BOMA + The Gap: Leveraging Content to Launch Advisory

With compliance being rear-facing, your clients may not know you provide services that create enduring value for their business. Having an effective marketing campaign is essential in positioning your value.

This webinar features Charles Clark, Marketing Director of BOMA and Nat Eady, General Manager of The Gap.

Webinar Agenda:

  • How to execute a simple marketing campaign for advisory services
  • How to apply WIIFM (what's in it for me) principles when marketing ANY of your services
  • Taking the guess work out of your marketing efforts
  • Planning your marketing campaigns for the rest of this year
  • Q&A

 

NB: You can also read a full transcript of this session below.

 

 

‘Leveraging Great Content to Launch Advisory' Transcript

 

Charles Clark:

Okay. Well, look, let's kick off, guys. Just a bit of housekeeping before we kick off officially. We're using Zoom today. We'd love to take your questions as we go through. You can see there's a Q&A chat box. That's the best place to put your questions. If we can, we'll answer them as we go by text, otherwise we'll save them up till the end where there'll be time for Q&A, and if at the end you have additional questions that you haven't asked, please just note them down then, and we'll do our best to answer them. So introductions, my name is Charles Clark. I'm Marketing Director of BOMA, and thrilled to be joined tonight by Natalie Eady, General Manager of The Gap. Hi, Nat.

Natalie Eady:

Hi, great to be here.

Charles Clark:

So we'll keep it rolling fairly quickly through, because we've got 45 minutes, and we will be covering the following elements, including a bit of pre-work that you all very kindly participated in. In terms of the recording, we'll be sending that out tomorrow, so if you can't stay for the full amount of time, or you get interrupted, don't worry, we'll send you out the recording tomorrow. So if you haven't heard of us, and there might be some of you who are Gapees or BOMA users and haven't heard of maybe the other company, so BOMA is basically a powerful digital marketing platform designed for accountants, and The Gap is an amazing business development system, also, again, designed for accountants.

Charles Clark:

So with The Gap content in combination with BOMA's digital marketing tool, it's a really unique way for you to enhance your client relationships, drive growth, and also maximize efficiency, and today, we're going to be showing you, I suppose, how to do that using the content from The Gap and BOMA, and how that can be leveraged to launch and drive your advisory services. So just again, thank you so much for filling in the pre-work questions. What we've done is just taken all the answers you gave, and collated them really quickly into a few graphs just to give us some insight. It's quite useful just to give you, I suppose, a sense of how you compare to some of your peers in the industry. It's quite nice to sort of benchmark where you might be, and also, I think it's quite useful to set the scene as we move further into this webinar.

Charles Clark:

So the first one we talked about was how many social posts are you posting each week? And this is mostly to your business channels, if you have them. So really great to see that over 50% of you are posting at least once to twice per week, and a significant proportion of you, over 20%, are really consistent. So you're posting upwards of three times per week, which is really great to see, and that's across multiple different platforms as well. So I was just counting. If you said that you posted the same post over a couple of different platforms, I would just count that as one. So that was great to see.

Charles Clark:

The interesting thing for me in this graph, or sorry, pie chart, was that there's about 28% of you who said that you weren't posting at all. And, look, I know it can be difficult to find the time, or to know what to say with social. I know it's also it's a new medium to get comfortable with, but it really is a big opportunity for you, and perhaps a bit of a wakeup call when you see how many people are posting to social. Social media is where a lot of your clients are active. They may be active personally, or they may be active in their business. So it's a great place for you to engage with them, because they're already engaging with a lot of other companies and brands out there, so it's something they're really used to doing, and they really like seeing information from companies they trust and follow. So really can't recommend enough getting involved, if you have the time.

Charles Clark:

Then we moved on to EDMs, and I realized when I went through the sponsors that, again, some of you weren't sure what EDM stands for, and its electronic direct mail, which in essence is just an email campaign. So this isn't the emails that you send out to your clients in terms of client-based ones. These are sort of more marketing, or nurture, or education-based. So if you have a look at the graph, where does your firm fit in? Are you in the group of 37% who aren't doing any, or are you in one of the groups of the remaining 63% who are? Again, I think it's really like social. If you're not active in your email campaigns, you're missing a golden opportunity to nurture and educate your clients and prospects.

