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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1Click here to view Tips 1 & 2.

3. Build an Editorial Calendar

Use an editorial calendar to stay organized. Put Industry Events, Holidays, Contests, Giveaways, Book Releases, and News Events in it. There are a lot of tools including Google Calendar, Outlook, and paper calendars that you can use. Spreadsheets can be useful too. Be adaptable and flexible.

4. Use Notifications

Give notification a second chance. You need to be on top of interactions and respond in a timely manner. You don’t need to be on social media 24/7. In general, a 24 hour window of time for responses on social media is acceptable.

Bonus Tips: How to Manage Social Media in One Hour Per Day

  • Review your Feedly page first thing in the morning while you drink your coffee – 10 minutes
  • Conduct a blogging blitz and write, edit and schedule blog posts – 30 minutes
  • Execute a neighborhood check-in twice a day – review your social networks and respond to comments, followers, retweets, customer service questions, etc. – 10 minutes
  • Perform a community search to build your network (work on different networks each day) – 10 minutes
  • Share the workload! Delegate social media tasks to other staff members. Many hands make light work.

Originally Posted May 7, 2015 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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Insurance Video MarketingInsurance agencies and brokers need to realize exactly what video marketing is. Most marketing videos are short 1-5 minute videos focused on specific topics. Video is vital. Statistics show visitors are many times more likely to watch a video than they are to read content. So why is video marketing such a big opportunity?

  • It is efficient
  • It is consistent
  • It is cost-effective
  • It is simple
  • It improves SEO
  • Its engaging

Here are a few ways insurance agencies and wholesale brokers can incorporate video:

Testimonials – This is one of the most important reasons to use video marketing. The impact of a customer’s testimonial can accomplish more than the best salesman. It doesn’t have to be a highly sophisticated recording; simple words to enhance the value of your service can do so much.

FAQ Session – Leverage video as a medium to solve customer inquiries and challenges. A short video clarifies more ambiguity than an actual document. An added bonus is that this will boost website traffic.

Comical Skit about Insurance – Be fun and unpredictable. Give your clients and prospects something to smile and laugh about. Have a freaky Friday session at work and share it. This will liven up the relationship with clients.

Risk Reports – Create a video about the fire damage, prevention and safety precautions. Showcase the role your claims team will play during an incident.

Remember, video marketing is an agency or broker’s chance to be creative, realistic and welcoming; a chance like no other.

To know more about video marketing visit StartUpSelling.

Oringinally Posted on February 13, 2015 by John Scranton

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Using Insurance Agency Webinars to Fill the Sales Funnel

  • Posted on January 19, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency WebinarsLet’s say that I am making a micro marketing plan for the ensuing two weeks, and I want to ensure that I have a plan of attack that will yield a certain number of clients in the balance of the month.  This process begins with the “closes” but ends with “eMarketing and web seminars.”  Let me explain this basic micro marketing concept.  The numbers and ratios are aggregated, based on information from our clients and colleagues, but represent an accurate representation of many agency producers.

  1. You would like to add 3 new clients over the remaining 3 weeks of March
  2. You close, on average, 40% of proposals, so you will need 7 or 8 proposals.
  3. You have 4 proposals outstanding and need 4 more to achieve the 8 noted above.
  4. You convert 60% of your appointments into proposals, so you need about 7 appointments.
  5. You schedule 1 appointment every 5-6 calls to eMarketing and webinar prospects.
  6. You need to 40 warm leads from eMarketing and webinar campaigns.
  7. You typically yield 50 interested prospects from an eMarketing/webinar campaign.
  8. You need to run 1 eMarketing/webinar campaign.

Insurance MarketingWhen properly executed, insurance agency eMarketing and insurance agency webinars identify vast numbers of interested prospects.  A lead generation campaign like this dramatically simplifies your task of filling the top of the sales funnel, improves conversion and closing ratios, and allows you to reach your sales goals with much greater efficiency.

Originally Posted on March 11th, 2011 by John Scranton

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Our Days of Cold Calling are Over [From the Archives]

  • Posted on December 21, 2016
  • by John Scranton

Do you like cold calling? I know there are some of you out there who truly enjoy cold calling. It can be exciting, and if you can deal with rejection, it will eventually be effective. But in my estimation, most salespeople view cold calling like eating their vegetables: it is not something they enjoy, but understand it is required for growth.

However, the owner of an agency recently told me that “our days of cold calling are over.” How? Is he going out of business? Actually, he is experiencing significant growth and looking to add producers. Insurance agency marketing without cold calling, but how? An effective web marketing strategy that includes:

  • eMarketingInsurance Agency Web Marketing
  • Web Seminars
  • Content-Rich & Current Website
  • eCollateral
  • Client Testimonials
  • Website Video
  • Social Media
  • SEO

Insurance agency lead generation no longer has to revolve around telemarketing. In the web 2.0 era, agencies both large and small can embrace the cost-effective tools available to us to expand their pipeline without spending hours cold calling.

Posted on July 28th, 2010 by John Scranton

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StartUpSelling Insurance Marketing Team Publishes 2,000th Blog

  • Posted on November 15, 2016
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Web MarketingStartUpSelling’s team of insurance marketing and lead generation professionals are pleased to announce they recently published their 2,000th blog post. Visit their blogs to learn about:

If your insurance agency would like to improve marketing or lead generation in 2017, contact us today.

 

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