5 ways to boost your online presence

By Nick Hill, Director, Hillster Marketing

Unfashionable industries, like insurance, face an uphill challenge when it comes to building a profitable online and social media presence. Here are 5 tips to improve your visibility and traction:

1. Should I use personal or company profiles?

This is a common question. As a general rule, especially with smaller firms, personal branding is the way to go. All the social channels prefer individuals to post rather than businesses. With that said, unless you want all your prospects/clients to see the personal things you post on Facebook, having a business page makes sense. Effective personal branding will build your trust and credibility.

2. Use the right channels

Have a plan and focus on the channels that will work best for your business. For example, a resource like Advisr.com.au is a good alternative to classic social media channels, as it is actually built to deliver leads – and you can share content too. LinkedIn is great if you are targeting specific industries and Facebook is better if you are chasing smaller businesses in specific geographical areas.

3. Educate, don’t just sell

The rule of thumb is 80% education, 20% sales. Video content gets much more traction too – if you are using LinkedIn, upload the videos directly rather than share a YouTube link. Aim to post regularly, not just when you ