• 26 November 2020
  • Tax

What type of content do tax professionals engage with?

The more observant readers of this blog may have noticed this content is made up almost entirely of written words (plus a very traditional pie-chart!). And according to our recent LinkedIn survey of tax professionals, this is exactly how you like it!

Over half of respondents to our survey told us they prefer written content, whether it is a blog, report or case study. The next most popular form of content was an infographic. Video and audio content was chosen by a meagre 27% of tax pros.

This isn’t what marketing professionals have been predicting. For years, we have been told that video content is the future - but perhaps that future has yet to arrive.

What happened to video?

Back in 2015, The Guardian stated that: “Video is the future of content marketing. That is, if it's not the here and now.”  It warned that, “Small businesses that fail to include video in their internet marketing strategies will do so at their peril.” 

The predictors don’t always get it right. In the home entertainment industry, there was a general consensus from around 2000 onwards that 3-D screens were the future. The big players like Sony, Fuji and Panasonic draped 3-D technologies across their expensive stands at the influential global exhibitions and trade shows. They all believed that no home would be without a 3-D TV by 2020. But it turned out people just didn’t want to wear the cardboard glasses!

Of course, video is not a fashionable fad like 3-D, and it could be pointed out that the audience of tax professionals may not be the quickest adopters of new marketing trends. But it isn’t just our industry that refuses to give up on the splendour of the written word. 

For a start, the all-powerful influencer, Google, still rewards sites that have great blogs with high search engine rankings. 

The statistics also back up the importance of blog activity. It has been reported that adding a blog to your existing website can increase traffic as much as 434%.

One of the leading marketing platforms, Hubspot, recently compiled a list of extraordinary stats on why blogging still matters. these included:

  • Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t
  • In 2019, 77% of marketers were focusing on written content.
  • 53% of bloggers are 21 to 35 years old. 

It’s all in the mix

So that’s it, we can turn off TikTok, switch off Snapchat and ignore Instagram. The written word still rules. 

Well, not exactly.

Generation Z have grown up making videos, and they are now in the workplace. And the millennials are just as happy with the video option on their iPhones. 

The bad news for all the tech Luddites is that video is not just the future, it is also very much the present. But it’s nice to know that good old-fashioned writing is still alive and kicking.

And when it comes to marketing, there’s no point trying to work out which channel works the best. In the chaotic and confused times we live in, we all get our information and entertainment fixes in different ways. The successful communicator finds a healthy balance between words, images, video and audio. Sometimes, all in the same blog.

What the tax professionals said...

Here are some of the responses to our poll:

  • “I have been long advocating the idea of podcasts as I spend much of my spare time listening to them. Video has been winning lately - particularly since Covid.  However, I found that when people were commuting and travelling more, the written pieces did better.  I also like to think that there is a misconception that those of us in the Tax industry are boring and don't like a bit of fun, which of course is untrue and a good old infographic can catch the eye!”
  • “All options are relevant in ever evolving field of talent sourcing and options but I am more in favour of infographics which are to the point and include essential knowledge.”
  • “I’m definitely a visual learner - but I also look at case studies and written info - as long as they are not overly technical.”
  • “I like both audio and vlogs of a few minutes with concise content.”
  • “I like to read, as most of the time I research something for a case after my child falls asleep.”
  • “My preferred medium is the written form.”
  • “I like subtitles on a video, in case I don't have my headphones! You can't always watch a video but you can read content anytime”

And the reply which was most to the point:

  • “We read. 😂”

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Alex Mann is Associate Director, Indirect Tax & Tax Technology at Harvey John

For expert advice on how to get the best out of your tax career, whether in a professional services firm or in-house, contact us today.

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