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Accounting Seed reimagines digital marketing

  Article , Financial Services , Success stories

Driving business growth with paid search

Laying down roots

Accounting Seed logo

Accounting Seed is a cloud-based solution that helps small businesses, mid-market companies, and enterprise-level organizations seamlessly handle their accounting needs from lead to ledger. As a small but mighty organization themselves, Accounting Seed has more than 50 employees serving over 1,000 customers and 15,000 users across various industries.

Founded in 2008, Accounting Seed stemmed from the need to connect clients’ accounting software to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems for a more holistic view of their business. Accounting Seed fulfilled that need, and the company has experienced immense growth over the past two years, starting with its connection to the Salesforce Platform then branching out of that ecosystem to open up new markets.

We found that during this time, a lot of people were searching for cloud-based accounting software. We saw an increase in sales through paid search because of the need to move to cloud accounting.

— Shannon Cochran, Marketing Program Manager, Accounting Seed

Growing amid a pandemic with help from Microsoft

Shannon Cochran, Marketing Program Manager, Accounting Seed

Shannon Cochran, Marketing Program Manager, Accounting Seed

As with most businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Accounting Seed had to rethink its marketing strategy. The company planned to ramp up its marketing at the many trade shows and events it was scheduled to attend in 2020, but with those on hold or going virtual, Accounting Seed shifted to a digital strategy. “We’ve been able to expand our digital efforts, reinvesting the funds we were to put forth toward these events into digital advertising,” says Nick Havrilak, digital marketing specialist at Accounting Seed.

As part of that investment, the company employed Microsoft Advertising to demonstrate the value of its digital advertising solutions during a pandemic. The marketing team built text and search campaigns, display campaigns, and retargeting campaigns to position Accounting Seed as the ideal solution for the accounting and finance woes of businesses transitioning to remote work.

“We had a lot of data to import into the platform, but with the help of the Microsoft Advertising support team, we were able to get a detailed campaign up and running with ease,” says Havrilak.

Combining those campaigns with Microsoft Advertising solutions, including Ad extensions, Dynamic Search Ads, Expanded Text Ads, the Import from Google Ads feature, In-Market Audiences, and the Universal Event Tracking tag, Accounting Seed was able to target business owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs who were looking to update their financial software during the pandemic. The company’s efforts paid off, with people searching for accounting solutions and clicking on Accounting Seed’s ads.

“We found that during this time, a lot of people were searching for cloud-based accounting software,” says Shannon Cochran, marketing program manager at Accounting Seed. “We saw an increase in sales through paid search because of the need to move to cloud accounting.” The results for Accounting Seed have been significant, with a nearly three-fold increase in web traffic since the organization launched their Microsoft Advertising campaigns last year. In addition, they have seen a 26% increase in new web sessions and a 76% increase in page views per session compared to the previous year.

Leveraging paid search to reach the right customers

Paid search is Accounting Seed’s main driver for lead generation. “One of our goals with paid search is to bring in a large number of leads to our sales team,” says Cochran. “By strategically targeting the right customers and getting the right message in front of them, we’ve seen tremendous results, with more quality leads coming in. As a result, we’ve increased our investment in paid search over the last year.”

Aside from generating leads, Accounting Seed views paid search as a means to educate potential customers about accounting on the cloud. But this proved challenging with accountants, who the company found were more set in their ways and wanted to stick to a solution they knew.

“For a majority of accountants who go through training or schooling, they’re taught a specific accounting software, so it becomes personal to them,” Cochran says. “They see that they can provide the most value to their company through working on a system they’re well-versed in. Moving to another solution can therefore be a huge burden or a painful process.”

To ease that transition, Accounting Seed turned to paid search to educate customers on new ways to think about accounting and managing finances. The company approached this from a support perspective, focusing on what its solution can do to address the accounting needs and struggles of businesses.

Branching out

Nick Havrilak, Digital Marketing Specialist, Accounting Seed

Nick Havrilak, Digital Marketing Specialist, Accounting Seed

Though Accounting Seed’s business is primarily within the U.S., the company hopes to continue expanding into new markets and regions. It is coupling a data-driven approach with location and geographical targeting, as well as A/B testing copy and visuals to see what works best in different areas and market segments. Efforts are also underway to cater to the field of government contracting, as the company’s platform already has the tools in place to allow government workers and contractors to succeed in the financial sector.

“We know a lot of government contractors use Bing,” says Havrilak. “So, we started out with a small budget and did some testing. After two months, it was obvious people were searching for our type of product on Bing, so it made sense for us to extend our budget and reach, doing advertising in the UK and Canada as well.” Indeed, Accounting Seed has laid down roots for success, but with the help of Microsoft Advertising, the company is branching out into new avenues, exploring bigger and bolder ideas, and approaching challenges with creativity.

“If we want to try something, we have the ability to do that, which speaks well to Microsoft Advertising,” Havrilak says. “There was an opportunity for us to expand on our advertising efforts, and Microsoft Advertising made it worth our while.”

We had a lot of data to import into the platform, but with the help of the Microsoft Advertising support team, we were able to get a detailed campaign up and running with ease.

— Nick Havrilak, Digital Marketing Specialist, Accounting Seed

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