Baby Boomers love Facebook and thanks to the pandemic more seniors are hanging out on there than ever before. If you're selling Medicare solutions to seniors and you're not using Facebook as a marketing tool, you're missing out. Sharing relevant content consistently and running targeted ads is an easy and economical way to get more leads. Ready to learn more?
Facebook's advertising process is straight forward and easy to work with. You must have a Facebook business page set up first. If you don't have a business page, it's easy to get that set up too. Once you have that up and running you can start advertising your insurance services. To run an ad, you're stepped through a series of questions which will determine what type of ad you want to run. You then upload your ad content, determine the audience, the price you want to pay and the duration of your ad. Once you finish that quick process, you then submit your ad for approval and within 24 hours (sometimes even sooner) you get an email alerting you to the status of your ad. Once approved your ad runs for the length you determined and will even cross post on Instagram if you have a professional Instagram account set up.
Running targeted ads on Facebook is easy and economical.
Still unsure? Feel free to download our Facebook Ads Quick Start Guide to walk you through the process. Screen shots and step-by step instructions will show you exactly what you need to do to target a specific audience in your preferred geographic area, and it will even show you how to drill down to target leads with certain life events or interests. This type of targeting will ensure your ad is being shown to the people you want to see it.
So now that you have an ad running, when will you start seeing leads? After your ad begins running, you can track and manage leads through the Facebook Ads Manager which shows you when someone has responded to your ad. It will give you a plethora of other statistics too, but for the sake of keeping this blog post simple, we'll focus on the main goal: leads! You download them via an Excel file and the important thing to remember is that you need to login daily to check for leads. Facebook will not email you when you receive new leads. So make it a habit to login to the Ads Manager to track them and download them.
What if you don't get any leads from your first ad? Don't despair. Much of marketing is based on A/B testing. And what that means is you have to test out your ad, just as marketers do to see what type of ad content resonates with their targeted audience. The fact that Facebook makes advertising economical and you don't have to pour thousands of dollars into an ad campaign, allows you to test your ads and tweak them when necessary. Marketing has many nuances to it, and lead nurturing can take time. But if you're willing to put in a bit of effort and take the plunge, you will see proven results.
A/B testing allows you to test out your ad content to see what resonates with your audience.
Hands down, Facebook advertising is the fastest and easiest way to get leads quickly. It's not a complicated process and it won't break the bank. Buying expensive leads from lead vendors can quickly add up, so if you haven't spent the time to learn how to advertise on Facebook, dedicate a couple hours to setting up your business page, creating ad content (or if you're one of our contracted agents, we'll create ad content for you) and go through the process of submitting your first ad. You'll be happy you did once those leads start filtering in.
The new normal is something out of a George Orwell novel, or so it seems. The vast majority of the population are donning face masks as they scurry in and out of businesses and are spending an exorbitant amount of time at home and on their devices. It's a strange, new world we live in, and in order to continue to grow in the insurance industry, it's important to utilize the digital world to its full potential. Below we'll cover some important tools you should be using in order to keep your business connected and growing during these challenging times.
In a relationship business where the idea of meeting face to face is no longer feasible, it's important to utilize video chat and messaging tools to keep in touch with existing clients (if you aren't already doing so). You've worked hard to establish good working relationships with your clients and you don't want those to fade away now that you can no longer meet in person. There are so many communication tools that work easily and well and the best part...they're free. Zoom is one of the most popular video tools out there, but Skype, Google Meet and FaceTime are very user-friendly and they all get the job done well. (And FaceTime isn't just for mobile devices, if you have a Mac, you can use FaceTime with your clients on their Macs or their Apple mobile devices.)
Your older clients have adapted and have learned how to use the online world to feel connected. They know how to order groceries and takeout online, they now communicate with family members and attend church digitally. They access Telehealth resources and meet with their physicians via video chat. They get their prescriptions filled online and delivered to their homes. They've learned to embrace technology out of necessity and without technology they would feel lost. It's important to remember that your clients need to hear from you, and by embracing these tools, it makes staying connected and conducting business easier than ever.
Reviews & Online Presence
During these challenging times, it's important to have an updated website and a robust social media presence. 90% of consumers use the internet to find a local business and 82% of consumers read online reviews before they decide to do business with someone. If your website doesn't reflect current information and you have no online reviews, consumers will move on to the next insurance agent in their Google search. An online presence is absolutely critical now more than ever. Your existing clients will benefit as well. If they have questions and can find the answers on your website, that's one less phone call they have to make. Your website and online reviews reflect your business, so you want to be sure your online advertising is an accurate representation of your services and your reputation.
Email marketing is not dead and it's a fantastic way to let your clients know you're thinking about them. There are numerous email marketing providers out there and Mailchimp is one of the most popular services. They offer a free version for small businesses which will allow you to upload up to 2,000 contacts, give you access to their content studio, numerous pre-built templates and even automation. Sending out informative pieces or updating your clients about important news is made easy with a service like Mailchimp. Constant Contact is another robust email marketing service that bases pricing on the number of contacts you upload to their system. You'll get access to marketing automation, mobile-ready templates, reporting and many other features.
Submitting Electronic Business
The beauty of technology is that it allows for so many things to get done faster. This includes submitting applications, receiving payments and getting answers to questions. When you submit your business online and stop the dated paper applications, your underwriting gets approved more quickly, which means your policies get approved faster, which in turn means you get paid faster. It may seem daunting at first to make the switch from submitting paper applications and doing things the old fashioned way, but when you submit a few e-Apps, you'll get the hang of it in no time...and wonder why you haven't been doing business this way sooner. The electronic application also ensures you complete the app properly. It reduces the possibility for errors and omissions and it frees up your time to work with even more clients. Your clients can sign their applications digitally and get their policies faster than ever. Hands down, it's just a win/win for everyone.
The New Normal Isn't All Bad
The concept of social distancing isn't something that normally comes to mind when one thinks of the insurance industry. It's tried and true ways of meeting face-to-face for decades across from the kitchen table or in the client's living room is now a thing of the not-so-distant past. However, with this new normal, it's important to realize that business doesn't have to grind to a screeching halt. By implementing the use of technology in your every day business life you'll find you're actually better equipped to manage and even grow your business. How long this will be our new normal is very uncertain as COVID-19 rates continue to climb, but one thing is for certain, technology will continue to keep us connected and will be our best resource for accomplishing all that we need to in order to thrive.
If you're not on Instagram, perhaps it's time you downloaded the app and joined the other 500 million daily users? That's right. And overall, according to Instagram, there are 1 billion monthly users on the digital image and video platform. If that doesn't make you scratch your head and say "Where have I been?" maybe this will: over 50 billion photos have been shared since the platform launched in 2010. Brands are engaging with customers and clients on a daily basis, and that leads to more sales.
What should I share?
Instagram is where brands come alive with content. What do you share? That's easy! Pictures you've taken or curated, re-share customer content, videos, memes, quotes, there is no end to the types of content you can share. But keep in mind, you're promoting your brand, so think before uploading and pushing "Share".
Where and How do I share?
There are several ways to share content on Instagram. On your profile or via Instagram Stories or IGTV. If you share content on your profile, people who follow you or those who follow the hashtags you use, will see your content in their feed. This is a place to showcase your brand and let viewers see what you offer. Be creative, have fun and let your personality shine.
What are Instagram stories? Just like facebook, you can share content that only remains active for 24 hours. Haven't used Stories on facebook before? What are you waiting for? And you can cross-share on both platforms. Story content is typically content that you want to share that doesn't require a long shelf life. However, you can also promote content you've shared on your profile by sharing it to your stories as well. You can re-share content you see in your feed, and you can re-share content from other stories (if they're public and allow their content to be shared).
Should I be Public or Private?
Business accounts are public. If you have a personal account, you can choose to make it public or keep it private for just your inner crowd.
