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Integrate and engage your marketing

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By Lori Chavez
August 7, 2012

As you’ve probably noticed, the move from Yellow Pages and local print advertising to online marketing is well underway. But there’s more to online marketing than simply getting a website for your accounting firm, or getting your business listed on Google Places. The biggest trend I’ve seen for 2012 is the use of integrated marketing solutions.  

An integrated or all-inclusive marketing solution can help your firm develop and maintain an ongoing engagement with customers online via mobile, social media and better SEO, including leveraging online listings and developing a geographically targeted website. When integrated together, these components can significantly increase your chances of being found when potential clients are looking for your services.  

The following tips can help your firm be found easily online by ready-to-buy customers:

•    Geo-targeted website – One of the most important first steps in your integrated marketing strategy is having a keyword-optimized, geographically targeted website. This will help your firm target and attract customers in your specific area or a broader region. This means having the name of your city as part of the geo-URL, which will aid in quickly connecting that searching customer to your firm. The site can include client testimonials, bios, firm news, and other information that may be important to potential clients.

•    Social media – Though social media networks are popular, don’t take shortcuts to rapidly building a following. It’s much better to build your online presence and grow organically than to use a traffic-building service, which may increase your Twitter followers, but not necessarily your customer base. Instead, you should focus on developing quality content that’s updated frequently, as well as your relevancy of followers, not quantity. “Retweeting” relevant Tweets from other sources is also a good practice to build followers and share news. If your firm has a blog, post regularly and organize topics well. Encourage comments, even negative ones, to help manage the conversation, change perceptions, and win over new business.

•    Mobile – Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to research products and services they are looking to purchase. In fact, in a recent research study we commissioned with the e-tailing group, we found that 60 percent of shoppers researched products and services several times a month using a mobile device. Therefore, to break through the clutter, you should develop a mobile version of your website that’s easy to use and includes one-touch functionality.

•    Online listings – Did you know that two-thirds of online consumers prefer to click on trusted, organic listings? It’s important for your business to be listed in all of the right places, so that customers can find you in your local market. Tools that publish your business information in hundreds of places, including the web’s most popular sites, maps and apps, are important to online success. This will help your business stand out from the competition and extend your reach with enhanced content like specials, badges, links, directions, reviews and more. Search engines rank businesses more favorably that have a complete online presence, which includes business listings, mobile, social, etc.

Remember: Engagement can happen on many levels and in many different ways and places. That’s why it’s really important that you develop an integrated marketing strategy that incorporates and leverages all of the above tools—together.

Right now, potential clients are searching the web on their desktops and smartphones, developing Facebook posts and tweeting. Will they find your firm in the midst of the “clutter?” Use these tips to help bolster your marketing strategy and drive new clients to your firm.

Lori Chavez is vice president of marketing for Local Corporation, a local online media company that connects merchants and consumers. Using its powerful technology platforms, the company provides a host of innovative business solutions, including digital marketing products and tools.

 

2 Comments

Great post, Ms. Chavez. Customer engagement via virtual media is becoming customary in our culture. We're seeing social networks, phones and email becoming integral parts of every business marketing strategy -- even healthcare. A study we conducted revealed beyond-the-clinic digital engagement, such as emails, apps, texts, social media or voicemail is exactly the type of experience U.S. consumers want and expect from their doctors. When patients were asked how they felt about office visits in a virtual setting, an astounding 85 percent responded that digital communication is as helpful, if not even more helpful, than in-person or phone conversations with their healthcare provider.

Physicians are now utilizing Engagement Communications to help patients better manage their diseases through web-based educational campaigns, text message and e-mail reminders to refill prescriptions, monitor glucose, check blood pressure and schedule annual exams.

High-tech communication is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reach large audiences, but in a very personalized manner. I would love to read your thoughts on this topic. Here is a link to our studies: http://www.televox.com/resources/healthy-world

All the best, Scott Zimmerman, President, www.TeleVox.com

Posted by: scottz | September 27, 2012 10:00 AM

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Lori - I couldn't agree with you more. The technology is readily available for all businesses, and the knowledge of how to help them build these technology engagement programs exist. Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) is a trade show and conference to help all businesses succeed in their engagement technology programs. Anyone reading this who wants to learn more or receive your complimentary pass to attend, visit www.cetworld.com - and use code CET23D when registering. The exposure companies will get to educationa and networking is unparalleled. Take a look and see how customer engagement technology will improve your business, loyalty and customer retention

Posted by: ldvorchik | August 12, 2012 9:31 PM

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