During the recent #Inschat the discussion surrounded the topic of blogging. Insurance Marketing chat contributor @NicoleYeary shared a great statistic at the end of the chat showing that 14,409 people were reached by #Inschat tweets!
The conversation discussed blogging content, SEO, commenting, and more. Check below for the #Inschat round-up where we have grabbed some of the key tweets that contributed to the conversation. Full transcript available at the bottom.
Question #1—What are some good ways to promote your blog?
||absolutely on your website! twitter is fun too (of course), monthly newsletters, facebook, linkedin #inschat
||Yes definitely RT @Astonish_Kelly: Q1: URLs & “teaser” messages in Tweets & Fbook Status are an easy way! #inschat
||Q1. I try to link to it as much as possible. In my emails, by commenting on other blogs, through SM i.e. Twitter & Linkedin #INSchat
||He have all our social media sources linked to our blog or updates. Facebook link, twitter, website, linked in… #inschat
||We use links to our fan page, Twitter account and LinkedIn group at the bottom of all marketing e-mails #inschat
||Just did the same as of 1/1 @GarryInsurance Q1: links in e-mail signature as well as links on our social networking sites #INSchat #inschat
Question #2—Do you have a blog commenting strategy?
@doubleicf: Yes! I keep a running list of sites I hit weekly RT @LloydProGrp: Dont forget to bookmark everything and your other friends too! #inschat
@BrownstoneInsur: A2 – No strategy per say. I simply have a few key blogs I regularly read and offer further insight or interaction. #INSchat
@Berrys_Amanda: RT @Astonish_Kelly: Q2: I have a network of other #bloggers that I follow; I always try to comment on their posts ASAP after I post to generate convo #INSchat
@astonish_alicia: Q2: Finding relevant posts and posting a genuine comment and link! #Inschat
@IIABNY: Q2. No formal strategy on commenting, but I find comments are most helpful when they expand a point or introduce a new perspective #inschat
Question #3—Where do you look when you are stuck for content ideas?
@GarryInsurance: Q3: I try to use experiences like a few weeks ago I put my car in the ditch & used Roadside Assistance – So I blogged about it! #INSchat
@kellydavis226: Q3: my google reader – I subscribe to relevant blogs and there’s always new stuff to read, all in one place. Great inspiration! #INSchat
@maia_melissa: Q3: I rummage thru the search engine terms that brought people to the blog to begin with. #inschat
@iWebHound: Q3 – Take notes if you exhibit at tradeshows. We did a blog post about FAQ we heard. Seemed to get a lot of curious people clicking #INSchat
@AskTim: @maia_melissa @ReyInsurance I just did a blog post this morning based on a client question. #inschat
Question #4—What is the best way to optimize a blog post?
@PRnick: A4L: Write posts with SEO keywords, use keyword as links to relevant pages, SEO plugin, intriguing titles (w/ keywords of course) #inschat
@GarryInsurance: Q4: Using the same back link terms from post to post to keep it consistent #INSchat
@Astonish_Kelly: Q4 I try to optimize all images too! putting keywords in the ALT text & captions of photos in your post is an easy way to start! #INSchat
@ReyInsurance: hyperlink content to other sites? RT @InsuranceMHQ: Q4: What are the best ways to optimize a blog post? #seo #inschat
Question #5—Lets share blog links for networking!
@InsuranceMHQ: http://insurancemarketinghq.com / http://www.theinsuranceblogger.com(Coming soon!)
@Lloydprogroup: www.atlantainsurancetips.com / http://www.lloydprogroup.com/blog/
@NicoleYeary: http://nicoleyeary.com / http://aelloluxe.com
Thank you to everyone who participated. If you were part of #Inschat and we forgot to add your blog just let us know! The next insurance marketing chat will take place next month; time and topic to be determined.
View the entire #Inschat transcript here.
It’s true; social media appears to be changing almost every day; the latest networking initiative—location-based services.
We have seen location-based marketing tools such as Foursquare, Gowalla and now Facebook Places and Deals take the retail industry by storm. Stores are leveraging the power of mobile marketing to attract new customers and keep their current spenders coming back for more. So how can insurance agencies take advantage of these new applications?
