How Insurance Agencies are Maximizing Their Social Media Investment

  • Posted on August 14, 2017
  • by John Scranton

1Insurance agencies and wholesale brokers are investing in social media content creation as a valuable tool for attracting new clients and retaining existing ones. Social media content creation drives lead generation because it answers questions and conveys expertise to prospects. Business professionals and decision makers prefer to work with organizations that have a strong online presence because it gives them the opportunity and freedom to conduct their own research on their own terms when it best fits into their schedule.

The most successful insurance agencies are investing in social media. And, perhaps most importantly, they are producing more content.

Here are five strategies that the most successful insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers are using to maximize their social media dollars.

  1. Ensure a social media expert oversees the company’s content marketing strategy. – The most successful companies make sure there is at least one person that is designated to be in charge of executing the content marketing goals that the company has set.
  1. Have a documented content strategy. – Write down your goals and what indicators you’ll use to prove your success. Make sure you communicate your goals with your digital marketing team.
  1. Use a variety of tactics. – In this age of multi-media consumption, competition for audience attention is fierce. The smart investors realize that the wider they cast their net and invest in more tactics, the more new customers they will attract. Here is a list of possible content marketing tactics your organization could employ:

* Social media postings
* Articles on your website and prominent directories
* Blogs
* Digital Newsletters
* Case studies
* Videos
* White papers
* Webinars/webcasts
* Infographics
* Research reports
* Microsites
* Mobile content
* eBooks
* Mobile apps
* Digital magazines
* Podcasts
* Virtual conferences
* Annual reports

  1. Use social media more frequently. – B2B companies use an average of six social platforms, up from five last year. (Content Marketing Institute.) As expected, LinkedIn is the top social media site used by B2B marketers, while Facebook is a close second. The sites that have seen the most growth this last year include SlideShare, Google+ and Instagram. Social media drives awareness of your company which in turn impacts lead generation.
  1. Produce more content. – While it may seem obvious, producing more content is an effective strategy for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. It may be very intimidating for an insurance agency to produce a quantity of content because it can be time-consuming and needs to be consistent.

StartUpSelling specializes in insurance marketing, web marketing and lead generation services. We have successfully created, launched and maintained marketing and lead generation campaigns for a vast array of insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers. We deliver elite service and solutions at competitive price points. If you would like to maximize an investment in content marketing for your insurance organization, give us a call at 518-222-6392 today!

Originally Posted by John Scranton on June 22, 2015

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1Struggling to increase the number of visitors to your website? Wanting to improve the conversion rate of visitors to your site? Is your marketing strategy not achieving the results you had hoped it would? Searching for fresh ideas that will help you reach a larger audience and provide your corporate clients with the information they need, when they need it?

Content marketing might be the answer. Consider developing content that is applicable to your visitor’s needs and easy to understand. As a result, you will experience significant improvement in search engine rankings, traffic and conversion rates.

Here are some recommendations for brightening up your online marketing presence and implementing a successful content marketing strategy:

  1. Brainstorm ideas that reflect the company mission Is the content you are producing reflecting the questions, needs and real-life problems your audience is facing? Spend time contemplating the story behind your brand and what it truly stands for. What is it you want to say at the most fundamental level? Take some time to review your company mission statement and the content you are currently producing. If the two don’t align, get your team together and come up with a more cohesive plan.
  1. Develop a strategic plan You will need a plan that demonstrates how your content strategy will increase sales revenues and be worth the investment. In order to do this, you will need a strong plan and case studies.Create a detailed road map that focuses on aligning your content with the company mission. Build trust with your audience by giving them content that they want and need.Start by gathering factual information and creating a strong plan. Make sure your plan answers the following questions:
  • How will the company mission be reflected in your content strategy?
  • How will our content help our clients?
  • How will we know what our clients need?
  • How will we measure our success?
  • What specifically is the plan (i.e. road map)?
  • Who will be accountable for ensuring the project stays on track?
  1. Design a content strategy that is based on applicable, consistent and useful content. Your clients are business owners who are experts in their particular field/trade. Take the time to research to find out what difficulties and challenges they face and what would make their job of selecting a broker or wholesaler easier.Make sure your planned content will answer your user’s questions and will convey a consistent message about your company.
  1. Track the results Analyze the visitor data for your existing content. Review metrics such as bounce rate, time on site and goal conversion. Review your search visibility and make sure your content ranks well in search engines for keywords higher up the funnel.The insurance industry is steeped in tradition – it is not always easy to break away from widely accepted tactics – even if they are not working very well. Providing your potential clients with expert advice that is easy to understand and access will invite potential companies to visit your site often and enjoy spending more time on your website. In turn, they will be more likely to choose you and recommend you to others.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on June 17, 2015