Charles Clark:

And I think it's also you can see here that well over half, nearly two-thirds, are doing this. I think something to just take away from this slide is if you're not educating your clients and prospects, someone else might be. So just something to think about. But we know that it does take time to write emails. We know it takes time to write social posts, and so we asked the question of how much time is your firm spending writing the content each month? And no surprise that around 29% aren't spending any. That kind of reflects what we saw in terms of the email usage and the social usage, but everyone is spending… well, the majority of nearly 70% are spending a fairly significant time.

Charles Clark:

You can see there that 20% of you are spending actually over six hours a month. Some of you are also outsourcing this entirely, and there were a few people who also outsourced this within their own firm, so they had a special marketing person, or they had an administrator who was doing it for them. Interesting to see that a few of you didn't know, and that's fine. You might be in a larger firm, and someone else is doing this for you. So completely understandable that you may not be across to how much time it is. And lastly, we asked you what your challenges are, and thank you very much for being so open, because this is something. It's quite vulnerable to be open about challenges that we're facing, and some core themes came through, and the biggest one here was really about time. So having the time to do it, finding the time to write and create content whilst also running your firm and providing compliance services was a common one.

Charles Clark:

When we looked at content, it was what do I write? Ideas that I can talk to my clients about that they're not going to find uninteresting or boring. How do I be engaging and relevant? Also, some of you were just starting out, so you knew that you needed to do this, but you were at the beginning of your sort of marketing and marketing education journey, which was great to see. One thing that did come across a little bit as well was a confidence, and one person said that they lacked the conference in their delivery. I think that can be quite a common theme when sort of starting to sell your advisory. And there's just a couple of other quotes I'll run through, because they really do set the scene.

Charles Clark:

And so one person said, “My challenge is conveying what we can actually do for them, and another said, “Having my clients see the value, especially when they're hesitant to pay.” And then another said, “Communicating to our clients that we now offer these services.” Followed up by, “Looking like we're not selling.” So all really common themes, and I think what we're going to be able to do here today is give you a process and a mechanism which is going to enable you to overcome some of those challenges, and do it in a way that doesn't take a lot of time, and also you're going to feel good and sort of not stressed about doing, because all the work is sort of done for you between Gap and BOMA. Right. Thanks, Nat. Is my screen coming through?

Natalie Eady:

Great.

Charles Clark:

So here we are again, also in BOMA, and we're actually in The Gap Library, so if you're a Gapee, you get access to The Gap Library in BOMA. Now, there are tons and tons of articles in here. What Nat showed you was sending sort of a specific email to someone that showed some interest in business planning. What I'm going to show you here is sending a campaign, so an email and social campaign, and this is also on planning, but it's much less targeted. So it's about getting people interested, warming them up, introducing them to the concept of planning, and what you can see here is the different elements. So we've got the image at the top, we've got some social text in the middle, and then you can see here, we've got the content down here.

Charles Clark:

So I'm going to click delivering campaign. You can see here, I could choose email, social, or both. For our purposes I'll choose both, and that is just the title that you see in BOMA, and it's just for your own needs, and no one else will see it. So here's the content here. I'm going to do one thing. I'm going to add our huge accounting hashtag. I could obviously adjust it further if I wanted to, but I'll click on continue, and now we're going to go through into the channel page, and this will show all my social channels as well as my email channel, and you can see here that change I made has come through, and if I click on preview, I can see what it would look like in LinkedIn, and you can see here down the left hand side, I've got LinkedIn personal, and you might want to in LinkedIn personal even add a little bit more text, because you might want to sort of have say a slightly different messaging personal than you do on your normal LinkedIn page.

