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Using Local Marketing and Advertising to Expand Your Reach

February 15, 2021   |   by Alex Strautman

 

 Whether you are working as an independent broker or an agency or financial institution employs you as part of an insurance sales team, it is important you find a mix of ways to promote your business and yourself to attract new prospects and earn referrals from existing customers.

Below are some useful tips.

Set Up a Google Business Profile

A “Google My Business” profile is a free online business listing and more. It lets you easily connect with customers who are using Google Search and Google Maps. Your profile allows you to see how your customers are connecting with you – via clicks, calls, following you on social media, etc. It’s easy to get started by searching for yourself or your company here.

You might also consider a profile on Yelp! It will help you “be found” and enable you to respond quickly to Yelp! reviews and messages when they are posted. You can also add photos of your business.

Don’t overlook other online directories, too – including those serving your specific geographic area.

For additional tips, check out this LOCALiQ article, 10 Effective Local Advertising Ideas for Small Business.

Launch a Website

It’s been said it before, in other columns, having an online presence is essential for every business, especially insurance brokers. It doesn’t matter what products you market or what carriers you represent. Online is where many begin their search. In fact, there are 40-60 billion searches on Google in the U.S. each month.

According to the Pew Research Center, 91% of adults use a search engine to find information – and 54% search online more than once a day. Sagapixel, a search engine optimization and web design firm, says nearly half (46%) of Google searches are locally focused.

Your website can help you attract prospects and increase awareness of you and your agency. It can also help you generate leads and referrals.

If you’re not already online, consider these ideas when setting up your website:

  • Use Search Engine Optimization: SEO helps you increase traffic to your website, while also improving the quality of that traffic. Setting up your Google profile (as mentioned above) is an early step you can take to help make you “findable.” WordStream offers some useful links to a range of SEO advice.
  • ABC – Always Be Current: Make sure everything on your site is current. Having out of date information undermines your credibility. Information that is old is not useful to your prospects or clients. If you need to, ask a colleague or friend who has no connection to the site to review it regularly and make suggestions about what might need to be revised or removed.
  • Write (and Design) for Your Reader: If your target customer is business owners or HR or benefits professionals, write and select photos with them in mind. Be professional in both your tone and imagery selection.

If you want to go further (and drive even more traffic to your site), consider blogging or contributing to another individual’s or organization’s site. A blog can help you spotlight your professional experience and expertise. You can also cross-promote your blogs in your e-newsletter (you do have one, right?). You might consider re-purposing a blog column as a post on social media.

Use Social Media

Social media should also be an important part of your marketing strategy. If they’re not looking for you on Google (or another search engine), your prospects are likely looking for you on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Be sure your content is mobile friendly, as it outnumbers desktop users for many platforms.

Consider joining in a group discussion online, but try to avoid potentially controversial topics. You don’t want what you say to undermine your professional image or credibility, or invoke possible attack by others.

Become a Community Sponsor

Another way to get your name out is to promote your business by sponsoring a local sports team, school, or event. You can do the same through your support of a local charity. If you’re focused on reaching business leaders, getting involved with your local chamber of commerce can be useful, too.

Beef Up Your Email Marketing

Email is among the most effective – and least expensive – ways to promote your business and get word out about the services you offer. Keep in mind, again, it’s important your message is tailored to your target audience.

Marketing Is More Than Advertising

Local advertising can be an effective way of marketing yourself and reaching locals. However, marketing is more than just advertising. You can promote yourself in many ways without spending a lot of money. To learn more, check out 10 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget, published in January 2021 on the Constant Contact blog.

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