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Independent Agent Web Presence

Independent insurance agencies can benefit from a strong online presence


At SIS we are vested in providing information and technology that helps independent insurance agents streamline their workflow, increase market share and grow their business. Because of that, we have been digging deeper recently to find and pass along pertinent information on all aspects of marketing.

We’ve offered tips from independent agents, perspective on social media, discussed various online tools and resources like local search that can be used to help you get found on the net and linked to a great Mashable article about marketing on Facebook.

Today’s focus is on websites.

Back in 2010, Progressive’s Steve Marko wrote an article for ACT, Build a Web presence worthy of 2010 in which he mentioned that auto insurance is one of the most shopped for products on the internet and cited statistics that indicated that 73% of people use the internet to search for insurance information, but 67% still prefer to buy from a local agent.

The good news for independent agencies, he said, is that people are still trying to find you. The bad news is that if you do not have a strong online presence, the chances they’ll go elsewhere increase significantly – and that was two years ago. We can only assume that, if anything, the number of individuals searching for insurance options online has increased over the last several years.

Given those statistics, it is surprising then that all independent agents don’t have more of a web presence. In a recent survey we conducted through a third party we found that only 143 out of 247 (57%) of agencies surveyed had a marketing web presence. Of those who had a web presence only nine (4%) felt that their website was “very effective” in driving new business to their agency.   Out of those who did not currently have a web presence, only 27 (26%) indicated that getting a website would be the next on their list of marketing priorities.

Based most of the agents and agencies we’ve talked to, it seems clear that Marko’s key points back in 2010 still apply.   Agencies need to

  • Build a quality site that promotes a strong brand presence
  • Broaden reach with free local online listings
  • Attract “searchers” through SEO
  • Keep them coming back with fresh content
  • Measure results using online analytics and tracking the number of new customers attracted by the website.

For those who want to read more on the subject of business websites, there is a great post on Mashable Business, 4 Elements of a Successful Business Web Presence, that touches on the basics – Defining the Goals of your site, the site itself, the benefits of a blog and using a periodic newsletter and/or social media to drive traffic to your site and seek YOU out.

You can also visit the “Websites & Social Media” quick link at www.iiaba.net/act for more tips on websites, search engine optimization, blogs and other social media issues.

Partner XE by SIS is the leading web based agency management system designed to give you all the capabilities required to run your agency today and well into the future at a price point you’ll appreciate.  That’s why over 500 agencies have chosen Partner XE and SIS to help them grow their business.  If you are interested in learning more about SIS or our Partner XE agency management system please give us a call at 800-747-9273 or fill out a short contact form and one of our representatives will be in touch soon.

 

 

Facebook Tips for Insurance Agents

 With Facebook, Timing Can be Everything


Since we have been talking about social media lately, and since more and more independent insurance agents appear to be using it successfully. It seemed like a good idea to pass along some insights and Facebook tips we gained while reading a recent Mashable Business blog post, HOW TO: Improve Engagements on Your Brand’s Facebook Page [STATS]

The stats presented in the Mashable post are taken from a new report by Buddy Media, a social media marketing company.

Key takeaways:

Be Timely

  • Brands that posted outside of business hours had 20% higher engagement rates.
  • Daily Facebook engagement has three peaks: early morning (7 a.m. EST), after work (5 p.m. EST) and late at night (11 p.m. EST).

Be Concise

  • The length of the post matters as much as the time of the post.
  • Posts with 80 characters or less garnered 27% more engagement than posts that were more than 80 characters

 Ask For Engagement

  • If you’re looking to get Likes on a post, all you have to do is ask.

 

Read the full article

Partner XE by SIS is the leading web based agency management system designed to give you all the capabilities required to run your agency today and well into the future at a price point you’ll appreciate.  That’s why over 500 agencies have chosen Partner XE and SIS to help them grow their business.  If you are interested in learning more about SIS or our Partner XE agency management system please give us a call at 800-747-9273 or fill out a short contact form and one of our representatives will be in touch soon.

Social Media and Insurance

Social Media for Independent Insurance Agents

Young insurance agents and young consumers advocate social media and digital marketing


Social Media for Independent Insurance Agents is a hot topic these days.  It is tough to talk about insurance and marketing without the topic of social media coming up – in particular how it is being effectively used by younger agents and how it is used to attract younger consumers.

We recently found a few good articles that we felt might be of interest to those considering implementing a social media marketing strategy for their insurance business – one by a young college student, discussing the best way to attract and engage conversation with consumers of her generation and the other which presents the vantage point of young insurance professionals who are marketing to them.

On the consumer side:

ACT recently published a very insightful paper, A Millennial’s Take on Social Media, written by Lauren Foy a college sophomore, future insurance consumer and the daughter of an independent insurance agent.

Lauren talks about the dos and don’ts of using Facebook, blogging and other online methods to promote your insurance agency as well as the age-old value of personal relationships.

Her Facebook Tip?

