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Small Business Marketing

CPA Marketing Case Study

The following case study demonstrates how we helped a local Certified Public Accountant update and standardize his brand, modernize his marketing, and create content to educate his clients.

Background

Benjamin H. Johnson opened his accounting firm in Farmville, VA in 2001. In addition to helping businesses and individuals with tax return preparation, he also provided bookkeeping services, business consulting, estate planning, tax planning, and payroll services. His clients include small business owners from a wide variety of industries, including agribusiness, logging, retail, and medical businesses. His clients appreciate his ability to explain complex tax issues in a way that they can understand.

The Problem

Ben primarily marketed his business through advertising in the Yellow Pages and local print directories. He also relied heavily on word of mouth and sponsorships of local events. Although the Yellow Pages advertising was fairly expensive and took up the majority of his marketing budget, Ben got most of his new clients by way of referral. In other words, his budget was not being used effectively.

At some point in the past, Ben had allowed a local college student to set up a website for his business. The website was very basic, with just a few paragraphs of content. He didn’t use the website as part of his marketing, and it didn’t really generate any leads for him.

One point of frustration for Ben was that his brand was not represented consistently. He had several different versions of a text-based logo that were being used in various places, but he had never had a logo professionally designed for his business. Also, other than a business card, he didn’t have any printed marketing materials for his business.

The Solution

Ben sat down with Kevin Jordan from RMC for a free marketing consultation. During the consultation, Kevin pointed out to Ben that he actually had two websites for his business due to the fact that, unbeknownst to him, the Yellow Pages had set up a website for him in addition to the one he already had. Kevin also helped Ben do a cost/benefit analysis of the money he was spending with the Yellow Pages, and together they determined that Ben’s marketing budget would be better spent elsewhere.

Ben decided to invest in a marketing plan that included the design of a professional logo to represent his brand, the development of a modern, content-driven website for his business, the creation of printed marketing materials, and the monitoring of his online reputation.

Step 1: Updating the brand

As always, Kevin began the project by working with Ben on his marketing strategy. He interviewed some of Ben’s best clients to find out what they had to say about him, and also analyzed which of Ben’s clients were most profitable for him. The results of this analysis as well as the client interviews were used to develop a marketing strategy designed to appeal to Ben’s ideal customers.

To visually represent the brand, Kevin and Ben decided to use the image of a mountain to symbolize strength and security (as well as Ben’s love of the outdoors). A logo design competition held by RMC resulted in a concept that Ben felt represented his business very well.

Ben Johnson CPA

Step 2: Content development

Because Ben basically had no content to educate his prospective customers about his services and why they might want to choose him over a competitor, once the strategy was in place Kevin began by creating a marketing kit for Ben’s CPA firm. The kit included Ben’s personal bio, information about his various services, a case study, testimonials, and frequently asked questions.

This content was then re-purposed in a variety of formats, including a tri-fold brochure and short videos that could be used on the website. The videos would also give people visiting the website a sense of Ben’s personality and how good he is at explaining hard-to-understand subjects.

 

Step 3: Web development

Once all the content was ready, all that was left was to design a custom website using the popular WordPress content management system. As with all websites designed by RMC, it used a responsive theme so that it would display correctly on mobile devices and tablets as well as laptop and desktop computers.

The website was optimized for internet search engines to make it more likely to turn up in searches done for keywords related to accounting and tax preparation services. It also incorporated strong calls to action throughout the site to capture as many leads as possible. The finished product was a far cry from the basic website Ben was using prior to the project.

Ben’s new website:

Benjamin H Johnson CPA Website

Ben’s old website:

Old website homepage

Step 4: Reputation Monitoring and Email Marketing

Once the website was launched, Kevin set up a reputation marketing system so that Ben would be immediately notified if anyone left a review about his business online. The system also makes it easier for Ben to get positive online ratings and reviews from his many happy clients—reviews that play a very important role for consumers when they are trying to decide which professional providers to work with.

Kevin also created a template for an email newsletter that Ben could send out to his clients every month. He included a section for a tax tip of the month, a featured video, and a featured customer, as well as updates about the business.

Results

Within three days of the launch of his new website, Ben received his first lead from the site—a local business owner who filled out the form on the website to request a free “new business startup consultation”. He has continued to get leads from the site on a regular basis since then. He now has a consistent look to his brand both online and offline, and plenty of printed marketing materials to hand out to various types of customers.

Would you like to experience results similar to Ben’s? Complete a free marketing checkup today to begin the process of working with Redpoint Marketing Consultants.