Insurance Marketing HQ

4 Quick Tips to Build Your Blog’s Audience

Posted on Oct 10, 2012

There aren’t many marketing teams who haven’t jumped on the business blog train. Not only can you create content for sharing across social media, your business can improve upon current SEO efforts and become a thought leader in your industry. Whether your company focuses on small business insurance or errors and omissions insurance, you can be sure a blog is a good idea. Building an audience is one challenge many businesses face and overcoming that obstacle can be tricky. These 4 tips will help you build your blog’s audience.

Find Your Niche

Find your online niche and join groups that are directly related to it. You can do this by incorporating keywords and anchor links into your posts and searching for groups and blogs with these same terms. Use the key terms of your business insurance company as a starting point in your search. Not only will you get to network with people in your niche and industry but often times those people become readers of your blog.

  • Tip: Instead of targeting one or two specific keywords in each post, create a hierarchical category structure of top keywords and phrases to create a broader topic based blog while still incorporating content loosely targeting specific keywords.

Be Consistent

What you write and how you write are what keeps readers coming back to your blog for more. However, posting on your blog once a month is insufficient to really gain traction. You need to post high-quality content frequently – whether that’s once every couple days or once a week (at the minimum). This also means focusing consistently on your particular audience. While it’s okay to branch out every now and then, keep your content geared toward those who would be regular readers.

  • Tip: Develop an editorial calendar with when blog posts need to go live, the key concept of each, and keywords each post will focus on. A schedule such as this one will keep

Encourage Engagement

Producing valuable content that is informational and interesting is the most important part of a business blogging. “Content is king” is one phrase that has been floating around for a reason. Your content has to motivate readers to comment, share, keep reading, etc. Current, insightful and relevant information to your industry is what will be shared. Make sure your blog content meets those requirements.

  • Tip: Each blog post needs to have the appropriate “share” buttons for social media channels and the option to subscribe to your RSS feed.

Self-Promote

If you’re considering a business blog, chances are you also use various social media channels. Use these networks to spread the word about each blog post. You can also incorporate these posts into your email marketing campaigns. Link to other articles you’ve written using specific keywords or phrases to promote other posts and encourage your visitor to keep reading.

  • Tip: Space out when you promote the new blog posts on different channels. Doing so will give your post a longer life-span and because each network has optimal post times, you can maximize your impressions by posting at those specific times.

Many businesses are under the assumption that blogging is only for certain industries, or that only the blogs that provide certain information, will generate traffic. People are searching Google, Bing and other search engines daily for information of all kinds, ranging from SEO optimization to various types of business insurance. Having a blog that fits your industry and business’s niche and embraces keywords, engagement and sharing is the best way to generate new readers and build a fan base from current ones.

Author: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as commercial insurance and social media trends. She is a web content writer for Business.com.

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Strengthen Your Communication by Organizing Your Email!

Posted on Jun 20, 2012

As an insurance agent in the age of evolving technology, you rely on many tools to help you stay organized. One of the main methods you most likely use to communicate besides the telephone is email. Email can be your best friend or worst enemy when it comes to communicating with your clients. Sending a quick message out is an easy way to create reminders, update clients, check in with them, and strengthen your insurance marketing strategy. However, email can also be a time-consuming burden for leaders.

 

Has your inbox reached hundreds of emails or more before? This can be a huge stress on you, especially if you miss out on a very important email. The key to dealing with your emails is trying your best to stay on top of them as they come in. The following is some insights on how you can control your email account and stay organized:

 

  1. Take Time to Clean Your Email Inbox. As you read through your inbox each day, determine if an email is worthy of a response, and if so, it is worthy of a same-day response. Some experts recommend setting aside two to three 30-minute increments to deal with email.
  2. Delete Emails Quickly. Whether this includes spam or long forwarded emails, there are many you can delete quickly. Doing this will help make your inbox look more manageable.
  3. Organize Emails Efficiently. If you don’t decide to delete an email, forward it to someone else to handle, respond quickly, or place it in a file or folder. Most people will read an email in an inbox repeatedly, which may cause you to lose precious leadership time.
  4. Do not send Negative Information by Email. Since you cannot read non-verbal clues in an email, they can be misunderstood. You do not want to take the risk of misinterpretation. Therefore, if you have negative information to convey, call or tell the recipient in person.
  5. Many Emails Deserves a Response. As an insurance agent, communication with your client is crucial. Whether on the phone or through email, everyone deserves a response. It is poor leadership to ignore an important email. If you do so, this could put you at risk of hurting your organization.

