Drip email campaigns, direct mailers, seminars – these are among the most popular marketing strategies producers use to connect with new prospects. But it never hurts to branch out. Using a variety of tactics and content delivery platforms is the best way to enhance your overall strategy. Below are just a few untapped marketing ideas that you should consider incorporating into your plan.
Social Media Groups
A strong social media presence is a necessity for any small business owner. 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 regularly and allocating a portion of your budget for ads and targeted posts is a good start, but there is more you can do.
During his keynote speech at the 2019 F8 conference, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a more privacy future for the social network. The foundation of this new direction is said to be rooted in groups. Designed to bring people of similar interests together and increase the user’s exposure to meaningful content, more than 400 million Facebook users are a part of one or more groups. Current website and app redesigns are aimed at making access to these groups easier, making industry-relevant pages a potential goldmine for prospecting.
Joining and having an active hand in relevant Facebook groups expands your reach and connects you with new consumers. This could be as simple as sharing your Facebook posts in relevant groups or advertising your services in the Marketplace. You could also contribute to conversations started by other group members. LinkedIn also features groups that can be used similarily. If you’re willing to invest the time and effort, this can help showcase your expertise and make valuable connections.
Podcasting is an often-overlooked brand awareness vehicle. The medium has seen a significant increase in its audience over recent years. The following stats from Edison Research support this:
- An estimated 62 million American consumers, roughly 22%, tune in to podcasts weekly.
- 41% of monthly podcast listeners make more than $75k a year.
- Listeners search for podcasts to:
- Learn new things (74%).
- Stay up to date with the latest topics (60%).
As you see, this is an increasingly popular platform with engaged listeners who come in thirsting for information. Wouldn’t you agree that the world of podcasting is worth exploring?
Creating a podcast is as simple as sitting down and having a conversation. You can purchase a basic podcast setup that includes a decent microphone, headphones, an audio interface, and basic recording software. Many podcasters will partner with a co-host who can contribute to the discussion. To keep things running smoothly, draft a script or list of talking points to follow during the conversation.
Client Appreciation Shoutouts
Holiday cards, thank you emails, and even the personal touch of a phone call can go a long way toward showing appreciation for your clients. They can also serve as a subtle nudge toward coming back in for a policy review or conversation about a new financial product. While your effort might put a grin on the client’s face, there’s another option that will undoubtedly leave an impression.
Celebrity shout-out videos have become wildly popular in recent years. These short, personalized video messages from athletes, actors, musicians, and other personalities are good for any occasion. Who wouldn’t appreciate a personal message from NFL legend Brett Favre or a cast member from The Office? Not only will the celeb mention your client by name, but make sure they know who sent the shout-out. This might sound a bit gimmicky, but when the client calls with an enthusiastic “thank you,” you’ll see how gimmicks can potentially pay off in the end.
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 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?
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 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.
Podcasting 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-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.
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Awareness campaigns and social media go hand in hand. No matter the topic, these initiatives would struggle to get off the ground without social media driving the conversation. And as many of you have already noticed, this month’s conversation revolves around life insurance. While the primary intent of Life Insurance Awareness Month is consumer education, this annual initiative is a chance for advisors to boost their brand and reach new prospects.
Taking advantage of the social media momentum behind Life Insurance Awareness Month doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your existing strategy, but it does call for a little fine-tuning. Consider the following tips when outlining your September social media plans.
Post With Purpose
Launched in 2004 by non-profit organization Life Happens, Life Insurance Awareness Month is an example of purpose-driven marketing. This is a campaign that strives to make a more personal, emotional connection with the public by addressing a specific need or cause. Consistency is a crucial part of these campaigns, which is why advisors who leverage social media during LIAM need to make sure their message fits the overall narrative about life insurance awareness. There are a few trending hashtags that can help bring you into the LIAM conversation (and boost your organic reach in the process):
The most effective hashtags are both relevant to the topic and already in use. While there are other hashtags we’ve seen advisors use for LIAM-related posts, not all are exclusive to your services. Also, keep in mind that using too many hashtags in one post can actually limit post engagement. Avoid using more than two or three at a time.
The overwhelming majority of consumers, regardless of their age, now consider social media (or other online resources) to be a valuable source of information when searching for financial services. In fact, a recent LIMRA study showed that Baby Boomers are now more likely to use the internet for information and recommendations than Millennials and Gen-Xers (who are both more likely to consult friends and family for advice). This is why it’s crucial for advisors to not only maintain a strong social media presence and an up-to-date website. Additionally, they need to post content that will resonate with your specific target audience. Building custom audiences based on consumer details is a great way to get the right message to the right target.