The third ever #INSchat focused on the evolution and importance of location-based services and how agencies can adopt and adapt thee platforms to help strengthen their social marketing strategy.
The Insurance Marketing HQ team commends all of those who participated in the fast-paced discussion; here you will find a transcript with some of the most influential questions and highlights. A copy of the full transcript is also available below:
Question 1: What LBS social media platforms are a must for agency marketers? #INSchat
@Berry_Insurance: #Foursquare #GooglePlaces #FacebookPlaces #INSchat
@PRnick: Yelp and AngiesList aren’t LBS by definition, but ppl need to be aware since customers can leave comments/reviews in real time. #INSchat
@cbanksindy: @PRnick Yelp just added checking in option to their app… #INSchat
@InsuranceMHQ: Facebook Places, foursquare and gowalla are popular ones! #INSchat
@BravuraLeads: I’m going to bet on Facebook Places to become more and more relevant #INSchat
Question 2: What is the best way to use Foursquare for your agency?
@melnazar: Get your agency employees to check in whenever they are at local events, locations, etc. #INSchat
@javerlin74: tough to offer specials for agency. Partner with client. Check in at Tim Hortons and Agency get a quote and receive free coffee. #INSchat
@PRnick: Leaving a roadmap of where we’ve been and which client’s we’ve visited. Show niches, leave tips and highlight customers. #INSchat
@InsuranceMHQ: @javerlin74 Great idea! Checking into partner venues, need to be careful with offering quotes and deals together! #INSchat
@Astonish_Kelly: Agencies have to set clear goals for #Foursquare; check out what other small businesses are doing: http://bit.ly/fxHwEq #INSchat
@EricLeist: A tip-oriented 4sq campaign works for home & auto agencies. Check into a local car dealer/real estate; get a tip from an ins agent #INSchat
@marshberrywest: be on the lookout to create your own badge when the capability becomes available #INSchat
@RitaAtNClife: Definitely RT @IWCPKevin: Checking in at your business clients and/or shout about their services. Help make your clients money! #INSchat
Question 3: How can your agency leverage Facebook deals?
@EricLeist: Fb Deals could be huge to reach GenY esp. when combined w/ Fb ads. Could give away anything just to get them in the door. #INSchat
@InsuranceMHQ: @maia_melissa Offering coffee or pizza (without mentioning quote) will get foot traffic, then pitch will be your part. #INSchat
@greggweiss: “Special Nearby” is the best way to bring someone in the door for a small biz. @InsuranceMHQ @foursquare #INSchat
@ReyInsurance: i have found, unfortunately, non-insurance related topics drive the most response/engagement. contests w/a prize w/i state regs #INSchat
Question 5: What type of information should an agency provide on these network listings?
@Berry_Insurance: website, telephone, contact person. #INSchat
@InsuranceMHQ: Customize! Different networks have different options but it?s important that you do as much as you can to build out your listing. #INSchat
Question 6: How much do you push customer reviews on your local listings (such as Google Local)?
@Berrys_Amanda: ask customers for testimonials; send them the link in an email, so they know exactly where to go! #INSchat
@astonish_alicia: Don’t put fake reviews! #INSchat Q6: How do you push customer reviews on your local listings?
@GarryInsurance: We have found that just asking works the best. Why wouldn’t we, when we know we have helped them & provided top notch service #INSchat
Eager for more insight regarding location-based services—view the full #INSchat transcript here!
Blogging lets individuals or companies have a voice on the Internet that is all their own and not limited to 140 characters or status updating rules. When done well, blogs reflect the thoughts, beliefs and expertise of each individual blogger, providing a genuine, humanizing look that serves to build trust and establish the writer as a thought-leader on a given topic, whether it’s insurance, mothering, gadgets or food.
The second ever #INSchat focused on the topic of blogging and brought out a number of industry bloggers and other social media users, all chiming in on a number of questions related to building, growing and maintaining an effective blog presence. By the numbers, the October #INSchat featured a total of 65 contributors who produced over 687 Tweets (according to http://wthashtag.com/Inschat) growing the number of #INSchat-related tweets by over 140 as compared to the first chat.
