For those unfamiliar with the concept of branding, it may seem like something that only matters to companies that have a big social media presence or that sell products. However, that isn’t true at all. All companies have to worry about building a brand and making sure that they have a strong presence online. And accounting firms and CPA practices are no different.
But what exactly is a brand, and what does it look like for a services business rather than a product company? And how can you improve your branding to create something special, unique, and impactful? In this article, we will answer these questions and help you discover what platform is best for meeting your goals with key brand development tips for accountants.
What is Branding?
A brand is the unique business, service, or concept that is distinguishable from other similar concepts. It is used to easily market and communicate the goal of a company across different audiences. It includes the name, the logo, the colors, the qualities, and the personality of the business. Branding is the process of developing the image you want people to have when they think about your business and monitoring it so that the brand continues to grow and develop even after conception.
Branding matters to all businesses, including accounting firms. Branding helps create a recognizable, authentic, and strong identity. When you have that key identity in your brand, you can easily grow and attract new customers while standing out from the competition in your area. Branding makes you recognizable to audiences even outside your ideal customers. And it plays a key role in how you are perceived online and what your reputation is among potential leads and clients.
Brand Development Tips
Now that you know what a brand is and why branding matters to accountants and CPA firms, let’s talk about specific brand development tips for accountants that you can use to boost your online presence and create a more strategic approach to marketing.
Define What Makes Your Business Unique
Every business is unique. Every business has a story that isn’t shared with others in the same field. Understanding what makes your business unique is the key to developing a brand that can’t be repeated or copied by other CPA firms or accounting offices. Do you target a specific industry or vertical? Do you have a fun origin story? Is the business long-lasting or been in a family for generations? All of these factors and more can help you craft a unique brand story.
Evaluate Your Competitors
You never want your brand to be interchangeable with any competitor. In order to make sure your branding stands out, you should evaluate your customers and run an audit on their branding. This helps you not only get an idea of what to avoid, but it gives you a benchmark you can use to help evaluate your own brand performance and how it stacks up against other accounting firms in your area.
Identify Your Ideal Client
Another key step in your branding journey is to identify your ideal client. Do you work with businesses or individuals? Do you have a demographic that you want to work with more? Or do you offer a specific approach to accounting practices that only certain businesses want to work with? No matter what your ideal client is, you should have it clearly delineated, so you can craft your branding to target that specific audience.
Use a Compelling Message
Every brand is backed by a key message or sentiment that resonates across all of its marketing materials. Finding out what your message is and making it compelling to audiences and your ideal client helps create a strong foundation to grow your business on. The more compelling your message is, and the more it strikes a chord with the emotional needs of customers, the more successful your branding will be.
Create a Professional Logo
A logo is an essential part of branding that often gets overlooked by accountants and CPA firms. The logo needs to be professional, unique, and make an impact. You don’t want something overly playful if it doesn’t fit the brand image you’re trying to create, but it should be special and apply only to your firm. The best logos immediately remind you of the company they represent. Think of the red swirl of Coca-Cola or the apple of Apple.
Branding is all about consistency. If you have different logos, colors, messages, or tones for your content and your business around the internet, it will be hard to bring those different elements together into one cohesive branding strategy. Instead, focus on simple, repeatable, and discernable elements that work together and can be replicated across all your channels and networks.
Another important part of your branding strategy is to be authentic with what you create. Don’t try to be overly humorous, professional, or crafty if that doesn’t fit with the brand you’ve created. Being upfront and honest about your business to customers will always be more appealing than an overly polished and inauthentic experience. Customers want to know that there are individuals working behind the scenes of brands, and being authentic helps communicate the message.
Engage Your Community
Another important branding tip is to engage with your customers and your bigger community. Not only does working with your community mean a lot to the people who surround you, but it also helps you establish your local connection online and in person. Search engines and algorithms like knowing where a business is located and what community it services, so being engaging with the community builds up your online presence as well.
Create Valuable Content
The content you create, like social media posts, blogs, and newsletters, is also part of your company brand. By adding value to your content, you can help educate and inform your audiences and build more value into your brand. Things like details, informational guides, simple how-tos, and breaking news can all add value and credibility to your content.
Build a Reputation
The final tip for brand development is all about your online reputation. Your reputation is the way your business is received and remembered by customers and people in your audience. The biggest way we see reputations unfold online is through reviews and star ratings. The more positive, high-quality reviews you have, the more likely you are to have a good online reputation that boosts your brand goals.
Build Your Brand with Surefire Local
In order to build a brand successfully, you need the help of a branding and online marketing platform. Surefire Local leads the back when it comes to branding tools for accountants, so let’s dive into the specific features of the platform that help you build your brand.
Send Review Requests
Ask customers to leave reviews via text message and email so that you can improve your online reputation and get more positive reviews. You can also post responses to your new reviews directly from the Surefire Local platform.
Create and Publish Content
Work on adding value to your brand by writing and publishing content to your blog, social media platforms, and Google Business Profile all within the Surefire Local application.
Share Photos and Videos
Use visual imagery like photos and videos to help boost your branding and share them across your entire online network from the Surefire Local platform.
Don’t worry about missing details or leaving an update out of an online profile. You can use Surefire Local to make sure your information online, including name, address, phone number, and special offers, are consistent.
Use analytics tools to measure engagement across your marketing channels. This helps you determine what your audience is most interested in, so you can develop your brand around customer engagement.
Send Targeted Campaigns
Use email marketing to create personalized customer campaigns and foster relationships with your core audience group.
Determine Brand Sentiment
Reference a word cloud graph revealing frequently used words in reviews to help you see what your current brand sentiment is and find areas to improve for future branding efforts.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
At Surefire Local, we want to help accountants and CPAs get the most out of their marketing dollars. That’s why our platform is designed to bring together the most important marketing tasks you have in a single location for a fraction of the cost of other tools and agencies. With the help of Surefire Local, you can improve brand sentiment and achieve your branding goals easily within one application. To learn more about Surefire Local and how it can help your accounting firm branding, sign up for a demo of the platform today.