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Should You Advertise on Facebook?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, January 4, 2019

 

Should You Advertise on Facebook?

During the third quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.27 billion users who visited the site at least monthly, including 1.5 billion users who visited the site at least daily. If contacting a huge number of people is in your marketing plan, then Facebook is a good bet.

 

The social behemoth makes very clear that advertising is its lifeblood. But figuring out how to target, place, budget or measure the effectiveness of Facebook ad campaigns can be confusing.

 

Making an impression. Facebook advertising is more about setting a budget for how much you’re willing to spend per impression instead of paying a set amount to showcase your product. Should you advertise on Facebook? Start by asking if you have the type of advertisement that will draw the attention Facebook seeks. Your ad will compete in an ad auction with every other advertiser on the site, and the amount you pay to advertise will be based on the number of impressions or actions users take when they view your ad. This includes when your ad shows up on users’ news feed or when a user clicks the ad to go to the advertiser’s website.

 

The most successful ads are:

  • Videos
  • "Carousels" with multiple images
  • Those with very little text
  • Flashy

An ad based on a stock photo isn't a good choice for Facebook advertising. Neither is an ad with 100 words describing what you're trying to sell. It matters what the ad looks like, so it's important to spend time with a creative or design team to make something worth spending money on.

 

Invest in the metrics. One of the most essential aspects of this process is figuring out the metrics to understand if your ad is reaching the users you want. If not, then you need to replace the ad, tweak it, or start from scratch. If you don’t have the time and inclination for the process then you may need to hire a firm that does. For a small or medium-sized business, you’re probably getting into expenses you don’t want.

 

Who’s your prospect? Before setting off on this advertising journey, you need to decide who you’re selling to. A small business needs to put its advertising with its current customers, says  Dave Lavinsky, writing for Forbes in the article, “The Hands-Down Best Place to Advertise Your Business.” He says your own customers will buy from you more often, buy higher priced products and will spread the word to their friends about the quality of your service you deliver.

 

Engagement is everything on Facebook. A series of positive comments on an ad or post can go a long way toward helping someone who is researching an insurance product or agency. It is the new word of mouth — just the electronic version.

 

So if you’re just starting to consider and navigate the Facebook advertising world, start with some research. Identify and develop your target audience and curate creative ads that will catch people in their news feeds.

Tags:  AIMS Society  Facebook Ads  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  sellability  Social Media  Technology 

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Why You Should Care about Facebook Ads

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, October 5, 2018


Why You Should Care about Facebook Ads

How can your insurance agency drive business with Facebook?

People spend an absurd amount of time on social media. That’s one of the reasons your agency is active on social media.

But Facebook’s algorithm changes have caused organic reach (the number of people who see your content without you paying for it) to drastically decline. This means that only a fraction of your page followers actually see your posts.

Have you seen that “Boost Post” button in the bottom right hand corner of your post? If you’ve tried it, that means you’re interested in getting more eyeballs on your content. But it’s the easy way out. If you’re looking to really target your core audience, increase brand awareness and eventually drive people to your website, you need to dig deeper.

How Facebook Ads Can Help

  1. Use data you already have. You already have a list of people interested and aware of your agency: You have an entire e-newsletter list worth of email
    addresses and data telling you who’s visited your website in the past few months. If you’re trying to boost leads and generate conversions, shouldn’t you focus on them? With Facebook, you can easily upload your email or data lists to seek out the same and similar individuals. A new target list will be created based on common demographic information found in your uploaded data — and voila! You have an audience that is much more likely to move through the customer journey.

  2. You can focus where your content goes. Hopefully you’ve already spent time looking at your current customer demographics or defining your ideal       customers. If you have this information, you can target specific Facebook users by location, age, gender, behavior, interests and connections. See what   we’re saying? For example, you can even get your agency in front of people who have recently purchased or gone through a big life event.

  3. You can test and repeat … and test and repeat. When creating a new Facebook ad, you can choose from a variety of “Campaign Objectives” based on what goals or results you want.

    • Clicks to Website: Targets people who have historically clicked on Facebook links that go to external websites.
    • Page Post Engagement: Aims to boost engagement with likes, shares and comments.
    • Video Views: Shows your video to the people whom Facebook knows are more likely to watch it.

    The beauty of Facebook advertising is that you can test one of these objectives this month and test another objective the next. With an open mentality, you can see what works and find different followers in the process.


  4. Budget friendly. The good news is that you don’t have to spend much to use Facebook ads effectively. But you do need to know what you’re doing. Start by limiting your promotions to one a week while posting regular content. Test your ads on a variety of audiences and objectives to see what works best.  

Remember, kicking off a Facebook ad won’t immediately give you tons of leads and website traffic. It takes time. If you want to learn more, check out Facebook Blueprint courses. It’s a great way to jump in and learn how it works.

Tags:  AIMS Society  algorithms  Facebook Ads  Networking  Social Media  Technology 

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What Can You Teach Me Today? Why Your Hiring Focus Needs to Change

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, June 15, 2018

What Can You Teach Me Today?
Why Your Hiring Focus Needs to Change

When you are searching for a new hire, there's an approach to the interview that could lead to a real transformation of your agency.

