Insurers Must Beat the Customer Engagement Disconnect

Insurers must overcome the customer engagement disconnect

Insurers must overcome the customer engagement disconnect

Insurance marketing professionals are striving to beat the customer engagement disconnect.

They know that customer engagement must go beyond internet and social media participation to meet customers where they are — at their cell phones. We live in a world where the mobile phone has become the center of people’s lives. Insurers should be taking full advantage of this.

Sure, customers are using their smartphones to surf the net and participate in social media. However, the best way to reach customers personally is through voice mail, text messages and email.

My most recent blog for SPLICE Software covers the results of a recent Marketo study of marketers from many industries across four countries. The study reveals that marketers, in general, know they must overcome what I call the customer engagement disconnect. Not surprisingly, the study also reveals that customers are willing to be brand advocates for companies that demonstrate they care for them.

The study also reveals that customers are willing to be brand advocates for companies that demonstrate they care for them.

Insurance marketers need to find the tools to help engage more directly with potential and current customers. Usually, sales and customer service departments already have such tools. To ensure messaging and branding are consistent, marketers should be partnering with other departments that are contacting policyholders.

While my SPLICE blog centers on personal lines insurers, the study also offers insight for B2B communicators. If you market commercial insurance take note: B2B customers have even higher expectations on brands when it comes to engagement. And note this: they are more willing to be brand advocates compared to B2C customers.

I hope you’ll check out the blog. It offers much more specific information to encourage marketers to start thinking about how to topple the customer engagement disconnect.

 

 

 




Claim Prevention Tips Can Upgrade Customer Experience and Mitigate Losses

Claim prevention tips can improve customer experience and prevent losses.

Claim prevention tips can improve customer experience and prevent losses.

Claim prevention tips give personal lines insurers ample opportunities to upgrade customer experience and mitigate losses. Catastrophic (CAT) events such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma are reminders of why providing critical information to policyholders will quickly become a best practice.

As I explain in my blog for SPLICE Software, directly delivering useful safety and loss prevention information to customers via their communication channel of choice — such as text messages — allow insurers to tangibly demonstrate their commitment to policyholder protection.

Further, arming customers with critical information allows them to take positive steps to decrease the frequency and severity of claims. These tips can also build customer loyalty and provide a new way to reinforce marketing strategy.

My blog explains other reasons why insurers should use claim prevention tips. Happy reading!

 

 




Salesforce Report Makes Case for Greater Marketing Investment

Effective customer experience (CX) relies on a greater marketing investment.

Effective customer experience (CX) relies on a greater marketing investment.

Need case-building ammunition when convincing the C-Suite to boost its marketing investment? Check out Salesforce’s 2016 State of Marketing report. 

According to the report, high-performing marketing teams focus on improving customer experience (CX), i.e. “keeping pace with customers” while those with moderate or underperforming marketing teams share “budget constraints” as their top concern (see page 11). Customer experience (CX) supports omni-channel communication, allowing customers to choose how they want to digitally hear from a company.

Common sense and previously published studies insist that it’s more cost-effective to keep customers than to acquire new ones. Other studies show that customers want to hear from companies that provide useful information at the right time. Since customer expectations are growing along with digital communication, companies should ensure their marketing and communications practices are truly customer centric.

Companies that focus on CX throughout the customer journey are seeing greater returns. “High-performing marketing teams,” according to the report, “are 8.8x more likely than underperformers to strongly agree that they’ve adopted a customer journey strategy as part of their overall business strategy”(see page 14).

The customer journey approach to knowing customers provides more specific insight necessary for reaching them across communication channels.

_______________ 

Companies that focus on CX throughout the customer journey
are seeing greater returns.
_______________

I help clients develop customer journeys in the insurance industry. The customer journey is more than how a potential customer purchases a product or service. Developing a customer journey does include sales-enhancing insight, but customer retention is the focus. Customer journey research also identifies customer pain points and those “keep in touch” moments when customers should receive a useful (read: hypeless) brand-enhancing content. 

