Jennifer Cantero, Sensiba San Filippo LLP
Unique Messaging Tips for Digital Communications
The world of technology has changed the way we act as consumers and how we do business. It is fair to say that any firm that does not adapt to the new era of marketing and communications is in danger of missing out.
Digital communications engage clients, prospects, referral sources, and prospective talent in a way that traditional communications never could. Digital communications also can aid in building a stronger brand and reputation faster than ever before. Due to the many different audiences that accounting firms speak to, strategically, digital communications can be challenging. The number one tool in navigating these challenging digital waters is unique, targeted messaging.
In a campaign that spans many different channels, it can be tempting to copy and paste messages from one place to another, especially since you want to keep a consistent brand message. However, resist this temptation! While you want to maintain consistent branding, you do not want the same message to appear across all platforms. Some people subscribe to more than one channel, and they will lose interest if all of your messages are identical. In addition, search engines penalize you for duplicate content, making it harder for visitors to find you online. Yikes!
Below is a list of best practices to help build distinct digital communications. This will help your firm stand out from the crowd.
- Know your audience! Know the audience of the platform you are using and target the verbiage and type of message to that group. Every segment of your audience has different needs and interests. Surveys and other market research can be helpful for this segmentation. Study the analytics on your social media accounts and website to determine valuable statistics about each group.
- Speak directly to each audience. Start email newsletters by greeting the subscriber by name (many email programs use merge tags to automatically populate a name field) and write social media updates as if you are talking directly to your followers. Making the message about them and not the firm will gain better engagement and readership.
- Consistent brand messaging. Focus on one consistent message to draw customers in, regardless of where they find it. While you want to tailor each message to each platform, you want the brand of the message to hold strong.
- Re-write canned content by at least 80 percent. In an industry as small as accounting, many firms leverage the same content creation machines. Having the same content on your firm’s blog or website as hundreds of others will hurt your SEO due to duplicate content. Tweaking the content by at least 80 percent for the first 500 words can be a good step towards not being penalized for duplicate content.
- Use images and video. Without non-verbal cues, customers must rely solely on your words to figure out what you are trying to say. Interspersing communications with images, videos, and infographics can help clients understand your message. Videos are especially helpful because clients can see non-verbal cues in real time.
- Leverage social media tools. Use tools like Hootsuite or Social Sprout to view all of your messages in one place, schedule your messages, and review them for consistency; please, just remember to customize those posts for the different platforms. No cutting and pasting!
Digital communications can be challenging, but mastering these best practices is well worth the effort. With more and more people using digital devices to access online content, it is vital to learn how to consistently reach all of your target audiences.