B2B Life Insurance Marketing Tips

When it comes to life insurance, many agents and advisors focus most of their efforts on consumers. This can be a wide-open market that consists of young families, those nearing retirement, and everyone in between. However, it would be a mistake to overlook the equally-open territory of small businesses. Many business owners may not be aware of how life insurance can be used to enhance their operations. Marketing to these entrepreneurs often requires a different approach than you would take with the average consumer.

Use the following tips to enhance your B2B life insurance marketing efforts.

Networking

Credibility and trustworthiness are two crucial elements of any relationship. When targeting consumers, agents and advisors often rely on various content marketing tactics (educational materials, articles, etc.) to establish a sense of trust. However, converting a business owner might require extra effort on your part. Don’t be afraid to get out there, shake some hands, and do a little schmoozing. Face-to-face networking is one of the most effective B2B marketing tactics an agent or advisor can put to use.

Chamber of Commerce

Joining your local Chamber of Commerce can be a good way to get face time with a wide variety of business owners, non-profits, and economic development entities. Attend chamber meetings on a regular to build relationships with other members. Doing so will also show you have a vested interest in the local economy. This can go a long way with other entrepreneurs.

Additional Business Networks

Most communities have loosely-knit groups that exist for this exact purpose. These are usually established by other local business owners looking to establish B2B relationships of their own. In many cases, these groups consist of business owners who don’t belong to their local Chamber of Commerce but still seek networking opportunities. These casual get-togethers are great chances to exchange marketing ideas, meet local media personalities, and make new B2B connections.

Knock and Talk

There’s something to be said about the straight-forward approach. Keep an eye on new businesses opening up in your area. News outlets and your chamber of commerce can be a good resource for this. Attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies can be a great opportunity to show support and introduce yourself to the owner(s). If the business is located near your office, make it a point to stop by on occasion. Simply popping your head in the door to see how things are going can lead to a productive, professional relationship.

Presentation

Small business owners know how important it is to make a first impression with customers. From physical location to digital presence, successful entrepreneurs will pore over even the smallest details to make sure they come across as professional as possible. Why would they expect any less from you?

Be Organized and Professional

It doesn’t matter who the prospect is, or what they do for a living, your overall presentation is a crucial part of the sales process. That said, you should expect a higher level of scrutiny from business owners than the average consumer. In other words, professionals expect professionalism from other professionals. Assume you will be under a microscope from the start. Even the slightest hint of disorganization or poor etiquette can hinder a potential B2B relationship. When approaching business owners, it’s crucial that you put your best foot forward and strive to make a flawless impression at every point of contact.

Bring the Right Materials

Consumer-facing materials are a necessity when presenting life insurance information. Giving the prospect a brochure, pamphlet, or one-sheet to take home will give them the chance to go over details without feeling pressured by your presence. When pitching to a business owner, make sure you have materials that pertain to their business needs. Don’t overload them with extra brochures that aren’t relevant to the business applications of life insurance. Keep things on topic until they decide they’re interested in additional products, such as a personal policy.

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Request our Life Insurance Overview guide, which includes sections on:

  • Types of Life Insurance
  • Benefits Beyond a Death Benefit
  • Business Application of Life Insurance
  • Life Insurance at a Glance

Geo-Targeting Tips for Advisors

A 1-mile geo-fence around Chicago’s Willis Tower, within Facebook’s ad platform

Geo-targeting has become one of the most powerful digital marketing tools businesses have at their disposal. This game-changing tactic uses data from a consumer’s mobile device to deliver highly-targeted and relevant content. To make a broad analogy, think of geo-targeting like the tech-savvy grandson of direct mail marketing. But instead of spending good money to cover a broad area of mailboxes, geo-targeting allows you to build a customized audience of consumers based, not only on where they live but where they work, shop, eat and anywhere else they go.

Two or three years ago, geo-targeting was considered to be the “next big thing” in digital marketing. Today, it is the big thing. Businesses that have made geo-targeting a part of their digital marketing strategy are making better use of their ad budgets and enjoying a higher return on that investment. Are you geo-targeting?