Taking these tips into account, you can strengthen the communication you have with your community as well as your insurance marketing strategy. Sending out friendly reminders or goings on in your agency will keep everyone in the loop. Taking control of your email account will help you feel more organized and closer to your customers than ever before!

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Strategically Building Your Social Media Audience!

Posted on May 29, 2012

As a leader for your company, you make small and big decisions on a daily basis. However, when it comes to your insurance internet marketing and your social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, the decision making process may involve aspects you aren’t used to. For example, how do you find your primary audience? What will they like to read about? What is the most effective way to find them? All of these questions may have arisen for you at one point or another.

In the beginning, it may have been just you and your partners, and you did every job. But now, you have others to help, so you can focus on building a social community. Being strategic about the people you want to participate in conversations with on your social media accounts is important. In addition, the content you post and voice you use should attract and engage them. To become an adaptive strategic leader, the kind who can thrive in even uncertain environments, do these three things well:

  • Anticipate: Some leaders lack “peripheral vision.” To anticipate well, you must look for game-changing information in your industry and take advantage of it. Also, search beyond the current boundaries of your business, and finally, build wide networks to help you communicate with your clients better.
  • Think Critically: Critical thinkers question everything. To master this skill, force yourself to reframe problems in order to get to the bottom of things, such as a customer complaint. Also, challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including your own. This will help you think from the perspective of your community.

  • Decide: Many leaders over analyze information. You have to develop processes and enforce them, so that you arrive the solutions you want. To do that well, you have to balance your social media accounts while also making sure they include quality content. Also, take control of incomplete information and when others have diverse views.

Effective leaders combine experience and a strong decision process. This will force you to evaluate, listen, adjust, and learn from each decision. Having all of these important skills will allow you to analyze your insurance internet marketing strategy more closely as well as appeal to a wide range of followers on your social media sites. Engagement is key, and by being a strategic leader, you can make this happen!

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Light-hearted Lessons: Commandments of Client Communication

Posted on May 24, 2012

1. Thou shalt not use ALL CAPS – Although the occasional use of capital letters can be a good way to show emphasis and enthusiasm, using all caps is never a good idea.  An e-mail written entirely in caps can make it look like you are yelling at your client.  SEE WHAT I MEAN?  Lower case letters are also generally more legible.  Forget Caps Lock and stick with the Shift Key!

2. Thou shalt not use Internet Slang – While everyone loves LOLCats, it’s inappropriate to use internet speak and acronyms in client e-mails.  It can make you appear uneducated and too informal.  It won’t take you much longer to write full sentences and spell out words, but it will make a huge difference in your professionalism.  K?  Tkx!  LOL!

3. Thou shalt use spell check - Misspellings can also make you seem uneducated.  Even if you were the 3rd grade spelling bee champion like me, you are going to misspell things once in a while.  I don’t know how many times I’ve written “insurnace” instead of insurance.  Most e-mail programs such as Outlook and Gmail have a built-in spell check program which will look over your e-mails when you hit send.  A quick check can definitely save you some “embareassment.”

4. Thou shalt only speak to clients from thy desk – Although we live in a time when everyone is a multi-tasker and it’s hard to sit still for too long, it’s a good idea to plan time to make client calls from your desk.  If your client hears your GPS or a honking horn in the background of your call, they will know you are not giving them your full attention.  And please, for the love of your client, NEVER make calls from a restroom!

5. Thou shalt not make threats – Although you are probably hoping for quick responses from your clients, making demands of them is not the best idea.  I couldn’t tell you how many sales e-mails I have gotten which have warned me that I only have “2 days left” to respond.  5 days later, when I still haven’t responded and I get another warning e-mail, my trust of that company has all but gone out the window.  Your client could be thinking about their options, talking with a spouse, or even sick or on vacation.  It’s great to reach out to your clients, but don’t lose a sale by being too aggressive.

6. Thou shalt follow the golden rule – The best way to attain and retain a customer base is to treat them well, and let them know you appreciate their business and loyalty.  Interact with your clients the way you would like sales people from companies you’re a client of to treat you.

