Think about all of the accounting content marketing you do in a day, a week, or even a year. If you stopped producing all of the content you’re currently putting out, would your clients notice? That was the question behind Joe Pulizzi’s keynote at the 2021 AAM Summit. Now, if you answered “no” to the above question, this blog, session, and Joe’s book are probably for you.
If accounting firms want to be indispensable to their clients, we all need to be creating content our clients are hungry to see. So what does Joe suggest we do to accomplish this tall order? How can we use content in our business to drive revenue and do things we haven’t done in the past? He offers the following 7 tips to get us thinking.
Less Content, More Impact
You may think the answer is writing more content, but instead, what you need to think about is focus. In accounting content marketing, it’s easy to get stuck thinking you need to be everywhere your potential clients might be. But following the model of the most popular brands, take podcasters for example, they aren’t trying to do a podcast AND YouTube AND a blog AND social media posts all at the same time. They’re taking one platform and working to make it great, expanding from there. Don’t add to the clutter. Instead, focus your content and work on it packing more of a punch. If what you’re putting out isn’t having an impact (Take Lee’s example from not really networking via social media in our recent blog) then why are you creating it? Do one or two things and get to that “great” line before moving forward.
Joe Pulizzi suggests the following formula, which will be expanded upon in the rest of the blog:
Target Audience + One Content Tilt + One Content Type + One Main Platform
Tune up your content tilt
Think about what your firm can do better than anyone else. You could have unique knowledge areas or unparalleled skill levels in one service area – this is where your sweet spot lies. The content tilt is a new perspective that you can offer due to your specific experience. Find that area of no to little competition that gives you a chance to break through with your information. And when you’re sharing this information, be very specific with your audience. Joe used the following example – are you going for dentists, or are you going for dentists who have multiple offices in Philadelphia who have over $2.5 million in revenue? The more specific you get with your audience, the more niche you can go with your content, and the more precise you’ll be with your audience’s particular pain points.
While some content areas run the risk of all sounding the same, think about your positioning as well. The difference may come from how you tell the story versus what you’re telling. The difference could also come from the outlet where you’re sharing the story – are there opportunities you could harness on Twitch? What about Clubhouse?
Build/review your content mission statement
Once you have a better idea of what you want to say and who you want to share it with, you’ll want to develop your content mission statement. This should include your core target audience, what will be delivered, and the desired outcome. It could be delivered as such: “Where [audience X] finds [content Y] for [benefit Z].” These statements should be specific to one audience that you serve. The mission statement also doesn’t have to be stuck in time. It can serve as a living, breathing statement that changes when you get feedback from your audience.
Be consistent or don’t even bother
Once you’ve made your promise of what you offer, it’s time to show up. In this section, Joe talks about showing up and being interesting. Decide the cadence that makes sense (weekly or every other week for blogs, for instance), the content you’ll include, and the length of this content. Start with a couple platforms to start, no more. For example, The Tilt is using 1 platform (newsletter) and 2 social channels (Discord and Twitter).
If you’re looking to improve your content, a great way to do it is to hire or contract talent. Look at media outlets you admire, competitors you’d like to emulate. Who might you be able to contact to get you to that next level of content creation?
Acquire content assets
Going the next step further, if you’re looking to really make some moves, think about what it might take to acquire content assets. Who are your content competitors? Do they have blogs, podcasts, etc.? Make a list and start building relationships and partnerships with these competitors. Figure out if there’s an opportunity to purchase that property down the line.
Prepare Multiple Revenue Sources
Instead of 1-2 revenue sources, you could have up to 10. How do you get there, and what could you consider? Premium content, affiliate content, subscriptions, events/conferences, all kinds of things you can deliver to a loyal audience. Don’t limit yourself to what others are doing. Think about what you could offer and where you could grow in ways other media companies have that might feel unconventional at first.
If you haven’t already, you can access the Summit recordings via the AAM Store. You can also pick up a copy of Joe Pulizzi’s book, Content Inc., to learn more about how content can help build audience and revenue.
About Sammi Dittloff
Sammi Dittloff is a Marketing Consultant, writer, and founder of Needs More Fiber, an agency dedicated to adding substance to a brand's content. She previously worked as the Marketing Director for Chortek LLP for 3 years. As a freelance content marketer, consultant, and strategist, Sammi specializes in content strategy, brand manuals, SEO, and analytics. She has 15 years of experience in marketing, writing, promotions, advertising, and analytics. Sammi was a Media Writing TA while pursuing her MA in Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and has since returned to school for an MS in Nutrition. Her latest projects can be found at needsmorefiber.com and hisammi.com.