The Importance of Consistency: Mastering Thought Leadership Content
According to Edelman and LinkedIn’s B2B thought leadership report, 61% of decision makers say that an organization's thought leadership is more effective at demonstrating the value of its services than traditional marketing (think print ads, direct mail, and cold calling).
of decision makers say that an organization's thought leadership is more effective at demonstrating the value of its services than traditional marketing
If this is true, why do so few accounting firms take advantage of consistent thought leadership content as a marketing tactic?
The reason is simple: the marketer is overloaded, doesn’t have domain expertise in accounting, and isn’t able to get time from CPAs to interview them on their areas of expertise. Thought leadership simply gets pushed aside amid the daily grind of running the accounting firm. Management doesn’t make it a priority because clients and daily work feel more urgent.
Thought Leadership as a Marketing Strategy
If you’re a marketer looking for buy-in on a thought leadership program, here’s the best case you can make for this type of marketing: thought leadership is a small investment that pays long-term dividends in time saved. Think of all the time you spend educating clients and answering the same questions on the phone and through email. CPAs are giving away their valuable time, over and over, to offer education that could be covered once in a piece of content and reused continuously for months.
Your CPA clients don’t know what they don’t know. Tax strategies, new laws, beneficial ownership reporting – these are all topics you can cover in thought leadership content to help all of your clients at once, rather than pouring energy into repetitive phone calls and meetings to share industry updates.
When executed well, CPA thought leadership content empowers leads, prospects, and current customers to get answers on their own without bogging down time-strapped CPAs. It allows people with questions to “self-select” so that CPAs are only spending their time having conversations with people who will garner positive results for the firm – whether these are hot prospects ready to work with you, or high-value clients who need help with unique problems.
In this article, we’ll hone in on the value of consistency in your content marketing strategy. We will examine how maintaining a predictable posting schedule makes your thought leadership more effective – and we’ll offer tangible advice so you can start using thought leadership to build trust with your current and future clients.
Why Consistency Is Key
Every content marketing strategy benefits from consistency, but we’ll make the case that consistency is even more important in the accounting world. Here’s why:
- Laws and regulations change constantly. When you share your perspective and advice within days of major policy changes, you’re demonstrating to your clients and prospects that you stay on top of the latest trends and challenges in accounting. There’s no better way to demonstrate your proactivity and forward-thinking approach than through your content.
- Not all topics will apply to all audiences. You solve a wide variety of challenges for your clients, so you’re more likely to resonate with readers or viewers if you share frequent, varied content rather than sporadic content.
- Consistency is paramount to the “KLT factor.” People do business with people they know, like, and trust. In personal relationships, we build trust by showing up regularly and authentically. It’s no different in business. The best way to become a go-to resource and a trusted advisor is to show up regularly and share what you know.
- Consistency is the only way to gather and analyze marketing data. As you’re likely aware, you can’t draw meaningful conclusions about what’s “working” in your marketing if you don’t have enough data to draw from. Twenty blog posts over the course of three months will give you far more helpful information about your target audience than one “outlier” blog post (even, perhaps especially, if that post goes viral).
- Algorithms like consistency. Whether you’re emailing, blogging, posting to social media, or doing it all, algorithms and email deliverability functions favor those who maintain a consistent posting schedule.
So consistency is key. But how often should you post thought leadership content? The answer varies by channel, content type, your brand identity, and your goals. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Posting Frequency by Channel
There are no strict rules about content or post frequency, but here are some basic guidelines. Remember that the best thought leadership programs have a multichannel approach – meaning that your website should serve as the “hub” for your thought leadership content, but the next step is to promote it in your email newsletter and on social media channels, too.
Be flexible in your posting frequency plan. For example, if there’s something major going on in the industry (like when the COVID relief loans were active), be ready to post more frequently.
|Single-topic thought leadership emails
Posting Frequency by Content Type
Though all thought leadership content should be inherently helpful and insightful, some may be more commercially-focused than others. Within the broad category of thought leadership, it’s wise to limit the frequency of promotional posts in favor of more educational, entertaining, or inspiring posts.
For example, the 4-1-1 ratio is a common content strategy. Here’s how you might apply it to a thought leadership strategy:
- 4 pieces of curated content. Rather than simply resharing a post by itself, add more value to the content by resharing it with your own insights.
- 1 piece of original content. This could be a longform piece you’ve written, a video, or a podcast episode, for example.
- 1 piece of promotional or sales content. Rather than simply promoting a service, announce something relevant or timely and tie it back to your offerings. For example, you might announce that time is running out to get ERC tax credits and to contact your office for help.
Other Posting Considerations
Be realistic when creating your content schedule and always favor consistency over quantity. For example, if you aren’t sure you can commit to the “minimum” number of posts listed in the table above for every content channel, focus on one for at least three months and analyze its performance after you’ve gathered some data. Only when you’ve established a regular content cadence can you reliably determine what’s working and what’s not.
We recommend starting by posting consistently to your website and emailing your existing clients with thought leadership, then following up with social media promotion.
Tips for Getting Started
It takes time and dedication to build and execute a thought leadership content strategy. Begin gathering information and ideas directly from financial advisors and conduct research using trade journals and news articles, then employ AI tools to transcribe interviews and generate headline ideas. Use technology to your advantage whenever possible: for example, Marketing by Numbers offers an end-to-end marketing platform for accountants that helps you create branded videos, customizable articles, and more.
Contact us to get started with your thought leadership strategy. We’re happy to help!
Call us at (314) 433-5800 or fill out the form below and we'll contact you to discuss your specific situation.
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