A huge thanks is owed to all who dropped blogging knowledge, below is a transcript with questions and some of the highlights. A full transcript can be found here.
Question 1: What is the purpose of your blog (or any blog)? #INSchat
@Berry_Insurance: To inform/educate on ins. news, community events, social media trends…really, whatever will be valuable to our readers
@InsuranceMHQ: Earn peoples trust by showing thought leadership, community awareness and sharing resources #INSchat
@AlbanyInsurance: The purpose of my blog is create a more Informed Insurance Consumer… And build trust, community, & communication
@BrownstoneInsur: I regularly post tips on how to protect themselves against the top causes of insurance claims; i.e. fires, water damage etc
@MattByers: And sharing your own personality! It humanizes the insurance business since it is a relationship business after all!
@Bravuraleads @BillBateman1 Monetizing that “lead” from a blog is tough, I think it’s more about brand building and thought leadership
@InsuranceMHQ: People Differentiate against competition by creating content that makes people love and need/want you
@astonish_alicia: Blogging is to make confusing information (#Insurance) more clear & readable for everyday people!
@mcibelli: I like to connect things relevant to the industry to current trends or happening. I.E. silly bandz as a networking tool.
@ GarryInsurance: It is about showing readers that there is a face behind the computer who is interested in their well-being as well
Question 2: Q2: Do you have a blog ?content strategy?? If yes, what is included?
@ Lara_John: from a PR standpoint, there should always be a strategy, but depends on what you are trying to accomplish.
@MattByers: Working on it now. Part Insurance, Part Social Marketing Info, Part local resources.
@InsuranceMHQ: Strategy – Blog yourself out of the agency and into prospect meetings. I know @albanyinsurance touts this
@Berry_Insurance: We find content through industry and community news. But we blog about whatever moves us, makes us more real. We also have a culture that encourages staff to submit blog ideas to our writers.
@katieherbst: A good start for a blog content strategy is to brainstorm with your agency, collect actual customer Qs & list of tips for topics.
@Insurance_Maven: I use current events like Fire Prevention month, 9/11, and Life Ins awareness month.
@BrownstoneInsur: I save interesting articles, newsletters or any content that I find moving/interesting and use them as they relate to recent events
Question 3: What steps do you take to make your blog & individual posts more SEO friendly?
@katieherbst: For blog SEO, make sure your headline is keyword-rich! Also, lists are popular, for ex, Top 3 Ways to …
@Berry_Insurance: Good titles, easy to read content and relevant keyword tags. Also use Analytics and WonderWheel to check relevant search terms #INSchat
@maia_melissa: Link whenever reasonable, use the full name of any legislation that effects consumers
@jenmitch: Use keywords, but don’t write for robots. Good content will be shared and found regardless of keyword use.
@mcibelli: Regular updates. Use of keywords. Tags. Links. SEO really is no magic trick- just provide solid, regularly updated content.
@InsuranceMHQ: Keyword backlinks from blog to agency’s website are critical & the more geographically/keyword specific the better
@RiskMgmt: We have a “meta-headline” that we make more cookie-cutter/search friendly if we get poetical with the real title.
@InsuranceMHQ: Pop culture/human interest tends to grab more eyeballs than dry insurance content. Find a way to marry them
@iWebHound: Being a search engine for agents, we always tell MGA?s/wholesalers to have as many links to their site on other sites as they can.
Question 4 – How can you build a community around a blog?
@jenmitch: Participate in the communities of others too. Don’t assume everyone will come to you. Participate/Engage and people will come.
@BrownstoneInsur: This should always be taken into consideration. Don’t post blogs or tweets just for the heck of it. It’s spammish.
@AlbanyInsurance: Commenting on the Blogs of your clients or future clients is a great way to engage them
@greggweiss: The #1 way to build community around a blog is to not turn commenting off! 1-way blogs defeat the purpose.
@katieherbst: To build community around your blog, you MUST participate actively on the social web – and focus on bringing VALUE.
@BrownstoneInsur: I try to focus on issues/events that I know are actually affecting the community we’re located in as often as possible.
