Digital and content marketing are some of the most efficient ways for accounting firms to showcase their expertise. Yet nearly half of firms are having difficulty generating enough content, in part because accountants traditionally focus more on billable hours instead of marketing activities.
Savvy marketers and thought leaders know the importance of having good content, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marketing this content could be an important differentiator for your accounting firm. Prospects and clients value having a reliable source of information. They also want content broken down into simple terms to help them make good decisions to get through the crisis. It’s not surprising, then, that more than half of firms that participated in the Hinge Research Institute’s High Growth Study 2020 identified brand differentiation as their top marketing priority.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, some accounting and advisory firms experienced a long-term high level of growth. The study found firms have enjoyed five years of progressively higher growth rates except for in 2017. Hinge researchers found that the median annual growth rate for accounting and financial services firms was 10.5% in 2019, a full two points higher than the 8.5% growth rate in 2018. The median annual growth rate of professional services organizations that participated in the survey was 13% in 2019 compared to 11.1% in 2018. Marketing contributed to the growth of these firms and will continue to do so as we reopen for business.
Accounting Firms Lag Behind in Content Marketing
Hinge discovered that accounting and financial services firms lagged behind other professional service providers in their ability to generate new business leads online. The lack of focus on content marketing by accounting firms leads to a loss in opportunities to generate online leads.
Compared to other types of professional services organizations, accounting and financial services firms are less than half (9.4% compared to 22%) the number of digital disruptors. These firms generate more than two-thirds of their leads from online sources. This represents a tremendous opportunity for firms to gain a competitive advantage, said Lee Frederiksen Ph.D., managing partner of Hinge.
High vs. No Growth Accounting Firms
High-growth accounting and financial services firms are outpacing average growth firms by a 3-to-1 margin. High- growth firms are defined as firms with 20% or more compound annual growth. No-growth firms made up 7.5% of the respondents.
High-growth accounting firms see 25% more impact from their digital and content marketing activities. Publishing original research is the marketing technique that has the most impact at high-growth firms, as firms that frequently publish original research grow 40% faster growth than those that do not.
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About Elieen Monesson
Eileen Monesson, CPC, principal with PRCounts, is a strategic marketer and coach who creates market-dominating brands.