Facebook, Google, and other platforms have for years allowed businesses to deliver ads to consumers within a specific geographic region. It’s effective but does little to account for relevancy. Your ad might reach a lot of people, but how many of them will actually care? Geo-targeting works to solve this problem by providing insight into the consumer’s interests and behaviors based on real-time, or historical location. For example, someone who makes daily trips to their local gym is probably going to be more interested in a health food store ad than someone who doesn’t frequent that location. While both people might live in the same zip code, the ad is only relevant to one of them. By geo-targeting the gym, the ad is more likely to hit the right target.

So how can agents and advisors put geo-targeting to use?

Consider Your Target

Think about who you’re trying to reach. Pre-retirees? High-net-worth professionals? Using generalized parameters like age or education to build your target audience is a good start, but that only tells part of the story. However, where these consumers spend their time can paint a much clearer picture. Where do these consumers work? Where do they spend their free time? That C-level executive you want to connect with can might spend their day in a nice office building downtown and Saturdays at the golf course.

A 1-mile radius around Legacy Financial Partners HQ

Create a Geo-fence

Once you’ve determined who you want to reach and where you’re most likely to reach them, focus your ad on those locations. For more precise targeting, include any additional demographic information that might be relevant.

Use the Right Platform

The platform you use for your geo-targeted campaign can play a big role in the effectiveness of your geo-targeted campaign. Which social media channels are popular with your target? You probably won’t find too many baby boomers on Twitter, but there are plenty on Facebook. And that executive? Try LinkedIn.

Analyze and Experiment

Geo-targeted campaigns can be complicated and often call for a little tweaking as they run. Pay close attention to the analytics, measure your results, and act accordingly. If that geo-fence you drew around the downtown business district isn’t generating any new leads, try making a few changes. Maybe you need to expand your geo-fence or revise the content of your ad itself. Digital marketing is not a science, especially when it comes to a data-rich tactic like geo-fencing. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t strike gold right away. Keep experimenting until you find the strategy that works for you.

The Great Facebook Crash of 2019

If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you survived the Great Facebook Crash of 2019. And thank goodness you did make it through the March 13 outage. Judging from the way many users reacted, one would think the Earth itself froze in orbit. Like any other website, Facebook is prone to the occasional outage. While most are brief, the most recent crash was the longest the platform has suffered in its 15-year history. For roughly 14 hours, millions of Facebookers were left stranded, unable to share memes, opine on current events, or post selfies.

The lights eventually came back on and life returned to normal. For the casual user, the outage was little more than an annoyance. But “annoying” probably isn’t strong enough a word to describe how businesses that have come to rely on social media as their primary marketing vehicle were feeling that day.

The Cost of the Crash

Facebook, as a corporate entity, took a hit due to the outage. The next day saw the company’s stock drop by 1.5% and, according to some analysts, the downtime cost them about $189 million. While that might be merely a drop in Facebook’s very large bucket, it was a much bigger deal for others. A full day without social engagement, advertising, and marketing can have a serious impact on small businesses. Some companies have claimed the outage cost them thousands of dollars in lost revenue and opportunities. Those losses could continue as many businesses are working to recover from the sudden drop in organic engagement.

Hopefully, the outage was not nearly as damaging to your businesses as it was to others. Most independent agents and advisors run pages geared toward localized, niche audiences. For them, a day without sharing content or boosting posts probably wasn’t the end of the world for most. But the outage very well could have hindered any time-sensitive/specific campaigns.

The Takeaway

The Great Facebook Crash of 2019 should teach us a very important lesson – don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. Facebook is among the most effective digital marketing tools out there, but it’s crucial that you diversify your efforts.

A well-rounded marketing strategy should incorporate a variety of methods to connect with your target market. LinkedIn and Twitter are both good ways to maintain a digital presence and keep your message out there. And while email might not be the best or quickest way to generate new leads, a well-organized and segmented list can allow you to get relevant content to multiple prospects at once.

