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Our bloggers offer a variety of perspectives, but they share one thing in common: a passion for digital marketing and how it can help insurance agencies achieve their aspirations.

Consider Your Culture: How to Make Your Agency More Fun!

Consider Your Culture: How to Make Your Agency More Fun! Are your employees happy in the environment that you’ve provided? If not, you could be looking at a preventable lack of output. A study out of the University of Warwick found that happy employees are approximately 12% more productive. If your agency actively seeks out high-level professionals in your area, a great company culture may be the thing that brings them to you! If your employees work hard for you, make the effort for them. The perks at some huge tech companies like Facebook are well publicized, but your agency probably doesn’t have a multi-million dollar recreation budget to install a cafeteria and an on-site barber shop. Luckily, there are some simpler, more cost-effective options that can go a long way. Here are some ideas to consider: Make it Feel More Like Home Many modern-day office buildings are trying their best to make their offices a home-like as possible, and with good reason; it makes it much more appealing to spend time there. A good work-life balance is crucial, but there’s no reason your workstation can’t be a little cozier. Doing away with the old-school cubicles and opening up the office can be an excellent way to encourage collaboration. Encourage Humor (When Appropriate) Most people like to lighten the mood with a joke now and then, so don’t take a hard-line stand against humor. Do, however, establish boundaries; you don’t want the office to turn into a no-holds-barred frat house. Don’t encourage jokes at a customer’s expense or making fun of fellow employees. Support Some Casual Time The right amount of downtime is essential for thriving brains to recharge.... Read More

Google Analytics Data & Your Agency’s Content Marketing (Pt. 2)

Google Analytics Data & Your Agency’s Content Marketing (Pt. 2) Earlier this month, we discussed some types of data sources you can find in your agency’s Google Analytics account that can assist in your content marketing efforts. While there is any number of data sources contained within the program, we are outlining several key sources that can help your agency determine what to target in your content marketing efforts. In addition to the organic search keywords and visitor location data we have already outlined, you should also take a look at your agency website’s social media referrals and all page traffic information. These metrics can give you a better idea of what social networks your visitors are coming from and what pages most of your visitors are landing on. Social Media Referrals A social media referral is a visitor who came to your website from one of the social networks. This includes the main networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, but can also include various other networks and listing sites, such as Pinterest and Yelp. Google Analytics provides a lot of information when it comes to your social media referrals. From the data, you can see how many visits your website received from a particular network, how long they stayed on your website, how many pages they visited, and more. For example, this agency’s year-to-date (January 2015 – August 2015) data for social media referrals show which networks are bringing the most visitors to their website: This agency is receiving the majority of their social media traffic from Facebook. While this agency is posting fairly regularly on all of these networks, the majority of their engagement (comments, likes,... Read More

One Agency’s Mission to Offer Insight on Who They Are

One Agency’s Mission to Offer Insight on Who They Are All small and local businesses should have an idea of what they want the mindset of their company to be. Whether that is a general idea carried on throughout the business, or a transcribed mission statement, it is important that the identity of any organization is well known. Strong Tower Insurance in Plant City, Florida definitely has the tone of their agency down on paper. Just recently, they realized their mission statement needed some updating to properly convey to their customers exactly who they are and what they represent. First, they collected all the ways they help their insurance customers. Then all those great ideas were drafted and discussed so the best ones could be added to their mission statement. Along the way, their Marketing Director, Kristen Campbell, had the inspiring idea to create individual slides for each idea. Her goal is eventually to create a short slideshow to use in their marketing efforts for the agency. These images showcase different values Strong Tower Insurance believes in and prides themselves in, always holding true when working with their customers. Some of these insightful qualities have the agency boasting being: Tech-Savvy – Effective. Efficient. Easy to do business with. Innovative – With their products, technology, and thinking. Nimble – They challenge themselves. They adapt, bend, and never break. Quick – They quickly communicate, respond, and solve. Reliable – They’re dependable and steady. Respected – Highly respected by their agents, policyholders, and within the industry. Sensible – Great listeners. Weighing all sides and prudent and decisions. What’s even better is that Campbell went on to create a Wordle depicting all these... Read More

