17 Significant Stats On Why Insurance Agencies Should Use Videos

  • Posted on December 15, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Here are some compelling statistics about the use and efficacy of video as a marketing tool. Insurance agencies should investigate video, including whiteboard “explainer” videos, to help convey their value proposition, products and solutions.

  1. 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a weekInsurance Agency Video Marketing
  2. 50% of executives watch business-related videos on YouTube
  3. 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video
  4. About half of all internet users view a video at least once per month
  5. 100 million Internet users watch online video every day
  6. 4% of all Internet users view at least one video per month
  7. The average user is exposed to 32.2 videos per month
  8. Over 40% of those watching videos take some action after viewing a video
  9. 64% of website visitors are more likely to buy a product after watching a video
  10. The value of one minute of video is 1.8 million words (about 3,600 webpages)
  11. Videos increase people’s understanding of your product or service by 74%
  12. 80% of Internet users remember the video ads they watch online
  13. 90% of Internet users say seeing a video helps the decision making process
  14. Websites with video are 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of a search engine
  15. When video is included in an email there’s a 2 to 3 times increase in click through rates
  16. There’s also a 51% increase in subscriber-to-lead conversion rates when video is included in email
  17. Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product after watching a video

Check out one of our marketing videos here: http://startupselling.com/services/insurance-marketing-videos.

If you are looking for ways to improve your insurance agency website, produce high quality videos, or optimize your insurance agency marketing and lead generation, contact StartUpSelling, and receive a free insurance lead gen or web marketing review.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, Insurance Content Marketing, Insurance Video
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Top 10 Tips To Improve Insurance Agency SEO

  • Posted on November 30, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Search Engine Optimization and Insurance SEOEffective insurance agency search engine optimization can help drive traffic to your website, generate inbound leads, and increase the health and credibility of your insurance website. Let’s review these top 10 tips when it comes to improving your insurance agency search engine optimization.

  1. Know Your Keyword Phrases

Keywords, which are technically keyword phrases, are short three to five word phrases your prospects might use when looking for insurance products and services. For example, Ohio business insurance, Charlotte employee benefits, and New Jersey truck insurance, are all keyword phrases potentially applicable to your agency. To create a list of these phrases, there are many free tools and techniques your agency can use. For example, Google AdWords and Keyword Planner will help you determine the number of searches, by phrase, for your preferred keyword phrases. It will also recommend similar phrases for you to consider. There are many other free and paid tools, including Moz Keyword Explorer and SEOBook Keyword Tool.

  1. Review Other Insurance Agency Websites

Many agencies and brokers don’t do a great job with insurance search engine optimization (insurance SEO). That said, it can be still helpful to investigate other insurance agency websites to see if your agency can glean keyword phrase ideas. To do this, simply navigate to another agency website in your state and View Page Source, and search (Ctrl F) for meta. Or you can install a free tool bar from Moz or SEOBook to make this process simpler.

  1. Social Bookmarking and Google URL Submission

Once your agency has optimized your website for SEO, make sure you submit any unranked pages to Google using the Google Webmaster Tool (Submit URL). And, to better ensure your pages will get ranked, add them to prominent social media platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.

  1. Keyword Phrases in Titles and Subtitles

Creating titles and subtitles on a web page that includes your preferred keywords will help search bots and human readers more readily scan your content. If they find relevant keywords in your subtitles, they are more likely to read the entire article.

  1. Alt Image Tags and Header Tags

The title for a page appears on the search engine results page. The main header will appear when viewers open the page, similar to a headline in a magazine or newspaper article. Focus each web page on a specific topic and keyword phrase. Your title and header will be indexed by the search engine and seen by prospects. It will increase the chance viewers will open your article instead of an alternate article. Make sure you limit each page to a maximum of three keyword phrases. Both your prospects and the search bots will be looking for well organized, focused content, so keep your content streamlined and relevant.

