You already know that a good content strategy can differentiate your firm from the competition. But, for accounting marketers, producing quality accounting content, on a regular basis and then maximizing their efforts can lead to more than a few “Grade A” headaches.
Producing quality accounting content a big job, but it can be done.
The Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) asked Abbey Kanellakis to share insight, tips, and techniques on how she has eliminated common content marketing frustrations at her firm, Rea & Associates, where she works as a practice growth manager and content production specialist.
In an Oct. 30 AAM High webinar, Kanellakis explained how accounting marketers can reveal sources of firm content that’s hiding in plain sight.
How To Find Content To Help Market Your CPA Firm
Kanellakis says your firm is “fertile ground” for producing quality accounting content, as long as you know where to find it. For example, she said not every new blog post has to be created from scratch. You can simply look around at what’s already been published or at other readily available sources of information.
Kanellakis shared the following tips to help others in the accounting marketing profession “work smarter, not harder” when it comes to fueling their content marketing strategy.
- Update existing blog posts.
- Publish short sections of longer thought leadership pieces and encourage readers to access the entire article, white paper or e-book for more information.
- Ask partners to forward emails that contain questions from clients and their answers. Use that information for a blog post.
- Mine non-written information from podcasts or webinars and transform them into new written content.
- Ask professionals to forward their slide deck of presentations. Use that as a starting point for written content.
- Take notes at meetings with partners.
- Sign up for email alerts and rework press releases from the IRS and the like.
- Review research calls documented by your firm’s subject matter experts for content ideas.
Producing Quality Content For Your Accounting Firm
Now that you know what you want to produce, Kanellakis actually pulling your content is the next step. Kanellakis advises firm marketers to be selective when seeking help from firm professionals.
“Not everybody in your firm will be cooperative. They might be too busy or insist that they can’t think of a topic or that they’re not good at writing. Don’t push those people. Instead, work with the people who want to work with you,” she said. Focus on those key professionals and make them into “content-producing superstars.”
When you market your firm, you are paying close attention to the people you are marketing to – your target audience. Kanellakis advises accounting marketers to take the same approach for their internal audience. The professionals know their clients and their needs. Know your professionals – they are bound by deadlines – so use that sensitivity to your advantage. Put together a content calendar well in advance – a year ahead, if possible. If a firm partner has promised you written content by a certain date, follow up with them several weeks ahead. Set deadlines for the first draft, approval, and note when and where it will appear. Hold everyone accountable.
“It’s a glorious thing” when your partners start putting their content deadlines on their own calendars, she said.
How To Maximize Your Firm’s Content
One way you can maximize the quality content you produce for your accounting firm is to repurpose it.
“It’s not a terrible thing to write a one-off blog post – something that’s timely with a short shelf life. But these pieces of content should not be the meat and potatoes of your content marketing strategy,” Kanellakis said. “It’s just not sustainable and can lead to burnout.”
To improve ROI on producing quality accounting content, think about webinars, podcasts, and slide shows.
Kanellakis offered the following ideas:
- Combine like-minded blogs into a longer article, white paper or e-book. The opposite can be done as well. Break down longer pieces into smaller snippets.
- Reuse information from a webinar or video. Write a blog post and include a link to the full presentation.
- Turn written content into visual content. For example, turn a “how-to” blog post into a slide show and upload it to slide share. Embed the presentation on your blog and push it out on social media. This technique will encourage potential clients to interact with your website on a deeper level.
- Give old content a facelift. Update it, send it back to the subject matter expert to ensure it’s still accurate, delete the old article, add an editor’s note that explains it was updated, then push it out as if it’s new.
“Remember,” she says, “to ask yourself why you are producing a certain piece of content. If your content is not pushing users further through the sales funnel, ask yourself if it’s even worth your time to produce it in the first place.”
The AAM High webinar, “Unlock Your Firm’s Content Potential,” which also includes tips from Dana Bottorff and Christian Moises, has been recorded. It is available at no cost to AAM members. The cost is $79 for nonmembers.