The Do’s and Don’ts of Creating an Online Presence for Medicare Sales

As an independent agent, the picture you paint of yourself online is becoming increasingly important.  Even if all social distancing restrictions were lifted today, research shows that 87% of shoppers will still begin their product search online. Having an effective online presence is a critical component to getting your name out in the community, establishing yourself as an authority in your field, networking with other professionals, and building credibility as an independent agent that uses all the tools & resources at your disposal. Today’s article provides a checklist of sorts for utilizing some of the online resources & platforms out there while also making some suggestions for what to avoid.

Website. A well-designed, well-written website communicates the value you provide to clients. It displays your contact information, presents the products you offer and educates consumers on how you’re able to help navigate important insurance decisions. It can help tell the story of how and why you are different from other independent agents in your community.

• Do promote your website using every available marketing communication: include the website address on printed marketing materials like flyers & postcards, on social media pages, within your email signature, on your business card, etc. to drive traffic to your site.

• Don’t invest in expensive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in an attempt to get prospects to click on your web page. National carriers and massive call centers spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on SEO centered around Medicare terms. We have to develop more organic means of driving traffic to our landing page like those listed above.

Google Business Page. A Google business page can help prospects in your local area find you faster.

• Do create a Google Business Page that lists your hours of operation, area(s) of expertise, insurance products offered, contact information, customer reviews, etc.

• Don’t rely on your Google Business Page to drive traffic to your business from outside your immediate vicinity.

Social Media. Investing in building your social media channels can go a long way to raising brand awareness, establishing credibility within your community, forging relationships with fellow professionals, generating more leads and ultimately producing more sales.

• Do use LinkedIn for networking and Facebook for prospecting.

• Don’t use platforms like Instagram or Twitter that have less than 10% of the senior population on them unless you’ve already established a niche audience and significant following on these networks.

Online Quoting & Enrollment Platforms make it easy to conduct business remotely.

• Do ask your NMO/FMO to provide you with these tools and learn how to become efficient with them.

• Don’t push prospects who want to conduct business using more traditional methods to do so online. The key here is being versatile enough to fulfill the needs of any prospect despite their personal inclinations.

Email Hosts. Making sure your email platform is robust enough to service your needs is an important part of ensuring proper online communication.

• Do utilize an email service that provides the options you want (ability to schedule emails, appropriate sending size limits, etc.) and the storage you need.

• Don’t send Personal Health Information or Personally Identifiable Information (PHI/PII) without the ability to encrypt the email or send it securely through a third-party service like Protected Trust.

Anti-virus Software can help ensure you keep your data safe and secure.

• Do make sure anti-virus software in installed on every machine that contributes to your business, even if the machine is incapable of running email programs (viruses can exist undetected in files on any computer).

• Don’t open attachments from unknown senders and don’t allow your email program to auto-open attachments.

A note on video conferencing. When the novel coronavirus pandemic forced people indoors in the early part of 2020, many thought video conferencing would step in to replace in-person meetings. It did not. Many agents were slow to adopt this new meeting method and even more seniors were reluctant to embrace it. While we do recommend familiarizing yourself with at least one video conferencing software service due to the ability to show people what you’re seeing on your computer screen, we recommend you don’t rely on this method to replace traditional meetings. Most seniors will want to meet safely in-person or receive your advice over the phone.

The demand for Medicare insurance advice from caring, local agents who take a hands-on approach to servicing their clients isn’t going anywhere. In fact, that demand has never been higher! Looking forward, the foreseeable changes to marketing and business operations in this growing industry involve a shift to digital communications and online service options. Creating an effective online presence can help ensure your business is positioned to meet client expectations and grow for years to come.

As a National Marketing Organization that works with thousands of independent agents, we understand you must generate leads in order to grow your business. That’s why we work diligently to provide the resources necessary for successful marketing. If this information is valuable and you want to know more about the services we provide our Medicare agent partners, please contact us at marketing@berwickinsurance.com or 888-745-2320.

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