What worked in the past - Until recently the Insurance and Benefits Industry's marketing and advertising efforts to become visible to potential clients were focused on various forms of "Outbound" Marketing. These strategies included: Cold Calling, Call Centers, Mailers, Media Ads, Yellow Pages, Seminars, Trade Shows, Outings, Meals, etc. In total they were expensive with a questionable ROI! As John Wanamaker pointed out years ago, "I know 50% of my advertising dollars are wasted, I'm just not sure which half".
A new opportunity with very limited results - More recently Websites, and then Blogs, appeared to be an affordable solution for reaching a broader audience at a substantially reduced cost! Unfortunately, as HubSpot - a marketing firm specializing in "Inbound" Marketing software - points out, most websites are a "Billboard in the Desert". Most in the Insurance and Benefits Industries designed Website and provided the Graphics, Content, Links, Contact Information, etc. Much to their dismay only a limited number of people came to visit, fewer "converted" into a qualified prospect, and a handful may have actually become a client! It seemed to be a great concept gone wrong! What was and is the problem? Quite simply - No Visibility!
"Inbound" Marketing is the Solution! - The Insurance and Benefits Industries need to grasp the Power of the Internet, Social Mediain a number of forms, Search Engines, and SEO to become visible. We're talking about BIG Savings and GREATER VISABILITY! A Recent Study by HubSpot shows a 62% savings with Inbound Marketing over traditional Outbound! The Industries must focus on becoming visible in this new marketplace! It is essential to reach potential Consumer/Buyers who are using the Internet and Search Engines - like Google - to find the Plans, Programs, and Services to meet their needs and "Price Points".
Gaining an ROI - measured by Analytics - New Clients, Revenues and Profits requires that you understand and utilize additional "New Tools" that are readily available and at no cost or very affordable. While an "Inbound" Marketing Strategy saves an incredible amount of money compared to traditional "Outbound" methods, it requires time, consistent effort, and patience.
Having a Website and Blog is only the beginning! Without question you must optimize your Website and Blog to gain the attention of the "Spiders" that "Rank" your sites and drive those searching directly to you. Their are a number of outsourced services that are affordable and can assist you with "Key Words" and SEO. When potential Clients arrive at your Website it is important to have a "Landing Page". This is the first page they see when arriving to your site. Your landing page should be specific to the reason for the potential client's search and have an uncluttered and articulated Call To Action (CTA). This again is only a beginning step toward Visibility, Success, and Profit! You need more tools to gain Visibility.
What comes next? What are these additional tools? The following are critical for establishing Visibility and Credibility:
1) Utilize various forms of Social Media to drive Qualified Prospects to your Website's Landing Page and Your Plans, Programs, and/or Services. While Twitter, Facebook, and now Pininterest provide opportunities, Linkedin focuses on Business to Business and has groups focused on Industry and Consumer Groups. To gain visibility and marketing success it is essential to actively utilize Linkedin features::
- Join Groups - As an example Linkedin Permits ypu to join 50 groups
- Participate in Discussions
- Start Discussions
- Create a Group (s)
- Add Value - accomplished through "Content"
- Build Trust - addressing your potential clients needs
- Don't - Try to Sell
- Agents of America (AOA)
- BenefitPlace.biz and BPTradeShow.com
- Insurance Forum