The costs NOT of Facebook Marketing

 

social media

In order to be effective on Facebook we highly recommend allocating a monthly budget to increasing the reach of your Facebook posts.
We understand the budget constraints many agencies face and Facebook marketing may be yet another item on your “we’ll get to it someday” list; however, consider the costs of NOT marketing on Facebook.

If your aim is to grow your agency, then you may actually be losing business by not capitalizing on the opportunity Facebook marketing presents. Social media is generating nearly as much referral business as search marketing according to this BuzzFeed study.

Insurance agencies large and small are recognizing the opportunity presented by Facebook and the internet. Even companies not traditionally associated with the industry like Google and Walmart have staked their claim in the insurance arena because of these new insights.

Also, consider the changing demographics of the market place. Legislation such as the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires young adults to shop for insurance at age 26. Research shows that 81% of professional services customers begin their search online.

The good news is that you can allocate as much or as little to Facebook marketing as you’d like. For example, you can boost an individual post for just a few bucks or create an advertisement with a recurring monthly budget. Either way, it’s better to get in the game than to stand on the sidelines and watch as other agencies pass you by.

How to improve your agency’s results on Facebook

Is your agency harnessing the power of social media or just spinning its wheels?
By Jonathan Tease

Agents Go Digital has been helping independent insurance agents grow their business by promoting their agencies on Facebook since 2012. During this short time the rules have changed significantly. As a result, we are sharing our best recommendations to improve your agency’s effectiveness on Facebook.

1. Make strategic decisions upfront.

iStock_000033962654_Small

Before you ever get started, decide why you are implementing a Facebook marketing program. Once you’ve clearly outlined why you are marketing your agency on Facebook, it becomes increasingly easier to determine how to do so effectively.

Questions to consider:

  • Where does Facebook fit into your agency’s marketing strategy?
  • What are you looking to accomplish?
  • What goals must you set to help you get there?
  • Is your staff capable of executing your social media marketing plans?
  • Would it be better to outsource these tasks?

Based on your answers, create a plan and dedicate the resources necessary to make it happen.

2. Position your agency intelligently.

Target your customers

Next to knowing why you are on Facebook, determining how to position yourself is the most important marketing decision you will make regarding your Facebook strategy.

What do you want to promote? Who do you want to promote to? The answers to these questions will help you determine what to say and how to promote yourself on Facebook.

Here are 3 ways to position your agency:

  1. Define your niche. Clearly identify what products you specialize in and who would benefit the most by using them. List all the benefits of your unique product and create advertisements highlighting the ways you can help your target customers.
  2. Promote your differences. All agencies claim to have excellent customer service and a friendly, knowledgeable staff so how can you make yourself stand out? Consider what makes you different than everybody else and use it to your advantage in your marketing.
  3. Demonstrate your credibility. Show, rather than tell, how much you do for your clients and your community. This will go a long way in building trust with prospects.

Simple strategies for getting new clients from Facebook

Insurance agencies large and small are recognizing the opportunity presented by Facebook and the internet. Even companies not traditionally associated with the industry like Google and Walmart have staked their claim in the insurance arena because of these new insights.

If you are looking to get clients from Facebook here are 5 simple strategies you can implement right now to improve your results:

  1. Build a request a quote form. You need a way to determine who is interested in your products and a way to contact them directly. An online quote form helps you do both.
  2. Set aside an advertising budget. Paid posts drastically outperform non-paid posts. And now that Facebook has monetized their platform don’t expect this to change any time soon. If you haven’t been getting the exposure you desire, consider boosting posts.
  3. Automate your marketing message. Save time and stress by using Facebook’s scheduling function to ensure your marketing message is being delivered. Just don’t forget to add some value-added content as well so you don’t come across as a pushy salesperson.
  4. Review your statistics. Probably the most overlooked aspect of Facebook marketing is the use of Facebook Insights. Determine what’s working and what’s not by analyzing your most effective posts. Getting engagement is the key to winning business on Facebook.
  5. Grow your database of prospects. Facebook helps you connect with the virtually anyone thus making it easy to build your list of prospects. By collecting names, email addresses, phone numbers and, of course, page likes on your Facebook page you can create a powerful database of potential customers.

IIAG has a free guide that will help you create a database full of prospects using Facebook.  Click here to download.

Need more help?

cropped-AGD-cropped-nobubbles900x200.jpg

This article lists answers to the most common questions we’ve received from agents regarding Facebook marketing. Every company has its own goals and marketing process so naturally, you may have questions that we didn’t cover in this article.

