Social Media Marketing is a Waste of Time

  • Posted on September 8, 2010
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency MarketingOr is it a great use of your time?  As salespeople and marketers, this is the challenge we currently face.  The prevalence and relevance of social media is increasing every day, and building momentum as it moves forward.  Like the cartoon snowball rolling downhill, its coming faster and faster and growing exponentially as it progresses.

An experienced and successful social media expert once told me that a good rule of thumb is to invest 1 hour per day in each social media or social networking venue that you would like to cultivate as an effective marketing channel.  After I finished laughing, I responded that since I only wanted to focus on LinkedIn, Facebook and my Blog – this would add a mere 15 hours to my work week.  No problem if I was looking to sacrifice my weekends for the foreseeable future.

In truth, I spend far less that 15 hours per week on social media / social networking sites.  But the time investment I do make – approximately 4-6 hours per week – has worked.  Social media marketing has firmly become the 3rd leg of our marketing stool.  So how am I able to meet prospects and win business in less time than the aformentioned marketing expert?  I would like to say it is becuase I am smarter and more effective, but the answer is that the time needed to successfully use social media is different for everyone.

It depends on your industry, your posistion, your product/solution – and most importanly the goal that you are trying to achieve.  My goal is to meet in-profile prospects using LinkedIn, share my ideas and expertise in this Blog, and to interact with friends and family on Facebook.  This takes much more time to execute well than it takes a B2B exec who sells a high dollar enterprise solution to meet a few prospects, and it takes much less time than it takes Adidas or Nike to spin the social media web surrounding a new shoe.

My suggestion for each of you is to experiment.  The number of social media sites is becoming infinite.  Choose 1 or 2 and make a splash.  Measure the results and refine your process.  If it helps you move toward your goal, increase your time investment.  If not, move on to one of the many, many alternatives.  Also seek guidance from your competitors.  If the industry thought leader you would like to be is all over Twitter and has a great Blog, maybe you should try to do the same.  If they are nowhere, maybe you break ground first and stake your claim. 

My personal philosophy is that if you open and honest, provide some level of value and expertise, and remain dilligent in your efforts – people will see you are genuine and hopefully learn that you are someone they should be doing business with.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: B2B Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan, Social Media
Read More

Almost 50% of our Web Seminar Attendes Come from Social Media Outlets

  • Posted on September 7, 2010
  • by John Scranton

Today I began posting invitations to our next monthly Insurance Agency Marketing web seminar.  As I completed this task, I realized how much our web seminar registration and attendance has shifted toward social media over the last 12 months.  Traditionally, most of our attendance comes from the highly targeted email invites we send out.  In 2010, with no decrease in the real number of registrants from that source, social media has now begun to produce 40 to 50% of our web seminar attendees.

We all know the importance social media as a marketing tool.  But this statistic to too significant to be overlooked.  Blog entries, LinkedIn and other social media tools have DOUBLED our web seminar attendance this year with $0 invested.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: eMarketing, Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Social Media, Web Seminars
Read More

Webinar: Building your Insurance Agency Marketing Plan for 2011

  • Posted on September 6, 2010
  • by John Scranton

Webinar: Building your Insurance Agency Marketing Plan for 2011

   
 
Insurance Agency Marketing   
   
 

StartUpSelling, Inc.

 
Join us for this brief, complimentary web seminar. Our team of agency marketing experts will discuss how to build your Insurance Agency Marketing Plan for 2011. Agencies are faced with the difficult challenge of building an effective strategy with an often limited budget. Coupled with the changing face of marketing in our Web 2.0 society, drafting a plan is an immense challenge. We will discuss the the most efficent ways to invest your resources for maximum results. Topics include:* The importance of Social Media Marketing
* eMarketing & Web Seminars for Lead Generation
* Effective Website Design and SEO
* Branding and Collateral for a Web Centric Era
* Traditional Advertising and Marketing Tools
Title:   Webinar: Building your Insurance Agency Marketing Plan for 2011
Date:   Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Time:   12:00 PM – 12:30 PM EDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/278100432

 

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: eMarketing, Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan, Search Engine Optimization, Small Business, Social Media, Telemarketing, Virtual Business, Web Seminars
Read More

Insurance Agency eMarketing

  • Posted on September 3, 2010
  • by John Scranton

Following up on Tuesday’s post regarding Prospect Email List Generation – here is a brief overview the next step in the Integrated Agency Marketing process: Insurance Agency eMarketing.  This is a complex topic, so I will share a few best practices to help you improve your email campaigns.

