LinkedIn is a social platform built specifically for professionals. If you run an accounting firm, then there couldn’t be a better platform for you to be on. By leveraging LinkedIn, you can grow and build your network and unlock new business opportunities. By using LinkedIn, your business can showcase its expertise and deliver the latest accounting news. All of this leads to a top-of-mind recall with your followers. Done consistently enough and you will slowly be able to convert your followers into sales.
However, the challenge on LinkedIn is two fold. One is that your accounting page must have sufficient followers, and two is that the followers need to be converted.
When should you use Paid Marketing?
Growing your followers and making sales through social media is a long sales funnel. Organic growth is growth that takes place without any payment to the social platform. The problem with organic growth is that it is slow. It takes considerable time to gain followers on your accounting page. The only avenue to grow your followers is to regularly post content on your LinkedIn page. This content reaches out to the few followers you have, and only if they interact with the post, is the post shared with their digital circle. This is a terribly slow growth cycle. If maintaining an online brand presence is your only objective, then organic growth suits your business.
However, if you wish to turn LinkedIn into lead generation and sales for your accounting firm, then look towards paid marketing.
LinkedIn Paid Marketing
LinkedIn offers three basic advertising options.
Text ads are the most basic advertising form on LinkedIn. It consists of a headline, a description and an image. The advantage of text ads is that they’re affordable. However, a major disadvantage is that they appear on the extreme right side of the LinkedIn page – away from the main LinkedIn feed. This results in LinkedIn users easily ignoring the text ad.
Text ads stand out from the site and are easy to ignore. If you wish to overcome those issues and are willing to increase your budget, sponsored content would be the right choice. Sponsored Content blends in with LinkedIn’s feed, making it indistinguishable from organic content and is highly impossible for users to miss.
Sponsored InMail is paid advertisement that’s perfect for conversions. When you launch an organic or paid campaign, it is going to generate a number of interactions from your users. Sponsored InMail allows you to take it one step further by sending a message to those who interact with your post.
You select an advertising option based on your budget. Ideally, a combination of text ads and sponsored InMail works well to generate sales.
The content of your ad is critical to not just getting clicks, but also ensuring only those who are interested in your accounting services click on the ad. To do this, you really need to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience.
As an accounting firm, your target audience is largely business owners. Hence, your ad needs to offer services and information that would assist them specifically in accounting. The question you need to ask yourself is: What are the accounting problems business owners face?
How do I organize my book?
How to file invoices and receipts?
How do I manage my business taxes?
The above are just some of the problems your target audience experiences. And, as such, your ad should offer solutions to them. For example:
File your Business taxes on time
Don’t miss business tax perks and benefits
A solution to your bookkeeping hassle
Place yourself in the shoes of your target audience.
Targeting your Audience
LinkedIn offers a robust set of options for you to target your audience. How well you target the advertisement will define whether the right audience will see your ad.
What are the areas which your accounting firm operates in? Your ad will waste money if it targets LinkedIn users outside of your business area. By targeting LinkedIn users who are within your business area, you greatly increase the chance of conversion as these users will actually be able to access your accounting services.
For example: If your accounting business only operates in Edmonton, then only select the City of Edmonton.
Do you wish to target employees from a specific company? This would a viable choice if your accounting firm targets large corporations and businesses. However, if you do not target large corporations, then skip this section.
The decision to hire an accounting firm lies with only certain individuals within an organization. It could range from CFOs, business owners, accountant manager and more. You don’t want an employee to see the ad, you want an individual who has business decision-making powers to see it.
By inserting the correct job titles, you narrow down on who is going to see your advertisement.
To further refine who sees your advertisement, you can insert skills. Your target audience will have certain skill sets that define them. This could be:
You can visit the LinkedIn profile of the customers you already have and view the skills they’ve listed. Those are the skills you want to mention.
Know any LinkedIn groups that your target audience are a part of? For example, if your target audience is entrepreneurs and small businesses in Edmonton, there is a range of groups that you can target.
Capital Ideas Alberta
South Edmonton Business Association
What’s the average age of your target audience? Age is another target filter you can use to ensure that the right person sees your ad.
Set the Budget
Once you have created the content and targeted the ad to the right audience, you need to set the budget. Opt for the Click-Per-Pay (CPP) model as this is more sales oriented.
You can set how much LinkedIn can spend by opting for a daily budget or a whole budget for the campaign.
When you have set the budget, you can launch the ad.
Track the Data
Your ad campaign is launched, but you are still not done. LinkedIn offers analytical data which is necessary to check whether your ad is successful or not.
You can access:
Number of clicks on the ad
Audience profile of those clicks
By assessing the ad analytics, you can refine your ad to ensure that the right people see your ad, perhaps change the content to get more clicks, and craft a landing page to get more conversions.
LinkedIn, if used right with the assistance of paid marketing, can turn into a lead generator for your accounting firm. Running an advertisement campaign ensures that the right people become aware of your accounting services even if they don’t follow your LinkedIn business page.
So, what are you waiting for? When are you turning LinkedIn into a lead generation platform?
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.