Marketing your accounting firm today should include a desktop and mobile site that is optimised for search and that will convert leads into calls and emails.

The end of financial year sees competition among accountancy companies reach fever pitch. A bit of planning and marketing smarts can see your firm rise above the noise.

To state the bleeding obvious, the months around 30 June, or the “end of financial year,” should be a boom time for all tax practitioners.

But what if you seem to be always falling short? As the saying goes, “Time and tide wait for no man”, so figuring out how to maximise your client pool should be at the top of the agenda.

Online marketing in its various guises – such as directories, search engine marketing, social media, and of course proprietary websites – represent a golden opportunity regarding getting your name out there.

In an excellent article on the Accounting Today website, online marketing executive Court Cunningham says while it takes the time to get started, maintain and measure the success of any digital marketing program, you'll “see the benefits if you stick with it.”

“For accountants, establishing credibility should be the priority, and what clients see about you and your firm online will make all the difference.”

“Marketing your accounting firm today should include a desktop and mobile site that is optimised for search and that will convert leads into calls and emails,” he advises. “You should also consider organic and paid search ads to generate awareness and allow prospects to find you and your website.”

“Lastly, some light blogging and a solid presence on social media can be a great way to keep in touch with your existing clients and showcase your success and credibility.”

Another enthusiast, Ailsa Page, warns, however, that while digital marketing has “irrevocably increased promotional opportunities” for professional service providers, and “those who were early to adopt online promotion could reap the rewards and not pay a lot for it... It would appear that the online promotion space is now harder to gain advantage without spending money.”

“The small business freebie and cheapie internet glory days are almost over,” the managing director at AP Marketing Works says in an article on the MYOB website.

“It is much harder to have internet success without some spend in search engine optimisation, Google or Facebook Advertising and boosting posts.”

“The other big cost for businesses is time. It takes time to manage social media, update websites, find or create content for blogs, research keywords and measure marketing efforts.”

Or, as a blog post on the Xero website contends, “You don't necessarily need a huge budget, but you do need the drive and desire to try new things and learn from the results.”

“Like any aspect of running a small business, digital marketing is all about effort – the more you put in, the better the results will be,” the post says.

“The digital environment is constantly changing. If you're nimble and determined, your small business will get the best out of it.”

“If something's not working, change it. Keep refreshing your marketing campaigns, testing new ideas, and watching e-commerce companies to find out how best to promote your products. Stay active and never stop learning.”

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