Outages like this are not unheard of and should not give us any reason to be concerned over the future of Facebook. Zuckerberg’s social media monster is not going away anytime soon, if at all. However, the recent crash was a stark reminder that a world where businesses ran successful marketing campaigns did exist before Facebook. That’s not to suggest you learn Morse Code to promote your brand. But it does shine some light on the many digital mediums that have cropped up since (and probably because) Facebook came into existence. The digital landscape is a wide-open and full of opportunities to engage, connect, and convert. The question is, will you start exploring those opportunities now, or wait until the next Great Facebook Crash?

 

Should Advisors Become Redditors?

Reddit LogoWhen it comes to online marketing, social media is one of the most powerful tools out there. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Nextdoor all present a wealth of opportunities. We use them to boost brand awareness, generate new leads, and stay connected with clients and prospects. One of the biggest benefits of social media is the ability for entrepreneurs to actively participate in conversations with their target market.

This level of engagement is your chance to showcase your expertise to social media users looking for advice from a knowledgeable professional. The time spent scanning these platforms for opportunities can pay off big in the end. That said, social media can be a crowded and competitive space. This is why advisors may want to include alternative avenues of engagement. There is one avenue in particular that has been gaining momentum as of late – Reddit.

What is Reddit?

Reddit is a forum-styled news aggregation board that launched in 2005. By 2018, it had become one of the most highly trafficked websites in the world, with more than 542 million users logging in each month to post about an endless number of topics. The site does have somewhat of a questionable reputation due to the amount of explicit content. But there are plenty of legitimate and productive conversations taking place within the hundreds of “safe-for-work” communities hosted by the site.

Navigating Reddit

Reddit communities, known as “subreddits,” cover a wide range of topics. This includes several that fall under the wheelhouse of financial professionals. These subreddits are filled with posts from users with questions and concerns over personal finance, life insurance, investments, and other relevant topics. Advisors can build and foster relationships with users by responding to these posts with credible and qualified answers.

Keep in mind that it might take a little time and effort for new users to learn how to properly navigate the site. They also set strict rules outlining what you can and can’t post. But once you become familiar with things, you’ll have access to dozens of finance-related subreddits. Some worth exploring include:

Targeting Reddit Users

Reddit’s ad platform is set up to target specific communities and users. Reddit campaigns can be used to boost brand awareness, drive website traffic, lead generation, and other methods of engagement. Advertisers can target users based on location, interest, or the subreddits they frequent. The platform also features scheduling and budget options.

The value Reddit can provide for you as an advisor is largely based on how well you use the site. Some may find it worth the effort, while others might not. But due to the number of Millennials who actively participate in the site, it deserves some exploration.

Good luck and happy Redditing!

Emotional Marketing – Why “Insure Your Love” Works

Happy Valentine’s Day! Over the last few weeks, most of you have probably come across the latest “Insure Your Love” life insurance awareness ads. This year’s LifeHappens.org Valentine’s Day campaign features a heartstring-pulling video of a young girl and her father reading a bedtime story titled “Life is for Living” (one of the central themes of the campaign). We won’t spoil the ending for those who haven’t seen it yet. But those who have already seen this example of emotional marketing know this one is a real tear-jerker.

Watch the video here:

There are two ways of looking at an ad like this. One is to question why anyone would want to put their audience through the emotional wringer with a video this sad? The other answers that question – because it works.

Marketing efforts that tap into real human emotions can be one of the most effective ways to capture consumer attention and leave a lasting impression. Do you remember the movie “Old Yeller?” Of course, you do. And you also know why you’ll never forget watching the film. A boy and his dog. Love and loss. Life and death. These are all very real themes that every one of us can relate to in some way. And when we, as viewers, see these experiences unfold in front of us, we can’t help but internalize them.

What Makes Emotional Marketing So Powerful?

Content aimed at eliciting an emotional reaction – be it sadness, happiness, fear, anger, nostalgia, etc. – can inspire people to take action. Often times, the more impactful the content, the more significant the action. We see this play out all the time on social media every time someone shares a meme, story, or video. Whether the content is funny, political, sad, or motivational in nature, it impacted that person enough that they wanted to share it with friends and family. If they hear a song or watch a show that hits close to home, they buy the album or binge watch the series. The point is, they take action.

Consumers favor content that connects with them on an emotional level. It gives them a reason to remember your brand.  follow your social media channels, and take the time to look into your services. All of these are forms of engagement that can ultimately lead to you shaking hands with a new client.