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Insurance Web MarketingOne of the most common questions insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers pose is “why do I need to invest in my online presence?” This is an excellent question that needs to be addressed.

Corporations prefer companies with a strong online presence.

First and foremost, today’s buyers expect to be able to visit an insurer’s website. A study by J.D.Power found that 52% of insurance shoppers start their shopping process online, and 73% visit at least one insurer’s website at some point during their shopping experience.” Potential customers will compare your website, social networks, testimonials and reviews, and other elements of your online presence with your competitors and usually choose the company they “like” the best.

Businesses are buying more online.

As much as consumers are buying online, businesses are buying more. Forrester Research Inc. predicts that B2B sales next year will likely more than double. The online presence of your agency builds your search engine findability and boosts your business in Google ranking.

Gives your business a competitive edge.

You have competition online. If your direct competitors don’t have a strong online presence yet, they will. Establishing – and enhancing – your online presence gives your business the competitive edge it needs.

Increases brand awareness and recognition

As the insurance industry becomes more competitive, one of the biggest challenges agencies face is how to build their brand.  The internet is available 24/7. This means that potential customers have the opportunity to become aware of your business at anytime, day or night. Having an online presence is like having billboards up all around town. Your online presence is an advertisement of your brand that never sleeps!

Increases trust and credibility

Companies are nervous about buying from insurance agencies they don’t know, especially businesses that seem “spammy” or lack integrity. Your online presence can help to dispel these fears if done right. Your website needs to be high quality; your content needs to be professional (and be spelled correctly, grammatically correct and easy to comprehend.) Your images and graphics need to be attractive and have a high resolution. You need to answer your prospective customer’s questions in a way that shows you understand their needs and point-of-view. Your agency needs to show consistency to demonstrate trustworthiness and reliability; customer reviews and testimonials will go a long way to establishing trust and influence the decision making process.

Learn about your customer

Successful agencies, brokers and wholesalers know that they need to establish and build relationships with their customers. Your online presence helps you do this through content and through listening tools. Being able to listen to the needs and wants of the companies that buy from you helps fine tune your offers and expand your business offerings in ways that will be attractive.

Measure your effectiveness to increase your ROI

The effectiveness of your online presence can easily be tracked and analyzed, giving you important data that can help you make improvements. Measuring the performance of your business gives you valuable information that will put you ahead of your competition.

While having a strategic online presence that is research-based and relentlessly executed does require an ongoing investment, an internet presence that is done right can have a major positive impact on the future. Regardless of your business type or size, don’t let the low-hanging opportunity of building equity in your online presence slip through your fingers.

Originally Posted September 2016 by John Scranton

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5 Insurance Agency Web Marketing Best Practices

  • Posted on August 7, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency Marketing - Insurance Agency LeadsWrite a Blog – Your marketing team should post weekly (if not daily) blogs that will be of interest to your target audience. Offer solutions to problems, complimentary advice and deliver value.  A great example would be a web marketing company sharing web marketing best practices.

Record a Video – YouTube has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, however many business continue to lag in the video space. Record the seminars and webinars that you are already presenting.  Record vlogs at your desk during downtime.

Share Everything – Posting a blog to your website is good, sharing it with LinkedIn connections and Twitter followers is better.  Posting a video to your website is good, posting it to YouTube is better.  Make sure you capitalize on your efforts by proliferating your content across the web.

Measure Analytics – What works? What doesn’t?  You will never know unless you are monitoring and measuring your traffic and analytics.  At a minimum, Google Analytics and StartUpSelling Visitor ID should be installed on your website.  This combination of tools will show you the who, what, when, where and why of website traffic and conversions.

