Facebook ads for accounting firms.

The complete guide to Facebook ads for bookkeepers, accountants and tax preparers.

Not all ad platforms are equal.

As an accountant or bookkeeper, what are the best types of Facebook ads to run when you’re trying to get new clients?

First up, it’s important to remember that there’s a fundamental difference between advertising accounting services on Facebook versus Google. The difference is intent. 

Accounting services are not necessarily something people casually browse for so when they do search on Google it’s usually with the intent to look into the services of the companies that appear in the search results. Which is why the cost of advertising on Google is much, much higher.

Cost per click of popular keywords (Google Ads)

US$ 0
accounting services
US$ 0
accounting services near me
US$ 0
bookkeeping services small business
US$ 0
tax agent near me

With Facebook ads you’re generally targeting a some-what cold audience that has never heard of you before so you need to set up your ad campaigns with that in mind. First you’re going to create awareness of your business and services with a targeted audience and then set up a follow up campaign to retarget those people who engaged with your ad in order to get them to take a more valuable result – ie, book a free consultation or download a lead magnet.  Learn how to generate higher quality leads from Facebook Ads here.

Facebook ads can be a very cost effective way for accountants and bookkeepers to grow their businesses online. It may seem overwhelming at first but we’ll take you through an overview of the different components and then look at examples of ads that have worked for our accounting clients (and can work for you too).

We know marketing for accountants.

MITCO Digital is a boutique digital marketing agency that specializes in helping accounting firms get new clients with online marketing. We grew up in accounting, we understand the lingo, your clients and most importantly, how to generate results for you.

Book a free strategy call with us to chat about your firm’s goals, challenges and how we’ve helped clients, like you, to grow.

The benefits of Facebook ads for accounting firms.

  • Cheaper than other platforms like Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads.
  • Highly measurable.
  • You can get started with a very limited budget.
  • It’s very easy to test different components (audiences, ads etc), switch off ones that don’t work and scale ones that perform best.
  • They can give you great results during peak times such as tax season when people are thinking of preparing their return.

The cons of Facebook ads for accountants.

  • It’s becoming more challenging to accurately track and target the right audiences after iOS14 updates.
  • Some level of skill (or patience) is required to correctly install and configure tracking tools (such as the Facebook pixel), enabling you to attribute key results back to your ads.
  • Time is needed to create the artwork, research audiences, write good copy, setup ads and constantly test variations to find best performing ads.
  • Time and money is needed to learn which ads and audiences work best (which is one of the primary benefits of partnering with an agency like ours).

Prerequisites to Facebook Advertising.

Before you setup the first campaign for your bookkeeping or accounting practice, there are a few things you need to have in place:

  • A business facebook page. You don’t have to have an Instagram account but it can help.
  • A Facebook Business Manager account.
  • Ideally you would also have Google Analytics set up to track traffic that comes to your site via your ads. We also use Google Tag Manager for our clients to manage all tags and tracking pixels but that’s probably asking a bit much if this is your first campaign.

A common advertising error that accountants make.

Facebook make it easy for you to spend on their platform – that’s their goal. So they’ve set up an ‘Ad Center’ on your Facebook page from which you can quickly launch a campaign. Don’t create ads this way. 

The targeting options are extremely limited and you can create a much better ad campaign in Facebook Business Manager. You also probably won’t have tracking enabled if you create ads via this channel only.

Understanding the Facebook ad account structure.

Let’s start with an overview of the ad account structure. Campaigns are setup under a hierarchical system as follows:

  • Campaign
    • Ad Sets
      • Ads

Campaign Level.

This is where you tell Facebook what the objective of your campaign is. Generally, for an accounting firm, your first campaign would start with a traffic objective – ie, you want to send relevant traffic to your site. Other objectives accountants could use are Engagement (if you have extra budget and want to grow your Facebook page followers) and Lead Generation (more useful when targeting individual taxpayers and during tax season).

If you’ve set up your Facebook event tracking correctly it’s better to use Conversion campaigns instead of Traffic so that you can pursue a specific result and accurately measure that in your ads manager account.

