First impressions count – in life and in business. As an insurance broker, that first impression isn’t made when your sales team answers the phone or responds to an email, nor if and when you have a chance for an in person meeting. For the vast majority of your prospects, their first impression of you is made when they visit your website, and is so important in determining if they will take that next step. Judgement on a company’s credibility is 75% based on the company’s website design (Web Credibility Research from Stanford) and 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive (Adobe State of Content Report). Brokers can’t afford to not get it right.
So what does this have to do with Marketing Automation Platforms (MAP)?
Building a shiny new website doesn’t mean that prospects will suddenly flock to it. In most instances, leads will find your website when searching for a particular type of insurance. The last thing you want is to drop them on your site and hope they find the information they are looking for or leave to chance that they will contact your brokerage for a quote. Landing Pages, an integral part of a best of breed MAP, act as that middle step between an inbound search query and your website. They remove the ‘noise’ a product page usually has and allows you to focus on a single message, which typically leads to significantly higher conversion rates. And because landing pages are completely customizable they can look and feel the same as your full site but at the same time speak directly to the audience, product and message of a particular strategic campaign. You can even co-brand with your insurance partners on selected campaigns. And because they are not using an actual page on your site, adding or modifying landing pages doesn’t require development work on your website.
A visually appealing and well organized website and customized landing pages will make it easy for visitors to learn about your brokerage and drive higher lead conversion. But the more that leads and customers engage with you – your website, social channels, outbound marketing communications – and go deeper into your content, the more you will learn about them and, in turn, be better able to develop targeted sales strategies and value added after sales services.
Key to driving those return visits across all your digital channels is having interesting and fresh content. And that is really tough without having a content strategy in place. A successful strategy has two distinct yet equally important aspects. First, is developing engaging, relevant and refreshed content which can be challenging for many companies. It requires a clear definition of your audience personas – both existing and future, an understanding of what is of interest to them, identifying sources for the content which can include a mix of internally created, outsourced and curated; and a planned series of themes and topics. Then comes the distribution strategy which is where marketing automation plays an important role. Each piece of content should be used across several channels, such as blogs, email, thought leadership website pages and social channels. Different pieces of content may resonate better with different audience personas or channels. But it’s difficult to know where, when and with whom the content will resonate best. When using a Marketing Automation Platform every aspect of this strategy can be automatically monitored, measured, tracked and even optimized. And this can be done both on a channel level (ie which piece of content drove the highest click-through rate) or individual level (contacts more likely to engage with an email vs visiting a website or a social channel).
When looked at all together, your website, landing pages and content strategy form the foundation for driving Awareness using Marketing Automation. In this blog, we’ve just touched on how these tools can power your inbound marketing but here are a few best practices you can take away:
- Ensure it reflects who you are as a brand (every brokerage is a brand and has a unique identity)
- Make it visually appealing
- Facilitate navigation – how quickly can someone get to a product, claims or contact page?
- Create distinct ones for every campaign to reflect the target audience, product and value proposition
- Ask the minimal information needed to contact a prospect in order to maximize conversion
- Ensure they reflect your brand and are in synch with your website
- Know your audience – and write or curate content that will appeal to them
- Deliver value to your readers without sounding like a sales pitch
- Create a content calendar to plan our themes and subjects in advance
Stay tuned for the second blog in our series, where we will dive deeper into how Marketing Automation can drive Awareness for your insurance leads.