Online Marketing for Your Agency and Online Leads

by Pat Alexander on January 26, 2011 · 0 comments

Today we have a guest post by Cole Sileven. Great, timely advice as the new year is getting under way.
Cole Sileven, Developer of Low Insurance & Security, provides a comparison quote resource and directory for Independent Insurance Agencies throughout the US.

As more insurance agencies approach online marketing as a primary strategy for bringing in new business, one thing to keep in mind is how to approach online marketing and how to deal with the online leads as you begin to receive them. Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful for Agents who plan on marketing their services online.Publish A Blog

I personally believe that one of the best ways to market any service is by blogging. Updating a local insurance blog regularly takes time but can bring in enough business to make the whole process well worth the effort. You don’t want to start just any blog but a blog specific to insurance in your state or city. Always stay consistent. Never let your blog go without attention for more than a week. If you recently started a blog but time is an issue, consider committing to a minimum of 1-2 articles a week. With a blog, nothing’s right away but in a year’s time your blog should have over 100 useful articles. If each article can be found through 10 resources such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and other links – this means your blog could be found 1000 different ways. Sometimes you’ll find that a single article could rank for several key phrases. Good information has a way of spreading.

Form Creation & Hosting

WordPress is one platform that works great for blogging. With wordpress you have a variety of plugins and themes you can use to make your blog stand out from the rest. For insurance agents I recommend a professional developer design secure insurance forms if you plan to host forms that request the input of personal information. There are also plugins you can use for smaller contact forms. Either way always be sure the form is hosted by you and not a form hosting company. Your website or blog will perform better on search engines if the customer remains on it for a longer period of time.

Blog Promotion

There are a number of ways you can market your blog. Some of the larger directories work great for helping your blog increase rank in search engines. Some directories to keep in mind are insurance directories. The more relevant the website that links to you, the better off you will be. With local marketing I tend to focus more time on commenting as well. Let’s not confuse commenting with spam. Nobody likes a spammer.

If I sell insurance in Sacramento, California I take some time and put together a small list of blogs in Sacramento. These blogs are usually not personal blogs but blogs owned by business owners and associates who can help get my name out. For example, if I were to provide useful comments on a weekly basis for a Sacramento real estate blog, chances are I’m slowly going to get to know the Realtor. After a month of sharing your opinion on this local real estate blog chances are someone’s going to need a homeowner’s quote. Let’s not stop there. After a month or so of continuous interaction the Realtor blogger kind of knows who you are. Why not give them a call and introduce yourself. At this point your chances of increasing home policy sales are good.

Making Every Lead Count

Leads from an online form never come easy. Although local shoppers will often simply call the phone number, some shoppers will go and fill in the quote form instead. Why didn’t they just call? Maybe they didn’t want to talk or keep the talking minimal. Formerly, as an Independent Agent I used to get a good share of online leads. It took some time to learn how to approach them. In the beginning I would handle this by performing the quote first and then calling the person back with the quoted price. Overtime I found it better to call and introduce myself as I was performing the quote.

Leads While Outside The Office

If the quote request comes in while outside the office make sure you get the email on your mobile. Generally when this would happen I’d quickly call the person to introduce myself and let them know I’m heading back to the office and look forward to helping them.

An old tip to remember: It’s easy to hear a person’s mood over the phone. Smile while you talk.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as there are so many more ways to market your services online and develop your site to be the authority online.

What are your questions or concerns about using a blog for online contact or how to handle online leads?

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