Let’s say you want to share a message that promotes the “family protection” aspect of life insurance. Because this will likely hit closer to home for younger to middle-aged consumers with children than it would someone close to retirement age, use age and demographic-based metrics to hone in on parents aged 30 – 50 years old. Most social networks provide a wide range of targeting options. The key is to determine who will respond better to each specific post and target accordingly.
Timing Is Everything
The majority of social media users visit one or more platforms on a daily basis. However, few of them spend the entire day scrolling through their feed. Scheduling your posts during peak engagement times can significantly increase your organic reach. While your results may vary, peak posting times, according to several studies, are as follows:
· 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
· 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
· 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday (with peak engagement on or around 3 p.m.)
· Early to mid-morning, early afternoon & early evening Monday – Friday
Keep in mind that social media marketing is an art, not a science. Use these tips as a starting point when crafting your LIAM social media strategy and adjust as needed. And remember that, when jumping on board with a widespread campaign like LIAM, you’re becoming part of a bigger conversation. It’s up to you to make the most of it.
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“Your Facebook ad has been disapproved”
Those six words have been throwing a wrench in the works for more and more business owners as of late. If you haven’t encountered them yet, the chances will be even greater you will in the coming weeks. In response to the ongoing data, privacy, and “fake news” scandals, the world’s most popular social media platform is making some changes. These changes could have a direct impact on your marketing strategy.
In the interest of transparency, Facebook is tightening the belt on ads pertaining to elections and political issues. The new rules include new verification requirements for advertisers and “paid for by” disclosures on their ads. While the move is intended to slow the spread of “fake news,” there are a few kinks left to be worked out of the screening process. There have numerous reports of ads/sponsored posts being incorrectly flagged as “political.” The flagged ads won’t be approved until the advertiser submits certain personal information.
The policy itself was written with politicians, lobbyists, and election campaigns in mind. However, content from a variety of businesses has also been caught in the crossfire of Facebook’s increased scrutiny. Facebook launched the new political ad rules in late May. The rollout included a list of 20 initial issues that would be used to determine whether an ad was political in nature. A few topics that appear on that list might help us understand why your post about a retirement planning seminar was disapproved:
- Social Security
Sure, it might seem silly to draw any sort of connection between the November elections and a post about how a tax-deferred annuity can supplement Social Security benefits. But, with a screening process that’s based on a combination of human judgment and a still-evolving algorithm, it’s happening. Has it happened to you? If so, don’t expect much help from Facebook. The company is passing the issue off as growing pains and claims it will straighten itself out over time. This forces non-political advertisers whose content has been flagged to appeal the decision and/or complete the authentication process. Both of these require more time and energy than most of us would rather spend on clients and prospects.
But wait, there’s more…
The content of your Facebook ad isn’t the only thing under the gun these days. The ways in which you target your audience is also undergoing a major overhaul. The end of June will introduce the first step in Facebook’s move to eliminate “Partner Categories” from the available ad targeting audience. Partner categories consist of consumer data provided by third-party companies that advertisers use when fine-tuning their customized audience. This means that several behavioral and demographic parameters advertisers used to better reach those consumers who would benefit most from their products/services will no longer exist on Facebook’s advertising platform.
What does this mean for you?
Advisors often used income-based targeting options to find qualified prospects. Net worth, homeownership, and financial behaviors have long been used by advertisers when customizing an audience. Beginning June 30, those parameters will no longer be able to be used for creating new or editing existing campaigns. On October 1, any ads using data gleaned from partner categories will no longer be delivered.
Does this spell the end of Facebook advertising? No, absolutely not. Facebook will still remain one of the most valuable ad platforms available. Even after the third-party data is gone, the remaining demographic, behavioral and interest categories will remain. You’ll just have to be a little more creative when doing so. Here are a few tips that can help you work around the changes to Facebook’s advertising platform:
Geotarget Affluent Communities
You can no longer use Facebook to specifically target homeowners who make at least $75,000 a year. However, you can use what you know about your own city to geo-target consumers who live or work in a specific area. This is a good tactic that can be used to create a customized audience of potential prospects.
Replace Behaviors with Similar/Relevant Interests
While Facebook ditched third-party data, that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped learning everything they can about its users. The social media giant uses a variety of online activity to create comprehensive profiles of its users. This includes visited websites and Page “likes.” If you ever expressed an interest in clog dancing, Facebook thinks you might be receptive to an ad about clog shoes. The same goes for those who have searched for things like annuities, retirement, and life insurance. This approach might take some experimentation but can be an effective workaround in the absence of third-party data.
