In May 2015, I completed the initial marketing plan for my CPA practice, Wright Accounting & Consulting, L.L.C. (WAC). This marked my first attempt at combining industry knowledge with realistic expectations for the purpose of documenting a formal plan. While the result was far from perfect, the process undoubtedly helped me to align strategic initiatives with short-term and intermediate-term growth objectives. Perhaps more important, preparing a marketing plan highlighted a glaring weakness in my overall approach, and it forced me to identify deliberate actions for improving my online presence.
After fifteen (15) months of implementation, study, and experimentation, I have identified my company blog as the backbone of my online marketing strategy. My blog is a versatile resource that is improving my ability to accomplish the following:
- Knowledge Management,
- Brand Promotion & Reach,
- Thought Leadership Development,
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Advances, &
- Audience Engagement
As evidenced from the image above, the company blog should be the centerpiece of a professional service provider’s online marketing strategy. Again, the versatility of this tool provides an opportunity to efficiently transfer, share, promote, and distribute content to your audience across a number of channels. In addition, a blog serves as a storage facility (of sorts) where valuable knowledge is “warehoused”, and it is an asset that you own (the same cannot be said for your social media accounts).
Below is a checklist of functions that can be performed to achieve the objectives previously mentioned:
- Post social media “updates” with links to blog posts,
- Include blog posts as part of the company website,
- E-mail blog post links to clients requiring assistance with technical issues,
- E-mail notifications for new posts to blog subscribers,
- E-mail custom-built content to target audience of recipients,
- Enable “comment” section below individual posts (allowing audience to respond/inquire about specific content of a post),
- Facilitate two-way communication between firm and audience via the “comment” section below individual posts,
- Access audience engagement with posts via the use of “analytical” tools built into application,
- Discover popular strategies, methodologies, and techniques that audience enjoys (through use of analytics mentioned previously), and
- Identify online resources frequently driving traffic to blog posts (again, through use of analytics).