Companies with generous budgets are using predictive modeling to learn more about customers. For tight marketing budgets, however, tried-and-true approaches are still effective. They include:

  • “listening” to customers on social media;
  • conducting focus groups;
  • interviewing customers;
  • offering customer satisfaction surveys; and,
  • tracking customer feedback.

Other Useful Insights

The report offers strategies worthy of greater marketing investment. Here are three:

Email is an effective strategy for reaching customers. Clients often find this hard to believe. Here’s the proof: Seventy-nine percent of respondents said email generated a return on investment (ROI), up from 54 percent in the 2015 report (see page 35). “Intelligent” email based on predictive modeling works even better (see page 34). 

Social media works (see page 38). Top performers respond in a timely manner. They also “listen” carefully. Companies are investing more in social media advertising as well

Content marketing is now a primary business tool (see page 42). However, producing unique, original content is the #2 concern of high-performing marketing teams (see page 11). This is not a great surprise. Internet content saturation is a real problem. To produce quality and meaningful content, enlist a writer/editor who understands your customers and your business.

Final Thoughts

On a basic level, effective marketing and communicating has always been about knowing customers well enough to reach them. Now, the key is to understand customer needs well enough to connect with them with the right brand-enhancing message at the right time with the right tool.

As a result, convincing the C-Suite to make a greater marketing investment is more important than ever.

Do you believe companies are as customer-centric as they assume? 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Why Blog About Insurance? (And How to Get Started)

Blogging Important for Insurance Content Marketing

Blogging Demonstrates Your Marketplace Authority

Quality blogs can boost insurance content marketing. Demonstrating your subject matter expertise showcases your ability to serve current and potential clients.

And yet, insurance industry marketing and communications professionals find it difficult to convince their experts to invest in blogging. Deploying quality insurance content through blogging:

  • attracts more visitors for customer conversion
  • demonstrates expertise to become a trusted source
  • positions your company as an industry leader
  • inspires conversation
  • keeps a company top of mind
  • provides reference material for sales
  • establishes an independent publishing forum
  • offers more online reputation control
  • enhances social media presence
  • generates content for re-purposing (more on that later)
  • encourages the customer journey, and
  • freshens websites.

 Why Companies Do Not Blog

So many potential benefits from blogging. And yet, many companies are not making the commitment. Based on the feedback I receive, here’s why (long with my response):

  1. Company management is not convinced. The above list should help.
  1. Lack of time. Blogging requires discipline. Regular submissions require that blogging becomes part of bloggers’ work schedules and not an additional project that will lengthen the workweek. Let’s face it, most professionals have long given up on the 40-hour workweek . They may not welcome another responsibility.
  1. Limited Budget. If time is an issue, consider hiring a professional writer who understands your industry. It might seem that resources are scarce. More likely, the money exists but priorities need reconsideration. Offering blogs and other great website content to improve insurance content marketing is more important than advertising. Think of it this way: if advertising attracts potential clients who find no substance, you’ve wasted money and time. Conference booths, snail mail marketing, giveaways and other tactics might need to move to the back burner. And remember, you can get the most from your blogs by repurposing content (more on that below.)
  1. Lack of topic ideas. To find subjects for blogging, start by asking employees who are in contact with customers — including sales, field and customer service staff — to identify customer concerns. Locate more ideas by searching media and joining LinkedIn Groups and “listening” to conversations.

 How to Get Started

  1. Make a list of ideas.
  1. Develop an editorial calendar. Look at the next 52 weeks and assign blog topics. Create a bank of “evergreen” topics — just in case. Confirm the blogs are substantive with original unique content. Do not copy other writers’ work!
  1. Establish a blog promotion plan and continually look for new ways to market the blog. Lack of blog promotion is one major reason why blogging is ineffective. Posting on social media is a good place to start, but there are other ways including offering to post as a guest blogger.