  1. Dynamic Content Not Duplicate Content

Search engine like to see new content as their search bots scan your insurance agency site. Adding dynamic content with a blog, video, and article publishing will help your insurance search engine optimization efforts. Make sure your website isn’t using boilerplate, duplicate content. If you purchased a site from a vendor that offers boilerplate content, rewrite all your content, as rapidly as possible, or your rankings will suffer the consequences.

  1. Word Density

When it comes to word density, you should repeat your phrase, a reasonable number of times. There are many opinions on word density, ranging from 4% to over 10%. In general, a simple rule should be, when reading your content, it should read well for your website visitors first, and search engines second. Beware of “keyword stuffing”. When writing a page, focus on the topic, not the keyword phrase. When following this process, I find my keyword density is usually in the 5% to 8% range. For example, if you are writing about Florida flood insurance, it’s fine to repeat that phrase 4 or 5 times in 150 words, but not 10 times. You should include the phrase in your page name, page title, description and as header tags as discussed prior.

  1. Boldface, Italics, Underline, Links

It’s good to boldface, italicize or underline your keyword phrases, but do so within a reasonable writing context on your pages. Links can also be helpful, linking to other pages within your website, or conversely, linking from other pages to your preferred pages. Don’t confuse this process with “link building” schemes. Many agencies were led astray with SEO link building scams, including link farms and other black hat SEO practices. Any external links to your insurance agency site should come from high quality, relevant sites.

  1. Insurance Videos

Website visitors are 80% more likely to watch video then read your content, and search engines weight webpages that contain videos. And if your video has a longer view time than other websites in the same search results then your rankings cam improve even more.

  1. SEO Tracking

There are tons of tools available for tracking insurance search engine optimization. Many are free, most are inexpensive. From Moz, to SEOBook, to WebCEO, your agency can pick from dozens of highly functional choices. That said, you’ll need to learn the tool you select, and run and measure the reports on a consistent (monthly should suffice) basis. And it goes without saying, that every agency should have Google Analytics loaded on their website, to track general traffic, traffic patterns, search engine referrals, and social media referrals to their website.

Insurance search engine optimization is a complex and nuanced task, but any agency can begin by following the ten tips above. If your agency wants to get the next level, leveraging a well written, unique, mobile compliant, and SEO optimized insurance website, contact the insurance agency SEO experts at StartUpSelling.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency SEO, Insurance SEO, insurance social media marketing, insurance web marketing
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Insurance Agency VideosVideos have great shelf life and offer insurance agencies and brokers an opportunity to provide educational, sticky, and effective content. Videos can range from recorded webinars, to voice over PowerPoint, to professionally composed whiteboard productions with scripted voice over and complimentary background music. A good example of this is found on the StartUpSelling Insurance Agency YouTube Video Library. Some of these insurance sales and marketing videos have been viewed one thousand times, five thousand times and even ten thousand times.

Why add video to your insurance agency website, and why create a branded YouTube channel with videos? One important statistic to consider, is that your insurance prospects are 80% more likely to watch your video than read your content. Another is the impact of video on your insurance search engine optimization efforts. Google gives more weight to webpages that contain videos, and of course, they own YouTube. More video typically equates to better insurance SEO. And when your insurance agency video has a longer view time than other websites in the same search results, you receive an even greater SEO boost from Google. Furthermore, insurance agency video provides producers with great collateral for their email marketing, and social media marketing efforts.

Though prospects (and clients and partners) often prefer videos to written content, not all of these website visitors will watch your video in its entirety. Insurance website visitors want to know if the video pertains to them, and if they don’t see its benefit quickly they will leave your video and bounce to another site. To help improve stickiness, make sure you add captions and transcripts.  Captions and transcripts will help improve the chance people will watch your entire video and boost your authority with Google. Captions and transcripts help by:

  • Increasing view time (up to 80%)
  • Improving deep linking with keywords in video
  • Improving search results for keywords included in video

Take the time to create insurance videos, and leverage their benefits to the fullest. Including insurance marketing videos on your website and adding them to a branded YouTube channel will help your insurance search engine optimization efforts, increase website traffic and drive more insurance leads into your pipeline.

