Monday, June 25, 2012

THE NEW NORMS -- HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY MARKET INSURANCE AND BENEFITS RELATED PLANS & SERVICES!

                         VISIBILITY / VISIBILITY / VISIBILITY 
                            5 QUESTIONS AND SOLUTIONS!   
Questions you should be asking yourself if you want Greater Visibility!
1) Are your traditional marketing strategies Costing More and Producing Less?
2) Is your website a "Billboard in the Desert"?
3) Are Visitors to your website Failing to Become Clients?
4) Are you using Social Media or Business Media to Drive Revenues and Sales?
5) Do you know What To Do Next?

       
Let's take a look at these questions and find Solutions to the Problems!
1)  Are your traditional marketing strategies Costing More and Producing Less If the answer is Yes - - Traditional Marketing Strategies, ie. Advertising, Yellow Pages, Buying Lists, Call Centers, Cold Calling, Knocking on Doors, Mailers, Seminars, Physical Trade Shows, etc. are not the method of choice for most Employers, Employees, Individuals - as well as their Brokers/Consultants - for gaining information they need about Insurance and Benefits.  
The utilization of the Internet and Search Engines -  primarily Google - have become the starting point for research and gaining information about Plans, Programs and Services required to mitigate risk.  This fact has created a new Strategy - Inbound Marketing.  


Developing an integrated Inbound Marketing Strategy will have Qualified Prospects/Potential Clients "Knocking at Your Door"!  This Strategy can be both efficient and cost-effective.  Similar to traditional marketing strategies - but at much less cost - successful  client acquisition requires a consistent and repetitive message.  It is very important to Add Value and Build Trust prior to soliciting and attempting to convert the searcher into a Qualified Prospect.  This need for patience can be difficult for old style Marketeers!   


2)  Is your website a "Billboard in the Desert"?  If the answer is Yes -- Unfortunately, most websites - whatever their cost and clever design - are not receiving the desired Visitors/Traffic.  Much like a Billboard, to gain Visibility the Website must be on a well traveled highway - appealing to Search Engines for a variety of reasons while providing specific directions.  


3)  Are visitors to your website Failing to Become Clients?  If the answer is Yes -- Unfortunately, most websites do not provide the Visitors with what they are looking for on the first page they see - the Landing Page To continue the Billboard analogy, the Landing Page must direct the Traveler/Searcher to what they are looking for - the Plan, Program and/or Service!  Unlike many of the pages the visitor first see, the Landing Page should be Specific, Uncluttered, and with a clear Call to Action (CTA).  The Inbound Marketing Strategy is your highway delivering Qualified Prospects/Potential Buyers to your Landing Page.


4)   Are you using Social Media or Business Media to Drive Revenues and Sales?   If you are not sure, let me explain!  What's the difference?
Social Media - Almost everyone is familiar Facebook and Twitter and now Pininterest.  They were created for individuals to share common interests, socially network and for providing personal updates.  Facebook and Twitter are aggressively entering the domain of BtoB and BtoC.  While we certainly recommend participating with Individual and Company Pages for Branding purposes, time will tell how effective these sites will be in delivering Qualified Prospect/Buyers!   
Industry Networking Groups - While not a normal designation within internet jargon, we are using the term to describe websites - somewhat similar to Facebook and Twitter - that are dedicated to bringing business people together who share common interests.  The number of Networking Groups is growing rapidly and each site provides different opportunities. Their structures and capacities for bringing parties together differ dramatically!  The following list of  Networking Groups should help to create a better understanding of their capacities and how best to leverage these opportunities for Attracting and Converting Qualified Prospects.  Industry Networking Groups include:  

  • Agents of America.org (AOA) -  "AOA is an association dedicated to the personal and professional growth, stability and management of its agent members and their agencies. AOA is the nation’s number one resource for connecting agents with other agents, industry professionals, highly relevant news, agency revenue building products, services, opportunities and continuing education." AOA --  Free Membership
  • BenefitPlace.biz and BPTradeShow.comBenefitPlace.biz is an Information and Research Center focused on the Insurance and Benefits Industries with Listings of the Providers of Plans, Programs, and Services.  Employers, Employees, Individuals, and Brokers search for and find the Plans, Programs and Services - as well as the Providers - they need!  BPTradeShow.com is a 24/7/365 Virtual Trade Show for the Insurance and Benefits Industry bringing together Sellers with Qualified Buyers from the comfort of their offices or homes.   
  • InsuranceCampus.org - An Insurance Industry Person-To-Person Networking Center"  providing "insurance user-generated content.  Members create their own profile, groups, posts, blogs, photos, videos, and more. 
  • Linkedin - Quite simply, Linkedin is a professional business-oriented networking site allowing users to: Post Individual and Company Profiles, Link with Colleagues, Join Groups with Shared Business Interests, Post and Comment on to Discussions, Post Promotions, Contact and Stay in Touch with Potential Clients, Clients, Vendors, Suppliers, Business Contacts, and Post and Search for Career/Job Opportunities.  Linkedin is an excellent opportunity to add value with your Expertise, Gain Trust, and Build Visibility.  
  • NOLHA (Formerly the National Organization of Life & Health Agents) - is a powerful emerging social network for life, health and senior agents.  NOLHA combines the power of social networking with training and updated industry information.  There is no cost to join NOLHA but it is limited to licensed insurance agents.  The site provides members: profiles, Groups, Discussions, Comments, Forums, Polls, Training, Posted Blogs, and the ability to Post Listings and Promotions.
  • ProducersWEB.com is a leading online destination for Insurance and Financial Professionals who are looking to improve their sales strategies and learn about new products and offers within every area of the Life, Health, and Annuity Insurance Industry.  Users can comment on and start discussions as well as promote "Offers".  Users are encouraged to create Profiles with contact information and to interact with other users.  
5)  Do you know What To Do Next? - From the above we would suggest focusing on:
  • Developing an Inbound Marketing Strategy!
  • Developing Landing Pages with a Specific Call To Action (CTA)!
  • Joining Social Media Groups and Participating!
  • Joining and fully participating in Industry Networking Groups!
  • Budgeting and Allocating Time and Money to drive Inbound Traffic utilizing the Power of the Internet, Social Media, Search Engines and SEO!
In closing, EContent  Magazine best summed-up the sense of urgency for moving forward, "Social media isn't going away. The longer you wait, the more out of touch you risk looking. And no amount of ROI can help you recover from losing touch with your customers." Econtent, March 2012. 

If you have questions or would like access to more discussion: Join our Linkedin Group, Insurance Forum / Email -- max@benefitplace.biz  / or Call -- 216.577.5579










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