Finally, do not forget to re-purpose blog content. Ways to repurpose content include:

  • Using blog text to update the website.
  • Modifying the blog for email marketing and newsletters.
  • Pulling parts of blogs out for developing eBooks, white papers, longer articles for third party publication, etc.

I hope this post inspires your company to propel insurance content marketing efforts through blogging. You can find more great blogging tips here

Got questions? Please ask in the comments section below or send an email to annmarie@lipoldcommunications.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Facing the Insurance Quality Content Dilemma – Part 2

Reaching Customers Starts with Quality Insurance Content

CC0 Public Domain

Quality insurance content is the foundation for reaching potential markets.

Last week, I wrote about the choice insurance marketing and communications executives often face when looking for public relations and marketing services. They can either rely on insurance subject matter experts who are not effective communicators or public relations and marketing firms that do not understand insurance.

Then the question becomes, how can insurance industry companies deal with the Hobbesian choice?

The answer is hiring the rare find: a communications firm that understands insurance. Too often, however, insurance industry public relations and marketing executives either cannot find this rare breed or do not have the resources to acquire such talent.

As a result, insurance company marketing and communications personnel, along with vendors that offer industry services, end up exploiting and frustrating internal subject matter experts or hiring public relations and marketing companies that provide assistance on the cheap.

_______________

The best Search Engine Optimization approaches
in the world cannot overcome fluffy content
that lacks substance.
_______________

The first approach can become a human resources problem. The second approach could risk your company’s online reputation by publishing materials that will actually turn potential customers away from your business.

This is happening more than the penny-wise and pound-foolish financial professionals want to believe. They don’t understand that potential clients have become more sophisticated and expect more from content, such as insight and problem-solving strategies. I used to write such content full-time as a journalist, but few publications can support expert reporters.

Once potential customers decide to ignore your company’s marketing emails and social media posts, reversing this rejection becomes very difficult. Reputation damage is much more expensive and difficult to overcome than establishing a credible presence in the first place.

Budget Restraints

But Annmarie, you say, true insurance experts who are also schooled in public relations or journalism can be expensive. Sure, they cost more, but you will not be paying for them to become educated about insurance. Further, the expertise of a quality professional should be reflected in the content and marketing strategies.

With a minimal budget, focus on quality over quantity. I have long told my clients that it is better to publish less often and offer higher quality than to publish a lot of junk. What you want is to see your company’s name associated with must-read content.

To produce quality insurance content, re-evaluate all the marketing and communications channels and even cutting back in some areas.

Begin by maximizing the company website. There is no point in investing in social media and other digital marketing approaches if the content bread crumbs will just lead to a unappealing website. The best Search Engine Optimization approaches in the world cannot overcome fluffy content that lacks substance. Then there are the ever-changing Google algorithms that strive to reward the best content available and punish those offering content garbage.

Think about it. You get frustrated by wasting your time on shallow content produced by novices. What makes you think your potential customers are any different?

Evaluate the website and ensure that everything adheres to what I call The Credibility Factor. That means:

  • getting rid of all the fluff and telling your potential customers what they need to know to ease the buying process. Simple websites are more effective than fancy and complicated ones.
  • considering the structure and how often a viewer has to click to find what they really want to know.
  • looking beyond the latest and greatest in design and stick with what works.

Once the website is scrubbed of hype, begin planning magnetic content. To ensure quality insurance content, get started by:

  • creating an editorial calendar.
  • approaching internal subject matter experts and freelance writers with the topics and schedule.
  • producing several evergreen pieces first — just in case the schedule falls through – and it will.

Now that your company’s website is top notch, your content rocks and your blogging schedule is consistent, return to social media one venue at a time. As you offer online content breadcrumbs, you want them to lead to your company’s website and ultimately its call to action piece.