  • Find the Right Subject Line – In my estimation, the subject line is more important than the sum of your message contents.  Take your time, practice, ask for feedback, split test, practice more.  Do whatever it takes to find an effective subject line.  These 10 words are more critical to your response that anything you say in the email.
  • Avoid Graphics and Templates – Many eMarketing vendors make it very easy to add graphics to template layouts that make your message colorful and exciting.  The only problem is, not many people will see the pretty pictures.  What percentage of your target prospects use HTML email?  What percentage of the HTML users have Outlook set to refrain from automatically opening pictures?  A textual email will not be glitzy, but will reach significantly more inboxs and look much more professional when it gets there.
  • Do not Sell Anything – This is a hard one for most eMarketers, myself included.  Why would you send a message to people if you are not selling anything?  Because if you do not try to sell anything, they may actually read the message.  Provide an educationally oriented message that will convey your expertise.  If they are interested in the topic, they might talk to you.  Then you can sell them something.

Hope these ideas help make your next eMarketing campaign a successful one!  Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: eMarketing, Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan, Web Seminars
Read More

Prospect Email List Generation

  • Posted on August 31, 2010
  • by John Scranton

I often receive inquiries from agency producers, marketing execs and other B2B salespeople asking how to build and implement an integrated web marketing strategy.  They generally understand what needs to be done, but do not always grasp the specific tasks and steps involved.  In response to this, I would like to share a basic outline of the integrated web marketing strategy we execute for our agency clients.  Here is step one.

Prospect Email List Generation

Assuming you have already determined who you would like to sell to, procuring a high quality prospect email list is phase one.  If you do not know who you are targeting, you are not ready to start any type of marketing campaign – you need to back up to building your business plan.  This is of critical importance, as it will determine how successful you are in reaching your target market, launching eMarketing campaigns and attracting web seminar attendees.

Choose the Right Vendor(s)

Test-drive them like you test-drive cars.  There are dozens of high caliber email list vendors.  We have tried them all, and only use a select few.  You need someone who has a rich database for your target industry.  Sales people are generally happy to provide you with counts and expected bounce rates for the segment you want.  Make sure to have an accurate picture of what you are buying before you spend your money.

Buy the Right Titles

Most email list vendors allow you to select the titles you covet when generating your list.  If you are selling benefits, do not buy a list of VP Marketing and VP Sales executives.  Not only will this be a waste of your money, it could get your domain blacklisted prior to you locating the proper titles.  If your vendor cannot provide the titles you need, find a new vendor.

Manage Your List Carefully

Your list becomes an important asset to your business as soon as it is downloaded.  Maintain it, update it, clean it, and append it.  You maintain your car so you can travel, maintain your list so you can find prospects.  Your list will atrophy over time on its own; anything you do to slow that process will help you generate more prospect activity.

For more information regarding prospect email list generation, please visit www.startupselling.com.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: B2B Marketing, eMarketing, Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan, Web Seminars
Read More

Coffee is for Closers

  • Posted on August 27, 2010
  • by John Scranton

Yesterday during a meeting with a client (who we have a great relationship with and like very much), my CEO pulled out the classic Glengarry Glen Ross quote: “coffee is for closers only.”  My first thought was that I drink an awful lot of coffee, so I better keep closing business.

My second thought was that we often hear from our clients that they are very pleased with the pipeline activity we are generating – but they are having trouble converting the leads to closed sales.  This is a common problem across the sales industry, and one that takes dilligent efforts to correct.

Here are a few concepts that have helped me, and may help you close business and earn the right to go to the coffee pot:

  • Stay in your Prospect Profile – It is very easy for us to accept appointments, calls or emails from prospects who are not in profile.  For some organizations, this may be due to the fact that their profile is poorly defined.  Make sure you honestly assess your prospects relative to your buyer persona, and invest your time accordingly.  Critically important.
  • Refine your Presenation – Continually massage and update your presenation.  Every few months, start from scratch.  Then practice.  If you do not have your presentation outline memorized, keep practicing.  And make certain that your last slide provides “next steps” for your prospect to advance through your sales process.  Show them, ask them, ask them again.
  • Trial Close – I have often underestimated the power of the trial close.  But when I analyze using the concept, I find that nearly all of the prospects who respond candidly and positively to a trial close become buyers.  If your sales cycle typically takes 3 meetings, trial close in meeting 2.  This will help you plan your closing presenation and strategy.
  • Keep Calling – If you have presented to a prospect, and they have not responded to you – keep calling.  Call every day.  Email every night.  Never leave an oppurtunity on the table because you neglecting to make the needed efforts to reach your prospect.  This sounds simple, but I have made this error in the past.

Good luck!

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: B2B Marketing, Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Small Business
Read More

Insurance Agency SEO – Client Testimonial

  • Posted on August 26, 2010
  • by John Scranton

The following client quote exemplifies the power of Insurance Agency SEO:

“A national workers compensation organization was hosting their annual event in Maryland. They were looking for speakers on workers comp trends. They found me on their first Google search and asked me to be their guest speaker at this major event. StartUpSelling’s insurance agency SEO and insurance agency social media marketing program resulted in optimal Google placement for my agency. If you’re thinking of improving your insurance agency website or search engine optimization, you should speak with StartUpSelling.”

Dean M. D’Camera, CIC, PWCA D’Camera Group, LLC

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: B2B Marketing, Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media
Read More