Charles Clark:

You can see here Twitter, and then lastly, Facebook. So Facebook will always appear blank if you're using content from the content library, and that's just because Facebook doesn't allow us to post on your behalf as a third party, so if you just click on this link here, and then that will actually bring in all the text, including the new hashtag that we added, and I can preview it, and there's the social post. Obviously, social is one thing, but let's think about email. Sorry. Nat showed you earlier how you could sort of specify who you might want to send it to, so in BOMA you can select contacts manually. So you might have had a meeting with some people, and then you want to send it to those two people.

Charles Clark:

You could also filter using tags, so these are tags that you set up, and they could be specific to your firm. So they might be related to the industry that your clients are in or your prospects. Maybe they also specify who are clients and who are non-clients. It's really up to you to build out these campaigns and user segmentation, or you can deliver it to all, which is what we'll do now. The email template is the next step. So here you can see some previous emails I've sent out, and I can use those again. If I have a favorite template, maybe for a newsletter or for an update, but most of the time I'm going to start with this empty template here. And when I say, “Empty,” it actually does come with your logo linked to your social pages, your website, your address, and an unsubscribe button, so that's always going to be there, and then you can see on the right hand side here, we've got different versions of the content.

Charles Clark:

So these short versions are really useful if you're building out a newsletter, and you want to take content from other articles in the BOMA Content Library or other Gap articles, and you can just drag and drop those in, but we want to send them the full article. So all we do is drag and drop it in. You can see it brings in all the text, and it also brings in the image. We'll personalize it by adding a merge tag, and that basically pulls in the first name of each of your contacts. And now as I scroll down, everything in here is editable. So you can edit, change it if you want to. You can make your own comments. You can basically stamp your mark on it and deliver it in the tone that is relevant to both you and your audience.

Charles Clark:

Obviously, we can do a sign off, so like, “Kind regards, Charles,” but let's also not forget to add a call to action button. So really, really important always to be clear about what it is that you want them to do next. Don't just expect them to know that they should get in touch with you. Have a call to action button, and this could be something like a webpage, so it could be your contact us page, or maybe it links through to your business planning page on your website, where you actually talk about the service in more detail. You can also get it to send an email. So it would be you would basically put in your email address or some relevant person's email address. The subject would be, “Business planning,” and the body would be, “Please contact me about business planning,” and that can just be automated to happen as soon as they click contact us.

Charles Clark:

If you've got clients and prospects who spend a lot of time on their mobile phones, you could also instruct it to make a call or send you a text. So once you are happy with it, it's just a matter of saving and closing, and that'll take us back to the channel page. The last thing we need to do is review the subject line. Now, we've written it for you. Again, you can edit that if you want to do it. We've also given you a short description of the email. Again, you can edit that, send yourself or a colleague a test email, just to double check, and then schedule delivery. So when you schedule it, you can schedule it for now, or you can schedule it for a time in the future. So I'll schedule it for a couple of weeks away, and then that campaign is scheduled.

Charles Clark:

Just quickly before we hand back to Nat, so while we have Gap content in the library, which is fantastic for, I suppose, business development, and especially going on to that advisory front, there is a lot of other content in BOMA. You can see we've got categories down the side, and this content is all about supporting and nurturing your clients. So we have content from, obviously, The Gap in here, Xero, BOMA, Wolters Kluwer, and some other partners as well. So the important thing here is that it's all unique to the UK, and you can send it out either as an email or a social post, just in addition to maybe other content that you're sending out.

Charles Clark:

You can also do lead capture forms. So this might be your newsletter signup form on your website, or it could be a lead capture form that you promote on social and email, which then people sign up to your lead catcher form, and they get something valuable in return. So again, as Nat was saying, it's that value exchange. You're giving them something valuable, and it might be a report or some insight that you've produced. And in return, they're happy to give you their email address and contact details, which obviously comes into BOMA, and enables you to then start that nurturing and engagement process.

Charles Clark:

As Nat said, marketing isn't sort of an instant return, unless you're doing maybe Google ads, which are kind of you switch them on, you switch them off, but once you have the flywheel spun up, and once you're starting to reach these people, it does become easier, and it becomes less work, especially if you have systems in place like NAT has talked about, and then you will start to see the leads and the inquiries coming through, but you just have to be consistent and persevere.