Do Not Sell – Insurance Agency Web Marketing success is completely contingent on your ability to deliver value without selling your product.

Originally Posted on November 2, 2012 by John Scranton

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1Social media is here to stay.  As a matter of fact, social media will continue to be integrated into our lives, just like the internet itself.  Social media will change and evolve as technology improves and people begin to truly comprehend its power.

Keeping up with social media on multiple platforms can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Social media is a noisy place. It takes continuous effort to stay on top of it. Listening and monitoring are two secrets to social media success.

4 Ways to Manage your Social Media

  1. Make a Plan Base your plan on your business goals. Use goals that are results-based like “We will increase our sales by 30% monthly.” These types of goals reflect your bottomline. It is fine to set social media goals like “We will achieve 500 followers within the next 6 months” but those types of metrics are indirect. Be sure to set direct ROI related goals as well.Your plan should clearly define your goals, strategies, tactics and measurements.
  1. Set Up Dashboards Dashboards provide information at a glance by aggregating information in one place. They save time and energy and help prevent information overload. So, what are the dashboards that you need? You need dashboards for RSS and social networks because they present different types of information. Feedly is one way to manage RSS feeds.How do you get started? When you subscribe to sites, information gets sent directly to you. One great monitoring tool for brand mentions and competitors is Giga Alerts. Use folders and headline view to make it easier. Read what you can and star the rest! Set a timer on yourself.

    For social network management and analytics, a SocialReport dashboard is recommended. Link all of your social networks together. Use Tabs and stay organized. Set up Searches, #’s, and lists. Use the scheduling post feature just make sure to change content/verbiage depending on platform. It should not be used for total replacement – the point of social media is being social after all!

Originally Posted May 6, 2015 by John Scranton

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Long Tail Keywords & Insurance Agency Leads

  • Posted on June 7, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Search Engine Optimization and Insurance SEOHave you heard the famous saying that about the tail wagging the dog? When it comes to long tail keywords, it can often be beneficial for the long tail phrase to wag the dog. Long tail keywords are often a three to five (or more) word search phrase, some of which may only be searched five or ten times a month. These phrases are often very specific, but when a user types in the phrase, they can be an ideal prospect for your insurance agency services, and you want to make sure their search engine results page (SERP), lists your agency at the top. Let’s take a look at some examples of insurance long tail keyword phrases:

  • Arizona Garage Keeper Insurance
  • New York Owner Operator Insurance
  • California Professional Liability Insurance
  • Best Florida Business Insurance Rates
  • Florida Coastal Condominium Insurance

The more keywords included in a phrase and the more specific the term, the narrower the results, and the less frequently that term is searched. And of course, the shorter the phrase, the broader the results, and the greater the competition for the phrase.  An example of a broad phrase might be “Trucking Insurance”. When targeting long tail keywords, quantity is important. Your agency should target 100 or more long tails, along with more competitive phrases, for a comprehensive approach to your insurance agency search engine optimization efforts.

On page insurance search engine optimization (insurance SEO), includes both content and Meta data. This is the text, images and video that appears on your page, and the Meta such as Page Description, Alt Tags and Header Tags and blog content. Effective insurance search engine optimization also includes off page optimization such as news releases, social media posts, bookmarking, and videos to mention a few. Effective long tail optimization will result in improved insurance website traffic and increased insurance agency leads.

With the increasing number of mobile searches, your agency should add questions to your long tail efforts. Some examples include:

  • Where do I buy Arizona Garage Keeper Insurance?
  • What are the best New York Owner Operator Insurance agencies?
  • What are the lowest California Professional Liability Insurance rates?
  • Where do I find the best Florida Business Insurance Rates?
  • Where can I get the lowest Florida Coastal Condominium Insurance prices?

Though organic insurance search engine optimization and social media marketing are an important aspect of insurance agency marketing, agencies seeking to rapidly build their pipeline often find that insurance agency email marketing and targeted appointment setting calls can represent a faster path to lead generation.