If you would like a copy of this report and other resources regarding Facebook marketing or if you would like to speak with a digital marketing consultant about your online strategy please send an email to info@agentsgodigital.com and we will schedule a time to discuss your needs.

Perfect Practice: How to Master Your Profession

Bruce Lee Kick

If you want to be great at any endeavor – digital marketing, selling insurance, anything – practice makes perfect.

In order to achieve a significant level of success, you must dedicate time and energy into doing your chosen activity as well as you possibly can. As Malcolm Gladwell put it, mastery is attained once you’ve invested 10,000 hours into a skill. Or as Bruce Lee so eloquently stated, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks one time, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Whether you are in business, practicing martial arts, or anywhere in between, the point is clear: find your thing, learn to do it well, and then do it as best you can consistently. Before you know it, you will find yourself as the go-to person for that particular activity.

The idea of mastery extends beyond developing professional skills too. You can apply the same concept to your personal relationships, fitness goals, finances, education or spirituality… the list goes on.

So, if you have tried and failed there is no need to beat yourself up about it. Michael Jordan didn’t make every shot, but he kept shooting and eventually created a legacy of taking – and often making—the big shots.

This entry serves as encouragement to keep pursuing your goals even if you have experienced temporary defeat (or even temporary success for that matter).

What have been looking to do?

What are you waiting for? Get to it!

But before you do, leave a comment and let us know what area you would like to master and what steps you are taking to get there. Don’t forget to “like” and share with others.

Complete Social Media Management

Businessman with social media concepts

Any good salesperson knows that you have to have to be where your customers are… and that’s on social media.

A lot of insurance agents have already caught wind of the powerful prospecting capabilities of social media while others have drug their feet. The fact of the matter is, when done correctly, you can meet far more potential insurance clients online that you could ever meet in person.

We have never had as much access to our clientele as we do in this digital age. With the push of a button, your message can reach the cell phones, computers, or tablet s of your intended audience. You have the ability to interact with them anytime and anywhere.

How cool would it be if your clients and their friends went to your social media profile anytime they had an insurance related question? How awesome would look if you could demonstrate how much you knew about your products by answering them intelligently?

In addition to being able to converse directly with more people, social media is yet another way to direct customers back to your agency’s website where the real fun begins. Once on your website, you have the ability to collect names, email address, phone numbers and permission to contact a prospect in order to begin building a relationship and discuss their insurance needs.

There are several social media sites you can explore, especially when looking to connect with younger audiences. Agents Go Digital provides consultation to maximize your effectiveness on social media and even offer services to help you create and manage your profiles on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you would like to speak with one of our digital marketing consultants to assess your social media activity click on the link below to schedule a call.

Schedule an appointment
to speak with us

Click to Schedule an Appointment

Websites

Good news, bad news… first, the bad…

The majority of independent agency websites add little value to an agency’s business. Most are outdated, offer a poor reflection of the company and are virtually invisible to customers and prospects. Even worse, according to a study by the Agency Council for Technology, 81% of people who buy purchase professional services, such as insurance, first review their website to help them select their vendor.

What does your website say about you?

Is it up-to-date or archaic? Is it clean or cluttered? Is it unique to your agency and the lines of business you sell? Does it demonstrate your level of professionalism and the quality of your service?

If you aren’t satisfied with the current state of your website we have good news for you!

While there are some agencies that have the resources to build and maintain a good looking website in house, for most, the best answer is to hire outside help. The good news is that Agents Go Digital can help you build a modern looking site quickly and at a reasonable price!

A good agency website should look professional, attract visitors, and encourage them to take action.

With every site we build for our Trusted Choice agents, we make sure potential insurance customers understand the value of choosing an agent that has their best interest in mind and is committed to a pledge of performance. We also connect your site to your social media pages and most importantly, encourage customers to request a quote through your website.

Click here to view a sample site

Limited red grunge vintage seal isolated on white

For a limited time, you can apply for the Trusted Choice Marketing Reimbursement and get a portion of your website development costs credited back to you.*

For more information about our website services or details regarding the marketing reimbursement program, click the link below.

Schedule an appointment
to speak with us

Click to Schedule an Appointment

*Must meet MRP requirements. Offer good while funds are available.

Marketing Consulting

peachic-atwork-interview.narrow.with logo

At IIAG, we take a universal approach to developing agency marketing solutions that leverage all aspects of today’s digital world to help you build your brand and expand your book of business. Every program from every partner is carefully evaluated, selected, endorsed and managed by our team of insurance marketing professionals.

