Insurance agent marketing helps – online competition, reviews and more

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This month’s insurance agent marketing tips

Every month we scour marketing blogs, websites and webinars to bring you best practices to help you keep yourself and your agency front and center in the minds of your clients and prospects. In this month’s insurance agent marketing helps we’re listing keys to achieving more client reviews, better on-the-go photo-taking and higher ranking on local online searches.

How client reviews help you grow your commercial lines book of business

Many producers started their careers selling personal lines (“B2C” or business-to-consumer is the lingo), and it was drilled into our heads that we’re selling to a breathing, thinking person. But if you started your career in commercial lines (that’s B2B, business-to-business, for you jargon lovers), it may sometimes be easy to forget that we’re still selling to people inside that business.

There are plenty of stats out there saying how customer reviews are crucial for B2C businesses – but the same is true for B2B. Buyers look for a vendor they can trust. How do we build that trust? Hint: it’s not testimonials on your own website – because everyone knows those are (not can be, but ARE) manipulated. Instead, it’s done through online reviews. If you can garner good reviews on which to establish your reputation, it will grease the skids in your would-be insurance client’s journey to becoming not only your client, but your advocate.

First, a few stats from TrustPilot:

  • 97 percent of B2B buyers say customer feedback is more believable than other types of content.
  • 73 percent of B2B buyers would rather research on their own first before being approached by a company.
  • 63 percent create a short list of possible solutions from the reviews they read.
  • 70 percent say they’re more likely to choose a solution that has clear differentiators.

And what’s the best – and clearest differentiators? Your online customer reviews. Your prospects would rather hear from their peers (your clients) than you, because you’re a salesperson.

So the first of our insurance agent marketing helps is this: Don’t be timid about going after those reviews. You want them on Google, Yelp, Facebook…wherever you have an online presence. When’s the best time to ask? When they’re still sitting in front of you, as you’re wrapping up the paperwork. They’re already logged into Google and Facebook, most likely, on their phones – so it won’t take but a couple of minutes on their part. In the words of Nike, “Just do it.”

3 apps to download that make your photos outstanding

Whether you’re taking selfies at a Chamber of Commerce or networking event or photos of your newest clients to upload on your Facebook business page, here are a few photo editing apps from Thrillist that’ll take your photos to the next level.

1. TouchRetouch. Remove random people, lens flare, unwanted objects or even buildings from your photo with just a few taps.  $1.99 for Android or iOS.

2.  Snapseed. Free from Google, it’s their all-in-one editing suite, easy to use. Thrillist says,” Snapseed has proven itself among the best mobile photo-editing programs in the app store.” Android or iOS.

3. Facetune. With this app, you’re guaranteed to always look your best. You can address imperfections: whiten your teeth, remove a zit, hide those under-eye circles and more. $3.99 for Android or iOS.

Now let’s tie our first two insurance agent marketing helps together: Take those photos and post them on your website and in your social media updates, along with a short clip of their testimonial and title it “Here’s what our clients say about us” (of course, you’ll need their permission to use their photo, and it’s best to get it in writing.)

4 website updates you should make to stay competitive this year

You’ve probably heard, Google keeps making updates to their algorithm that helps searchers more easily find what they’re looking for – but it can wreak havoc with your search engine rankings if you don’t stay on top of things. The good news is that Google’s Possum update last fall actually is a boon to local insurance agencies, because it makes it much easier for you to appear in local search.

Related: Insurance agency local SEO hacks: Six ways to get more online traffic than your competitor down the street 

So the last of our insurance agent marketing helps this month includes updates from one of favorite SEO gurus, Neil Patel, to help your website keep its local rankings this year:

1. Diversify the local keywords you want to rank for. For instance, if your agency is located in Carlsbad, CA, then aim to rank not only for “Carlsbad CA insurance agency” but also “insurance agency Carlsbad CA,” “Carlsbad California insurance agency” and “North County San Diego CA insurance agency.”

2. Ensure your website is mobile-first. Why? Most local searches today are done on cell phones. Google ranks you higher if your site is mobile-first. That means your website needs to have not only a simple design, but a responsive web design (one that magically rearranges itself, based on whether you’re viewing from desktop / tablet / mobile).

3. Make sure your website loads quickly. Did you hear that our collective attention span is one second shorter than that of a goldfish? It’s true. We won’t wait around for your site to load; instead, we moved on to your competition. Kissmetrics says that “40 percent of online shoppers will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.”

4. Write skimmable content. Sorry, but no one wants to read super-long paragraph after paragraph of your agency’s history and value. We just don’t. So use lots of bolded subheads, bullet points, white space, images, etc. to break up all those copy-heavy webpages. Plus, those Google spiders crawling your site and ranking your pages also skim – and they pull heavily from your subheads.

Related: Insurance producer marketing tips to see and be seen

Now it’s your turn: What insurance agent marketing helps can you share that’ve helped you grow your business?

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