If you are looking for ways to improve your insurance agency website, produce high quality videos, and optimize your insurance agency SEO, contact StartUpSelling, and receive a free insurance lead gen or web marketing review.

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The Who, What, When, Where & Why Of Insurance Email Marketing

  • Posted on November 1, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingInsurance email marketing often seems like a daunting task to insurance agencies and brokers, because of the complexity of CAN-SPAM Act and opt in email marketing best practices. Conversely, some agents think you simply need to buy an email list and blast out an offer. Today, email marketing is a highly nuanced method to engage both clients and prospects, and should be a staple for any agency or broker.

The goal of these initiatives should be to build a trustworthy online relationship with both prospects and clients. Agencies and brokers can utilize email marketing to extend their reach, to demonstrate expertise and to establish thought leadership. When thinking of insurance email marketing, think of it in terms of the “Five Ws”, namely the Who, What, When, Where and Why.

  • Who: Develop A High Quality Prospect & Client Email List
  • What: Relevant Topics & Content
  • When: Date, Time & Frequency Distribution
  • Where: Calls to Action
  • Why: Lead Conversion, Insurance Leads

Using this famous formula, agencies and brokers can focus on the following five critical tasks when it comes to rolling out this marketing initiative:

  1. Assemble a high quality email marketing list, and follow opt-in best practices and CAN-SPAM regulations.
  2. Digital content should be educational and relevant. Talk to your audience with content that they will find beneficial.
  3. Determine a reasonable frequency – wait at least two weeks between email campaigns. As of this writing, Tuesday and Friday mornings have the best open rates.
  4. Provide clear “Calls To Action.” CTA’s include “Register for a webinar”, “Click here to learn more” or “Sign up for our newsletter.” It’s usually best to have one CTA per email campaign, two at most.
  5. Determine the goal of your campaigns and measure the results. Use AB split tests to better refine open and click rates. Be careful that you don’t include spam phrases or rush words (buy now, hurry, offer ends soon, etc.).

As agencies and brokers begin their email marketing initiative, they should take the time to create a well thought out lead handling process. After all, how will the leads from these campaigns be distributed, followed up and tracked. Agencies and brokers should determine how to disseminate, track and measure incoming email marketing leads.

  • Lead Scoring: Which leads are your highest priority?
  • Lead Distribution: How, why and to whom are leads distributed? What happens with: Request more information, get a quote, newsletter subscriptions, and other type of leads?
  • Lead Follow-up: Preferred method of follow-up for lead type by producers.
  • Lead Tracking: How will you track these leads? Do you have an agency management system that does this, or do you need to create a simple tracking system for all your email marketing leads.
  • Lead Reporting: How will your agency share the results with the executive team and producers?
  • Lead KPIs: Key Performance Indicators can be very helpful in measuring lead gen campaigns. Examples include: Total Leads Per Month, Meetings Scheduled, Quotes Per Lead, Closes Per Lead, Appointment Show Rate Per Lead.

Insurance email marketing is an important and nuanced lead generation initiative. Agents and brokers lacking the time, staff or skills can consider outsourcing this lead generation initiative to a proficient insurance marketing agency.

For more information about
territory exclusive Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions contact the StartUpSelling insurance agency marketing experts.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, insurance email marketing
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Insurance Agency LeadsA buyer persona is a composite representation of your ideal customer based upon existing client profiles, preferred prospect profiles and market research. The profile should include demographics, personal and business attributes, and behaviors that are typical of your ideal prospect.  Let’s review some examples to better illustrate this definition:

Your buyer personas should be a one or two paragraph written description of your ideal buyer. For example:

  • “Jerry Jones is a CEO, CFO, COO or Risk Manager who works at a distribution company between $15 million and $150 million dollars. He has at least a decade of experience and has been in his current position at least one year. His goal is to improve efficiency and refine processes within his company, which will contribute to bottom line savings. He is a consensus builder, but knows how to drive change, and has the credibility within his organization to implement a new initiative or allocate budget.”