@jimkinmartin: I try to share my blog link in my email signatures, etc. to expose it more in hopes people will visit and follow
@maia_melissa: Respond to the comments made in your blog. Try not to let them sit there unattended. Engage right away.
@Zywave: Create valuable content w/in your niche. Encourage interaction and don’t forget to be interactive yourself!
@NicoleYeary: Using a tool like @gist will help you find and connect social media to your existing email clients
@ReyInsurance: find followers you think you can relate to…then stalk the hell out of them! Haha
Question 5: What blogs do you read consistently to stay in the know? Insurance, marketing and news-related.
@Berry_Insurance: Insurance Journal, Mashable Consumer Reports, InsuranceMHQ, local blogs, there are so many!
@NicoleYeary: Best blogs are source blogs – the tools/platforms – subscribe to the source content, get it first.
@astonish_alicia: Subscribing to daily emails such as insurance networking news, #comments and Smart Brief, highlight top stories!
@BillBateman1: google’s blog search is great for me – I’m too ADD to follow a single blog consistently
@katieherbst: GREAT blog on all aspects of content marketing, a must-read, is @pr2020 blog, pr2020.com/blog
@jenmitch: Mashable, Brian Solis, Chris Brogan, Danny Sullivan, Agent&Broker, Insurance Journal. (And many more.) I read on mobile.
@mcibelli: Mediabistro is great for marketing info, prbreakfastclub.com, mashable.com, and of course, InsuranceMHQ. Also, just for general ideas- creatosity.com, workawesome.com and lifehacker.com.
@InsuranceMHQ: Media blogs: riskmanagementmonitor.com, agentforchange.com, nusamsoapbox.com, ijacademy.com/blog/, insurancenetworking.com/blogs/
@NicoleYeary: Risk & Insurance, Senior Advisor, SellingPower, FastCompany, NAHU’s pub & more!
Question 6: What is your greatest blog success story from a networking and/or sales perspective?
@Berry_Insurance: We wrote about a new law and contractor certification and received at least a dozen calls in the week following!
@Brownstoneinsur: We got tons of emails/calls about adding earthquake coverage to policies.
@InsuranceMHQ: Other client reviews restaurants he visits on blog & sends email link 2 owner. Done 10+ times, written 3 pieces of new biz.
@alysondelpaggio: RT @ReyInsurance RT @carrie_AGIns I think what this convo shows is we have a group of true professionals who hone their craft evday.
@Nicoleyeary: @carrie_AGIns and Carrie knows how to utilize @foursquare as a geoloc tool to meet new prospects! #4sq #insurancegoddess.
@maia_melissa: great success story RT @AlbanyInsurance: I got to present with @thechrisjordan at the Big “I” Leadership Institute in SF.
Question 7: How do you make your blog more social?
@Brownstoneinsur: Allowing commenting/interaction is important. Posting pictures, holding contests and announcing winner via blog are good too.
@Greggweiss: RT @InsuranceMHQ: A7: I love answering the question, ?Why don?t I get any comments?? with ?How many have you left??
@jenmitch: Q7: You can’t expect your readers to be social if you aren’t social. Don’t just broadcast. Listen too. Agree with call to action.
@Insurance_maven: Since we’re talking blogs, Rick Morgan (@rickjmiv) started a FB discussion to link their blogs:http://on.fb.me/djLyWx.
@BillBateman1: RT @NicoleYeary: RT @InsuranceMHQ: A7: Cite other peoples blog content w/ backlinks and make sure they know about it.
Question 8: What advice do you have for a blogger just starting off?
@insurancemhq: A8: Write for your own enjoyment with the reader’s needs in mind.
@Mcibelli: Don’t be afraid to incorporate your personality. That’s what makes people come back.
@Lara_John: agreed! RT @jenmitch: Q8: Best advice I ever got -from an influencer level blogger- Blog. Just do it. No excuses. No fear.
@BillBateman1: RT @Lara_John: Q8 – remember blogs are for personality and info, not sales pitches. Add some humor, the rest will come.
View the entire second #INSchat transcript here.