[IMGCAP(1)]It’s the new year and accountants celebrate it with mixed emotions, as tax season is on the horizon. During “busy season” most professionals drive client work forward at full-throttle. In the best case scenario, marketing activities go into neutral; worst case, they go into park.
There are only so many hours in the day, so this is to not only be expected, but also accepted—right? Not so fast…. With a little advance planning, CPAs can keep the marketing engine running through tax season and beyond.
January through April is the time period when many companies and individuals need their accountants the most. Your clients want to hear from you and are highly receptive to accounting and tax-related news, information and thought leadership. Your referral sources—including lawyers, bankers, financial advisors and insurance agents—could build goodwill with their clients by passing on relevant and timely insight from you and your colleagues.
If you set aside two days (or 16 hours) during January, you will be able to continue marketing when it counts the most—while your competitors are shutting their engines down. So grab your in-house marketer or marketing consultant and let’s go!
Two smart tax season marketing tactics:
1. YouTube video series: Film six to 10 short video clips that contain (1) Planning advice and /or (2) Tax news / law changes. These videos should be no more than 60-90 seconds in length.
When developing the material for your shoot, think about the many questions that you were asked by clients throughout the year.
Have your marketing professional post these videos up every week or every other week starting in February to a company-branded YouTube channel, which he or she should be able to easily create. Your clients and prospects can subscribe and receive notices of updates or you can email them the link directly.
Ask your referral sources to share the company’s YouTube channel with their clients. If your company has a Twitter account, tweet the videos. Update your LinkedIn status every time you post a new video. Update your e-mail signature with the YouTube widget and invite people to “Connect to receive accounting and tax insight.” (Time investment: 12 hours)
• Be sure to identify a target audience when creating your content so that you hit on topics and questions that will resonate with them.
2. Webinar: Work with your marketer to organize a webinar toward the end of February/ early March. Take the content that you created for your videos and turn it into “Tax Season Insights /FAQs.” In offering the webinar, you neatly package all of the content into one presentation and give the audience a chance to ask questions. Be sure to record the webinar, post it up to your website, and promote it through social media. (Time investment: four hours)
• I have used GoToWebinar (www.gotomeeting.com/fec/webinar) with great success.
By completing these two marketing tactics in January, you will be able to “touch” clients, prospective clients and referral sources throughout busy season even if your schedule doesn’t permit face-to-face communication. You will have been “seen and heard.” As an added bonus, your videos and webinar recording will be working for you beyond April 15! Two days of smart marketing will actually benefit your practice for the rest of the year.
Debra Andrews is managing director of Marketri.