March: This month we meet…

This month we focus on Acumen Accountants & Advisors, headed up by Director, Ross Murray. For over 30 years, Acumen has been providing accountancy support to SMEs across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Now one of the region’s leading financial firms, their 36–strong team serves over 1,200 customers across Scotland and the UK from their office in Aberdeen. 

  • Tell us about your PR and marketing strategy? 

Through a combination of email marketing campaigns, social media and web content, we balance an emphasis on our existing client base with our efforts to reach new clients across Aberdeen and throughout Scotland. Refreshing our website has meant re-thinking our brand’s tone of voice, and the resulting copy is sharper, more concise and hopefully more accessible to our target audiences. 

  • Why do you invest in PR and marketing? 

To maintain a fresh social media presence, keep our website up-to-date, and stay in touch with our existing clients – keeping clients updated on tax compliance and finance regulations is a key part of what we do. Having a PR team on hand is also crucial for being able to quickly share our news – Instinct can turn around a high quality press release within tight timescales and share it in all the right places. Together we can discuss different types of content, topics and story ideas, and prepare blogs and social media posts in advance. 

  • What are the key benefits? What has worked well? 

Round-Up, our quarterly newsletter to clients, has been well received, and is a great way of providing reminders of key dates and helpful finance tips, as well as our latest news and a focus on one of our team each quarter – a suggestion by Instinct to help show the human side of our company. We pride ourselves on being a friendly and approachable team – accountancy can be perceived as a pretty dry subject, so we’re always keen to maximise opportunities to highlight our staff as interesting people as well as expert accountants! Our social media posts have been a key part of this – we held a desk-decorating competition in the run-up to Christmas and shared the fun and creativity across our channels.  

  • Where are your marketing efforts currently focused? 

We are focusing on updating our website and forging a strong presence on social media, by sharing regular updates, articles, staff successes and industry insights. Our blog posts are a priority area, and key to establishing Acumen as a thought leader in our field. 

  • Where will you be focusing your marketing efforts in the next few months? 

Alongside our social media and website, we’ll continue to use email marketing as a way of staying front-of-mind and upselling to existing clients, and potentially reaching new ones as well. Working with Instinct, we’re also hoping to leverage advances in AI technology to generate content such as quiz questions, to help people find out if they’re eligible for lower tax contributions. Updating our website for SEO with regular news posts and the right keywords is another priority, to make it as easy as possible for new clients to find us. And we’ll be getting out and networking in person – face to face interactions are hard to beat when it comes to forging new business partnerships. 

Why your website isn’t working for you

We’ve all been there. Whether starting from scratch or refreshing a tired brand, once our website is ready and live, we sit back, satisfied, pleased with a job well done. That’ll transform the business, we tell ourselves. It’ll be top of the search engine rankings in next to no time. Sales will go through the roof. 

In reality of course, it doesn’t work that way. Aside from all the work you have to do in making sure your potential customers even find your site in the first place, let’s look at a few reasons why the site itself may be letting you down.  

We judge websites using several criteria including copy, design, quality and how easy it is to use. If something is off, we not only won’t take the desired action, we probably won’t return to the site – a whopping 61% of us according to Google. Read on for a few common pitfalls: 

No calls to action 

So someone has found your landing page and read a few lines of the copy. But they won’t stick around without a reason – giving visitors a clear idea of what you want them to do, a Call To Action (CTA), is essential to keep them on your site. So be direct. Tell them to ‘Subscribe Now’ if you want more email newsletter subscribers or ‘Add to Basket’ if you want them to buy something. Place the call at or near the top of the page. Spread CTAs throughout your site – and make it easy for them to contact you, whether that’s a call, email, message or form. 

Confusing navigation 

Don’t let a wacky design ruin your customer’s experience on your website! Visitors expect to be able to find their way around easily so keep your site layout and design simple, and offer a solution to their problems.  

Too much or too little content 

Our online attention spans are short. You only have a few seconds to make a good first impression and convert a visitor into a customer. If the copy doesn’t resonate with them, either in tone or content, they won’t feel like it was aimed at them. Vague details, typos and bad grammar make an even worse impression, so consider investing in a copywriter to keep your visitor focused and engaged, rather than distracted or put off by spelling mistakes and a lack of clarity. 

Describe your product or service as the answer to a common problem faced by your prospects. Reflect your target market’s tone, style, interests, behaviors and be as technical or as laidback in your language as they are. Proofread and edit your work before publishing, or hire someone to do it for you. When content resonates with people, they feel more engaged with the brand and are more likely to want to learn more. 

Not optimised for mobile 

Mobile and tablet browsing account for 54% of the market share of internet traffic in the UK, so a responsive mobile site is critical. If your customers end up accessing a desktop site from a mobile device it’s game over. Make sure your website is optimised for all devices so you don’t lose customers to competitors with more user-friendly sites. 

 Take a long hard look at your website. It needs to stand out from the 200 million active sites online these days. Does it represent your brand in the best possible way? If not, it might benefit from some of our recommended quick fixes. Or it might be time for a website re-design. Either way it’ll need ongoing TLC to keep it current. At Instinct Marketing + PR we have years of experience crafting compelling copy for client websites—and we’ll do the same for you! Contact us today to find out how we can help.