Top Tips To Improve Insurance Agency Video Marketing

  • Posted on April 20, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Video InfographicInsurance agency owners, producers and marketers looking to jump start their video content marketing, or improve their existing insurance marketing video campaigns can review these top tips to augment their current marketing initiatives. Here are your top tips to improve Insurance Agency Video Marketing:

  1. Use Educational Content, Not Sales Brochures

Case studies, client success stories, educational content pertinent to the industry. Here is a simple example.

  • Good: Impact of Trump Executive Orders on ACA Compliance
  • Bad: We Can Save You Money on Your Group Health Plan
  1. Create a Compelling Thumbnail

Your agency has a short time to convince prospects to watch your video. It begins with an attractive and attention getting thumbnail. Invest time to ensure your thumb nails look great, and make sure you add these images when publishing or sharing over social media.

  1. Share on Social Media – Then Share Again

You’ve invested time and money to produce a great video, now your agency needs to leverage it across all relevant social media platforms. The big four are obvious, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But you should also include Google+ and some of the bookmarking platforms such as Tumblr. And remember that you can share content more than once, and in many nuanced ways. Create a blog, Tweet the blog, add as a LinkedIn post, Tweet the LinkedIn post and so on.

  1. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Background Music

How many movies or commercials do you watch without background music? Background music will help convey your message and mood. Will you use edgy, modern instrumentation to convey you are an up to date digital agency, or more traditional music, inferring sound guidance and sage advice?

  1. Share Using Your Email Marketing Drip Campaigns

Agencies can and typically should invest in ongoing email drip campaigns, focused on providing high value content of interest to clients and prospects. High quality video content is often the preferred digital collateral to provide to clients and prospects, to improve renewal rates by providing added value and to increase insurance lead generation.

  1. Don’t Forget the Call To Action (CTA)

Leave sufficient time at the end of your video (assuming it’s a short two minute type video) for a Call To Action. What behavior are you trying to elicit from the person watching? Do you want them to submit a Contact Us Form, Schedule Appointment, Get A Quote, Call An 800#? Leave plenty of time for your CTA and contact information to show, and when possible, have CTA buttons continuously displaying below the video.

  1. Optimize for Insurance Agency Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Make sure, you use your targeted keywords in your title, and description, tags, etc. What’s a good example of this? On this tip, the title includes the keyword phrase, “Insurance Agency Search Engine Optimization”, instead of just Search Engine Optimization or SEO. An example for your agency might include Risk Management for Manufacturers, or Surety Bond Strategies for Contractors, or Colorado Trucking Insurance.

  1. Add Video to Your Insurance Agency Website & YouTube Channel

Your videos can appear all over your website, on a relevant page, in a video library and in a blog (vlog). You should also take the time to create a branded YouTube channel for your agency, especially if you intend to do a video series. There are many types of video you can use, and don’t underestimate the value of a relevant recorded webinar or voice over PowerPoint.

As is evident by YouTube’s compelling statistics, people gravitate toward video. With over a billion users, watching videos over 40 minutes a day, and 400 hours of video uploaded each minute, it’s easy to see why insurance agency videos should not be ignored. Need help creating compelling videos for your insurance agency marketing initiatives? Contact the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling.

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5 Tips to Improve Your Insurance Agency Email Marketing Program

  • Posted on April 14, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency eMarketingProperly executed email marketing programs put your agency marketing efforts on steroids. Agencies are often swept up with the hottest new tools, like social media, but email marketing remains one of the highest performing lead generation tools available.

Email marketing engages prospects and builds value with your current clients. It allows you to leverage your efforts through automation, making it seem like you have a team of agency marketers working for you 24/7/365. It’s like rolling a snowball down a hill that eventually turns into an avalanche.

The challenge is many agencies do not execute email marketing initiatives correctly, and end up hurting the the agency more than they help.  Here are 5 quick tips to drastically improve your email marketing open and response rates.

  1. Perfect the Subject Line – It all starts with a great subject line.  If you can’t get people’s attention they won’t read the rest of your email. Also, do not use spammy words like “free”, “save” or “money” – they turn people off and will get you blocked by spam filters.
  2. Keep It Short – If people open an email and see a small novel they will instantly be turned off. Keep your emails short and sweet,  making your point in as few words as possible.
  3. Remove the Fancy Stuff – Email marketing systems offer templates to create fancy emails. Don’t use them. Templates make your message appear salesy and can create spam issues.
  4. Write Like A Friend – The structure of your email should look like a professionalized version of an email you would send to a friend. Use plain text and don’t be afraid to be a little conversational.
  5. Calls To Action – The point of sending the email is to entice your prospect to take some type of action. Be sure you include a call to action that is easy to see and clearly articulated.

To learn more about how your  agency can improve email marketing results, visit StartUpSelling or call (518) 222-6392 for a one to one review.

Originally Posted on January 6, 2015 by John Scranton

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10 Online Marketing Ideas For Insurance Agencies & Brokers

  • Posted on February 13, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency MarketingStarting an internet marketing campaign or even improving an existing one can be a challenging task. Where should insurance agencies begin, and what should they focus on? Here are 10 great online ideas to help your agency improve your online marketing initiatives.

  1. Blog and Vlog

Blogging is a fantastic way to showcase your expertise and attract visitors to your website. General topics usually get lost in the shuffle, so I recommend writing about very specific topics that are relevant to your clients and prospects. If you’re a trucking agency, for example, this means topics on CSA updates, DOT regulations, fuel economics, fleet management, fuel theft, cargo theft, etc.  Make sure your blogs (and website) are mobile friendly!

  1. Improve Your Google Ranking/Insurance Agency SEO

Google ranking is one of the holy grails of internet marketing. Being on the first page is where it is at. When evaluating your online marketing initiatives, keep in mind how they can positively impact your search engine rankings. Track your SEO progress and review your website analytics to determine where your traffic originates.

