Content marketing is a tool that can help increase traffic to your website, build trust with your audience and boost SEO rankings. Let’s take a look at how these things can be accomplished.
Rusty Fulling, CEO and founder of Fulling Management & Accounting, created a blog 15 years ago for his website and he shared some helpful tips for starting a blog at your accounting firm. To start us off, let’s clear up a few myths.
Myth #1: You have to be a professional writer to start a blog on your website
Writing can be a daunting task to many, especially those who consider numbers to be their forte. But, don’t let fear stop you from trying! Writing isn’t as scary as it may seem, especially when you’re writing about things you’re already an expert in, or passionate about.
Myth #2: You need to write all of the blogs yourself.
This isn’t true. There are many options for finding writers when starting a blog. You can outsource the content, hire freelancers or appoint someone in-house to run your blog.
When Rusty first started out with his blog, he wrote each article himself. Once this became too much, he decided to outsource blogs as a way to supplement their content.
“We outsource a lot of the industry articles so that way we make sure everything is correct,” he said.
Rusty’s firm also finds a lot of their blog content ideas from their very own staff meetings and training.
Now that these myths are dispelled, let’s go over the benefits of having a blog on your business website.
Benefits to business blogging
1. Increase organic traffic to your website
When people share your content, post it on social media or simply click the article, traffic to your website will increase, which in turn can lead to more clients.
One of Rusty’s clients thought Fulling Management & Accounting was the only accounting firm in the area with a website—this obviously wasn’t true, but it was the client’s perception because Fulling Management appeared at the top of most web pages.
Additionally, Google rankings for Rusty’s website did improve, thanks to their blog and SEO strategy.
2. Build trust with your audience
Customers want to know that they’re in good hands when they decide to partner with a business. Maintaining a blog filled with helpful information and resources shows clients and prospects that your accounting firm knows what they are talking about, is an industry expert and trusted source of information.
Additionally, most consumers out there are wary and want to do their research before signing any contracts. What better way to vet a potential accounting firm than to hear from that firm’s very own clients! Content marketing can help your firm be in charge of your story and help make your clients the hero of that story.
“For our company, the story brand model is so important. We want to be the guide and really walk them through their journey,” Rusty explained. “Our blog sometimes will include videos and you’ll hear stories from our clients as to where they were before we started with them, what we did for them, and what the result has been. And for a new company that's checking us out, getting to read a story about somebody else who was in their shoes is relatable. So, they can go ‘Yeah, that's me. And here's where I'd like to be.’”
3. Open up new marketing opportunities
Blogs are a great way to engage with prospects and help position your accounting firm as a great resource to potential customers. Plus, when you have a lot of content, you have more things you can use in other avenues—like social media posts, a newsletter and emails.
Additionally, content helps keep your accounting firm top of mind for people. Just listen to an anecdote from Rusty about this: “I had an attorney who had printed out our blog article and put it on his desk, and then forgot about it. Six months later, while cleaning off his desk, he came across the blog article and thought, “Oh I need to refer this client over to them.’”
A few things to keep in mind
1. If you decide to start a blog, keep up with it
The important thing to remember is that if you’re going to have a blog, it’s important to update it regularly with valuable content—no one likes to see an outdated blog that hasn’t been updated in a few years.
It’s also crucial to stay consistent with your messaging across all of your channels.
Rusty even had a prospective client say they chose Fulling Management because the blog was frequently updated, which showed the client they care about their craft and there’s a real human behind the website.
2. Know your audience
If your accounting firm targets a niche audience, hit hard on topics relevant to that demographic. For example, if your firm is focused on the real estate industry, be sure to post helpful resources for real estate agents that simultaneously convey your expertise in that subject. Blogs are not only a great way to engage with prospects, it’s also a great way to keep customers informed and keep your accounting firm top of mind. (post helpful resources for your target audience)
Knowing your audience also means knowing what to write about, and what not to write about. Try to do research to find out what resonates with your target demographic and start there.
“What may be interesting to a tax professional might not be quite as interesting to a creative marketing business owner. So, make your stories applicable,” Rusty said.
3. Readability is key
Making information accessible is crucial to the success of your blog. In fact, research found that blogs written at a lower reading level performed higher than more complex blogs.
Along with that point, it’s best to avoid jargon and CPA lingo.
“Do not use CPA talk, make it readable for your clients, for whoever you're working with” Rusty advised. “I think that's one of the challenges we see with some others that do blogs— they sometimes are so technical in nature that users have no idea what you're talking about.”
Get your blog started today
Ready to get started with a blog of your own? Here are 5 general blog topics to give you a jumpstart.
- 3 things every small business owner should know about outsourcing accounting
- How hiring an accountant can help every [insert your niche market] grow their business
- Explaining confusing terms your CPA might use
- 5 tax laws that impact your business
- Why you need an accountant to scale your business growth