As per the code of ethics of ICAI, Chartered Accountants cannot advertise. They are professionals and deal with knowledge. Their knowledge is valuable for every business, small, medium, and large. They are consulted by individuals and Governments. They belong to the knowledge economy. The arrival of the content economy is a boon for professionals and companies operating in the knowledge economy.
But the moot question is how many are ready to take a plunge in this new area, which is a departure from their traditional way of working.
They are known for two things: Great knowledge and poor communication skills. They are always compared with fluent and flamboyant MBAs. ICAI has off late, having realised this added communication as a part of the syllabus. Good.
Fluent spoken and verbal communication skills are the basic assets of any professionals, CAs are no exceptions.
CAs deal in the knowledge their clients and prospective clients want badly to be a successful entrepreneur, or solve their tax issues, or solve their financial and cash flow issues, and like many such compliance, tax and finance related issues. They are the friends of the business community and partners in the progress of the nation.
Their knowledge is their key strength. Add, the flavour of communication skills, they are sought after professionals. Content marketing has been done by large accounting firms and well-known CAs when they present papers in seminars and conferences. They become known for their knowledge. Social media has changed this equation and now any small firm can share their knowledge with the world and prospective client can find them on the internet. This is the powerful tools now available. To capitalise on this powerful tools two things are necessary, of course apart from subject knowledge:
- Social Media Skills: Different social media options, how social media works to reach out to millions of prospective clients
- Communication Skills: Not just correct writing, but interesting writing as well.
Some of the prominent social media platforms:
Blog (WordPress), LinkedIn (& Groups), Twitter, Facebook.
Some of the types of content a CA firm can generate:
Blog Posts, ebooks, presentations, white papers, case studies, tips and video content (in vogue now).
Like any publication, have a blog/content calendar, with a fixed date and type of content to be generated. Appoint a responsible person to manage the content generation as per the calendar, also invite outside experts to write once in a while.
Large firms can provide more dedicated resources to generate content.
The very important aspect is the type of content to be generated: Ask yourself.
What your existing and prospective clients would like to ask a CA firm?
1. What you need know to leverage in GST regime?
2. 10 ways to conserve your cash flow
3. How can Bankruptcy code benefit your company?
4. 8 reasons why banks are not financing you?
5. White paper on Balance sheet restructuring
6. Video content on GST FAQs
7. How we helped our clients in financial turnaround?
8. Infographic on compliance calendar for SMEs
9. How to choose your Chartered Accountant?
There are science and art of how to write a crisp blog post with attractive headlines.
Handpicked related post: 4 questions every CA needs to answer to remain relevant?
Content creation also depends on what subject expertise you wish to promote and what client segment you wish to target. A small firm generating content targeting a large company may not fructify as after the content, any prospective clients would visit your website to check your competency and size of the firm.
This means two things:
1) Have a crisp website
2) Target the area of the domain where have expertise.
Shama Hyder Kabini, the social media expert writes,” The purpose of social media marketing is ACT, i.e. Attract, Convert and Transform.”
A Blog can do the first two, Attract and Convert. But for transformation, the prospective clients would visit the website as mentioned above. Here in the transaction either takes place or you become good to known professional.
According to Shama Hyder Kabini, an ideal website does three things. Educate, Market and Sell (EMS). The whole world is after M & S. However E is what people need. E can become the source of Content Marketing. E is the fuel which generates M & S. Focus n E first and then expects M & S.
Content Marketing is Inthing and is here to stay. Have a dedicated and long-term approach to wonderful opportunity professionals is getting courtesy; the Internet and social media. Initially, it could even be outsourced also if resources and time are constrained, but do not ignore this and remain bystanders. Regular content creation will improve your thinking, observation power, and communication skills.
“Content marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” David Beebe, Vice President, Global Creative + Content Marketing, Marriott International