For more information on insurance web marketing and lead generation, go to: www.startupselling.com

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7 Reasons Every Insurance Agency Should Blog

  • Posted on May 26, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Social MediaIndustry experts say that great insurance marketing begins with a quality. Insurance agencies brokers that do not blog consistently (at least once a week), are missing a big opportunity to impress prospects and clients, and to help improve the effectiveness of their insurance websites. Here are seven reasons that agencies and brokers should have a quality blog:

  1. Drive Website Traffic: A blog, preferably with original content, helps drive clients and prospects to your insurance website. It gives them a reason to visit, and a reason to stay.
  2. Convert Traffic Into Leads: Quality blogs will help convert visitors into interested prospects. Prominent and professional “Calls To Action” will glean prospect information and increase inbound inquiries.
  3. Establish Credibility: Demonstrate expertise by offering timely and topical blog content. High quality blogs answer common questions prospects and customers might have.
  4. Content Baseline: Use your blog to share or repurpose your content in many ways. Send the blog link to prospects, leverage the blog in eMarketing campaigns, share the blog with social media, join and create groups on LinkedIn and post your content to these groups.
  5. Convert to Case Studies, Online Publishers and Vlogs: A succinct blog can be converted into a one page case study, 400 word article or even a recorded video. This repurposed content further extends your messaging, expertise and audience.
  6. Improve Insurance SEO: Blogs help improve insurance search engine optimization. Your original content is indexed by search engines such as Google and Bing, and helps prospects find your insurance agency website through organic searches.
  7. Insurance Website Stickiness: Blogs can and should be one of your most visited website areas, with the longest visit duration on your website. Website visitors impressed with a blog, will be impressed with your expertise.

Some insurance agencies and wholesale brokerages lack the time or resources to create a consistent and professional blog. In these cases they can outsource this important marketing initiative to a proficient insurance agency marketing firm. For more information on territory exclusive Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions visit: http://www.startupselling.com.

Originally published March 9th, 2015 by John Scranton.

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Top Tips to Improve Your Email Deliverability

  • Posted on May 11, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingBusiness of all types can benefit from a well run email marketing initiative. Today however, they must take extra precautions to ensure they maintain a high quality sender reputation to optimize delivery, and improve conversions. Review these top tips and make sure your organization is following all of them:

Ping Test Emails

Always ping test your emails prior to your initial campaign, especially if it is an older list, a trade show list, or a prospect list. And once ping tested, never use failed ping tested emails.

No Longer At

Monitor your autoreplies and remove no longer at and retired immediately after every campaign. These email responses must be closely reviewed, as the autoreply can come for a source that is different from the actual email that should be removed.

Consistency & Frequency

The consistency and frequency of your email campaigns is important in maintaining a positive sender reputation. ISPs attempt to create and evaluate the email marketing history for your domain. The more consistent you are, and the more reasonable you are with your frequency, the more likely you are to create a solid reputation as a sender. That assumes you are following the other tips listed herein.

Avoid/Diminish Complaints

Lots of complaints will spell lots of trouble for your sender reputation and domain. The best way to avoid complaints is to limit campaign frequency (every two weeks for most general campaigns is a good rule of thumb), honor opt-outs immediately, focus on quality content and collateral, and restrict “sales” pitches.

Avoid Spam Traps (Honeypots)

Spam traps, sometimes referred to as honeypots, are email addresses specifically created to catch email from marketers who don’t follow email best practices. The traps target marketers who are scraping email addresses from the web or are simply blasting emails using poor quality lists. Sufficient “catches” by spam traps can result in low deliverability or even domain blacklisting.

Use Relevant, Educational Content

“Buy my stuff and save money now”! If your content is salesy, spammy and irrelevant, your sender reputation will be adversely impacted, and it will happen quickly. Try to make your content relevant and educational. Changing regulations, industry innovation, important news of the day, and educational webinars are going to be better received than an invitation to buy your products or services.

Email marketing is both an art and a science, and is increasing in complexity and deliverability nuance. It can be a great lead generator when properly used, or a waste of time and money when used with an email “blast” mentality. Agencies and businesses seeking guidance on their email marketing and lead generation can contact StartUpSelling for a complimentary email marketing and lead gen review.

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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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