“If you are on someone’s Facebook home screen too much with uninteresting comments you are more likely to get hidden. However, I can think of two companies that I see on my Facebook a lot and I am more likely to consider them when I am in the market. The way they do this is by posting relevant posts and doing it on a consistent, reasonable basis… My generation feeds on being “heard” and finds it so appealing that we give more attention to the social media sites that try to engage us.”

On the agent side:

In her recent Insurance Journal article, How Young Insurance Agents Are Changing the Industry, author Andrea Wells recounts her interview with two young insurance professionals, who feel very strongly that young agents have an opportunity to make big changes in how the industry operates – from social media marketing to increased use of technology in general.

She cites the following statistics:  “Of the 513 young agents responding to the 2012 Insurance Journal Young Agents Survey, 75.2 percent reported having a Facebook page, 73.7 percent use Linked In, 28.5 percent use Twitter, 84.7 percent use an iPhone or other Smartphone, 44 percent use an iPad or other tablet device, and 10 percent report writing a blog — all for their work as an independent insurance agent.”  – Read the full article

Partner XE by SIS is the leading web based agency management system designed to give you all the capabilities required to run your agency today and well into the future at a price point you’ll appreciate.  That’s why over 500 agencies have chosen Partner XE and SIS to help them grow their business.  If you are interested in learning more about SIS or our Partner XE agency management system please give us a call at 800-747-9273 or fill out a short contact form and one of our representatives will be in touch soon.

 

Expand Agency Online Marketing

Digital Marketing for Independent Insurance Agents

Enhancing traditional insurance marketing methods with online tools and resources:


Digital Marketing is an important tool for Independent Insurance Agents, however, in an age of constant change and innovation in the tools and resources available to market your insurance agency, it can be tough to keep up – particularly when marketing is not your core business.

Fortunately there are some great resources out there like ACT to help make keeping up a little easier. In another excellent article published by the organization, Expand Your Marketing Strategy Online, Three Digital Parallels to Traditional Tactics, author Matt Marko, discusses three digital techniques that can be used to “extend the strong local presence they have developed to local prospects.”

Our top 8 take-aways:

  • The online equivalent of the Yellow Pages is Local Search.
  • Agencies should take advantage of free options that audit how effectively they have claimed their local search listings and make it possible to create listings with each of the primary search engines from one website.
  • Business listings should remain consistent across search engines and include as much relevant content as possible (address, phone number, email address, website, etc.)
  • It is a good idea to generate as many online references to your business as you can among search engines.
  • For agencies that have nurtured word-of-mouth referrals from their customers, encouraging your customers to share their feedback online is an easy way to amplify their voice.
  • Agencies should create a strategy for getting customers to review their business online.
  • On-line advertising, whether through local media outlets or through Facebook can replace or supplement newspaper advertising.
  • Facebook give you pinpoint targeting options that print and online publications cannot.

Partner XE by SIS is the leading web based agency management system designed to give you all the capabilities required to run your agency today and well into the future at a price point you’ll appreciate.  That’s why over 500 agencies have chosen Partner XE and SIS to help them grow their business.  If you are interested in learning more about SIS or our Partner XE agency management system please give us a call at 800-747-9273 or fill out a short contact form and one of our representatives will be in touch soon.

 

 

 

Insurance Marketing Strategies

Independent Agents Share Their Insurance Marketing Strategies


People like to talk about “growth” but growing is rarely easy. Especially growing an independent insurance agency. Retaining or expanding existing client relationships and developing new client relationships are all necessary for growth. If those goals are not pursued each day with purpose they won’t happen. At SIS we’re part of a culture that thinks about and executes on those goals daily. Some days we do it better than others but each day we remain committed to growing our business because it’s good for our clients, good for our associates and good for our community. It has purpose.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll share insurance marketing strategies — ideas and approaches that can be used to help build marketing assets including an effective database of clients and prospects. We’ll also share ideas for communication strategies to help you remain top of mind for existing clients and expand your presence in your local market.

In the meantime we’d like to share some insight given to us by several successful independent insurance agents.

NASPA board member Steven Kramer who uses Partner XE in his Langhorne PA insurance office, recently provided us with some information about how he uses agency management system to help him in his marketing efforts. His interview offers tips on how to cross sell, win back lost accounts, renew and retain and get new business. Read the Full Article.

Kevin O’Brien, another agency owner who has been using Partner XE to help streamline his business, also provided us with some good insight into effectively marketing an independent insurance agency. Like Kramer, O’Brien talked about using Partner XE to cross-sell, upsell and attract new business. He also talked about using Facebook and other social networking sites to get referrals and connect with clients and their friends.

Another SIS client, Jeff Sargeant, shared his tips for grass roots marketing – being as personal as possible and communicating with a few specific groups at a time. For him this includes personal letters, targeted mailers and “drip” marketing campaigns.

Partner XE by SIS is the leading web based agency management system designed to give you all the capabilities required to run your agency today and well into the future at a price point you’ll appreciate. That’s why over 500 agencies have chosen Partner XE and SIS to help them grow their business. If you are interested in learning more about SIS or our Partner XE agency management system please give us a call at 800-747-9273 or fill out a short contact form and one of our representatives will be in touch soon.