Facebook’s targeting policies apply to info compiled by third-party data mining companies. But the rules do not prohibit businesses from targeting people based on data they’ve collected themselves. Consider using surveys, forms, or landing pages to help build an audience of consumers who want to see your ad.
In all likelihood, we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Facebook’s ad overhaul. This means we should expect the “formula” for a successful ad campaign to change with the seasons. Keeping up with it all can take more time than most of you have to spare, but you also can’t afford to waste resources on ineffective advertising.
This is where we can help. If you’d like to learn more about how to keep ahead of the curve, call us today.
Marketing Corner – Wednesday May 18th, 2016
The New Marketing Funnel
A common way of thinking about your prospect flow is a funnel. This is a tried-and-true way of organizing lead flow as prospects move through your marketing channels. It helps you understand where leads are in your marketing process, allowing you to match marketing efforts appropriately to prospect interest and growing familiarity with your services.
At the top of the funnel, you have a pool of clients, with sections of the funnel corresponding to levels of touch, interest, or activity, until they drip out of the funnel and become a client.
This visual metaphor may work to explain the overall direction a lead travels before converting into a client. However, because of how digitally-driven marketing is now—even for financial advisors—the funnel is no longer an appropriate way to describe lead flow. Lead flow is less a downward path and more a non-linear process.
A prospect may find you because of a SEM campaign or they may recognize your real-world ads like fliers and posters. The prospect may become aware of you because of direct mail and visit your base website. They may respond to a digital ad and recognize you as the company that sponsored a community summer concert series. They may respond to your social media activity and sign-up for your newsletter. All of your marketing components may be involved before they give you call or respond to your offer. The point is there is not always a direct line from the first engagement to conversion and this path can involve many different portals of engagement.
Why is this important? Prospects expect to find you in multiple places and will seek you out in various marketing verticals. While it can be difficult to track the true path a prospect follows, you do have opportunities to enhance this new marketing flow. For instance:
Remarketing as concept essentially means marketing again to someone who showed interest or engaged with you. In this sense, it is very similar to drip marketing. But in digital advertising, remarketing refers to showing ads to respondents or visitors to your website. A little piece of code (known as a pixel) signals back to the base campaign and issues further advertising or offers. This can be implemented on your base website as leads travel through various pages. It can also be implemented through AdWords or Facebook campaigns, greatly enhancing brand awareness and increasingly the possibility of prospect action.
There are many ways to develop a drip campaign. Drip campaigns can be easily automated through email. The act of you regularly following-up with a lead (like say through phone and email) is a form of a drip campaign. While your marketing overall may be non-linear, drip campaigns do provide a little bit of a linear lead flow. With the help of a good CRM you can schedule and track the drips in your campaign. However, your other verticals may complicate this direct positioning.
Regular Social Media Engagement
The key to maximizing your social media profiles is to provide regular and consistent content. Posts should demonstrate your expertise and value, while discussing topics relevant to your target market.
Being successful with the new non-linear marketing model means providing reasons for prospects to keep engaging with you. If it seems overwhelming, confusing, or too diffuse, use metrics to measure responsiveness of each portal of engagement and create circuits that connect the individual marketing portals.
A marketing circuit charts the path(s) a prospect can take toward conversion. You’ll notice that while there is a linear pull from first engagement to conversion, a lead may take a roundabout way of getting there. The purpose of a diagram like this is to understand how your marketing channels can work with each other and feed back toward the ultimate goal of conversion.
In this example, the first portal of engagement is a digital ad, but the pieces (or portals) can be structured in any number of ways. A well-designed marketing circuit helps you to retain and enhance your leads, maximizing your marketing activity.
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Maintaining Your Digital Presence
While there are many components of a good digital presence, many advisors simply build a decent looking website or claim their social media profiles and leave it at that. This is like buying a new sports car and leaving it in the driveway. To really get the most out of your company’s digital persona, you need to put a little time in. You might not be the most tech-focused agency, but investing a little bit of time on your digital presence can draw new consumers and have a positive impact to your overall business plan. Here are seven simple ways to stitch up your digital presence.
Complete Profiles and Update as Necessary
In a previous post, we discussed how you should claim your profiles on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Building a profile goes beyond claiming your business name and slapping a company logo. For instance, within a business Facebook page, you have the opportunity to provide a business bio/mission statement, hours of operation, website links, directions, and calls-to-actions. There is also the ability to “verify” your business. Take a little bit of time to make your profile a complete as possible. As things change; maybe your business moves or has different hours of operation, update accordingly. Other platforms, may have more or may have less opportunities to provide supporting information about your business. Twitter for example, limits the details you can provide, while LinkedIn allows you to provide a great deal of information within your profile.