It all adds up to better marketing options, better insurance prospects and a better return on your marketing dollars.

Here are a few of our suggestions:

We believe NO independent agency in Georgia should be without a website — but not just any website — You need a website that will make it easy for your local insurance consumers and prospects to find and conduct business with you.

We encourage agencies to embrace mobile technology as more and more consumers are shopping for insurance and other products on the go — right from their smartphones!

We recommend that all agencies publish content related to their specific business, such as on a blog or social network, in order to establish credibility within their field and to drive traffic back to their websites.

No matter what tools or tactics you are using in your business, they are all more effective if you have the proper strategies in place ahead of time. In order to better serve our members, we’re launching a new service for agencies looking to have an individualized digital marketing plans created for their business.

iStock_000034952500_Small

Schedule a call and speak with one of our digital marketing consultants to discuss strategies specific to your agency.  Click the button below and you will redirected to our appointment calendar to schedule your appointment.
Schedule an appointment
to speak with us

Click to Schedule an Appointment

Marketing Reimbursement

Marketing Reimbursement Program 2015 Trusted Choice®

Guidelines

The following seven bullet points give an overview of the program. For additional details, links, scripts
and/or notes for each of these points, refer the Additional Details and Notes section on page 3.
1) What is the Marketing Reimbursement Program?
In order to deliver the brand experience to your customers consistent with Trusted Choice, Trusted
Choice will reimburse a portion of expenses, up to $1,600, incurred in 2015 by Trusted Choice
agencies in co-branding advertising and marketing materials; and in creating or updating a digital
presence to include the Trusted Choice logo, link to the Trusted Choice website and Pledge of
Performance. This is not meant to replace your agency’s brand, but to complement it by including the
Trusted Choice branding in your marketing efforts. Reimbursement will only be made for
use of the Trusted Choice logo (not the IIABA association logo, which looks very similar). All
reimbursements made will be according to the tiered schedule on page 5.

There are four guiding principles of the Marketing Reimbursement Plan:
– Allows for any activity involving the Trusted Choice logo in external messaging with
consumer impact
– The application must provide reasonable documentation that an expense was incurred and
paid
– The nature of the expense is reasonably correlated to the external messaging and
promotes the Trusted Choice brand to consumers.
– The MRP will not reimburse ongoing expenses like website hosting/maintenance,
directory listings, subscriptions to marketing services, expenses for yellow pages
ads, or other phone book type advertising.
2) Am I eligible?
The MRP is open only to agencies in good standing with Trusted Choice. Agencies that have multiple
locations can apply for each location separately, however, materials submitted for reimbursement to
be paid or credited to an agency’s branch location must be shown to pertain to the branch location
being credited with the expense. Items that pertain to multiple locations can be submitted on one
application, with agency locations to be credited noted under “Additional comments.”
There are limited funds available; therefore, Trusted Choice will offer reimbursements on a first-come
first-served basis until funds allocated to the MRP are exhausted. Provided funds are still available,
you have through February 2016 to submit materials invoiced in 2015.
3) How do I apply?
First, please review these guidelines. If you are unsure about an item or use of the logo, or want to
get pre-approval of an item or proof prior to printing, email us at Trusted.Choice@iiaba.net. Then, fill
out the application. Mail or email your application along with the required supporting materials.
4) Which logo is reimbursable and where do I get it?
Only the Trusted Choice logo is eligible – the words “Trusted Choice” in the middle of the eagle
swoosh:
You can choose either the stacked or horizontal version. Use of one of the three versions with the
“Independent Insurance Agent” tagline is optional. Be sure to follow all the logo guidelines. Logo files
can be downloaded from www.trustedchoice.com/logo. A link to the branding guidelines is located
here: http://bit.ly/1vFfsxH
Note: The IIABA Association Logo is VERY similar (it also has an eagle swoosh and the
same two colors), so be sure you are using the Trusted Choice logo.
5) Can I get MRP dollars for co-branding my website or mobile app?
The MRP will reimburse Trusted Choice agencies 50% of the invoice amount up to $100 in total
reimbursement for expenses incurred, and invoiced, in 2015 for including Trusted Choice on your
agency website, mobile/smartphone app, or promotional items.
To be eligible to receive reimbursement for your agency’s website it must incorporate the following
three items:
The Trusted Choice logo: the logo can be used on any or all pages of the website.
Hyperlink to Trusted Choice: your agency website can link to any page on the Trusted
Choice website; however, we have created a landing page specifically for this purpose.
https://www.trustedchoice.com/about-us/pledge-of-performance/ can be used to accomplish
this requirement and this page does not include access to the agency locator.
The Pledge of Performance: the Pledge of Performance is our promise to consumers. To
be eligible for reimbursement your site must contain the Pledge of Performance, a dedicated
page for the Pledge, or a link to the Pledge on the Trusted Choice website.
To be eligible to receive reimbursement for your agency’s mobile app, it must include the Trusted
Choice logo.
6) Can I get MRP dollars for co-branding promotional items?