Going back to the “Insure Your Love” ad, it’s easy to see why and how this type of content can be such an effective vehicle to promote the importance of life insurance. It puts us in front of a very real, and likely familiar, scenario. The endearing parent/child moment draws us in before the heartbreaking surprise at the end. The emotional reaction is genuine, the impression left is long-lasting, and the message is powerful enough to inspire action.

While the “Insure Your Love” campaign is exclusive to February, the concept is evergreen. So, next time you’re brainstorming for your next marketing effort, think about those things that would inspire action on your behalf. Chances are, your prospects feel the same way.

Breathing New Life Into Your Marketing Plan

Drip email campaigns, direct mailers, seminars – these are among the most commonly used marketing strategies agents and advisors use to connect with new prospects. However, if you go to the same well too many times, it will eventually run dry. Using a variety of marketing approaches and content delivery platforms is the best way to enhance your overall strategy and keep things flowing if/when those wells do run dry.

Below are just a few underutilized and/or unique marketing activities that you should consider incorporating into your plan.

Social Media userSocial Media Groups

A strong social media presence is a necessity for any small business owner, including agents and advisors. Many of you have probably already benefited from your Facebook and LinkedIn pages, but might not be using these platforms to their full potential. Posting content on a regular basis and allocating a portion of your budget for ads and targeted posts is a good start, but there is more you can do.

Joining and having an active hand in relevant Facebook and/or LinkedIn groups expands your reach and connects you with consumers who don’t already follow your accounts. This could be as simple as sharing your Facebook posts in community-based groups or advertising your services in the Marketplace. You could also contribute to conversations started by other group members. If you’re willing to invest the time and effort, this can be a great way to showcase your expertise and make new, valuable connections.

Podcast

PodcastingPodcasting is an often overlooked, but valuable, brand awareness vehicle. Creating a podcast is as simple as sitting down and having a conversation. Of course, you want to take a few additional steps in the interest of professionalism. You can purchase a basic podcast setup that includes a decent microphone, headphones, an audio interface, and basic recording software. When you’re ready to roll, grab a colleague or friend to “interview” you about the topic(s) you want to address. To keep things running smoothly, you should write a script, or at least a list of talking points, to follow during the conversation.

Celebrity Shout-Outs

Celebrity “shout-out” videos have become a popular form of influencer marketing. There are several companies that offer short, personalized video messages from athletes, actors, musicians, reality TV stars and other C and D-listers. These 10 – 20 second long videos can be a great way to capture people’s attention. The price you’ll pay will vary according to the celebrity. Just keep in mind that these are primarily intended for personal messages and you may be charged more if the video is geared toward promoting your business. That said, for between $5 – $50, you can show some client appreciation with a personalized birthday message from a member of their favorite sports team. Yes, this is an off-the-wall and somewhat gimmicky approach. But this is one gimmick that might just pay off in the end.

Experiment and Expand Your Horizons

A well-rounded marketing plan should have some flexibility. Leave yourself some wiggle room to incorporate fresh ideas and new approaches throughout the year. Remember, you are working in a very crowded marketplace. Every inch of traction you can gain could be worth a mile in the end. You should always be willing to experiment and think outside of the box. When something works, keep doing it! When something doesn’t work, consider it an opportunity to evaluate, assess, and improve.

Are you looking for new sales and marketing ideas? Our 19 Sales Tips for 2019 guide will breathe new life into your marketing plan. Get in touch to request your complimentary copy today.

Remembering Jack Bogle, the Father of Index Funds

Jack BogleWhether or not you’re familiar with his name, as a financial professional, you owe a debt of gratitude to Jack Bogle. Born May 8, 1929, Bogle’s family was hit hard by the Great Depression. This experience would prove formative as he later went on to change the financial industry by creating the first index mutual fund available to consumers.

A Pioneer of the Financial Industry

Not long after founding the Vanguard Group in 1974, a company that now handles nearly $5 trillion in assets, Bogle established the First Index Investment Trust. This was the first to be built around the S & P500. Bogle’s creation introduced a low-cost, passive approach to investing. This leveled the playing field for the “small-time” investors of the world. Bogle frowned upon unreasonably high broker fees, non-transparency, and unethical practices. His common-sense philosophy and disdain for corporate excess sparked a revolution that allowed millions to save for retirement.

