This article originally appeared on JDsupra.com. Shared with author’s permission.
Hinge Research Institute recently polled marketers from accounting firms to better understand how the key challenges for the industry – increased competition, shifts in service offerings, and battles for top talent – are shaping their marketing strategies. The findings translate into valuable insights for lawyers and firms who are facing similar obstacles.
The report separates accounting firms into two categories: “high-growth firms,” which include those that experienced 20% or more revenue growth each year over a three-year period, and “no-growth firms,” which had 0% (or less!) growth every year during that same time.
What did we find? Three useful lessons for law firm leadership:
1. Digital engagement pays off
High-growth firms devote more resources to connecting with audiences through digital channels: email marketing campaigns, social media networking, on-line publishing (blogs, JD Supra, etc.), webinars, and more.
Webinars stand out as particularly popular with successful firms: five times as many high-growth firms include webinars in their digital strategy as do their no-growth counterparts. Similarly, written content in all its forms – blog posts, gated content, original research – are used twice as often by growing firms to increase visibility, generate leads, and differentiate themselves from competitors.
One interesting note: advertising is an important component of the digital marketing techniques used by high-growth firms, which are 57% more likely to use digital ads than their no-growth peers.
2. Audience-facing activities generate the best ROI
Marketing tactics that put accountants directly in contact with their clients and targets – like speaking at conferences, giving webinars, making phone calls, and the like – create the maximum return on investment for their firms.
Why do we think the ROI is higher from these types of activities? Because interacting directly with your audience creates and strengthens the relationships that lead to new business. But conferences and phone calls can be expensive, time-intensive, and difficult to scale. That’s why firms use webinars to showcase their expertise and connect with their prospects, while keeping costs down and billable hours up.
What’s more, by building microsites and knowledge portals like ON24 Engagement Hubs to make their webinar content accessible to clients and new viewers alike, accounting firms are extending the shelf life of their thought leadership to generate additional leads and opportunities.
3. Multi-tiered marketing campaigns produce results
The report offers an insightful case study of how Deloitte was able to engage new and existing clients, using a digital marketing campaign anchored by a series of webinars.
Deloitte’s challenge was a familiar one: advise clients on changes to tax laws while generating new client leads and creating cross-selling opportunities for the firm. Their campaign, which included a strong mix of live seminars, premium content, SEO, PR and webinars to drive awareness and interest, led to enviable engagement:
– High registration and attendance numbers for each of their webinars, with more than 50% of registrants attending the program
– The use of real-time polling and Q&A that allowed for more than 300 audience questions and 900+ responses to four polls
– More than 400 on-demand viewers for the webinars once housed on Deloitte’s website
Download the full report here for additional insight effective digital strategies of high-growth accounting firms.