Completing your profiles also means that you should size and format supporting branding appropriately. Most platforms will tell you recommended sizes. A profile picture, even a good one, will not inspire confidence if it looks pixilated or overblown. Same goes for banner photos, backgrounds, avatars, etc.
Update Branding And Visual Collateral
Is it time for new headshots? Has your office been renovated? Are your logos and branding out-of-date? Updating your visual collateral can make your digital presence really shine. Just as you wouldn’t want to pass around a business card that follows the design ethos of the 1980s, you don’t want to have visual collateral that is outdated or otherwise skirts principles of good design.
Commit To A Regular Content Strategy
Content marketing is an effective way to engage with your clients and new prospects. (This article is itself is a piece of content marketing, meta!) Often agents will pursue this activity and then give up. There two important things to keep in mind with a content marketing strategy: create relevant content and commit to a regular schedule. Most agents can do the former but struggle with the latter. Fresh content is beneficial to you in many ways—it helps with ranking, allows you to address the various concerns and pain points your consumer base has, and demonstrates your expertise. Get in at the level that is appropriate for you, but stick with it.
Have A Process For Cross-Platform Coordination
Don’t just hide updates, links, or good content on your website’s blog or maroon it on a solo LinkedIn or Facebook post. Disseminate amongst your various platforms and profiles. This means having a process for shepherding content or updates through your digital portals. This can be as simple as using the cross-platform utility inherent in many of these platforms (the Tweet/FB share buttons on a LinkedIn post for instance). Or you may adjust the settings within a platform to automatically post on your other profiles. Or you may even use third-party software that helps you manage your social media.
Recognize The Limits, Styles, Purpose, and Functions of Each Platform
A long blog post is not a Tweet. A Tweet is not an in-depth breakdown of new social security changes. A casual Facebook post may not be appropriate for a LinkedIn status. Each digital platform, whether it’s your own website or a social media tool, will have its own unique features, style, and “visual grammar” and utility. You can coordinate pieces through your various digital portals (see point above), but consider how the post or update will mesh within the particular “language” of the platform.
Promote and Share Updates/Content Multiple Times
If you have a piece of content or an update you might share it through your digital platforms as discussed in point 4. However, you can push the same piece multiple times over a relevant timeframe. What’s a good frequency? That’s up to you. You certainly don’t want to overshare, and you especially don’t want to overshare the same status, update, or content. However, if the piece is still relevant and you feel there are portions of your audience that may have missed your news, it’s probably okay to share again to keep it floating in the feeds.
Boost Good Content And Events
Let’s say you have a great piece of content you are proud of. Or let’s say you have an upcoming seminar event that you are excited about. In addition to posting about it through your digital channels, put a little adspend together and promote it. Sponsored content can help you grow your audience reach and promoted events can help with attendance.
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Five Low-Cost, Simple, and Obvious Marketing Solutions
There’s a wide world of marketing out there for advisors and agents. Some solutions can be pretty sophisticated, using technology for advanced targeting and prospect tracking. We’ve certainly advocated for (and currently provide) many progressive digital marketing solutions. These solutions—like email segmentation, advanced display network advertising, website optimization, and so forth, help you stay in front of your consumers and ahead of your competition.
However, there are many low-cost, simple, and obvious marketing solutions that advisors often overlook when chasing new marketing platforms. It is definitely important to have one foot in the future, but that does not mean you should forget about these simple marketing methods.
Whether you have an upcoming event or are just looking to keep your name alive in your business community, fliers are still a worthy means of branding yourself. Maybe putting up fliers will give you flashbacks of promoting DIY shows back when you were a punk rocker, but for promoting your business you really have nothing to lose.
Many might object to this method because it has an air of cheapness and grunginess about it. This is why you target community boards in high-traffic areas—your coffeeshops, breakfast bistros, library events boards–places where your ideal prospects visit routinely. Make sure your fliers have a clear message, are well-designed, and feature prominently your business branding.
How cheap is this option? To give you perspective, B+W 8X11 sheets from FedEx Kinko’s run about 12 cents a page, 59 cents for color, maybe a little more for glossier paper options.
Libraries and Hospitals
Last week we discussed best practices for running a workshop, mentioning libraries and community centers as good potential venues for holding your seminars. An expensive dinner at a restaurant or country club can certainly appeal to higher-end prospects, but at a high budget to you. Libraries and hospitals often have meeting rooms available for use—especially if your workshop is more educational than sales pitch.