  1. Create a Webinar Series

Not enough agencies take advantage of online webinars. Monthly or even quarterly webinars do a lot to elevate you from an insurance sales group to an advisor and consultant. Webinars can be recorded and offered as high value on demand digital collateral after the webinar. And webinars provide a high value reason to contact clients and prospects in ongoing email drip campaigns.

  1. Use Explainer Videos

Explainer videos, also referred to as value proposition or whiteboard videos, can be very useful for online marketing because they are typically short, sticky, entertaining and reusable on multiple mediums. They can be posted on your insurance agency website, your branded YouTube channel, Vlogs, and in an email marketing campaign. You can give your best sales pitch to every prospect. Create videos for each major silo in your company (commercial lines, personal lines, benefits, manufacturing, trucking, etc.), and distribute it widely using social media.

  1. Maximize Social Media

Social media is often an untapped resource for most agencies. At a minimum, every agency should have a professional and branded presence on all major social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. Beyond this they should have a “respectable” number of followers. Social media advertising can be effective for agencies, but this is a more complex initiative and should be either staffed internally or outsourced to an expert.

  1. Create a Google+ Agency Page

Even though most people do not use Google+, Google will reward you with a better page ranking if you create one, and post regularly. It only takes a few minutes and will be worth the effort to improve your insurance agency search engine optimization initiative.

  1. Leverage Client Testimonials or Case Study Vignettes

Happy clients will always sell your business better than you can. Profile your loyal customers, and ask them a few questions about what they love about your company. Even better, create a video and post it to your website. You can also create anonymous case study vignettes, short case studies of client success stories using type of business and general location, but not their names.

  1. Use LinkedIn To its Full Potential (and get your employees to help)

If your agency is a commercial lines or benefits agency, LinkedIn is the place to be. You should invest time in LinkedIn to ensure a professional company page, ongoing posts, and to create a policy to help your employees help your agency marketing efforts on LinkedIn. Join groups and create your own to extend your reach.

  1. Press Releases – News Releases

Press Releases, often referred to as News Releases in the rapidly changing world of PR, offers agencies a great online opportunity to extend their brand recognition, and improve their insurance agency search engine optimization. There are both free services and paid services that are available to agencies. Needless to say, all News Releases should start as a post on your insurance agency website, then move to a News Release service, then pushed out via social media.

  1. Use Online/Email Newsletters

E-newsletters provide agencies an opportunity for high quality, direct communication with clients and prospects. There are many cloud based solutions that provide attractive, mobile compliant, newsletter templates. Or you can outsource this initiative to a proficient insurance marketing agency. A great email marketing newsletter campaign can have a large impact on your online marketing efforts.

If your agency would like a fast, professional and easy way to accomplish everything above, just reach out to the insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling. StartUpSelling helps agencies update their insurance agency website, create high-quality videos, and achieve their insurance agency marketing and lead generation goals. Contact StartUpSelling, for a complimentary insurance agency lead generation or web marketing review.

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What you don’t know about Insurance eMarketing can kill you

  • Posted on January 10, 2017
  • by John Scranton
Insurance Email Marketing

Insurance Email Marketing

Not long ago, I spoke to an agency owner who had attempted to launch an eMarketing campaign.  He had engaged with a high-profile agency marketing firm to use their email platform, and purchased 30,000 emails from a vendor they suggested.  He sent several messages over the course of a few months, and received absolutely no opportunities – only SPAM complaints.

This is the danger of using an eMarketing platform without the required expertise.  What you don’t know can kill you.  This agency was not aware of any of the following critical components to a successful campaign:

  • Message Content – Cannot be sales-oriented or the email will likely be seen as SPAM
  • Sending Frequency – Too many email sends will wear out your list and again make you look SPAMish
  • Scrubbing your List – Nearly 1/3 of the aforementioned list was useless, but the vendor still changed them
  • Opt-In / Opt-Out – It must be just as easy to opt-out of a list as it is to opt-in
  • Domain Spoofing – Bulk email sends to a dirty list are an invitation for domain spoofing, make sure you are protected

The lesson here is not that email platforms are useless or confusing, but that purchasing one without the required eMarketing expertise is dangerous.  If a surgeon hands you a scalpel, that does not mean you know how to operate – and if you purchase an email platform, that does not mean you know how to launch email campaigns.  Hire an eMarketing expert of find a solution that provides the required experience.  Do not just pick up the scalpel and start cutting.

Originally Posted on October 7th, 2010 by John Scranton

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Insurance Email Marketing

Insurance Email Marketing

Tip #3: Leverage Email Marketing for Air Cover

Now that you have identified your ideal prospect profile and crafted your message of value (Tips 1 & 2 respectively), it is time to begin reaching out to your target market.  A tremendously effective way to do this quickly is an email marketing campaign.  A quality email campaign will provide air cover for your tactical sales operations – keeping you in front of your prospect, or at least in their inbox, while you are out selling.  When sending an email for our clients, we leverage over 100 best practices to optimize deliverability and effectiveness – here are a few you should implement today:

  • Do Not Sell Insurance – An email campaign asking prospects if they would like a quote from your very competitive markets will not generate opportunities, it will generate SPAM complaints.
  • Segment Campaign by Vertical (or Horizontal) – Different industries have different needs and different challenges.  Provide content specific to the industry vertical (or horizontal segment) that you are targeting.
  • Minimize Use of Images & Graphics – As a rule of thumb, the greater the use of images and graphics, the greater likelihood a message will be caught in a corporate email filter.

Check back soon for Tip #4.

Originally Posted on June 26, 2013 by John Scranton

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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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