By Kelly Schuknecht, director of marketing – Summit CPA Group, a division of Anders CPAs + Advisors
Building trust isn’t only for your customer-facing teammates. It’s also an important task for your marketing team to implement in branding strategies. Of course, other staff members will be a part of these strategies but marketing needs to include trust and authority building in their plans.
This blog post is designed to help you determine the marketing strategies that can be used to build trust and authority and ultimately build connection with your target audience. Keep reading to find out the methods we’ve used to do that with our own target audiences!
Develop Strategic Partnerships
There are a few different ways to build strategic partnerships. Building these partnerships allows you to be seen as a thought leader and also means developing a network of people who continually recommend your services. Speaking events are one such way to develop partnerships that provide leaders like yourself with a way to establish both your expertise and connection with your target audience. Through face-to-face events, whether in-person or through a computer screen, you can provide helpful information to your audience while learning more about them.
Jody Grunden, Partner at Anders CPAs + Advisors, has been invited to many events and conferences. Often, organizations will invite Jody again and again to speak at their events, and he is able to build strong relationships with regular attendees. One such organization that often invites Jody to speak as a thought leader is The Bureau of Digital (Bureau). At the events hosted by The Bureau, Jody speaks to digital agencies on what financial metrics they should be tracking. Through these events, Jody has built a reputation within the digital agency niche.
One Bureau event I got to attend on behalf of Summit CPA Group, Biz Dev Camp, saw 25 people in attendance. From those 25 people, we were able to attract at least 3 new leads. Even when we don’t discuss our services as a Virtual CFO provider, we still showcase our thought leadership in subjects such as marketing, operating as a distributed company, or business development. Building trust is important for the success of your firm, and thought leadership is a huge part of that pie. The other part is building true connection and relationships with your target audience.
Post Video Content as Much as Possible
Video content is another platform that can provide your target audience with face-to-face interaction helping your firm to build authority. It can feel terrifying to jump on the video train and film video content for platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, webinars, etc. When I came on board Summit CPA Group, I noticed that CPAs had a natural avoidance to being on camera. By explaining why video content is so effective in a marketing strategy, I encouraged the Summit team to jump on camera for webinars, social media platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn, podcasts, and YouTube.
So, while you know video content builds connections and relationships just as speaking events do, you are likely still unsure of how to break into video content without all the overwhelm. A great first step can be producing edited video. Through edited video, any flubs or “mistakes” can be removed leaving you free to speak freely without fear of messing up. We’ve all heard the expression that done is better than perfect. And that is true. Focus on producing content and keep in mind that any small “mistakes” only make your video content seem more natural. One of the content mediums with the most staying power is unsurprisingly video. Especially on platforms such as YouTube where video can be consumed for months to come.
Recycling Your Content for Maximum Impact
Recycling content makes connecting with your target audience much more streamlined and helps your message become cohesive. Imagine your messaging showing up on many platforms, making your target audience feel like your firm is “everywhere”. That approach is called omnichannel marketing and that is what you should be aiming for.
Sounds overwhelming? It shouldn’t be. By showing your messaging on multiple platforms, you save time. Any time you record a podcast or webinar, you can turn it into a blog post and create short clips to share as social media posts.
How do you know what content should be recycled? Determine what content is performing the best. From there, you can do some testing to determine whether it was a title, content, or timing that seemed to contribute to the success of your content. A/B testing can easily help you find out which element did it. Once you have identified that, you can reuse your content across platforms by utilizing that specific element.
For example, we determined that content on our merger with Anders CPAs + Advisors was performing well. We asked the questions: Can we talk about the merger in a way that we can teach? Is there something we could pass on to our audience that would be helpful for them? Which platforms and types of content would benefit from this knowledge? From there we created podcasts, social media posts, and articles on the merger. We are still in the process of producing even more content about our merger to help our audiences learn from what we experienced.
One last thought on recycling content, quality is more important than quantity. Post content on the topics that are most relevant to your audience and on the platforms that gain the most traction. Don’t try to put your message everywhere because your team only has so much capacity. Focus on the areas that do the heaviest lifting for your firm. Be consistent on those platforms, and you will quickly see results.
Bringing It All Together
As we wrap up, I want to leave you with this reminder. Start simple. Don’t overload yourself or your team. When aiming to build trust with your target audiences through marketing strategies, start with the platforms that generate the most traction for your firm. If that is a conference, start there. If it’s social media, then do that first. Then, once you pick a platform, determine the message that resonates with your audiences the most. After you’ve achieved that, you should begin to see that your audience sees you as a trusted thought leader in your space.