At the campaign level you also have the option to choose from A/B testing or Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO). If you’re just starting out, switch on CBO and set a budget (we prefer daily as opposed to monthly). The Facebook algorithm works extremely well if you give it time and budget so leaving CBO on will allow Facebook to analyse the performance of your ads and ad sets and distribute your budget across the best performing ones as it learns.

facebook ads for bookkeepers - account structure
facebook ads for accounting firms - account structure

The ad set level.

At this level you’re going to:

  • Select where you want to direct traffic to if you’ve gone with a Conversion or Traffic objective. In a Lead Gen campaign you’ll select to send leads to a form on Facebook, whatsapp or messenger.
  • The start date of your campaign.
  • The location that you’re targeting (note that you can select people living in or recently in the area, people who’ve travelled in the location, people recently in the location or people who live in the location.)
  • On the map you can select up to 25 locations.
  • Refine your targeting by demographics, interests and behaviours.
  • If you’ve done your research and have set up your targeting well, then leave the ‘detailed targeting expansion’ box un-checked. 
  • Select your placements. If you’re just starting out, then leave this as is. Later on you can customize ads for different social media platforms.
  • Choose your optimization. If you’re running traffic ads you want Facebook to optimize for landing page views, not link clicks. You want to measure who actually went to your page. If you’re running conversion ads you would have set this higher up on the page where you choose a conversion objective, such as lead. For Page Likes campaigns this will automatically be set to optimize for Page Likes.
facebook ads for bookkeepers - ad set level
facebook ads for CPA firm - ad set level

The ad level.

At this level you’re going to:

  • Select the type of media you want to display. If you’re starting out we suggest keeping it simple and stick to video or image.
  • Create your artwork in various sizes so its optimized for delivery across multiple channels.
  • Make sure you use high quality artwork that captures attention. You have to stop someone from scrolling past.
  • When using video, try to include captions (not everyone has their sound on)
  • There’s no longer a rule about how much text you can have overlaid on your image/video but research shows that ads with less than 30% tend to perform better.

Pro Tip

Wherever possible, use a video creative instead of an image.  Video ads help with retargeting. With a video ad you can retarget people who watched a percentage of the video. Someone who watched 75% has demonstrated interest, so they would be a good audience to retarget.

Standard Artwork Sizes

  • Square (1080 x 1080 pixels)
  • Stories (1080 x 1920 pixels)
  • Facebook and partner platforms (1200 x 628 pixels)

There are 2 main areas where you’re going to have copy / text:

    • The ‘Primary Text’ is the main body of text you see in an ad. The first two lines are critical. You have to capture the reader’s attention in order to get them to click ‘see more’ on the ad and continue reading. Ensure there is a connection between the text and the artwork. Keep the rest of the text fairly short and to the point.
    • The ‘Headline.’ Use a headline that also relates to the artwork and topic of your ad but immediately captures interest.
facebook ad examples for accounting firms
facebook ad examples for accountants
facebook ad examples for bookkeepers

Other important elements of your ad include:

  • Call to action. Depending on your campaign objective, you’ll select a button that best suits your ad. If this is an ad at the top of your funnel to a cold audience you’re not going to use things like ‘call now.’ Rather use a less a less direct approach with something like ‘learn more.’
  • Website URL. Add your destination link here if applicable and try to use UTM parameters so that you can track where your traffic is coming from in Google Analytics. You can set them up with this handy tool.
  • Once you’re done, check how your ad looks in the different format previews. Make sure the pixel is active and click publish.
  • Sometimes it can be helpful to step away for 10 mins and then come back with a fresh pair of eyes and make any final edits before publishing.

FINAL TIP – Keep your ads simple. Busy ads, with multiple messages are confusing and don’t perform well. If your ad is for bookkeeping services targeting tradespeople, use a striking image of a tradesperson with text on the artwork related to that topic and make sure your primary text and headline also directly relate to that. Ensure that there’s a strong cohesion between your ad and wherever you are sending them otherwise they’re going to land on your destination page and leave quickly.

Key performance indicators.