Give your Social Media a September to Remember

Give your Social Media a September to Remember Now that summer is coming to an end, use your social media to kick off the fall right. Here are some social media topics you can use to get started: Fall is a gorgeous season. If you are walking into your agency one day and notice how beautiful the foliage looks around your building, snap a picture and share it with your followers. Are you excited for back to school? Make your followers excited as well by sharing deals in your area from your partners. Money saving tips are good for any time of year, but college students are going to need pointers now that the university semester is about to start. You can either share them one at a time or share a good money saver post from a source you like. #MotivationalMonday idea: “Don’t become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin.” – Ivan Pavlov (born September 14, 1849) Speaking of motivation, your followers are going to need motivation once they end their summer vacation time. Use motivational posts to keep your followers up to speed, especially since September is Self-Improvement Month. Help your followers enjoy the sweet spot between summer and fall by suggesting outdoor activities to do before it gets too cold. Insurance #TipTuesday idea: If you have son or daughter going off to college, make them an occasional driver on you automobiles to save money on your auto insurance. Football season is about to kick off! Support local high schools and college teams on your social media accounts, and encourage your followers to stay safe while having... Read More

Using Google Analytics Data for Your Agency’s Content Marketing (Pt. 1)

Using Google Analytics Data for Your Agency’s Content Marketing (Pt. 1) If your agency has a website, you should have a Google Analytics tracking code on all of its pages. If you don’t, see Google’s instructions on how to get started here. A Google Analytics code tracks all of the visitors to your website, collecting information such as where they came from, where they are located, how long they stuck around, how many and which pages they viewed, and more. All of this data is pulled into the Google Analytics interface, which allows you to get as deep or high level an understanding as you want. For those of you who have been using Google Analytics, or at least receiving reports on the program’s data from your digital marketing/website provider, you already know that Google has taken away most of the keyword data for websites’ organic search visits. Keyword data was a huge help for marketers and business owners alike, allowing you to see exactly what visitors were typing into the search engines to bring them to your website. Below are some data sources still contained within Google Analytics that can be useful when creating material for your content marketing strategy. Organic Keywords I know, we just said keyword data is mostly unavailable within Google Analytics, but it is not all gone. When looking at your organic search traffic within your Google Analytics account, you will typically see at least 80% of your keyword data is not provided: However, below, you will likely see various “one-off” keyword visitors that are provided. These visits come from users who have set their Google accounts up to share data with website owners. While these... Read More

Get Your Blog Ready for Fall with September Blog Topics

Get Your Blog Ready for Fall with September Blog Topics Now that summer is winding down, it is a good idea to crank things up at your blog. People will start to engage more as they get back into the swing of their jobs and their education. Here are some September blog topic ideas to get you started: September is best known for three worlds: Back. To. School. Start reminding your audience about back to school tips in terms of school supplies, wardrobe, school transportation, and school safety tips. A very common problem among children in school is lice. As part of National Pediculosis Prevention Month, provide your readers with tips on how to detect lice, as well as how do deal with it if you have it. For those readers going back to college, provide them with a common list of things they can buy in bulk. Also suggest other money-saving tips as students try to save for school. Since kids are no longer on summer vacation, parents are not as well. That means morning commutes will once again be jammed with people returning from their summer shenanigans. Give your audience safety tips for the packed roads in September. If your employees are bummed about the end of summer, chances are your clients’ employees are bummed as well. Suggest some ways employers can keep their employees engaged now that they have to put away their shorts and their summer t-shirts. Do your clients own secondary, summer homes? It is time to think about shutting them down for the winter. Provide tips for closing up a summer home, as well as the insurance coverage they can purchase to ensure... Read More

So Begins the Demise of Google+?

So Begins the Demise of Google+? Many social media buffs will remember a time just four short years ago when Google+ was the next big thing, with invite-only memberships and a lot of buzz surrounding it. No one was sure then where it would go, but the service has not exactly turned out like Internet search giant wanted. The grand design was to eventually unite all of its products into a single social product; the result was closer to users begrudgingly signing up because they had to. The search engine giant was always able to claim a large number of Google+ users, but that was mostly because it required membership to use certain services. But on Monday, Google said in a recent blog post that a Google+ account will no longer be necessary for services like YouTube. Google Photos and Streams will also become their own individual programs, rather than features of Google+. They admit that they “made some choices that, in hindsight, [they] needed to rethink.” While the industry is taking this as a sign of the service’s defeat, Google isn’t admitting anything as of yet, saying “changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+.” They probably won’t count it as a loss for a while, but it is not a good sign for their future in social media. It probably helps that they essentially forced users into using the network! What does this mean for insurance agencies and other small, local businesses? If you are prioritizing Google+ over outlets like Facebook or Twitter, it may be a good time to put it on the back-burner and focus on... Read More

