Running a successful payroll practice is about more than just the services you provide; it’s also about selling those services. Sure, you may be one of the best, but how will anybody know that if you or your clients don’t tell them? Word of mouth is definitely one aspect of marketing, but it often takes more than that to comprise a good marketing campaign. Marketing initiatives should also include a nice mix of digital and print content.
Review any and all marketing collateral to make sure it’s up-to-date. Check ads, brochures and client communications for outdated taglines, phrases, logos, etc. If you’ve recently added any services or won any awards, make sure those are reflected in your marketing materials. Feel free to use any marketing content that your payroll software provider may have as well. While these may not be personalized for your practice, they can make great supplemental material to further explain the features and functionality of the software your practice uses.
Identify your target demographic very early on. Know who you are marketing to and what industry they serve. Identify their pain points and how your practice resolves them. Emphasize the qualities that set you apart from your competitors. Do you serve a niche market or have specialized services? Have you been around longer than competitors? These are qualities that make you unique and explain why both current and prospective clients should choose you over the competition.
Many times, practitioners are tempted to focus all their marketing campaigns on gaining new clients. However, it’s important to remember that you must continuously market to existing clients too. Failure to reach out to them could lead to them becoming former clients. Besides keeping you on their mind, marketing materials are a good way to let clients know about existing or new services that they aren’t currently using.
Payroll Accountant’s Checklist for May
While there are lots of different marketing strategies you can employ, the first priority should be your website. It is considered your businesses virtual office door and, as such, should be accessible to your clients and prospects however they step “foot” on your doorstep. You need to have a website that is both visually appealing and easy to navigate. It should contain all the information that visitors would look for – most importantly, easily accessible contact information. Not including key information is missing an opportunity to market your business to prospects. Your website is also primarily where clients and prospects will sign up to receive newsletters and other emails from your practice.
Your website should also be mobile-ready. As more business owners look to manage their businesses on the go, it’s likely they will also access parts of your site from their mobile devices. Payroll articles and resources, client portals and general information about your practice are some of the important pages that should be optimized for mobile. Having a mobile-friendly portal website is especially important if you provide a payroll portal to your clients’ employees. As businesses move to become more green or paperless, they will also look for practitioners that can assist them in going paperless in payroll as well.
As mentioned above, email is a great way to expound upon your website marketing efforts. Through email, you can send out digital newsletters and keep the lines of communication open between clients. Having a regular eNewsletter often goes hand-in-hand with website marketing efforts because you can house an archive of past newsletter issues on your site. A common practice is to tease articles in an email blast and include links for readers to “Read More” on your website. Newsletters are a great way to showcase your expertise on payroll-related topics and issues while driving traffic back to your site. Newsletters can be targeted specifically to clients or to anyone that subscribes on your website.
Similar to newsletters, email blasts also drive traffic to your website while allowing you to focus on a singular payroll topic or issue. They can serve to provide further expertise on topics that are of interest to your clients. Emails are also a great tool to encourage prospects to revisit your site or come in for a consultation. Personalize emails to remind clients to take certain tasks, such as verifying employee payroll information.
It is a must nowadays to have a strong social media presence. Your practice doesn’t need to be on every social media network. In fact, it would be nearly impossible to be socially active on every network. Instead, focus your efforts on the sites where your target demographic has the strongest presence. It is way more effective to have an active presence on a few networks than to be omnipresent. Network activity may vary by industry and user intent. While businesses have found success across multiple networks, LinkedIn still remains the number one account for B2B activity.
Creating and maintaining a blog or vlog can enhance your firm’s social media presence by providing self-authored content to share with and be shared by your connections. Blogs are a good way to address payroll-related frequently asked questions or share tips to help your clients get the most out of the products and services you provide.
Lastly, industry and community involvement are relatively free ways to market your practice. Sponsoring or hosting charitable events gets your firm’s name out into the community while also supporting worthy causes. You can also provide branded items, such as pens or coffee mugs, that serve as additional marketing and advertising.
Whatever marketing initiatives your firm decides to employ, it’s important that you test and measure your efforts to determine what’s working. Tailor messages to the audience that you are targeting and measure which words, colors, fonts, designs, etc. resonate the most with your clients and prospects. This will help you identify where best to focus your efforts and which initiatives should be discontinued.
A great marketing campaign will consist of both digital and print collateral and target existing and prospective clients. It will appeal to your audience both visually and emotionally, but most importantly, it will emphasize your strengths while setting you apart from the competition.