For commercial lines customers, you’ll get better results from LinkedIn and Twitter than Facebook. Make sure you have maximized both before moving forward to Facebook. As a tip, I am amazed at how many visitors I get from Google Plus. Be creative on how to use other social media sites. Personal auto and homeowners’ insurers can benefit from Pinterest and Snap Chat with the right approach.
_______________

Get rid of all the fluff
and tell your potential customers
what they need to know to ease the buying process.
_______________

Once you have established substantive content, you can repurpose it as the core of what must be a fascinating and engaging video.

Personally, I am not a fan of videos. Since younger audiences like to watch videos, I am including them.

Here’s why I give them a lower priority. First, I can read faster and would rather not spend two-to-three minutes on a video. Second, videos tend to be very superficial. Video production is not cheap and it requires another set of expertise to be effective.

And finally, please do not produce another boring “teaching” video that mimics a typical classroom experience. The video must personify your company’s brand and insurance is already considered boring enough.

Do you agree with my blog or would you care to share one of your own best practices? Please let me know by responding in the comments section or contact me directly at annmarie@lipoldcommunications.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Facing the Insurance Quality Content Dilemma (Part 1)

To offer expert insurance content, insurance marketing and communications executives find their options are

How to find expert insurance content

CC0 Public Domain

hiring agency counterparts who do not deeply understand the intricacies of insurance or internal subject matter experts who do not want to become writers. 

The dilemma is the direct result of two primary factors. First, there are few professionals who offer insurance expertise and possess audience-focused communications training and experience.

Second, effective marketing heavily relies on producing magnetic and substantive content. Amidst intensifying online competition, the C-Suite asks their internal marketing and communications departments to become publishers of brand journalism without the additional resources to support the effort.

Often, the C-Suite commonly does not want to accept that publishing is expensive. But it is. This is why so many newspapers and magazines, even those offered online, no longer exist. In a world of free content as a marketing approach, there is no option to sell advertising to underwrite the expense of professional communicators.

_______________
Without understanding the audience,
inbound marketing will fail.
_______________

Those who appreciate and understand insurance tend to be professionals whose aspirations didn’t include becoming writers. Experts in claims management, underwriting, risk management, actuarial, statistics and other disciplines often despise writing. They began their careers not knowing that branding and digital marketing would introduce the publish-or-perish mentality that academics have struggled with for decades.

Such professionals are being asked to work beyond their skill sets while trying to maintain their core competencies through endless hours of continuing education. So it is not surprising that producing content by writing white papers or blogs becomes a hassle amidst their already busy days.

These experts find the writing process to be quite frustrating. After staring at a blank screen for seemingly hours, their material is often unorganized or too complicated, making it difficult to read and understand. As a result, the marketing and communications department must invest in heavy editing and re-writing. It’s a time consuming and difficult process that can breed resentment on both sides.

Further, this approach is likely more expensive. Asking highly-paid professionals to write diverts their time and focus away from meeting client needs or rainmaking. Unfortunately, the C-Suite often does not take all these factors into consideration.

Lacking Insurance Expertise

The other option is to hire public relations, marketing and other communications firms. Usually, these well-intentioned companies lack deep and thorough insurance expertise.

The reality is that it takes years to understand the nuances of insurance. The industry not only has several disciplines, but several functions and a multitude of insurance lines. This makes finding expert insurance content writers even more difficult.

Workers’ compensation, for example, involves understanding different subjects including health care, the claims process, return-to-work and disability coverage. Additionally, each state has its own regulations and expectations. Personal auto, the largest property/casualty insurance line, focuses on consumers so the approach is different compared to commercial lines such as general liability or business interruption coverage.

Further, the traditional insurance paradigm is evolving to a data and analytics model. Insurance executives, who tend to be conservative in nature, are still learning to maximize predictive modeling so it extends beyond underwriting and pricing to addresses claims management practices and marketing techniques. Forward-moving insurers are focusing on obtaining business intelligence through predictive modeling, which is quite difficult to understand without insurance expertise.