How to Create a Positive Office Culture (Part 1)

How to Create a Positive Office Culture (Part 1) Last week, I wrote about the importance of being an employer of choice. From increasing employee productivity to establishing a good reputation in your community that yields top-notch applicants, working to become an employer of choice is a good business strategy. Becoming an employer of choice has just as much to do with establishing a positive office culture as it does with offering employees competitive salaries and benefits. But as an employer, how do you create an office culture within your agency that makes employees feel valued and appreciated? The Group Huddle. Meetings and conferences are nothing new to office culture. But often, staff meetings turn into employees being TALKED TO rather than employees TALKING. Try re-framing the way your weekly staff meeting operates. While, as a manager, it’s important to disseminate critical information to employees, it’s just as important to hear what those employees have to say: What’s working? What’s not? Does anyone have suggestions for streamlining operations? Who has issues that need addressing? Re-framing your staff meetings into group huddles make employees feel like they are valued and help to establish a team mentality. Turn Your Office into a Fun House. Consider this: Companies pay lots of money to take staff members on team building retreats because studies have shown that when employees feel they are part of a team, they are more productive. At the same time, no one likes to feel forced to interact, and many employees don’t look forward to such excursions. You don’t need to spend a lot of money or hire professionals to build a sense of team. For under $200, you... Read More

Why Strive to Become an Employer of Choice?

Why Strive to Become an Employer of Choice? There are plenty of applicants currently in the job market, so chances are when a position opens up at your agency, you get receive a plethora of applications. But like any human resources professional will tell you, finding qualified, ideal candidates isn’t always that easy. Websites like Glassdoor.com encourage employees to rate their employer and promotes discussion of company culture. After all – you check an applicant’s references before you hire them, why shouldn’t he/she check yours? Becoming an employer of choice ultimately yields many benefits for your organization, making an investment in your office culture well worth your time and money. Benefits of being an employer of choice include: Hiring the best of the best Being an employer of choice means that you’ve created a reputation for your company as a great place to work. As such, you’ll see more qualified applicants, and ultimately, more qualified employees. Turnover reduction Loyalty yields not only stronger interpersonal relationships but also serves to reduce hiring costs that come along with staff turnover. Just like retaining an existing customer is cheaper than finding a new one, retaining existing employees is cheaper than constantly having to search for replacements. Strong and united team mentality Individual employee satisfaction plays a significant part in creating a unified, content team efficiently working together toward a common goal. Employees who WANT to be at work Creating an environment that is enjoyable to your employees makes them want to stay there, both in the long term and on a day-to-day basis. The longer they stay, the more high-quality work they produce. The Google culture model is a perfect... Read More

Tweet Pinning: Twitter’s Free Advertising!

Tweet Pinning: Twitter’s Free Advertising! Does your agency maintain a Twitter presence? Are you having trouble making an impact and getting new followers? One of the more helpful features that has been developed in the past year is the ability to “pin” a tweet on your profile.  If you’re frustrated with seeing your tweets get buried in the Twittersphere, Twitter has recently introduced a way to “pin” a tweet on your profile, or feature it so that it’s always at the top of your page. If you’re promoting something that you’re especially proud of, or want to attract extra attention to a new program, this could be just the way to do it. Pinning a tweet could not be simpler. All you have to do is open your Twitter profile page and select the tweet that you’d like to pin to your account from your “Tweets” section. Then, click the “Dots” icon on the bottom right of the tweet and select “Pin to your profile page” from the drop-down menu. That’s it! You should see immediately that your tweet was pinned to your profile, and that it’s the first thing any visitors to your profile page will see.   This option works well for tweets that you think represent your agency or brand particularly well. Remember that everyone that visits your page will see it, so make sure it’s one of your strongest tweets; consider using one with an image to grab the user’s attention. If you’re trying to advertise a particular community event or special deal, this is the perfect way to do it. The pinned tweet will show up for as long... Read More