).
Lastly, track and analyze your traffic to learn how your visitors get to your site, tweak it accordingly for optimal performance, and repeat until you’re satisfied with the results.
3. Host a free class
Why not host a free lecture where you can educate your audience about some of their pressing concerns related to money or accounting? If you specialise in tax accounting, for instance, you can hold an educational class that would help people get a better grasp of their taxes.
All you need is a conference room or classroom, some flyers for the event you can hand out across town, and a pinch of goodwill and eagerness to share. In return, people will appreciate your genuine attempt to help and will regard you as the go-to authority on accounting matters.
4. Meet and greet
Let’s take a short trip down the memory lane. Remember when people actually met in person and made business deals face-to-face? Yes, that method is still in play, and it is still (perhaps now more than ever) effective.
A good personal impact goes a long way: stay personally accessible, be a good listener, give heed to others’ concerns. Shake hands firmly and top it off by handing out your professionally-made, attractive-looking business card.
People recognise a genuine approach, and a few simple, heartfelt gestures will not fail to make a positive impression. Some of these will inevitably result in new business for your accounting firm.
5. Participate in trade exhibitions and conferences
Trade exhibitions and conferences that are locally based are an excellent opportunity to network, promote your business, and keep up-to-date with your industry. In addition, by monitoring what your competition is doing you can always stay one step ahead of the rest.
6. Write an opinion piece
Consider contributing to your local newspaper with an opinion piece on a current financial topic, written in a simple style that will appeal to a wider audience. Local publications are often a better option than mass national newspapers, because they allow you to target potential clients in your area more closely.
7. Buy advertising space in a local newspaper
Same as with opinion pieces, you can hit home with smaller local magazines and newspapers much sooner than with large national newspapers. Traditional ads are still a powerful means for drawing attention to your business, especially when it comes to the more mature population who is not so keen on digital media.
News Works claims that newspaper ads generate 5 GBP for every 1 GBP spent, so it’s still a method well worth investing your money in.
8. Sponsor a local team
The problem with accounting sometimes is that people find it too tedious. With that in mind, why not prove them wrong and sponsor a sports team, a charity organisation, or an event?
By financially supporting an individual, a group, or an organisation that’s perceived as fun, exciting or relevant, people will immediately associate you with warmer emotions. As a result, they will start seeing you as closer and more approachable.
Local volunteering or sponsoring a charity is another fantastic way of giving back to the community. While the ROI on such marketing activities may not always be palpable, it will do wonders for your reputation and significantly raise your brand awareness.
9. Dabble in public speaking
You may not be one for public speaking, but as with most other things, it’s a skill that can be learned and practised. Contact schools and community organisations in your area and see if they’re interested in you delivering a public speech on a fitting subject.
The benefits of public speaking are numerous: you can make a strong impact on your audience, motivate and engage them, all the while raising awareness about what you do. Your speech doesn’t necessarily have to be about accounting or finance: talk about matters that you’re passionate about, matters that affect your community.
Your audience will automatically assume you care so strongly about everything you do.
10. Enlist in online directories
Remember those massive yellow books you used to go through when you urgently needed a plumber in the middle of the night? The so-called yellow pages have now been replaced by online listings and directories.
Not being on those is like not having a business card, so make sure your accounting firm is enlisted on the most relevant web directories for your area.
On a similar note: all smartphones nowadays come with the GPS feature, so their users are able to find a list of all service providers in their vicinity whenever needed.
“88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.” – Local Vox.
That’s why it’s really important your site is mobile-friendly.
To sum it all up…
Local marketing boils down to one simple rule: be consistent. All the tips mentioned above will not cost you a fortune, but they will generate you new business if done properly and applied consistently. The impact of some of these techniques may not be always measured easily nor immediately, but they’re bound to make a significant difference over time.