If you’re not already online, you may not be aware of all of the tools available to you to help you market your insurance agency on the Internet. There are websites (your own and others) as well as other options like Google Adwords, Adsense, Analytics, Tag Manager, social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn), and blogging that you might consider.
Let’s take a look at how you can use these tools to help you increase awareness of your agency, drive traffic to your website (and/or your blog), generate leads, and enhance your relationship with customers.
It’s probably no surprise that Google, the world’s most successful search engine, offers a variety of programs and services to help you market yourself online. Adwords is a core offering that helps you get your name in front of customers at the very moment they’re searching online for the services you offer. It’s a pay-per-click service, so you’re charged only when someone clicks on your link/ad to visit your website. Adwords works with any budget, so you can decide how much you want to commit monthly.
AdSense is a free, simple way for you to earn money by postings ads for other businesses on your website. Google Analytics Solutions let you analyze data to gain a deeper understanding of your customer’s experience. Whether you’re focused on sales or finding more users, Analytics Solutions offers you tools to analyze your efforts and refine your approach. Google’s Tag Manager lets you easily update your website tags for tracking, site analytics, re-marketing, and more – and it includes automatic error checking and security features to speed up tag loading. Another service – in beta – is Google’s Optimize, which tests variations of your site and delivers a more personal experience for each targeted customer.
Beyond Google, a great way to further your marketing is through the use of social media. Whether you’re using Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or the online behemoth, Facebook, a good strategy to embrace at the onset is to start small. As the LifeHealthPro newsletter for insurance professionals suggests, if you typically see only 50 customers in your office in a given week, it’s not reasonable to expect 500 Twitter followers or Facebook fans in the same timeframe. It’s equally important – and some would say more important – you select the social media channel that makes sense for you, your business, and your target audience. If you’re targeting millennials, you are bound to be more successful with Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. For Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980), the most popular social media are Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) prefer Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
SocialMediaToday.com noted in 2015 that social media consumption is highest in the evening and that messaging needs to be brief (300 words is the sweet spot for article length). The site also noted that it’s important to optimize your outreach for mobile, as more users are reading posts and accessing sites on their smartphones.
Blogging is another way you can promote yourself, your business, and your expertise. You can create your own blog (where you host your own content on your site), or you can post commentary on public or membership sites, including LinkedIn. A helpful place to start might be BloggingBasics101.com or How to Start a Blog, both of which set out some of your options.
A Note of Caution: If you follow others on social media, you may be tempted to “like” or “share” things you read online. Or, you may consider posting commentary on the Affordable Care Act in your blog. It’s important to remember your online participation can start both good and bad conversations about you. Make sure you consider any repercussions before getting into an online shouting match about a local or national issue or candidate.
Content Is King
Whatever approach you take in your online marketing, the most important thing to remember is you’re out to create engagement. Share content from which your prospects and clients can benefit. Consider seasonality of your posts and content. For example, in the fall and winter, you may want to focus on Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug plans. Medicare’s Annual Election Period (also known as the annual open enrollment period) runs from mid-October to early December. The Affordable Care Act annual open enrollment period runs November to January. In the summer months, you may want to spotlight the dangers associated with certain seasonal events or sports – and reinforce the importance of having health insurance.
You might also consider our post, Using Content Marketing, from earlier this year in which we shared suggestions on how effective content marketing could help you enhance your reputation as an insurance expert and a valuable resource to others in your community.
We encourage you to get online – or to broaden your efforts if you’re already online. As the insurance marketplace changes, prospects often go online first to look for information. If they find you there, that could be the first step on their path to becoming your long-term client.