Why H&R Block is upping its content marketing strategy

Brand leader for Australian accounting firm explains why investing in a digital content strategy is helping to tap a new customer market


Small businesses can be a notoriously difficult group to reach, with business owners often unwilling to part with their funds without an incredibly compelling reason. So when tax accounting specialists H&R Block decided to ramp up its approach to this sector, it decided to go where small businesses already are.

H&R Block is partnering with the online small business advice community, SavvySME, to create custom content to educate small business owners on the advantages of working with a tax professional. Director of tax communications at H&R Block, Mark Chapman, says this approach is essential in promoting his company’s tax and bookkeeping services.

“H&R Block is the largest firm of tax accountants in Australia, so we look after about 750,000 individual tax payers which is our core market,” he tells CMO. “But over the last few years we have been looking to diversify away from that individual market.

“For our business to thrive in the long term, we actually need to grow in other spaces in the tax accounting market, and that includes building up our expertise in terms of offering superannuation services, financial services, and also services to small businesses around the tax accounting bookkeeping.

“For us, SavvySME is a good way of building our reputation in a market we are not necessarily known for.”

H&R Block’s engagement through SavvySME consists of contributing content focused on tax accounting and bookkeeping tips for small businesses. Chapman describes this as a brand building exercise, rather than being geared towards getting small businesses to rush into its offices.

“SavvySME is a very different marketing strategy for us - it is not geared to the hard sell,” he says. “It is about building that reputation for H&R Block as an organisation that understands small businesses, that understands the tax issues they face, that recognises that tax is very complex, and gives small businesses an outlet to come and discuss their issues and get their tax accounting and bookkeeping done.”

SavvySME was founded in 2012 as a social platform designed exclusively for business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators. Co-founder, Yee Trinh, says it helps 25,000 businesses grow through connecting them with the right resources, with plans to launch a hiring marketplace in 2018 to complement its existing products marketplace.

“Small businesses are very time poor and under-resourced, so we bring together a community of them and essentially connect them to everything, from information that they need through to people they can hire,” Trinh says.

“With SMEs and all the services they engage in and all the providers they engage with, it is all about trust. For H&R Block, it is about building the trust within those brands, developing the relationships.”

Read more: Report: Australian content marketers heavily focused on building audiences

Read more: 4 tips to boost your content marketing game

Although Chapman says it is too early to determine whether the relationship is delivering results, H&R Block is in it for the long haul.

“We’ll continue to use SavvySME has a means of talking to and educating that small business marketplace that they serve,” Chapman says. “This is all about building a brand and it is about assisting small businesses, and growing that market perception of us as experts in the small business space over a period of time.”

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