Open enrollment season is coming, and now is the time to maximize your agency’s brand exposure to drum up new business. As we touched on last week, insurance is confusing. When consumers need to find information they turn to Google and social media. Yet, a startling, 50% of independent agents do not have a website, and only 17% have online quoting capabilities.
Establishing an online presence for your agency is crucial to success heading into the open enrollment season. Your digital presence not only boosts your agency’s visibility, but it provides credibility as well.
According to research from Verisign, 84% of consumers believe small businesses with a strong digital presence are much more credible than companies with little to no presence at all. Yet time and again agencies fail to maintain their website domain or update their social media pages. Here’s how re-evaluating your digital presence will help you grow your book of business going into open enrollment season.
MAINTAIN 24/7 BRAND VISIBILITY ONLINE
As an agent, you are the face of your company. You’re on the frontline interacting with clients and prospects providing information and value propositions. But, you work 8 hours a day. Digital content, a website, social media pages, are all accessible 24/7. If you’re not maintaining a strong digital presence for your agency you’re missing opportunities. A J.D. Power study found that 74% of consumers rely on an agency’s website for sourcing information and getting quotes.
A website serves many purposes for your agency, but the main objectives are:
- To inform
- To engage
- To convert
Before open enrollment season begins, start the conversation with your prospects by providing high quality and beneficial information through your website. Identify your audience, what they want, and create a sales funnel that nurtures them through the lengthy B2B sales cycle. With so many consumers relying on an agency’s website to influence their purchasing decisions, it can be said that if you’re not online you’re losing new business. Your online presence provides 24/7 advertising that works for you even after you clock out for the day.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCES B2B CONVERSIONS
Your presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms matter for B2B conversions. Considering that 84% of B2B executives use social media as a source for making purchasing decisions, it’s easy to see why it’s essential to be present on social media channels. On top of that 72% of B2B buyers refer to social media for research purposes.
Last week we discussed Thought Leadership Strategies and how it can increase lead generation. Statistics show that 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales industry thought leaders and influencers on social media. Yet despite these staggering statistics, many agents have a blank social media page with not even so much as a profile picture up.
Social media isn’t just some toy millennials use to “like” silly cat videos, and feed their narcissism. It’s a platform that, if used effectively, provides a forum to get your agency in front of qualified leads and increase conversions in the process. Evaluate your social media pages. Share your company info, and contact information. Start reaching out to connections who fit your ideal buyer persona. Follow them on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, and monitor the content they share and consume then tailor your agency’s marketing content to suit. Your digital presence has replaced the Yellow Pages we once grew up with. If you’re not listed, how can prospects find your agency?
We’ve touched on how prospects research agencies through their website and social media presence. Another, more recent, influence on purchasing decisions are online testimonials and reviews. If you need any convincing just look to the rapid growth of Yelp for reference.
Research found that 91% of consumers trust online reviews over input from a sales representative. So as great as your sales pitch is, your prospects are pretty likely to go searching for online reviews and testimonials for your agency. That’s why it’s crucial to have a website to showcase client testimonials. But, it’s also important to be strategic with how you share this vital piece of content. Testimonials can now be coded so that search engines recognize them as such. The more testimonials you have on your website, the higher your website’s search engine ranking will be.
This doesn’t mean to litter your homepage with as many testimonials as possible. Find quotations that are relevant to different landing pages on your website. So for example if you have a testimonial that highlights a specific product your agency offers, feature that quotation on your products landing page. This will showcase that your agency is valued by clients for a diverse number of reasons.
REVIEW YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE HEADING INTO OPEN ENROLLMENT SEASON
Here at Broker Tool Belt we’ve touched on multiple facets of insurance digital marketing. Consumers turn to Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a plethora of other digital channels to find solutions for their needs. If your agency doesn’t have an online presence while employers are searching for solutions to make the enrollment process easier, then you’ll be losing out to competitors who are adapting to the modern insurance market.
Ensure content and contact information on your various digital channels are up to date. Reach out to your current clients via email to get the conversation on open enrollment started. Create educational content that will appeal to prospects preparing for the upcoming season. All of the points we outlined will provide your agency with credibility, a broader reach, a more intuitive sales process, and most importantly a higher conversion rate going into open enrollment.