  • “Gina Martinez is a CHRO, Vice President or Direct of Human Resources, with a manufacturer, distributor, technology company or restaurant group. Revenues can range from $5 million to $150 million dollars depending on industry. She has at least a decade of experience and has been in her current position at least one year. Her goal is to improve employee morale, increase wellness programs, ensure compliance and maintain competitive benefits programs. She is open to change, and will consider innovative approaches to this including captives, gap programs, leading edge tools and PBM alternatives.”

Creating an insurance agency buyer persona can help improve producer prospecting and closing, resulting in a leaner pipeline and improved close ratio. And they are also valuable when agencies outsource their appointment setting initiatives. If your agency has not yet created buyer personas, or if you haven’t updated them for a few years, it’s time for a review. For more information about insurance agency buyer personas or a complimentary Prospect Scorecard for to help build your buyer persona, visit StartUpSelling.com. And for more insurance agency marketing and sales tips like this, read Sell More & Work Less.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Telemarketing
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Web Beacons And Insurance Agency Email Marketing

  • Posted on October 13, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingLet’s begin with a simple definition of a web beacon. It is an object embedded into an email, to determine if a user accessed the content sent. There are other names used for web beacons such as tracking pixel, invisible pixel, pixel tag, pel and clear gif.

Web beacons are often used in email marketing to determine which recipients open the email. Doing this allows digital marketers to see which recipients have viewed or interacted with the email they sent. Email marketing tracking is not a perfect science, as tracking can be disabled by recipients who do not use HTML email clients, opting for text only emails. Some email preferences like turning off image display (while still using HTML), can also disable web beacons.

A web beacon is usually a transparent graphic image, often just a pixel that is placed unobtrusively in an email. When the HTML code for the web beacon points to a website to retrieve the image, it can also pass along important marketing information. This information can include the IP address, a time stamp, length of time the beacon was viewed, and the type of browser that retrieved the email. For many insurance agency email marketers, the most important metrics relate to the open rate, and the subsequent clicks that occurred in the email.

Web beacon options are included with most email marketing solutions, from the basic solutions to high end integrated platforms. When you send out insurance agency email marketing campaigns, the marketing engine will offer an option to track the emails. If selected, a tiny web beacon will be placed on the bottom of your HTML email to detect opens. Note that I said these would be on the bottom of HTML emails. If you are using text emails or multipart mime (the text portion of that email) the web beacon will not be used. This beacon is unique to each insurance email campaign that you send. When someone opens your email and the beacon is downloaded, they will register as an “open”. Automated replies, such as out-of-the-office messages, often do not download the beacon and as a result would not be counted as opens. This process can vary by email marketing provider.

Now that you know how web beacons help track your insurance email marketing campaigns, you can determine if your agency want to use this tracking. Open tracking is a fairly innocuous and unobtrusive way to determine email campaign efficacy and to fine tune the content for your audience. Almost all email marketers do use open tracking, and find it helpful. Click tracking is considered somewhat more intrusive, and that is a decision each agency can evaluate based on their preferences. Some agencies offer tracking and cookie notifications on their site, when using these technologies.

Insurance email marketing can be highly effective for lead generation. Those agencies lacking the time, tools or staffing to add this lead gen staple to their overall marketing initiatives should contact the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling for a complimentary web marketing review.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, insurance web marketing
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Truck Insurance LeadsDoes your trucking insurance agency leverage telemarketing to set up in profile appointments with demographically selected prospects in your targeted geography? If so, how successful are your initiatives, and is there anything your agency can do to refine them? For example, are they producing 10 or 20 in profile appointments per month? And if your trucking agency is not leveraging an appointment setting initiative, why are you ignoring this pipeline filling opportunity? Let’s review some of the key tips, techniques and best practices to ensure an effective appointment setting campaign:

  1. Call Script: It all starts with an effective and concise script. Synthesize your value proposition. Think of it this way, if you had a 30 second Super Bowl commercial, what would your agency tell the viewers? Why should truckers (whether they are owner operators, small fleets or large fleets) speak to you about their insurance needs? What do you bring to the table that is uniquely helpful to these targeted prospects? You may require multiple versions of your call script, especially if your prospects range from owner operators to fleets with 50 or more power units. And you should have a list of the 10 most common objections, with responses, to improve caller effectiveness. For example, do you insure tow trucks, ambulances, or cranes? These and other questions/objections and answers should be available to help the appointment setter(s).
  2. Prospect List: Your agency needs to use an up to date DOT prospect list with fleet size and X-dates. If you don’t have one, there are many sources which offer these (varying in quality from adequate to good). Scrub your clients and active prospects from this list, and note that it’s often better to do this on a monthly or quarterly basis, than an annual pull, based on target geography,  X-dates and fleet size.
  3. Lead Handling: Even the best leads will fail to close if your agency lacks a formal lead handling process. This doesn’t have to be automated, it just has to be followed and tracked! Once an appointment has been set up, which producer will manage that appointment, and how will they follow up to ensure the best possible close ratio? And of course, how will it be tracked. Check out this blog for more tips on insurance agency lead handling.
  4. Appointment Setter: Last but not least, is the appointment setter. Your appointment setter will make or break your lead initiative. And one of the challenges for some agencies revolves around hiring, managing and training this resource. Further, most agencies will only hire one appointment setter, and industry standards show that only one in three callers are likely to succeed in this challenging position. At a minimum, your appointment setter should have:
    • Telemarketing experience
    • Trucking insurance experience (or training)
    • Call script training and practice
    • Lead handling training
    • A professional demeanor
    • Ability to consistently deliver your call pitch (20 plus times per hour)

Trucking agencies with sufficient time, tools and talent can bring this lead generation initiative in house. Those agencies that cannot, should consider outsourcing this opportunity to the trucking lead gen experts at StartUpSelling. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Leads
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How & Why Insurance Agencies Should Test For Duplicate Content

  • Posted on September 20, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Website Duplicate ContentIs your insurance website content unique, or is your agency using the same generic boilerplate content as 100 other agencies? What type of review would you give your current website content, if you reviewed if from the perspective of a prospect, potential employee or possible partner? If your agency is simply using boilerplate content, you’re likely in the penalty box, placed there by both Google algorithms and your prospective clients. Let’s discuss how and why you got there, and remember, this information is in the public domain, accessible by anyone and everyone.

Your agency may be using boilerplate content from an insurance website platform. These can range in price from just a few hundred dollars total cost, to thousands of dollars per month. Regardless of the price, the approach is the same. You select the lines of coverage or content you want from a boilerplate insurance content library, and that becomes your insurance website content. Now your website is just like dozens, or even hundreds of other agents, agencies and brokers.

You can test your site by repeating the following four steps:

  1. Navigate to one of your internal pages. For example, Homeowners Insurance.
  2. Copy a sentence from your website page and paste it into a Google search. Here is a good example, “There are four primary types of life insurance, and each has a place in any sound financial plan. The four variations of life insurance are:”
  3. Review the results pages – do they consist of agencies like yours?
  4. Visit some of those websites – does their content look just like yours?

Repeat this several time on several pages (Auto, Life, Group Health, etc.). If your answer to items #3 and 4 are “yes”, then your insurance website is using duplicate content.

When it comes to duplicate (or syndicated content), search engines often don’t know which pages to include or exclude from their ranking indices. Further, the search engines don’t know if they should direct the link metrics to your insurance agency website, or another site. And they may not know which insurance agency page to rank for their query results (which agency to display in their search engine results pages). Clearly, when duplicate insurance content is present, insurance agency websites suffer rankings and traffic losses. And potentially worse, your best prospect or new potential hire may click on a competitive site that looks just like yours, or notice your content is that same as another agency, located down the street.

