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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Content marketing refers to the approach insurance agencies and wholesale brokers use to create, curate, distribute and promote information (content) your clients and prospects will find valuable. The goal of content marketing is to drive sales, fill the pipeline and help your company grow.

Content marketing, when it’s done right, offers value that is separate from the products and services you sell. When you share content that is educational, entertaining and useful to your audience, you will drive engagement, awareness and sales for your brand.

Here are the types of content that marketers use that can help promote your company:

  • Social media postings
  • eNewsletters
  • Articles on your website
  • Blogs1
  • In-person events
  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • Photographs, illustrations and other images
  • White papers
  • Online presentations
  • Infographics
  • Webinars/webcasts
  • Podcasts
  • Research reports
  • Microsites

Content marketing is an investment in your company. Unlike a verbal strategy, which can be forgotten or misunderstood, published content can be referred to, modified and reused over time.

Struggling with keeping up with a consistent marketing strategy? Take the time to develop a content strategy and plan and follow it very closely. Frequent publishing is important for any organization that wants to grow their online presence.

The most effective marketers use social media more than any other tactic; on average, the most successful companies use an average of seven social media platforms. According to the research, LinkedIn is both the most popular and the most effective for content promotion for business to business marketing. (Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 2015.) Regardless of your industry or company size, a blog should always be the hub of your content marketing efforts.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on May 22, 2015

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5 Business Quotes to Start Your Day

  • Posted on July 25, 2017
  • by John Scranton
  1. The more people who own little businesses of their own, the safer our country will be, and the better off its cities and towns; for the people who have a stake in their country and their community are its best citizens. – John Hancock
  2. All men’s gains are the fruit of venturing. – Herodotus
  3. In business, there’s such a thing as an invaluable person, but no such thing as an indispensable one. – Malcolm Forbes
  4. Business is the salt of life. – Thomas Fuller
  5. No nation was ever ruined by trade. – Benjamin Franklin

For Additional Business Quotes of Interest:

Posted on October 22, 2012 by John Scranton

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The Utica Boilermaker & 1,000 LinkedIn Connections

  • Posted on July 21, 2017
  • by John Scranton

v1-thmbWhen I was 11 years old I ran in the Utica Boilermaker road race for the first time.  This 15K event was by far the longest race I had attempted.  With my father’s help, I trained for the race for several months, gradually extending my endurance to the appropriate level.  On race day, I was able to overcome searing July sun and finish the race, only walking once through a water station around the 6 mile mark.

As with any milestone achievement, my family was very proud and congratulatory.  Most of my friends were as well.  However, I can recall a couple of friends saying “You ran almost 10 miles in July?  Why would anyone do that?”  At some point over the weekend, I will surpass 1,000 LinkedIn connections.  Most of my colleagues will be impressed, but I am sure a few will ask “Why bother?” – here are the top 5 reasons:

  1. I communicate and interact with clients
  2. I am contacted by prospects regularly
  3. I discover new suspects
  4. I receive employment opportunities
  5. I learn about industry updates quickly

Each new connection expands my reach and improves the valued derived from LinkedIn in all 5 of the above areas.  Plus, accumulating connections is much easier than running over a hilly 15K course in the summer sun.

Originally Posted on September 21, 2012 by John Scranton

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Unleash the Power of Social Media Marketing

  • Posted on July 19, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency Social Media MarketingFifty-five percent of insurance consumers say they would use one or more of a variety of insurance services offered through social media – a number too big to ignore! (Accenture, 2013.) In today’s online world, consumers and business owners go to the internet when considering a purchase of any kind. They usually start with a Google search to learn more about the available alternatives to read user-generated reviews. They often go to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn before making a buying decision. At each stage of the buying cycle, opinions are being formed about the products and agencies being considered.

For us in insurance – an industry built on both products and services – internet reviews and social media play an integral part in credibility. Potential clients, especially millennials, trust advice they find on social media about the best insurance products, agencies, brokers or carriers.

Here are some ways your company can stay up-to-date with a strong online presence that supports an online community:

  1. Use the internet to facilitate better communication between brokers and customers.
  2. Stay in-touch with your clients and their important life events. This will help you provide a more personal and relevant online experience for your clients.
  3. Use the internet to keep your company modern through current marketing campaigns. This helps to build trust and demonstrates credibility.
  4. Use social media to introduce new ideas and innovative products. Be sure to use mobile applications too.
  5. Implement a social media customer service plan. “Consumers that have a positive social care experience are nearly three times more likely to recommend a brand to other and nearly 40 percent of companies experience a 10 percent reduction in support costs from implementing social care, with greater customer satisfaction.” (Accenture, 2013.)
  6. Use social media as a claims management tool. This allows carriers to interact with customers throughout the claims process and helps to accelerate the recovery process.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on May 18, 2015

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