Charles Clark:

Just the last thing to mention is that, obviously, you want to check how your campaigns have done. So when you go into BOMA, you can click into any of the campaigns, and this is obviously just a dummy one that we've done, but you can see here we've put all the information, emails as well, who opened it, click through rates, and when it comes to other social channels, how many people saw it, liked, shared, engaged with it. So, Nat, I'm just conscious of time, so I'll hand back to you.

Natalie Eady:

Awesome.

Charles Clark:

Yeah, and I completely agree, and the nice thing about it, and I know sales is a dirty word for many accountants, but if you can construct your marketing activity in such a way that it delivers value, and it's consistent, and it's delivering, I suppose, things that often your clients didn't know they needed. I think that's a classic one is sometimes your clients will be sitting there thinking, “Ah, it's great. My accountant does my cashflow for me and a couple of other things,” and then you're able to come along, and using the content marketing that we've been talking about, especially in our webinar, and you talk about an aspect of their business that A, maybe they didn't know you delivered, but B, they didn't know that they needed. So it's kind of providing that surprise and delight.

Charles Clark:

And that's really, I suppose, the benefit of marketing, is that you are able to, if you are consistent, and you are constant, you are able to touch them a number of times, and you never know what… Is the first time you touch them? Is it the fifth or the 15th? That time when they say, “Great. I believe in what you're saying. The things that you've been saying recently are problems that I have, and you've demonstrated how you can come in, and solve them, and provide sort of a strategy to move forward.” It's sort of like many things in life. You don't expect to succeed on the first try necessarily. You have to work at it, and it's very similar with your clients, just as they will tell you with their own businesses. You need to be consistent.

Charles Clark:

Leveraging your time. So the last 18 months has been an absolute roller coaster, and a lot of accountants that we spoke to in the early days, but I'm sure it's continued, said they just did not have the time on the one hand to support their clients, because a lot of them were doing phone calls, and on the other hand still be providing the services that clients needed to get through the early days and into longer days of the pandemic. Technology is the answer. So a webinar, an email system, or a system like BOMO, which does email and social plus The Gap content, it just enables you to communicate one to many. And so with a few minutes a day for your marketing, and maybe a little bit more of your time to sort of deliver a webinar campaign, you are able to deliver all the things that we've been talking about, but it's going to be a minimal uptake on your time, so you can still provide the support that both your colleagues may require, but also your clients.

Charles Clark:

And then just to finish off, as Nat said when you have created this moment, this connection with your leads or clients, maybe it's as small as they have liked something on social or commented, right up to they have been in touch after a webinar and said, “God, that's amazing.” Don't let it drop. These are as hot a leads as you can possibly get, and whether you sort of just take them through that nurture process a little bit more, or you feel like it's the right time to sort of start that conversation about the services you can offer. Don't put in all the hard work only to then not capitalize on it at the end.

Natalie Eady:

While we wait for questions, I thought that's a really good point you raise, Charles, about the need to talk to your clients on mass and leverage your time, because that's actually where we really launched our initial webinar offering for our members was back in COVID. Our clients were all scrambling to get information out there, so we put out there the business recovery plan, and a whole body of content around that, but also the webinar that helped them deliver what that was about to their clients, and gave some free value to those who were really suffering, but for those who want to take it a bit further and engage in a high level service, they can do that after the webinar. So with webinars, you are giving those who perhaps just want some support a low cost or no cost offer, and then others might go, “We've got the budget to really go home and do that full advisory service.” Alright.

Charles Clark:

So we've got lots of questions.

Natalie Eady:

Yeah. So we do.

Charles Clark:

So, Nat, this is one for you, “The marketing plan, is that example in the marketing bridge, in The Gap?”

