The final step on the accountant’s content marketing journey is actually sharing the content you’ve been creating. In my previous three articles, I’ve talked about the actual content you’ll create - who it’s for, where it goes, what topics to cover.
Once you’ve started on the path of creating content regularly, you get into a good pattern. You blog weekly or start recording videos. You’re saving the questions clients ask into a list, and you’re starting to answer those questions with content.
Now... how do you get people to find your content? Or how do you get MORE people to find it than are finding it now?
The final three (of twelve) content marketing elements address this: events, campaigns, and social media.
We might have Xerocon in our minds when we think of events - zip lines, full parks with real grass in an exhibition hall, amazing food, disco lights and a big party, thousands of people milling about.
But even a small firm can run a successful “event”. Getting two or three people together in a boardroom - or even a co working space - can qualify as an event. Pick a topic, either charge them or have the event free, and work on that particular topic with those who are there.
The power of an event is not in the sheer numbers: it’s in the impact it has on those who attend. If you impact three people so their business and life are even slightly improved, you’ve held a successful event.
If you’re considering running an event for your firm:
• Create an event campaign plan. Even the smallest event takes more admin and planning than you realise. Ask us for a free event campaign plan to get you started - we’ll send you the Gsheet. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Make the topic about them, not you. Events on “making tax digital” were historically not very well attended. But events on “getting paid faster” or “building a website for your business” were much better attended, because it felt relevant to their current issues.
• Invite a guest speaker from one of the Xero apps. If it’s a topic you know a little less about, you can still run the event by bringing in a speaker who knows that particular topic really well. Choose an app and focus on that issue - not the app itself necessarily, but the issue and problem your clients face. Then invite an app to be part of it.
• Share it everywhere, over and over. You will be tempted not to “over share” your event, but the truth is people need to see it appearing in many different places before they decide to attend. Share links on the socials. Send emails. Write a blog post about the topic you’ll be covering. Record and post videos about the power of the event. If people keep seeing it appear (and others are going too) they’re more likely to attend.
• Follow up is 90% of the work. After the excitement of the event is over, send emails and make calls and even send physical post to follow up. Take the notes you have of conversations you’ve held and encourage attendees to take action.
If instead of running an event you’re attending one, you can still use it as a launch pad to great marketing. Write the blogs, record the video, share live footage on socials, follow up.
Developing a ‘marketing campaign’ sounds like a big achievement (or investment), and it can be both. But it can also be as simple as a list of a few actions you’ll take relating to an event you attended.
I suggest creating a simple campaign in a Gsheet, with a list of actions you’ll do relating to one particular topic or area. It could be a new service you’re offering, or a problem or issue your clients are facing (no cash, low profits, recruiting issues).
Start your campaign with a Gsheet, with columns for:
• The action itself: what exactly do you need to do? Be very specific - “Post on the socials” will never happen. “Write content for Facebook post” is a lot more achievable, and you can follow it up with “Choose image to go with Facebook post”, “Get image redesigned in brand colours”, and specific actions like these.
• The category: This helps you see whether you have a ton of actions relating to social media, but none relating to content, or vice versa. Categories include website, email, blogging, social media, video, analytics, at least!
• Responsible person: Who is actually going to do all these things? If they’re all you, get some help (either within the firm or outsourced).
• Due date: Pick a date that’s reasonable enough to be possible, but challenging enough to push you a little. Get someone in the firm (your PA, an admin or receptionist) to hold you accountable. Give them the authority to truly hold you accountable, not just send you reminders you ignore.
Social is such a vast area - the more we learn about it, the more we discover how unique each platform is. Facebook is vastly different from Instagram or Twitter or LinkedIn. Knowing how each one works, and adapting your content to each accordingly, will help you get better engagement.
The “big five” of social media are as follows (in no particular order). These are my perceptions from using them and seeing clients use them:
Facebook: Almost solidly in the “old school” category now. Used primarily for groups. You can post on your business Facebook page or your personal “public profile” now and then, but there’s a lot less engagement and it’s more for a reminder your business is still around.
LinkedIn: Accountants love it because it “feels more professional”, but the question (as with all socials) is, does your target audience love it? Do they use it? If not, don’t waste too much of your time there and go where your clients are. If your audience is there, post thoughts, articles, and video. And tag people when relevant - that gets you more visibility. Don’t go crazy with the hashtags.
Twitter: Still in high use, but much more for either politics or events. We’re seeing impact from firms who’ve been using Twitter consistently and faithfully for years. Post a few times a week, tag other people and accounts, use hashtags on a limited basis. Make sure you use good images - they matter immensely. Either get custom photographs taken or get branded imagery designed.
Instagram: It’s becoming fairly popular with accountants - and it’s been my personal favourite for years. My suggestion is not too make it too “business-y”. This is not for business accounts really - it’s for making connections, sharing real life photos and video, being creative or artsy, and staying up to date on people’s lives. Use it that way. I’d recommend a personal instagram account rather than a business one, if you have to choose. It has a bigger impact in the long run.
YouTube: It doesn’t feel like “the typical socials” because it doesn’t have the same posting types, but YouTube still remains one of the most powerful platforms for findability. Record videos regularly (even if they’re rubbish at first) and KEEP GOING. It can take six months to get even a few followers; and then the next six months they’ll double, and the next six months they’ll quadruple… Most people give up too soon.
So there you have it! Run an event (or attend one), create a campaign for even the smallest marketing actions, and share your content regularly on the socials. Doing these will go a long way to get your firm ‘seen’ - and all the content you’ve been working so hard to create.
Thank you for joining us for all four ‘episodes’ of great content marketing for accountants!