Building a Digital Audience: 5 Tips for Your Insurance Business
You’ve probably read about the importance of “digital marketing” as a part of your overall insurance marketing efforts. This includes managing your online presence, keeping your website content “fresh” and using other digital media channels (search, email, social) to attract new and repeat visitors to your site. Below are five tips that can help you increase your digital marketing footprint and outpace other insurance broker compeitiors.
Domain: When setting up your business website, choose something simple or easy to remember for your web address. Don’t be too cute. Website hosting and e-commerce resources you might consider include Weebly, Wix, or GoDaddy. Quotit specializes in websites for health insurance brokers and offers online quoting services.
The services or features you want on your site – like the design/layout, email accounts, online quoting, a blog, etc. – will determine your price. Each of the sites mentioned has a different range of services available and different pricing.
Layout: Your website “look” is important. Keep your clients in mind when making layout choices. Be sure it’s attractive and inviting. Wix offers some advice on website colors in this article; any vendor you use to set up your site is likely to offer its own tips and suggestions.
Be sure your site includes a “Contact Us” information request, an “About Us” section with an overview of the products and services you offer, and your physical address. These all make it easier for folks to find and reach you – especially important for referrals as well as mail delivery purposes.
Content: Including useful information on your site will help you upgrade your content and also help you attract more customers. Creating this content (on your own or with help from others) will enhance your online reputation and help prospects and clients searching online for insurance-related information.
If you offer helpful downloads – like tips when shopping for a new health plan – you can get your website visitors to opt-in and give you their email address for your future outreach by email, newsletter, etc. The Pinpointe marketing blog offers tips on developing a killer opt-in form. (See related opt-out info below in “Stick to the Rules.”)
Blogging can also help you attract new followers (and customers) and increase your web traffic. Write about topics your clients will find helpful – like health insurance concepts and definitions or demystifying health care. It’s been reported that B2B companies that regularly blog receive 67% more leads each month than those companies that don’t blog. This article features 16 tips for those just starting out.
Newsletters and email are proven business-building tools. Hopefully, you’re already using email to communicate with and service your current customers. An email newsletter will help you further build your profile – and it’s an easy way for current customers to introduce you to their friends and family. (You can even post old newsletters to your site, creating a library of resources for your online visitors.)
Email Marketing Platforms: Third-party programs can help you a lot with built-in templates that make it easy for you to “fill in” the pre-designed pages. MailChimp offers three plan options – starting at zero dollars per month – plus guides to help you define your strategy. Hatchbuck offers four other options starting at $99 per month. 7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business discusses six other providers (in addition to MailChimp).
Layout Essentials: Just like your website, it’s important to give your newsletter an attractive layout. Your masthead should make clear what your newsletter is about and why it’s important to your readers. Choose your colors and fonts carefully. You might want to read 7 Design Mistakes That Make Readers Trash Your Emails. Focus on content that’s not too long and is organized for a quick read.
Your emails and newsletters also should include your phone number and a valid company address (your street address or wherever you receive your mail). The idea is to make it easy for someone to know how to reach you.
Stick to the Rules: One of the most important things to remember as you develop your email list is staying in compliance with the federal CAN-SPAM rules. If you plan to regularly communicate with those who visit your website by sending a newsletter or other sales and marketing message, you can avoid trouble by adhering to the Federal Trade Commission guidelines on email spam. (You can learn more about best practices here.)
At its core, CAN-SPAN says you must give recipients of your messages a method to “opt-out”; if you don’t, you could face substantial penalties for violations. Each separate email could be subject to penalties of up to $40,654, so non-compliance could put you out of business fast.
Multiple Calls to Action: Whatever type of messages you’re sending, always be sure they include one or more calls to action (CTA). This can be a micro-CTA (like a suggestion to share a link or post on social media), a straightforward CTA (like “Register now” for an event or “Get a quote” that takes the reader to your quote engine), or anything that prompts them to take the next step.
A Myriad of Options: Social media is a great way for you to connect with new people and build your online reputation. If you are not already using LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media, now is the time to start. Set up a business page immediately, and start posting helpful articles about health insurance or leading a healthy lifestyle that can help you increase your online profile and drive traffic to your website.
Engaging Others with Social Media Marketing: “Liking” content developed by others and sharing tweets (on Twitter) can also help you increase your online profile. This article shares tips on posting, liking, and commenting on LinkedIn content.
Paid Social Media Marketing: Many insurance professionals find digital advertising using Facebook is an effective method to target business owners; others prefer LinkedIn. To be successful, it’s important to use paid social media that matches your targeted demographic. Check out this Social Media Today infographic snapshot of the 2017 marketplace.
You can enhance both your email marketing and your social media by using customer segmentation. That’s the practice of dividing (or segmenting) your customers into groups of individuals or organizations that are similar in specific ways, such as age, gender, product class/usage, organization size, service industry, etc.
Email: Tailored messages create more engagement with your prospects and clients. Use what you find in your segmentation to help you identify unmet customer needs. (Or, purchase or rent a list that’s already segmented.) By targeting based on what you already know about the customer, you can ramp up your revenue. And, by demonstrating your expertise and helping your customers find the right solution, you are likely to earn more referrals.
Social Media: Segmentation on social media is used for your paid campaign efforts and helps you with targeting the right profiles.
To learn more about marketing segmentation strategies, you may want to read A Guide to Best B2B Practices or 10 Quick and Easy Email Marketing Segmentation Strategies.
A big part of your sales plan is defining your goals. Be realistic in setting your goals. What, specifically, do you want to achieve through your website? Are you focused on generating leads? Or, is your online site more about boosting awareness of your business?
Once you become a Word & Brown broker, be sure to ask your representative about resources to help you market yourself (including possible downloads for your website).
If you’re already working with Word & Brown, you may want to consider adding some of the tools on our website to your own site – like ACA forms or our flyers on WBMedID, our mobile ID Card. Contact your representative to learn more.
About the Author
Kalup Alexander is Digital Marketing Director for the Word& Brown Companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Communications and Marketing from Oregon State University and has been at Word & Brown since 2014.