Other disruptors, including artificial intelligence, changing regulations and policy sales via Internet are also having a great impact on insurance companies and the vendors that serve them. Vendors that want to expand into the insurance industry also struggle with understanding what insurers really need, industry nomenclature or the right point person to contact.

Meanwhile, each insurance line faces its own struggles. Auto insurers see promise in telematics when many consumers want personal privacy. Then there are “preoccupiers” such as Uber and Lyft and driverless cars.

_______________
…the C-Suite commonly does not want to accept
that publishing is expensive.
_______________

Then there is the problem of truly understanding the needs of each customer type. Insurers are vying for a greater piece of the growing demand for cyber coverage. However, policies are inconsistent. Buyers – and even their agents – are struggling to know what should be included in their coverage. The market potential for cyber insurance is enormous, but developing the right policy per each specific customer profile remains a challenge.

For business insurance, a smaller company that lacks a risk manager or a really awesome agent or broker will purchase based on price. Larger companies see the value of services and are sophisticated enough to know that price is just one part of the equation. They want to know how an insurer’s services will support risk management, claims processing and other areas. They also need to be sold on the technology. All of this requires expert insurance content.

Another limitation is that marketing companies often approach digital marketing from a business school rather than a journalism school approach. They lack professionals who understand how to effectively produce materials. They are not trained in first rule of journalism, which is to understand the audience. I often encounter companies that do not want to invest in determining customer needs and pain points. Without understanding the audience, expert insurance content for inbound marketing will fail.

So what is the solution? Check out Part 2 of Facing the Insurance Quality Content Dilemma.  

In the meantime, please offer your comments below or drop me a line at annmarie@insurancecommunicators.com.

 

 




Before You Cut and Paste, Obey Copyright Laws

Digital media experts offer lots of advice toLeader's Edge logo successfully market online, but rarely do they emphasize why it is important to obey copyright laws to avoid infringement.

That’s a shame. Website owners who are caught re-using blogs from other sites or publishing photos without appropriate permission and attribution can suffer legal and financial consequences. And thanks to special software that finds reproduced images, it’s also easier to get caught.

As I cover in my Leader’s Edge article, Making a Lasting Impression, the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB), which publishes the magazine, was reminded of why it’s important to obey copyright laws.

Stressed for time, an employee published a photo without getting permission, which goes against the CIAB’s policy. As a result, the photographer’s lawyer contacted the organization and offered a settlement fee much higher than the original cost of purchasing permission. CIAB enlisted an attorney to reduce the fee and settle the matter.

_______________
Imitation (or duplication) may be the sincerest form of flattery, but if it is not done legally, the compliment can be costly.
_______________

Kudos to CIAB President and CEO Ken Crerar, who wanted the story told to prevent the same thing from happening to others. I wrote the article to be helpful to readers, so it also offers tips on how to secure permission with or without licensing fees.

The important point to remember is that posting a photo online is a form of publishing and the same laws apply as with print publishing.

Anyone publishing online needs to take care that they do not copy someone else’s work without obtaining permission. Since there are creators who make the effort to find copyright infringers and sue them, it’s worth combing through all publications and web publishing to avoid copyright infringement.

Imitation (or duplication) may be the sincerest form of flattery, but if it is not done legally, the compliment can be costly. That is why it is important to obey copyright laws.

 




Website Writers and Developers Must Work in Tandem

Image H84.20196Developing websites is far different from even five years ago. Website technology and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as examples, have changed considerably. And because the content is still king, website writers and developers must work in tandem.

Too often during the website development process, however, business professionals first involve the designer or focus too much on bells, whistles and technical SEO without including the content writer.

This is a grave mistake. Involving the writer early in the process actually helps prevent unnecessary confusion and frustration.

Websites are a form of publishing. In traditional print publishing, the best practice is for writers to create the content first and then the designer develops the layout and chooses graphics that do not compete with text but enhance the reader’s experience.

This approach also works well with web design because text – and how it is meant to be presented — can affect the site’s look and content placement.