Natalie Eady:

Oh, this one is actually a bit of a hybrid, which I've developed specifically for this webinar, but everyone will get a copy of this and can utilize it across whatever they want to use it for. I think to the other question around… Linda, I'm pretty sure, if you want to give me an email after the session, I can help you speak specifically to your other question around The Gap content there, if you like.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. In terms of importing contacts into BOMA, so there's two ways to do it. Yes, you can do it manually. Well, actually, there's three ways. You can do it manually. You can also do it through Zapier, so we've got a Zapier integration, which means that you can sync that up with your CRM, and that will then pull the contacts in, or the third way is that you can sync them to Xero HQ, and that updates automatically every day. Another one was… Okay, this is an interesting one, because it really speaks to social, “So when I do a social post in BOMA, and I go and I look at reach, and it says, ‘It's reached zero people,' why?” So this is from an anonymous attendee, so without knowing the specifics of your Facebook channel or your social channel, there's a couple of reasons why this might be, and the first could be a really common one, which is you may have a very small number of people following you.

Charles Clark:

If you don't have many or very few people following, you can do as many posts as you want, but because of the algorithms of social, the networks will only show it to a small proportion of your followers. If it begins to get a bit of engagement, that could be sharing, or commenting, or things, or people reading it, then it will be shown to more. The way around this is to do social ads. So we talked about it a little bit, that you could do this in BOMA, so create a post that you want to get out there, put it into BOMA as a Facebook ad, put $15 or $20 behind it, target the people that you want to target. So this might be what they do for a job, what they're interested in, where they live in New Zealand or Australia, and then go after them. And then you'll be guaranteed that you will reach a certain number of people, and often it's in the sort of thousands or tens of thousands, depending on your budget.

Natalie Eady:

While you're finding the next question to answer, I'll just remind everyone that [inaudible] you get a copy of the recording after the webinar. We weren't planning on providing the slides, but if you feel like they're of value, we could, but I think the webinar recordings are probably better.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. And just another question from Mina, “Is there a way to monitor posts in each social media platform to see which is likely to have higher engagements?” So a really easy way to do that is to do a post out to all the social channels that you have via BOMA, or if you don't have BOMA, just to do the same post out through your social channels, and then see which ones get the most engagement. While I suggest doing it, it's not always perfect, because you could put something out on Twitter, and because of the deluge of just sheer number of tweets coming through Twitter, it's very easy for people to miss it. Whereas on Facebook or LinkedIn, there are far fewer posts. People spend a bit more time, so the likelihood of maybe people sort of coming across it and engaging with it are slightly higher. But once you do put it out there, and then after a week or so have a look back, combine the analytics, if you've got separate platforms, or from BOMA they're all in the same campaign, and you'll be able to see what the engagement was.

Charles Clark:

Yes, Sam. In terms of email analytics, you can look at open rates and click through, if you just go into an email campaign, and you'll be able to not only see what the rates were for those, but you'll also be able to see who opened them, and who clicked on them, so by name. So that could be quite useful in terms of seeing which of your clients or your audience actually clicked on that.

Charles Clark:

Another one from Mark, “Social media, vanity metrics aren't always the best thing to track. Are you able to track the amount of that people read or looked at a post without liking or commenting?” So oftentimes you can look at, I suppose, reach or impressions, and that's how many people saw a post. It doesn't necessarily tell you how many people read the whole thing. A click through would, so that would be if you had a social post, and it would track, okay, 50 people clicked on this, and then, ideally, you would see that if they clicked on that post and came through to your website, you'd be able to track that if you're using Google Analytics. That's actually a good point.

Charles Clark:

If on your website you don't have Google Analytics, whether that's you've put it in yourself, or you want your web developer to put it in, I highly recommend doing it, because if you are doing email campaigns, and you want to track how many people not only opened your email, which you can do in BOMA or another service, but you want to track did they then come onto your website, and to the pages that you were wanting to send them to? Google Analytics will be able to help you track those. So tip of the day from an analytics perspective is get Google Analytics, if you don't already.

Natalie Eady:

Awesome.

Charles Clark:

Another one, “Does BOMA link to MailChimp?” No, we don't.

Natalie Eady:

I would say you're a fantastic alternative to MailChimp, because you do so much more.