We’ve found that in many cases staff members at a library or hospital will be very supportive of your event, since it is providing a service to their base community. This means that you can organize a workshop for the cost of base marketing, supporting documents, coffee and doughnuts, and a box of fresh pens.
This entry is not so much about how you should be using social media to engage consumers (although you absolutely should), but more about how you should at least claim your business profile across social platforms. Again, we absolutely advocate the use of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to publish content and build a consumer following, but some advisors lack even a static corporate profile page.
We get it—for some advisors it might not make sense to be enmeshed in the sometimes twisted world of social media. But generally, having a corporate Facebook page or company page on LinkedIn is not going to cost you anything. It will make your business more visible to consumers and provide a base to begin content marketing from.
It’s cheap (or free), takes little time, and sets you on a path toward digital content marketing.
Financial advisors often build marketing campaigns around time-sensitive events like a seminar. This is because seminars, for all the work that goes into them, can pay off huge with new clients. So an advisor may use a direct mail vendor, involve an RSVP service, and put some adspend in digital campaigns to promote his or her event. While these strategies work (and in the long-run are cost-effective), they have a very specific focus and goal—meat in the seats.
However, what kind of marketing do you do when you don’t have an upcoming event? Some advisors, looking to keep marketing costs as trim as possible, don’t do any kind of marketing—instead relying on word-of-mouth and referrals.
In between events and promotions, drop some digital adspend in a display network campaign. Keep the budget where you want. It could be a huge marketing budget, or it could be a small daily amount. The point is, you have an opportunity to keep your name and branding cycling online in your community for a very low cost. There’s no specific goal, other than to build brand awareness and maybe draw people to your website, but this ambient marketing gives you a constant presence that might pay off hugely.
Cost? You could appropriate $100-$200 a month for this type of marketing. More if you’ve got the budget. Plus, with AdWords and Facebook you can specifically target your ideal clients. $1200-$2400 is not a bad price for a year’s baseline marketing, especially if it gets you clients. With this budget you should not anticipate direct leads (though it can happen) but rather a constant brand awareness that enhances other marketing activities.
Email Pipeline Marketing
Over periods of prospecting, you’ve likely gathered a list of emails. Many advisors, because they focus on new clients and new marketing activities, ignore the value of their email lists. With most email platforms, you are charged by subscribers rather than the individual number of emails you send. This allows you to build pipelines, often with no more expense than your current cost of the service. So take some time, comb through your current lists and build drip campaigns.
Cost? Maybe nothing more than your time. Maybe a little more to upgrade to a higher subscriber level with your email service provider.
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Small Actions Can Build To Big Relationships
As a progressive insurance marketing organization, we often discuss big digital campaigns with our clients. This makes sense; our clients want to have a strong digital reach and see a valuable return for their marketing efforts. But when performing a big marketing campaign, or trying to place a big case, or really doing anything in your day-to-day operation, it’s important to not forget the small appreciations that make things smoother and reinforce relationships with your clients. Sometimes something as simple as a “thank you” message can keep the momentum going with a prospect, whether it’s a social media connection, email, voice-mail, or handwritten letter. It can seem common sense and simple, but it’s a valuable way to retain clients.
Here are four ways to say thanks within your business activity.
Transactional emails are emails that relate to a purchase or registration. If you’ve purchased something from an online retailer you’ve likely received this type of email. So when you register a prospect for a seminar or appointment, make sure to include a transactional email that provides confirmation details and leads with a short, simple “Thank You.” Depending on the nature of the campaign, it may be possible to automate this process through your email service, while still providing a personal touch.
Social Media Connections
Social media has become a another channel for advisors to connect with prospects and clients. Many use LinkedIn and Facebook, although some use Twitter and other platforms. As you use your preferred platform to connect with prospects and clients, be sure to provide a quick “Thank You” message. This also gives you an opportunity to discuss a little bit about you and your value proposition.
Before, During, and After Production
As you work on a case for a client, be sure to offer thanks as appropriate throughout the process. This can mean during an initial consultation, during the back-and-forth on cases that require more time and work, and certainly after a policy is written. It may be a good idea to include an onboarding sheet when you first meet with a prospect that leads with a “thank you” and provides details about your process. Once you cleared a case, provide a “next steps” packet that starts with a thank you.
Referrals can be a great source of new clients for advisors. Whenever you receive a referral, provide some form of thanks to the source of the new prospect. You may want to consider a referral bonus program, but, at the very least issue a short note of thanks to the client that provided you the referral.
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