Getting Started

The best way to approach a website is to establish its goals. Any website writer or developer worth their salt will ask some of the questions below and offer to help clients answer them if necessary.

Questions should include:

  • What is this site supposed to accomplish?
  • How does the website work within the company’s overall marketing, communications and branding strategy?
  • Who are the readers/potential customers? Reader demographics, pain points and how readers will benefit must be established. Even basic market research can pay future dividends.
  • What is the overall message about the company and its products/services to the customer?
  • Does this message include the value proposition showing what makes the client unique?

The Designer/Writer Relationship

To help website writers and developers work together to forge a creative partnership, introduce both to the other as soon as possible in the process. The writer and designer need to have a shared vision so they can literally be “on the same page.”

During the development process, the designer should be concerned about the site map and material organization. As a natural part of the writing process, however, writers develop outlines similar to site maps to present content logically. Experienced writers will naturally consider the “packaging” of text and how to present it in user-friendly ways. Such writers can already envision reader-enhancing elements such as bullet points, sidebars, graphs, links, etc.

_______________

The writer and designer need to have a shared vision
so they can literally be “on the same page.”
_______________

When the site map or web organization is being considered independently from the writer, the text might not fit the site’s design. What can be very frustrating, even to writers, is once the site is laid out, words often read differently once online.

Here’s why: When text is written and saved as a Word document, it is being read for its own sake. But when it is placed within the context of visual content, it might not stand out as well.

I find this phenomenon to be more unique to websites than print publications. Text on websites is competing with a graphical frame of navigation tools, links and other distractions that can carry a reader’s eyes to a different space. This differs newspaper or magazine articles because print advertising does not distract the reader to a new space.

When changes need to be made, it is less cumbersome and more cost-effective if the writer has full access to all of the content instead of changing the text in the vacuum of Word files. That way, the writer can make sure that coded headlines or other graphic elements that include text are correct.

More On Graphics

Traditional publishing practice also discourages design approaches that also should be avoided on websites. Since many website developers are technicians and not necessarily publishing designers, graphic elements could be misused.

For example, pictures can be worth 1,000 words IF they are appropriate to the reader and the text.

Let’s say a site is trying to reach executives who buy workers’ compensation insurance. Since workers’ compensation only covers injuries, illnesses and deaths relating to work, a picture of a person sweeping a nondescript floor doesn’t resonate with the viewer. If the picture shows occupational elements, such as a person wearing a work uniform and/or background of a work area reinforces the subject matter.

I know this sounds obvious, but if you look at pictures on websites, you will be amazed at how the pictures do not reinforce the message. What amazes me, even more, is how much stock photography features still poses when readers like to people in action.

 ­­_______________
Readability is not just a matter of how clearly the text is written…
_______________

Readability is not just a matter of how clearly the text is written, how easily it can be understood or even sentence length. This is another reason why website writers and designers should work in tandem. Design plays a larger role and can distract the reader away from even the best content. White space is great, but too much white space between paragraphs can interrupt text flow.

Type size and its typeface are extremely critical or the words can become too “noisy.” Some fonts do not leave enough space between sentences. Using reverse type (white on black and other variations) can be very powerful, but too much is difficult on the eyes.

Also, remember to verify the viewability of the most important content. Take a look at your site through several browsers and devices to ensure the most important content is not buried, especially when considering viewing from mobile devices.

Keep in mind that people still print off information to read, so how it looks after being printed is also very important. Continuing to focus on the site’s goals and keeping them “top of mind” is essential. It’s too easy to get into the “weeds” of details, go down a tangential rabbit trail and lose direction.

And finally, choose website writers and developers carefully. Readers and search engine algorithms favor quality. Unique design is more memorable. If you hire based on the lowest price, you are more likely to see common designs or content that looks too similar to your competitors. In the future, I will write a blog on how to hire creative talent.

How will you approach your next website differently? Will you bring website writers and developers together sooner in the process? Please share in the comments section below.