What is IGTV?
IGTV is also a standalone app that allows you to upload videos of up to an hour in length. It's similar to YouTube. However, it's also integrated within Instagram. Short videos that are 3-60 seconds in length can be shared on your profile or in your story. If you share a video longer than that length it will automatically be uploaded to IGTV. The amount of exposure you can get from sharing on both your profile and in your story and with IGTV will help you grow your agency (brand).
To hashtag or not to hashtag?
Once you establish what and where you're going to share your content, be sure to incorporate hashtags and tag relevant people or brands in your content. This helps broaden your exposure. Hashtags are a way to find content and many users follow hashtags as well as accounts. Consider coining your own personal hashtag.
Tagging accounts is different from hashtags. When you tag someone, you're mentioning them. It's just like when you mention or tag someone on facebook.
Don't forget to add locations to your posts and stories as well. You'll get more eyes on your content that way. And viewers in certain geographic areas will be able to see your content if you add your location to your story.
How do I know how my posts are doing?
Insights. When you set yourself up with a business Instagram profile, you'll get access to all types of analytics to see how your content is performing, who is viewing it and the activity it's getting. This helps you tweak your content and your posting times. And speaking of posting times, now would be a good time to take advantage of scheduling platforms like Buffer, Hootsuite, Later or SproutSocial to schedule out your content.
Once you've figure out the what and the where to post your content on Instagram, you now have to focus on the when. Yes, the when. There are preferred times to schedule out your content for maximum exposure. According to HubSpot, these are the best times to share on Instagram:
The heatmap below provided by SproutSocial indicates highest engagement times.
Should I Promote My Posts?
Promoting your posts (paid content) will get you even more exposure, and it's a good idea to think about carving out a little budget to promote certain posts that are important or that do well with likes and engagement. Again, you can promote your content on both facebook and Instagram which will give you twice the exposure.
Overall, sharing content on Instagram is yet another way to promote yourself and to get exposure. It's a free app and your posts can all be free, so why not take advantage of it?
"Before a prospect for life insurance, annuities, disability insurance or other products or services meets you in person, they might visit your website or explore your social media or call your office . A poor first impression on any of these fronts can degrade your credibility and spook the prospect."
"Though giving advice today on first impressions may seem cliché, it is perhaps MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. Customer choice is at an all-time high. Prospects can easily click to the next search result and collect a stack of proposals before making a decision. In this ultra-competitive landscape, advisors cannot afford to botch the first impression.
"The classic wisdom of looking and behaving at your best still applies, but we have to extend that philosophy into every possible first-touch moment." Read the full article...
Source: Think Advisor , February 8, 2019, Marykay Long
Are you in need of help with your online presence? If so, we're here to assist. Don't lose prospects because your online presence needs work. Falling short with an online presence will only inhibit your ability to gain more clients. As your FMO, we want you to succeed and that means helping you with your branding and marketing. Reaching as many potential clients as possible in today's fast paced world of scrolling takes the right tools and the right knowledge. We can help you build your online presence, and we urge you to take advantage of our services.
If you don't have a website, a social media presence or even a Google listing, we need to rectify that. Simple steps that ensure you're found online need to be implemented. Referrals are fantastic, but new clients that come by way of the internet are just waiting to fall into your lap.
Visit our Marketing Resources page to learn more, and get in touch with us today.
The statistics are staggering and social media has a powerful presence when it comes to doing business. If the above numbers aren't enough evidence for you, Snapchat has 255 million users, Pinterest has 250 million users and Tumblr has 640 million users.
We've created a short survey regarding the use of social media. What we're interested in knowing is which platforms you currently use to network and get your information from.
We'd appreciate it if you would take a 60 second survey to let us know which platforms you use regularly and find most beneficial. You'll also be entered into a $100 cash prize drawing by completing the survey.
Carolyn Portanova is the Director of Marketing at The Brokerage Resource and has been with the firm since 2012.