How to create a marketing strategy and plan for your practice

by | Oct 29, 2021 | Strategy

Our podcast series in partnership with ACCA looks at how to grow your practice through data driven marketing.

We dive into five podcasts on how to use marketing to win the business you want, whether you should become a specialist firm with a niche focus, how to create a marketing strategy and plan for your practice, how marketing can help overcome the price objection, and how to market your firm on a budget.

This week we look at how to create a marketing strategy and plan for your practice, listen to the podcast here.

Even with the best accounting team, excellent services and great customer experience, you risk your efforts being for nothing if you don’t build a strong marketing campaign.

Marketing is what makes you visible to potential clients, so without it, you’re practically invisible.

Can you really reach your ambitions with the client base you’ve got? What happens if they start dropping off, either through retirement or because they’ve gone to another accountant?

To head that off, you need to build a constant flow of new clients.

But just like any of the investments you’ve made, you’ll want your marketing to bring a good return, and to do that, you need a strong marketing plan.

What makes a strong marketing strategy?

The best marketing strategies are formed around one concept from the very beginning of your journey – the ideal client.

We went into great detail into how to find your ideal client in a previous blog, but in short, being client centric is all about understanding your perfect client, their hopes, their dreams and fears.

You should also learn which social media platforms they are using and think of ways you’ll persuade them you’re the best choice to help them with their concerns.

A client centric approach is typically better for accountancy firms because so much of what you do depends on relationships and understanding. If you market to the right clients they’re more likely to be interested in your firm, and to enjoy working with you, hopefully leading to them spending more over a period of many years.

A strong marketing strategy will also be aligned with your business goals,with clearly defined targets and goals, to get your firm where you want it to be both in terms of profitability and reputation.

This requires research on your current marketing activity, website performance and a SWOT analysis. An analysis of your competitor’s marketing can be beneficial, too. Firms often get a kick in motivation when they spot opportunities their competitors missed, or when they realise they really need to step up their marketing game.

Bear in mind that one size doesn’t necessarily fit all, which brings everything back to the need to define your ideal client. This part of the planning process can feel a little abstract, but everything should start clicking together once you get the ball rolling.

How do you create a marketing plan?

Next comes planning the actual mechanisms of your marketing. Assuming that you have a fully functioning and suitably stylish website, content marketing is key as it can cement your reputation as an expert and generate leads.

Gather together themes and topics, including ones that would be great to cover on a seasonal basis. Perhaps you could plan content around events and campaigns you have planned.

Looking for third party media websites to advertise and guest blog on is a great idea, too – they’re often practically screaming for free content and you can use their platform to boost your outreach.

Just remember, though, that content isn’t just writing blog posts, but can also include podcasts, videos and social media posts.

If this sounds like a lot to execute, consider appointing someone to own that plan and shepherd it to completion.

It’s just as important to plan how you’re going to deliver that content. Can your team cope with creating quality content on top of their other commitments? Or do you need to think about freelancers and outsourcing?

Content goes hand in hand with search engine optimisation (SEO), which is partly about using keywords that your ideal client would search for in your copy and blogging. This, along with a raft of other SEO techniques, can help you reach the top of a search engine’s results page as an ‘organic result’.

It takes time to move up the rankings, however, so you might also want to consider paid advertising until you can reap the rewards of your SEO.

Next, plan which social media platforms you’re going to use based on what you learned about your ideal client earlier. You don’t have to get posting on there right away – just claiming those accounts as your own is beneficial.

Measure your return on investment (ROI)

This is an essential part of your marketing and you should build regular checks into your plan to ensure you’re getting a good ROI.

Start with analysis of your outreach activity. How many visitors found you through social media? How many came to you through an organic search or paid Google advertising?

The answers to these questions may reveal where you need to focus more attention or, in the case of paid advertising, where you might get away with spending less money.

Next, use Google Analytics to check which of your website pages are the most popular – your commercial and services pages should be in the top ten at least.

Track website conversions as well to make sure visitors are actually getting in touch with you, filling in their information, downloading your guides and so on. If they aren’t, are you sure your ideal clients are visiting?

If you’ve got your marketing right to match you with your ideal client who will buy your services, then, as a rule of thumb, you’re aiming for:

  • 400-600 visits to your websites per month
  • with a 2-3% conversion rate
  • giving you 10 to 20 enquiries a month.

That might not seem a lot, but if you’ve followed some of our advice on how to build a marketing plan, those enquiries will be the right ones for your firm and extremely valuable as a result.

We can help you with a health check of your website for no cost to your business. Get in touch with us on 0117 915 0420 to learn more.

Listen to the podcast here.

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