"As a #Millennial — I like to hire people who I know I can learn from." That comment, which was recently shared on Twitter, comes from Tyler Olson, founder of Modern Foundation, an analytics based social and search consulting firm.

Yes, it's just a tweet, but stop to consider the potentially profound impact that kind of approach could have. Of course, every new hire will require some degree of on-the-job training, and you are looking for someone you think has the initial experience required to come in and learn your agency protocols and move forward from there. However, this one-way view of the employer/employee relationship misses what could provide a tremendous payoff.

You do need someone who can learn. But what about finding someone who can also teach? And what if you deliberately explored the teaching roles of every single hire, even entry-level workers or those in more distant support roles?

You may argue that questions such as "Tell me about your experience" or "Tell me why you're the best candidate" gets at this very issue. But those canned questions will most likely elicit a canned response. Instead, dig deeper.

Start before the interview by thinking about your agency weaknesses and opportunities, not only those related to the position you're hiring for, but even more far-reaching. If your agency struggles with internal communication, ask some questions that explore the candidate's ideas or past experience with just that. "We're always striving to improve cross-department communication—ways to make sure everyone knows what's going on and are on the same page. Have you worked with another group or organization where either you or those around you had an approach that led to improved communication and fewer misunderstandings or dropped balls?" Who knows, you may be surprised to learn that the person sitting in front of you built an organizational app or started a weekly lunch group to improve dialogue.

Next interview, keep this approach in mind. As you focus on finding more potential teachers, you'll also be positioning your agency as a place open to change and innovation — and that sounds like an agency on the move.

Tags:  AIMS Society  efficiency  Leadership  Networking  Professional Development  self-improvement  Social Media  Technology 

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Sell Smarter

Posted By American Insurance Marketing and Sales (AIMS) Society, Friday, February 2, 2018

Sell Smarter

If you're still just selling policies, you're selling wrong.

The reality is that how you sell can be more important than what you sell. After all, there's always someone coming out with a better mousetrap and price can easily be trumped.

So how can you sell smarter?

  1. Start by explaining how the world has or is changing and why that creates an issue for your prospect. This is slightly different from the traditional "define a problem" approach, which implies something being wrong—either with or at the prospect's company—and too easily puts them on the defensive.

    If you instead point out changes occurring beyond the prospect's control, it's more likely you'll convince them you are saving them from something—you are the solution they may not have even known they needed.

  2. Address “loss aversion” head on. Economists explain that prospects tend to avoid a possible loss by sticking to the status quo, rather than risking potential gain by making a change.

    The only way to combat this is by making it clear that there will be both winners and losers because of the world shift you already explained. In other words, show them that sticking to the "status quo" is a sure ticket to failure.

  3. Don't drown in details. If you share too much minutia before you've closed the deal, you risk losing the audience's attention.

  4. Share evidence. What you think about your company is less impressive than what others think. Testimonials are important. Collect and share those good reviews.

Want more ideas for a persuasive sales presentation, including specific tactics for building slides? Check out 7 Amazing Sales Presentation Examples (And How to Make Them Your Own).

Tags:  AIMS Society  Catalyst Insurance Systems  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  productivity  Professional Development  teamwork  Technology 

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Are You Doing Business Truthfully?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, January 19, 2018

Are You Doing Business Truthfully?

You value honesty and truthfulness in your personal life, but do you do the same in your professional one?

Truth in business is double-sided: There are the truths we tell and the truths we get told from others. When we don't speak the truth, however, we are often wasting time and energy in hiding it, making excuses and avoiding deeper connections.

Within the business world, the truth means putting customers first, making difficult decisions rationally and admitting your wrongs. It sets you apart from the competition, and you'll build better relationships with your clients along the way. Offering genuine conversations and experience adds a level of transparency to your brand other agencies may not offer.

In more systematic sense, some professionals follow the moment of truth concept. There's an opportunity to form an honest impression when:

  1. A customer is looking at a product.
  2. A customer purchases and uses the product.
  3. A customer provides feedback.
  4. When a customer is dealt a bad card like facing a big lawsuit or damaged property.

The way your agency responds to these moments says something. Putting their emotional needs ahead of your own will transform how your company responds — and ultimately how your company is seen. Long story short: Being authentic in your sales practices and marketing efforts will grow your business.

Make sure you're being consistent in your fundamental message and identity. Follow through with your words and deliver on your promises in a timely manner. One of the easiest ways to be truthful is through accountable communication: Be available in real time to answer questions, and don't be afraid to say, "I don't know. Let me find out, and I'll call you back."

So, our charge to you? Embrace the truth. Stay true to who you are and what you do. You'll enable your current potential clients to relate to you, help them understand what you offer and show how much you value genuine practices.

Consider Todd McKinnon's article, "3 Questions to Ask Yourself about Truth in Business." Are you doing business truthfully?

Tags:  efficiency  Infographics  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  self-improvement  Social Media  Technology 

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