Accounting and advisory firm marketers need technology to do and tell them more than ever before. While new marketing technology (martech) tools are rolled out every week, it seems, tech-savvy marketers are looking beyond individual tactics to ensure martech solutions integrate with other firm technology to play a bigger role in CPA firm growth.
Automation for the People
When it comes to martech, FlashPoint Digital’s Chief SEO Strategist Brian Swanson thinks accounting and advisory firm marketers don’t have to be tech experts to effectively leverage tech tools. They do, however, need to have a bit of passion and learn the vernacular.
“Marketers who understand the power of martech to generate leads are more likely to be invited to sit at the table with firm decision makers,” Swanson said. “If a marketer can take a website budget of $150,000 and generate $750,000 in revenue, the partners will be happy to give them what they want going forward.”
Website automation products will be essential in the next 10 years, he said, but it’s not just about moving data from one system to another. It’s about qualifying a lead to move it through the sales process more efficiently.
Swanson cited examples of essential automation such as AI-based chat features commonly used now by multinational business-to-consumer corporations, as well as SEO tools such as Yoast SEO Pro and those for structured data. Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content. Search engines use structured data found on the web to understand the content of a page, Swanson said.
“That information needs to be added by someone, but many firms don’t understand its function and don’t do it,” he said. “There are several plug-ins that automate structured data population based on AI read-out of the article or blog. There’s a corresponding component called JSON script that needs to go with the blog or video, and that’s becoming automated instead of it being left up to the individual user.”
Other tasks that can be automated include ongoing tracking of keyword positions and website crawls using an independent crawler to look at a site and identify problems.
Content Still King
Website automation by itself won’t generate leads, Swanson said. He recommends that firms develop their content foundation first — targeted articles written by partners or ghostwriters, canned subscription content, webinars or videos.
“The background of all the changes Google has made over the years is content quality,” Swanson said. “That’s why ghostwriters are in demand in our industry. The way we convey information may change over the years, but it will always be about informing and educating the user.”
Read more about how martech is helping transform marketing strategy and impacting firm growth in the Fall 2021 issue of Growth Strategies.
About Heather Kunz
Heather Kunz is the manager of marketing and business development, Williams, Benator & Libby.