The MRP will reimburse Trusted Choice agencies 50% of the invoice amount of co-branded
promotional items incurred, and invoiced, in 2015 to a maximum of $100 total reimbursement.

7) How do I use the FREE consumer content stream (RSS feed) on my website?

Although not a requirement for the MRP, you can also include an optional syndicated content feed for
your website. Trusted Choice will automatically refresh content on your website if you choose to
incorporate this feed. The articles contain topical insurance content that is seasonally appropriate and
completely vetted for accuracy and readability. Once it is incorporated, there is nothing else you need
to do.

To include this refreshed content, provide the following link to the feed to your webmaster or website
vendor.

http://www.trustedchoice.com/content.rss.xml

Questions? For clarification, to request approval for additional items to be considered
for reimbursement, or to send an advanced proof, please contact Trusted Choice at
Trusted.Choice@iiaba.net or 1-800-221-7917.

Additional Details and Notes

The following information corresponds to the seven steps on pages 1 and 2, providing
additional information and tips.

More about #1) Additional notes about the Marketing Reimbursement Program
The MRP was created with the goal of helping agencies co-brand with Trusted Choice. You may use
the MRP for advertising and/or marketing materials including digital advertising.
Even if your agency already has stationery and business cards with the Trusted Choice logo and your
website has the logo, the Pledge of Performance and the link for the Trusted Choice website, your
agency can still participate as you produce other promotional items or advertising with the Trusted
Choice logo.

More about #2) Eligibility

In addition to the requirements in bullet point 2, you may want to know how to find out if your agency
has used your maximum allotment – or if your branches have applied. Contact Trusted Choice at
Trusted.Choice@iiaba.net or 1-800-221-7917.

More about #3) Applying for MRP

In order to be considered for reimbursement, a Trusted Choice Agency must submit to Trusted Choice
the completed reimbursement request form located on page 6 of this document (or at
www.trustedchoice.com/mrp), the approved design proof/sample/picture of the materials to be
reimbursed/website URL, and an invoice or receipt showing proof of payment.
Trusted Choice reserves the right to deny any request for reimbursement that uses the
Trusted Choice logo in a manner that is not consistent with the Trusted Choice Brand Style
Guide or the guidelines of the MRP. Only the Trusted Choice logo is eligible for
reimbursement from the MRP.

Applications are considered in the order they are received. Allow a minimum of 8 to 10 weeks for
processing, but be aware that it may take longer depending on volume of applications received at any
given time.

More about #4) The correct logo – the Trusted Choice logo
Only the Trusted Choice logo is eligible – the words “Trusted Choice” in the middle of the eagle
swoosh. As with all uses of the Trusted Choice logo, materials produced under the MRP must use the
Trusted Choice logo in a manner that is consistent with the guidelines set forth in the Trusted Choice
Brand Style Guide (http://bit.ly/1vFfsxH).

As described in the Branding Style Guide, the only permissible colors of the logo are: all black, all
Trusted Choice blue, black and Trusted Choice blue, all silver or all white (on a dark background).
The logo can be downloaded from www.trustedchoice.com/logo. Most vendors will request the .EPS
version of the logo as it is a higher resolution and is easier for them to set up for your order. Please
keep in mind that you will most likely not be able to open the .EPS files on your computer as it
requires special software to do so; however vendors experienced in these services should have the
needed software. You will need your username and password to gain access to the portion of the
Trusted Choice website where the logo and logo rules are maintained if you want to download them
for your vendor. We advise you to provide your vendor with the logo as well as the Trusted Choice
Signature Guide to ensure that the logo is used correctly so that you can be reimbursed. If you do not
have your username and password please email Trusted.Choice@iiaba.net with “Need Password” in
the subject line so we can reply to your request.