Charles Clark:

Yeah, I think the difference between ourselves and MailChimp is that MailChimp is really it's aimed at small businesses. So they have no idea if you're an accountant, or a bookkeeper, or a flower shop down the road, whereas we're built for accounts and bookkeepers. And so everything that we've done, we've tried to make it, I suppose, unique and easy to use for you. And the biggest part of that really is the content, and that's why we've partner with The Gap is because it's having the content, it's having something to say, it's being able to upsell your services to promote services that your clients maybe don't know that you have. That's what's going to drive your business growth and value. Whereas for a small business, you're promoting consumer goods, and it's just a very different proposition.

Natalie Eady:

Awesome.

Charles Clark:

Do we have any other questions, guys? I know we've gone a couple of minutes over time, but happy to take more if anyone does have any more.

Natalie Eady:

Are there any more questions in the chat pane? Mostly thanks and goodbyes. So see ya, if anyone has to leave, thanks for coming today. I really appreciate that, and obviously we'll follow up after this with the recording. I can't speak to that last question, Charles. I'm not sure if you can.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. So the question was, “How can we capitalise free software support grant offered by the Queensland?” I assume it's Queensland local government. So in terms of getting net clients, I'm not exactly sure how you would do that. What I can say is that whenever in Australia or New Zealand new government policy regulations updates, news about grants, budget, policy, anything that comes out, you will able to find it in BOMA within the next few days. So that's either because one of our partners like The Gap has done it, or Wolters Kluwer, or we've written it ourselves. So keep an eye up for that, and that should give you a stare. Oftentimes in terms of it's a place to then send out to your clients to educate them, and then hopefully then you can link that back into maybe a service or a product that you offer. Trial duration and cost. Nat, do you want to go first?

Natalie Eady:

So we've got a 30 day trial, and so then the price per month is a 12 month fixed term price per month, depends on the size of your firm, and starts at $395 per firm per month, and goes from there, and we scale it that way because of the size of the opportunity for bigger firms. Yeah. So you've got a 14 day trial, don't you, Charles?

Charles Clark:

Yes. Yeah. Yeah, we've got a 14 day trial. If you get to the end of your trial, and you need another couple of days, just reach out to us, and we can extend it a little bit. Ours starts at $99 New Zealand for absolutely everything, and $79 Australian. If to get The Gap content in BOMA, you obviously need to be a Gap member, and so, basically, if you are a Gap member already, and you don't have access, or you become a gap member, they will give you the discount or the coupon code, which will unlock The Gap content in BOME, and then it will be accessible at no extra cost.

Natalie Eady:

Cool. And there's a question here about whether BOMA can appear on website blogs?

Charles Clark:

Yeah. So some BOMA content can, and it really depends on… So a lot of the content that we have written ourselves, or we've employed journalists and accountants to write it for us, that you can put on your blog, and we've actually got a Zapier integration. So it's a one button click, and it will then post it to your blog, and at the moment, that's only for WordPress, but we're looking at rolling it out to other blog or website hosting platforms. Some partners prefer that you do not have it on your blog, and you'll see when you are actually in BOMA, they'll have the rights will be stated for each piece. So it's very clear. Is it email? Is the website? Is it social, or is it all three?

Natalie Eady:

Yeah. I think the best thing about BOMA too is you can always take some of that content, and kind of create your own blog with a bit of this and a bit of that across your normal blog.

Charles Clark:

Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Charles Clark:

And so a lot of people when they do it, they will get it to post as a draft to their website, and then once it's on there, or they will actually just copy and paste it. If your website is not supported with Zapier at the moment, copy and paste it, and then you can really customise it. And it's all about adding your tone of voice, your perspective. You know your clients best, your audience best, and you want to have it in your language, and that's the great thing with all the content in BOMA that we've shown you is that it's all editable, so you can make it your own, and make it unique to your circumstances and your client's circumstances.

Natalie Eady:

Perfect. Awesome. Alrighty. I think that's probably the last of the questions. So from me, thanks, everyone, for joining and have a great rest of your day.

Charles Clark:

Thanks, Nat. Thanks, everyone. See you next time.