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How to use content for marketing your firm

In this post I am going to show you how to use website content to drive a great deal of marketing for very little effort.

The content I’ll be using is a guide to cash flow and a cash flow planning tool which are part of the resources centre that comes with a BizInk website. You are welcome to download and keep the cash flow kit for use on your own website.

Before we look at what to do with the cash flow kit, let’s look at why.

For an accountancy firm, there are several reasons why you need quality website content:

  • It enhances your position as the trusted advisor. Your website is a platform to demonstrate your expertise to a wide audience of clients and potential clients
  • It attracts potential clients either through search engines or through other websites linking to you
  • It adds value. Helping your clients through your website is one the easiest ways to offer more than just compliance work
  • It starts a conversation. If you have engaged somebody with quality website content, they are more likely to contact you about working with them
  • It creates a more personal relationship with clients you may rarely meet. If you’ve bought a firm perhaps you’ve never met some clients at all. Through website content like a blog, video or staff profiles, clients can discover what you look and sound like. Otherwise their only interaction with the firm might be the annual bill
  • It creates efficiencies for your firm. By answering the trivial questions online, you don’t waste time dealing with them by phone or email.

So if we’re agreed that content is a good thing, lets move onto what to do with it.

Taking just the cash flow kit you could do all of the following:

Add the content as web pages
The content can be used as normal website pages. Here’s how you can utilise and benefit from this:

Search engine ranking

Search engines like Google love new content so keeping your site regularly updated will help you move closer to the top of their rankings.

Naturally you’ll be writing about what your clients are interested in. Which means your content will contain the keywords and phrases they type into search engines. Again this helps you get found.

If you are creating good content, other sites will link to you. Having lots of ‘inward links’ will dramatically improve your search engine ranking.

Paid search
If you use paid search advertising like AdWords, you can pull in potential clients by promoting your content.

So using the cashflow kit, you could run an advert like this:
   

Cashflow problems?
Use our free guide and forecast tools

You would make sure the advert ran for related keywords (eg. cash flow, business loan).

Content as downloads
Another way to use the cashflow kit would be as downloads on your site. While you wouldn’t get the search engine benefits like above, downloads can be a great for marketing and sales:

  • People won’t leave your site empty handed. Many accountants’ sites are just online brochures. If the user doesn’t call you (and most won’t) then that’s the end of your contact with them. Offer some useful content, featuring your branding and company details and you leave a lasting impression with them
  • Lead generation. If the content is valuable enough, you could ask for some details like name and email. Don’t ask for too many details – it will discourage people. Once you have their details consider using automated email responses or just follow up with some more useful information. You have then demonstrated your expertise so trying to engage them as a client suddenly becomes a lot easier than a cold prospect
  • Build a marketing list. Similar to the last point you could use the content to build a marketing list. Offer it as an incentive for them to join your marketing list. Again, once you are having conversations with people, then soon some will become clients
  • Send content with accounts. If you prepare accounts for a client who is not managing cash flow too well, you could send them the guide and planning tool. Very little effort on your part but it’s proactive and can start a conversation where you could offer them more in-depth help

Social media
I’m sure you’ve heard the benefits of using social media. But what stops many firms in their tracks is creating enough content to post to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or any other channel.

But with the cash flow kit you could do all of the following with little effort:

  • Add the guide as a blog post or write a ‘teaser’ post linking through to the full guide or the link to download it. Doing this could also help your search engine ranking. And if your blog has RSS feeds, people might see it without even coming to your site
  • You can write a Tweet or Tweets. Something along the lines of ‘Having cash flow problems? Solve them with our free guide and planning tool’. And include a link.
  • You could offer the cash flow kit for download on your social media pages like LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+

Your content will be shared – all social networks offer the chance for users to ‘share’, ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ your content. So once it’s out there, hopefully it will spread to other users via sharing.

Email marketing
The cash flow kit would make a great reason to email your clients. Either as a stand-alone email or as part of your regular newsletter.

Many accountants’ newsletters I read are full of boring compliance content that clients aren’t interested in. Sending them something that is both genuinely useful and free is likely to engage them and give them a reason to contact you.

Partner marketing
I refer to any marketing through friendly third-parties as partner marketing. If you have something to give away, it’s possible to get other organisations to promote your firm.

For example, you could contact the local chamber of commerce and ask if they would like to offer the guide to their members. Obviously you’ll insist that your firm is credited and your contact details included. With enough content, you could make it a regular thing and develop a reputation as a business authority.

PR
While not strictly web related, you could send out a press release based round the cash flow kit.

Include a statistic about how many businesses face cash flow problems. Something like ‘80% of our clients have funding problems and don’t know where to turn’. This hooks the journalist and gives them a good headline.

You can then offer some advice and include links to the content on your website. Not only does this position you as a business expert, it will drive more people to your site.

You aren’t going to get into national publications but the business sections of local newspapers are crying out for stories.

Other uses
A few other ways to use the content:

Link to it from your email signature. Clients will see it and get some added value. For potential clients, it’s another thing to convince them that they should choose you.

Email to a client after a meeting to add value. If you have enough content, about different areas of business, you could send something relevant to the meeting. If my accountant did this I would be very impressed!

Give away on a memory stick at networking events and conferences – more memorable than a pen or keyring!

Sell the guide – you might struggle to get many clients to part with cash for the cash flow kit alone. But if you have lots of great content you could charge a fee to access it. This would work well if you offer monthly fixed price services – it could be a perk of one of your premium packages.

I’ll wrap up there but hopefully that’s shown how powerful content can be.

To download the cash flow kit:

Cash Flow Kit

If you try any of what I suggest, I’d love to know how you get on.

And if you are interested in a website with a whole library of interactive business content, then checkout BizInk websites.

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