More about #5) Logos and scripts for your web master when co-branding your website
Hyperlink to Trusted Choice: your agency website can link to any page on the Trusted
Choice website; however, we have created a landing page specifically for this purpose.
https://www.trustedchoice.com/about-us/pledge-of-performance/ can be used to accomplish
this requirement and this page does not include access to the agency locator.

Website logos:
Below you will find an example block to provide to your webmaster or web vendor to copy and paste
into your website. This incorporates all three requirements listed above.

To use the horizontal version of the logo:
<a href=”http://www.trustedchoice.com/pledgeofperformance.htm” ><img
src=”http://www.trustedchoice.com/media/scaled.gif” style=”border: 0″ alt=”Proud to be a Trusted
Choice® Agency” /></a>

To use the stacked version of the logo:

<a href=”http://www.trustedchoice.com/pledgeofperformance.htm” ><img
src=”http://www.trustedchoice.com/media/scaled2.gif” style=”border: 0″ alt=”Proud to be a
Trusted Choice® Agency” /></a>

More about #6) Working with vendors to co-brand promotional items
We recommend that you send Trusted Choice® a design proof prior to any work being done to ensure
that the logo is used correctly. We reserve the right to deny reimbursement if the Trusted
Choice logo is not used according to the Trusted Choice Signature Guide

More about #7) RSS feed – what’s the current month’s content?
The feed pushes articles that are listed at:

http://www.trustedchoice.com/content.rss.xml

To see a member website containing RSS feed, go to: http://afsinsurance.com/articles.php
Tiered Reimbursement Schedule

In addition to the Tier 1 reimbursement provided by the MRP in previous years, in the 2015
MRP there will be additional options for your agency to be reimbursed as described below:

Tier 1:
The MRP will reimburse 50% of your total spent on allowable expenses to a maximum of $100
reimbursement. This includes website, promotional items, advertising, collateral items, etc.

Tier 2:
In addition to the $100 as part of Tier 1, you are eligible for an additional $750 reimbursement if your
agency uses the Freedom Campaign advertising templates provided by Trusted Choice (located at
www.trustedchoice.com/agents – in the “Freedom Campaign” folder under advertising files in the filing
cabinet. The reimbursement made will be 50% of the invoiced amount, up to $750 maximum.

Tier 3:
Throughout 2015, Trusted Choice will offer agencies digital advertising/marketing services that will be
managed by the Trusted Choice. Any agency wishing to purchase digital advertising/marketing
packages will receive up to a maximum of $750 in reimbursement which may include digital
advertising, content marketing, and social media assistance. For more information on this tier please
contact Kiescha.Cherry@iiaba.net.

An agency taking full advantage of all 3 tiers can be reimbursed to a maximum of $1,600 per calendar
year. The digital media subsidy is provided on a “first-come, first-served” basis and may be
discontinued if the budgeted funds are depleted.

Marketing Reimbursement Program (MRP) Application

PLEASE REVIEW THE GUIDELINES FOR REIMBURSEMENT, INCLUDING THE CHANGES FOR
2015 and COMPLETE ALL OF THE INFORMATION REQUESTED BELOW. TRUSTED CHOICE®
WILL NOT CONSIDER ANY REIMBURSEMENT REQUEST WITHOUT ALL REQUIRED
INFORMATION AND MATERIALS.
RETURN:

THIS FORM, WITH ALL INFORMATION REQUESTED

APPROVED DESIGN PROOFS FROM THE VENDOR or SAMPLE OF ITEMS

COPY OF INVOICE or RECEIPT SHOWING PROOF OF PAYMENT (must be dated in 2015)
DATE:_______________________
AGENCY NAME:______________________________________________________________
(Please print clearly the exact name that should appear on the check, as it appears in Trusted Choice®)
MAILING ADDRESS:_________________________________________________________________
CITY:______________________________________ STATE:_________ ZIP:____________
CONTACT:___________________________________________________________________
PHONE:___________________________
EMAIL:____________________________
TOTAL AMOUNT SPENT:_____________________________
REIMBURSEMENT AMOUNT SOUGHT:___________________________________
FOR WEBSITE REIMBURSEMENT PLEASE PROVIDE WEB ADDRESS: ____________________________
Additional Comments:
Send in this completed form and all required supporting materials to:
Trusted Choice®, Inc.
Attention: MRP
127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Applications are processed in the order received. We accept applications for reimbursement through
February 2016, provided invoices are dated 2015 – as long as funds allocated to the MRP have not been
exhausted.