Top Digital Advertising Channels For Accounting Firms in 2022
- The competitive set spent $2M on digital advertising and increased spend by +51% during Q3 & Q4, with Q4 having the highest spend of $773K — mainly due to Grant Thornton and Bromwich and Smith’s Paid Search spend on ads related to debt insolvency.
- Brands in the competitive set spent the most on Paid Search ($1.5M), followed by Display ($267K) and Facebook ($228K).
- Between Q3 and Q4, Paid Search saw a significant increase in ad spend of +48% while Display saw a dramatic increase in ad spend of +329%. Facebook saw a decrease in ad spend of -27%.
- 60% of brands saw Paid Search advertising as their highest spend channel.
- Grant Thornton had the largest budget amongst the competitive set at $939K.
- Paid Search saw commonalities in brands focusing on an empathetic approach to their advertising through the use of phrases such as ‘help you get your feet back on solid financial ground’ and ‘friendly and non-judgemental professionals’.
- Display Ads saw commonalities in brands utilizing photographs of people and video animations to help attract the attention of the viewer.
- Facebook Ads saw commonalities in brands focusing on trustworthiness and reliability in their advertising through utilizing phrases like ‘federally licensed’, using one of the company founders in their ad, using quotes from customers, or highlighting their decades of experience.
- Free Consultation: brands offered their viewers free consultations as a way to get them to enter their sales funnel.
The following companies were included in the competitive set for this analysis:
In 2022, the competitive set spent $2M on digital advertising and increased spend by +51% during Q3 & Q4, with Q4 having the highest spend of $773K — mainly due to Grant Thornton and Bromwich and Smith’s Paid Search spend on ads related to debt insolvency.
In 2022, all brands in the competitive set saw significant increases in ad spend between Q3 and Q4, except for Raymond Chabot and MNP, who saw significant decreases in ad spend.
Between Q3 and Q4, Paid Search saw a significant increase in ad spend of +48%.
Between Q3 and Q4, Display saw a dramatic increase in ad spend of +329%.
Facebook saw a decrease in ad spend of -27% between Q3 and Q4.
Paid Search ($1.5M) saw the highest budget allocation across the competitive set, followed by Display ($267K).
Facebook ($228K) saw the lowest ad spend allocations in 2022.
In 2022, Grant Thornton had the largest budget amongst the competitive set at $939K.
58% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($549K), followed by Display at $230K (25%) and Facebook at $161K (17%).
Grant Thornton budgeted $278K toward Desktop Paid Search (51%) compared to $270K on Mobile Paid Search (49%).
Paid Search Tactics
- Providing Solutions: Ads begin with a question/prompt: “should I file for bankruptcy”? to grab attention
- Emotion-Based Messaging: The ad copy is intentional in its use of persuasive messaging to connect with individuals seeking debt relief “struggling alone is no way to solve the challenge…”.
- Free Consultation: Grant Thornton aims to convert users by providing free consultations
- Remote Options: Grant Thornton provides email or video consultation
Grant Thornton allocated the majority of their Display ad budget towards Desktop (88%).
- Optimized Landing Page: Grant Thornton’s ads lead to a lead generation landing page that is optimized for conversion by aiming to capture the contact information of the viewer and providing a brief summary of how the company can help.
- Consistent Branding: Grant Thornton consistently maintains its signature purple brand colour and logo positioning in both display ads.
In 2022, Bromwich and Smith spent $837K in digital advertising.
98% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($820K) and 2% went towards Facebook ($17K).
Bromwich and Smith budgeted $443K toward Desktop Paid Search (54%) compared to $377K on Mobile Paid Search (46%).
Paid Search Tactics
- Appealing to Desires: Audiences who are looking for debt relief are relieved to see the words ‘eliminate debt’ and ‘reduce debts up to 85%’. Bromwich and Smith appeal to the viewer’s desires by using those keywords in their ad title.
- Loaded with Benefits: Bromwich and Smith load the description with an array of perks for people in debt such as ‘payback what you can afford’ and ‘0% interest’.