The solution is simple enough, though it can be daunting for a busy agency. Rewrite all your insurance website content so it is truly unique to your agency, and do so from your specific value proposition and branding perspective. If your agency lacks the time, talent or tools to accomplish this, or if your website can’t pass the Google Mobile Friendly Test, reach out to the StartUpSelling insurance website team at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary website review.

Click here for the Google Mobile Friendly Test

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, Insurance Content Marketing
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How To Test Your Insurance Agency Website Circa 2016

  • Posted on September 19, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency WebsitesIf and when agency owners, executives and producers test their websites for ease of use, effectiveness and branding, they often do so on their PCs or laptops. Then some, might test on their mobile devices. Today, this is now backwards, with many insurance agency websites analytics showing over 50% of all visitors arriving from mobile devices, and the vast majority of those, arriving via smart phone. That’s why agents and brokers should all test their sites from their smart phones, and do so from both an iPhone and Android. Here are some tips on what to do and look for when testing for mobile compliance:

  1. First things first, test your site using Google’s mobile friendly test.
  2. Make sure your site banner is displaying properly, and that it is not taking up too much of the display.
  3. Check the links (like Contact Us or Get A Quote). Are they easy to use without zooming? And do your forms work correctly?
  4. Are the videos working? Watch out for outdated video like Flash videos.
  5. Are your social media icons working and easy to access?

Another important test which all agencies and brokers should do is the duplicate content test. Navigate to an internal page, and select a sentence from that page. Now copy that sentence into Google and search. If your site is among dozens of other insurance sites that are found, you are using duplicate content. This is a negative from the perspective of both your visitors and Google. A top priority for you should be to rewrite your content so it is original, unique to you and your business.

If your website isn’t mobile responsive
or if you need your website content rewritten by agency experts, reach out to the StartUpSelling insurance website team at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary website review.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, insurance social media marketing
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Creating An Effective Insurance Agency Lead Handling Process

  • Posted on September 8, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency LeadsA new lead arrives at your insurance agency from one of your web based campaigns. It could be the result of a social media post, an email campaign or perhaps a published LinkedIn article. What happens with this lead at your insurance agency? What is your lead handling process?

Have you spent much time thinking about the process, establishing a plan, a workflow and tracking system? Is the lead distributed to producers by territory? Does your lead handling process vary by type of lead, product or prospect? For example, are commercial leads separated by large and small business, by industry or product? Are benefit leads parsed by groups over and under 50? And does your agency have a tracking system in place to determine how many leads showed for the appointment, moved into the pipeline, received quotes and ultimately convert into new business?

Agencies and producers can and should create a well-defined lead handling process to disseminate, track and measure incoming leads.

  • Type of lead: Inbound Web Marketing Lead, Telemarketing Lead, Referral, etc.
  • Lead Scoring: Create a simple system to determine lead quality (see the Prospect Scorecard if this doesn’t yet exist at your agency).
  • Lead Distribution: How, why and to whom are leads distributed?
  • Lead Follow-up: Preferred method of follow-up for lead type by producers.
  • Lead Tracking: Does your agency already have a platform for this, or an internal system? If not, implement a simple tracking system to determine what happens with every lead.
  • Lead Reporting: How will your agency share the results with the executive team and producers?
  • Lead KPIs: Key Performance Indicators can be very helpful in measuring lead gen campaigns and determining next steps for your lead generation and marketing initiatives. These should be reviewed monthly for most agencies. Example include: Leads Per Month, Meetings From Leads, Quotes Per Lead, Closes Per Lead, Appointment Show Rate Per Lead.

In addition to lead handling, agencies should review their collateral fulfillment. Collateral should vary by lead type, and can include branded eCollateral, blog posts, article links, video, live and on demand webinars, etc. For more information on Insurance Agency Leads, lead handling and insurance web marketing, visit www.StartUpSelling.com

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Telemarketing, insurance social media marketing
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