Trending Now: AccountantsCount on Digital
Ready or not, tax season is upon us. Traditionally the next three months are the busiest for accounting service firms. And while the timeframe hasn’t changed, the way people interact with accounting firms has. “Consumers are now turning to the web at every step of the financial process, from preparing tax returns to financial spending and savings.” (i)
A digital presence is a valuable asset.
From finding a firm to financial planning, for a growing number of people the transaction begins online. Consumers start looking for financial services online earlier each year, and searches are up 37% since 2012. So it’s more important than ever that accounting firms are easy to find.
A digital presence, Digital Presence U, goes beyond a website—though that is certainly a critical first step. To be found online and influence consumers, firms need:
- Optimized websites: Sites should be up to date and accessible from any device.
- Search optimization: From SEO to SEM, search marketing ensures websites can be found [link to Be Found post].
- Reputation management: Online reviews are highly influential; firms should be ready to be responsive.
- Social media strategy: Social media allows consumers to interact with companies while boosting search results.
Don’t count out the personal touch.
Some transactions start and end online—but sometimes a digital presence is just a starting point. Though 85% of consumers filed tax returns electronically, more than 30% of consumers prefer to work with a tax prep professional. (ii) Consumers want the convenience of filing and managing finances online, but when it comes to understanding their finances and getting answers, a friendly face is what they want most.
Balance the message.
Just as there are different accounting services, there are a variety of channels—and the message should vary accordingly. Firms need to balance traditional advertising with digital marketing to extend reach and target messaging. For example, digital ads and promoted social posts might be the best way to promote tax services to a younger audience while print and out of home may resonate for boomers preparing for retirement.
We can make digital add up.
Looking to add a digital presence to your portfolio? We can help. We offer products and services to help you build, maintain, and grow your digital presence. We’d love to talk more – contact us online firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850-599-2232.
i Table 1. Estimated Quarterly Revenue for Service Firms, Not Seasonally Adjusted. Bureau of the Census. n.d. Web. 7 Jan. 2015
ii 2014 Tax Season Trends: The Returns Are In April 2014