On Facebook, Bromwich and Smith budgeted $17K toward Link Post ads (100%).
- Details in the Photo: Instead of putting the information in the description, Bromwich and Smith have integrated a bullet-pointed list about the benefits of a Consumer Proposal in the photo — thus capturing viewers who may not click the ‘view more’ button to see a description.
- Highlight the Keywords: Both ads highlight and utilize words such as ‘start fresh’ and ‘debt free’ to capture attention and appeal to people needing help with their debt.
- Free Consultation: By offering viewers’ a ‘free consultation’, the ads entice viewers to click through.
In 2022, Hoyes Michalos spent $190K in digital advertising.
98% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($175K), followed by Facebook at $15K (8%).
Hoyes Michalos spent 100% of their budget on Mobile Paid Search ($175K).
Paid Search Tactics
- Location Retargeting: Hoyes Michalos uses location retargeting in their ads to reach viewers in specifically in Ontario.
- Accepting and Non-Judgemental: Hoyes Michalos entices viewers to click on their ad by stating in the description how clients have a ‘99% acceptance rate’ and will receive ‘free advice’ from ‘friendly and non-judgemental professionals’.
On Facebook, Hoyes Michalos spent 100% of their budget toward Video Post ads ($15K).
- Image of Reliability: Hoyes Michalos uses one of it’s founders, Doug Hoyes, in their ad to convey an image of sincerity and reliability by putting a face to a corporation.
- Words of Reassurance: In the description of the ad, Hoyes Michalos consoles the viewer like a friend by saying ‘you are not alone in your debt - it’s time to leave your mistakes in the past’ to help reassure the viewers that their fears are seen and valid.
In 2022, Raymond Chabot spent $38K on digital advertising.
84% of their budget went towards Display ($32K), followed by Facebook at $6K (16%).
Raymond Chabot split their budget evenly towards Desktop Display ads ($16K) and Mobile Paid Search ads ($16K).
- Video Ads: Raymond Chabot utilizes video ads to capture the audience’s attention through the movement.
- Creative Logo Usage: Raymond Chabot’s ads utilize their circular logo creatively through the animation and suggest to the viewer that they can return their income to an equilibrium through the company.
- Optimized Landing Page: From an online booking integration that allows for future appointment booking and immediate assistance via chatbot, as well as, providing debt solution articles and customer testimonials, Raymond Chabot’s landing page is optimized for conversion.
On Facebook, Raymond Chabot split their budget evenly towards Link Post ads ($3K) and Status Post ads ($3K).
- Quotes from Customers: Raymond Chabot utilizes quotes from other customers to give the impression of trust and satisfactory service through social proof.
- Hosting Giveaways: Raymond Chabot hosts a giveaway for Valentine’s Day to give viewers a chance to win a new autographed book.
In 2022, MNP spent $35K in digital advertising.
82% of their budget went towards Facebook ($28K), followed by Display at $6K (18%).
On Facebook, MNP spent 100% of their budget toward Link Post ads ($15K).
- Decades of Experience: MNP uses words like ‘more than 50 years of experience’ and ‘over 240… offices across the country’ to showcase their company’s extensive history and ubiquity around Canada to guarantee to the viewer that they are reliable.
- Debt Calculator: MNP built a questionnaire on their website to help viewers determine their debt health. This fun and interactive calculator captures the viewer’s information at the end of the questions to allow MNP to follow up.
MNP budgeted $4K toward Mobile Display ads (67%) compared to $2K on Desktop Paid Search (33%).
- On Your Side: MNP utilizes the words ‘we can do this together’ to convey to the viewer a sense of camaraderie and teamwork that the company aims to provide for the viewer.
- Free Consultation: Both display ads aim to attract a click from the viewer by placing the free consultation offer as one of the main accented designs on the ad.
*Ad spend includes Paid Search, Facebook, & Display.
*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.
*Digital Ad Spend in Canada (USD)
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