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Your Biz + Facebook = Success

Posted on May 18, 2012

Your friends have one, your parents have one, businesses are using it as well.  Even businesses in the insurance marketing field are using Facebook to attract clients to their business.  Today, just call Facebook “The Modern Phone Book.”  Within it you will find names and locations of companies, telephone numbers, advertisements, even pictures and testimonials. So how exactly are businesses finding the time to sign on more and more clients?  By doing exactly what Facebook promises to anyone who creates an account: taking the chance to make and sustain relationships.  Simply creating and building a page can provide you even with the most instant form of contact from someone who’s interested.

Just see how powerful a Facebook page can be:

  • Portal for Communication: You log in and you’re instantly connected. By putting your name and the name of your business out there people can search for you and you can search for them. What’s even better, you can use your exact location to find any business near yours and establish a presence in your very own community. Once you set up your profile you can keep your clients up-to-date with promotions you be running at the office.
  • Relationship Builder: Immediately after you start the communication process you attract followers. People can become friends with you and follow your every post. You decide you may even want to start a contest or two to promote the newest deals – Facebook helps you accomplish all of that. Just post it, your friends will like it and possibly share it so their friends can see it. Kind of like the age-old math problem of “if you have 7 friends who have 7 friends who tell 7 friends…” The amount of people who can view and get information off of your page can be limitless when you harness it properly. This is a phenomenal tool for smaller, local businesses trying to get their name out there, but not necessarily needing to get it out nation-wide.
  • Brand Management: This will come after the first two. How do you want your business to be viewed and perceived?  Facebook will help get your name out there by using the social media site. Think of it as building a reputation. You wouldn’t buy a service from someone who continually kept getting bad reviews and turned out poor quality in their work. Your page can help let potential clients know who you are and precisely what you’re all about. The better you build up your brand with positive comments, the more likely someone is to refer you or come to you on a regular basis.

Just remember that with all the advantages that can benefit your company, there are just as many disadvantages when it comes to using Facebook as a marketing tool.  However, once you learn why a Facebook account is vital for online marketing and branding today, you’ll soon realize what the worst practices are.  Just make sure you get a solid grip on the best practices and you’re golden.  Learn them well enough and Facebook will provide your business with a pretty successful looking future.

 

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Use Your Insurance Marketing Strategy to Improve Customer Satisfaction!

Posted on Apr 13, 2012

You deal with customers in the office all the time. Your insurance agency is the place where your community should feel safe and trust that your services will be personalized to their needs. So don’t you think this should happen within your social media and blogging initiatives? Show your clients you care about their interests, questions, and more by creating an effective space for conversation.

In today’s fast-paced business world, customer satisfaction is pretty much required, and you can strengthen it through a variety of channels, such as your Facebook page, Twitter account, onsite blog, and of course, in person. However, the digital outlets allow you to focus on your audience in a way you could never do before. Customer service is evolving to match customers’ expectations and you must relate to them in order to attract their business.

Your clients are continuing to be deeply engaged with digital tools, which is why your agency should too. They will remain loyal to your services because of your comprehensive products and the quality of service that brings them back. So improve customer satisfaction by understanding these three main categories:

  1. Quality Control: Developing and presenting your products in a unique way through a social or blogging outlet is critical to your business. But keep in mind, great service is not just about speed and accuracy, but also about personalization and understanding. Your customers trust your agency, so show them you understand their needs by keeping up the conversation.
  2. Relationships Among Staff and Customers: Promote Agent-Customer relationships. You can do this by having a staff member run your social media accounts, where they can answer questions, address concerns, or just create interesting conversations directly with your customers. By having this form of support, it will result in better service, faster resolution, and a happy community.
  3. Overall Customer Experience: At the end of the day, your clients are buying experiences, not products or services. They want to feel comfortable with your agency and trust that you can give them what they want to meet their unique needs. By utilizing social media and blogging initiatives, you can humanize your agency by giving it a voice all its own. Using this method will allow you to create experiences that will make customers feel good about the products you have to offer.

Understanding how strong customer relationships relate to the success of your agency is the key to customer satisfaction. Putting yourself in the clients’ shoes will give you a better grasp on evolving your insurance marketing strategy. Every interaction your community has with your company is an experience. Therefore, make it your responsibility to show them you care no matter what means of communication you use!

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