Bogle’s fierce advocacy for indexing was a dramatic break from industry tradition. While Bogle he faced criticism from Wall Street, he went on to become one of the most respected names in finance. Warren Buffet once called Jack Bogle a “hero.”

In his 1999 book, “Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor,” Jack Bogle laid out these eight basic rules for investors:

  1. Select low-cost funds
  2. Consider carefully the added costs of advice
  3. Do not overrate past fund performance
  4. Use past performance to determine consistency and risk
  5. Beware of stars (as in, star mutual fund managers)
  6. Beware of asset size
  7. Don’t own too many funds
  8. Buy your fund portfolio, and hold it

Bogle left Vanguard in 1999 and, a year later, founded the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center. He passed away on January 16, 2019, leaving behind a legacy built on philanthropy and standing up for the “little guy.”

What to Watch for in 2019

2018 was, to put it mildly, an interesting year. For many, the year was a blend of the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, it’s all behind us and now is the time to look ahead to the next 12 months. So, what does 2019 have in store for us? Will it be another wild ride? Or will the dust from 2018 finally start to settle?

For the first Marketing Corner of 2019, we have a snapshot of just a few of the things agents and advisors should keep an eye on over the coming months.

Social Security CardsSocial Security

From concerns over potential insolvency, threats to slash the program’s budget, and a COLA boost, Social Security dominated the headlines in 2018. That spotlight will likely remain affixed on the program this year.

The 2.8% COLA boost means bigger payments in 2019. But this will be the last year for the “restricted application strategy.” Currently, anyone at full retirement age (66) can restrict their application to spousal benefits only. This allows them to collect those payments while letting their own benefit grow until they reach age 70. However, this strategy is only available for those born before January 2, 1954. Those turning 66 this year will be the last group of retirees who can take advantage of this strategy.

Advisors should also keep an eye on Washington D.C. this year. Lawmakers are expected to push legislation aimed at improving and preserving the program. Most notably, the Social Security 2100 Act. This bill calls for a 2% across-the-board benefit increase, bigger annual COLA adjustments and higher minimum benefits for low-income workers. The expansion would be funded by lifting the cap on taxable wages and a gradual phase-in of higher payroll tax rates.

Piggy BankRetirement Savings Plans

The IRS will raise the contribution limit for retirement saving plans. The move will allow workers to increase their nest egg. According to IRS.gov, these cost-of-living adjustments include increasing limits for 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans. Thrift Savings Plans will jump from $18,500 to $19,000. Annual IRA contributions will increase from $5,500 to $6,000.

These changes come as some states are starting programs that automatically sign up workers without employer-provided 401(k) or IRAs. These “auto-IRA” plans would require employers to set up automatic payroll deductions but won’t enforce matching contributions. Oregon became the first state to launch one of these programs in 2018. California and Illinois expected to start theirs in 2019. Vermont, Maryland, Connecticut, are currently preparing programs. New York and New Jersey are laying the groundwork for their own plans.

Market Volatility

After 2018’s rollercoaster of tariffs, trade wars, rallies, and plunges, it’s difficult to predict exactly what 2019 has in store for Wall Street. While the word “recession” has been tossed around as of late, few experts believe things will reach that level. However, that’s no guarantee the market volatility we saw in recent months won’t carry over through 2019. This is why advisors should consider focusing on low-risk and/or recession-proof solutions when helping clients plan for retirement. Consumer confidence may still be high, but a shaky stock market could be a source of recency bias for many clients.

Also Of Interest…

The Security Exchange Commission is expected to move forward with the proposed “regulation best interest” standard this year. Of course, that means the government shutdown has to end so the SEC can reopen and get back to work.

After increasing interest rates four times in 2018, the Federal Reserve is projecting two more hikes to come in 2019. That could very well change as the year progresses as the current projection is down from the previously forecast three interest rate increases and Chairman Jared Powell has suggested further flexibility. Some analysts are even predicting the Fed won’t raise rates at all in 2019.