Like this blog? Then you’ll also enjoy my recent
Leader’s Edge article on digital media marketing.




How Different Generations Consume Content Online

grandmother-453131__180How differently do generations consume content online?Think the younger generations consume the most online content compared to baby boomers? Not true, according to a fascinating study published by Social Times.

The study also shares when different generations go online, the types of devices they use and how they share content. Good stuff! Check it out by clicking the link below!

How Different Generations Consume Content Online [Infographic] | SocialTimes.




Leader’s Edge Feature Offers Digital Marketing Insight and Advice

Leader's Edge logoQuestion: When there is so much Internet noise, how do you make sure your company stands out? Answer: Digital marketing.

As I explain in my recently released Leader’s Edge article, “From Buzz to Bucks,” digital marketing encompasses everything from social media marketing to links, search engine optimization (SEO), video, advertising and other channels.

In general, the insurance industry is behind other sectors when it comes to mastering digital marketing. Digital marketing is not a replacement for all traditional marketing techniques, but it a crucial part of a marketing plan.

The article includes interviews with digital marketing experts and agents and brokers reaping positive results from digital marketing. Their advice can help nearly any company. There is also a sidebar devoted to determining return on investment (ROI) and another covers social media.

Some Digital Marketing Tips

Getting started in digital marketing is just like any other form of marketing or public relations strategy.

  • Define your customer, their interests and pain points to develop appropriate messaging. I don’t believe you can know enough about potential or current customers.
  • Surveys, focus groups and asking readers for follow-up are important tools for better knowing customers. A lot of companies skip this step to their peril. Don’t make that mistake. Hiring an outside firm is a good idea to assure objectivity. At the very least, make sure sales staff keeps track of lead origination. They should be asking – and keeping records — about how customers heard of the company, what prompted them to contact the company and content of interest.
  • Also, take a close look at your website. Since about half of viewers use their mobile devices to look up information, at the very least, the website needs to be responsive so it’s easy to read and navigate.

_______________
I believe that any new marketing strategy should be approached humbly…

_______________

  • Make sure call-to-action buttons are well placed to transform readers to leads.
  • Re-evaluate your social media strategy. Are you on LinkedIn, Facebook, GooglePlus and Twitter? If so, post on a regular basis to keep your company top of mind. If not, get signed up!
  • The secret to great SEO has much more to do with content than fancy programming techniques. Make sure the information is written for readers as search engine algorithms try to mimic what people want to read. Speaking of search engine algorithms, Jayson DeMers, one of the experts quoted in my article, published a piece on Entrepreneur this week explaining how Google’s future algorithm change on April 21st will “revolutionize the way mobile friendliness is determined.” It’s worth checking out. Regardless of algorithm changes, quality content continues to be more important than ever. (Please see the “quality content” tag on this blog to learn how to produce it.)
  • Make sure your material meets your customers’ needs.
  • Re-evaluate your website and other content for SEO. Do not stuff content with searchable words. Search engines hate the practice and give sites that do it lower rankings.
  • Blogging is another way to provide quality content. It requires a time commitment, but regularly introducing quality content – at least once per week — through blogging is very effective for boosting SEO and keeping your company top of mind. Post it on social media sites including LinkedIn.
  • Take the best sentences and points and feed them into Twitter. To ensure originality and be rewarded by search engines, avoid companies that sell pre-packaged content. Yes, it’s cheaper, but it might not fare as well with search engines. Quality content can be developed by company subject matter experts, guest bloggers and freelance writers.
  • Graphics play a critical role in presenting content. The right picture can be worth a 1,000 words. Since many people prefer to get information by watching rather than reading, video also plays a role in digital marketing as well.I believe that any new marketing strategy should be approached humbly because the arena continues to evolve. Each company should track every tactic they pursue to see what is most effective. For example, an agent or broker who sells both personal and commercial lines might find that Facebook postings are more effective for selling personal lines and LinkedIn works better for commercial lines.

    Which digital marketing tactics are working at your company?