Now the work has just begun. Over the next few days, keep an eye on the performance of your adverts. Some key indicators to watch are:

  • Results
  • Cost per result (CPR)
  • Click through rate (CTR). Look at both the CTR (all) and CTR (link). If the CTR (all) is high but the CTR (link) is low it means that people are clicking on your ad but you’re not convincing them to click the link to your destination. This could be because you’re attracting the wrong audience or your messaging is off.
  • Cost per click (CPC). We use the CPC (link) because at the end of the day we want link clicks.
  • Impressions – the number of times your ad was displayed.
  • Reach – the number of people who saw your ad.
  • Frequency – how often your ad was shown to the same people.

Accounting firm advertising examples.

There are thousands of examples we could dive into but let’s keep this simple. Here are two ad campaigns that work for accountants.

#1 Conversion campaigns + retargeting.

Let’s assume you’re targeting small business owners who need bookkeeping services.

Setup a campaign aimed at a cold audience that you have defined well using the targeting options. You can also create an audience based on lookalikes if you have an email list or a good Facebook following. 

Set up 2 or 3 audiences at the ad set level to test different targeting options. You’re going to need a great article on your site to send people to (such as ‘10 things your bookkeeper should be doing for you’). Use a short video ad in your creative. Don’t try sell at this stage. You’re trying to make people aware of you, offer value and see who is showing interest.

Then look to retarget. Make sure your Facebook pixel and event tracking is set up well and then retarget anyone who visited that page or engaged with a certain percentage of the video – those people are now a warm audience and have expressed interest in what you’re promoting. 

Now set up a second campaign with a conversion objective, optimizing for leads, directing them to your bookkeeping services page (as an example) with the goal to get them to make contact with you or book a free consultation. This action would be reported back into Facebook if your tracking is set up properly.

These sort of campaigns work better for people who are in the marketing for bookkeeping services or closer to the point of making that decision. That’s not always the case with accounting services though. It’s good to pair this approach with a longer term strategy.

#2 Lead magnets.

This is where a lead magnet comes in. You’re going to need a really great resource on your site that would be very appealing and beneficial to your audience. For example, say you built a spreadsheet with a bookkeeping template to help small business owners manage their daily movements better, or ‘The Ultimate Tax Claims Guide for Small Business Owners.’ In order for them to download this content they complete a form with their email address.

Not everyone who goes to your services page in example #1 above is looking for an accountant at that moment. Think about how people use Facebook. They may be out somewhere, go onto Facebook for 5 minutes, click on your ad, but they don’t really have the time to analyse your services.

So set up a third campaign with a conversion objective, optimizing for downloads (or leads), directing them to your resource. This is where the long term strategy comes in.

Now that you have their email you can start communicating with them without paying for ad platforms to reach that person. The goal is to establish yourself and your firm as a likable, trustworthy authority in your space so that when the time comes for them to look for accounting services, you’re top of mind and it’s an easy decision to go with you. There are also things you can do along the way to entice them to move across sooner.

Develop a sequence of emails that offer value on a weekly basis and help establish your position as an authority. Use an automation tool like HubSpot, MailChimp or others to do this.

Facebook ads that work for bookkeepers and accountants.

We could probably do our own bookkeeping but we don’t. It’d be a waste of our time and there are people who specialize in that and can save us a ton of time and money.

Facebook ads work for accounting firms. But to be honest, to get results you need to know what you’re doing, how to set up pixels and event tracking and continuously test and optimise campaign performance. 

It’s in your best interest to leave it up to experts who spend their days doing just that for accounting firms. MITCO Digital is a full service digital marketing agency that specializes in providing online marketing services to accounting firms.

Schedule a free call with us to chat more about how we could help you get more clients through facebook ads.

Get more clients with online marketing.

Mike de Ravel - Founder

We exist to help accountants grow their businesses and annual revenue, by leveraging the real power of digital marketing. 

Why would you waste money and time on strategies that don’t work and agencies that don’t understand your industry?

We know accounting. We understand your prospects. Most importantly we know what works for accountants.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you grow your accounting firm.