More marketing tips! Regardless of what 2019 brings, we’ll be here all year providing you with a weekly supply of industry insights, sales ideas, and marketing tips aimed at helping you succeed.

Best of Marketing Corner 2018

Thanks for another great year!

Over the course of 2018, the Legacy Financial Partners team has worked to deliver a treasure trove of marketing collateral. Our guides, sales kits, and blog posts are all crafted to put agents and advisors on the fast track to success.

To say thanks for another great year, we have compiled our Top 5 Marketing Corner posts from 2018. The list below is just a sample of the valuable insights, tips, and exclusive content we provide every week.

As an added bonus, we are offering a newly updated collection of sales tips and marketing ideas that will help jumpstart 2019. Scroll down to receive our New Year Revitalization Guide and start 2019 off one step ahead of the competition.

Stay connected and keep tuning into Marketing Corner for more kits and tips throughout 2019. Thank you and Happy New Year from Legacy Financial Partners.

Blockchain

How Blockchain Technology and Marijuana Decriminalization Are Changing Life Insurance

Two emerging trends are becoming major factors for life insurance carriers. Blockchain technology and the decriminalization of marijuana. While worlds apart, both could impact your business.

Insights For Advisors: Millennials and Life Insurance

Believe it or not, Millennials are the perfect storm of opportunity for agents and advisors. Get valuable insights on the largest generation in history to help tap into this wide-open market.

Going Guerrilla: Marketing Outside the Box

Guerrilla Marketing describes any “unconventional marketing tools used in cases when financial or other resources are limited or non-existent.” Learn how agents and advisors can apply this concept to their marketing efforts.

Secrets for Successful Video MarketingVideo camera

If a picture is worth a thousand word, then a video is worth far more. Using video as part of your marketing strategy is a necessity in today’s digital landscape.

A Selfie Worth A Million (In Insurance Coverage?)

The integration of new technology into our smart devices is ushering in big changes to the underwriting process. How biometrics are laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s life insurance industry?

Get Our 2019 New Year Revitalization Guide
Learn how self-evaluation, calculated goal-setting, and solution-oriented strategies can breathe new life into your marketing plan. Click here to receive your copy today.

Think Small, Market Big: Small Business Saturday Tips for Advisors

This is the time of year when most entrepreneurs are fully engaged in holiday marketing activities. The next few weeks will see businesses hitching themselves onto the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other year-end sales wagons. However, there is another, often-overlooked event coming up that is also worthy of your attention – Small Business Saturday.

The locally-focused alternative to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is an annual event held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving as a way to encourage people to patronize businesses in their own communities. The main goal of SBS is to get holiday shoppers to spend money with local retailers. However, there are ways for small agencies and independent advisors to take advantage of Small Business Saturday as well.

Small Business Saturday Marketing Tips

During the weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday, reach out to a few local businesses about cross-promotional opportunities, such as:

  • Hand out each other’s promotional items (business cards, branded “swag,” fliers, etc.) to your respective clients and customers.
  • Share each other’s social media posts and pages. Relevant hashtags include #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat.

Those partnerships don’t need to be limited to local retailers. Locally-owned establishments, service providers, and other non-retail businesses often get in on the Small Business Saturday action.

  • Gyms/fitness centers
  • Cafes and coffee shops
  • Home improvement and remodeling contractors
  • Auto repair shops

local business ownerConnect With Your Community

In some cities, especially those with vibrant shopping districts/centers, Small Business Saturday can be a community-wide event. Hosting, or simply showing up to one of these events in your area is a great way to mingle with the crowd and introduce yourself to a variety of new leads. Make sure to bring plenty of swag to pass out and/or offer incentives to anyone willing to join your email list.

Think of the resources you invest into Small Business Saturday as lead gen activity. For instance, your presence shows other area business owners that you have a vested interest in the community as a whole. This can go a long way toward building solid B2B relationships. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to see how you can get involved.

Looking for more Small Business Saturday ideas? Our Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Advisors & Agents guide was created exclusively for financial professionals who are looking for unique and creative additions to their marketing toolkit.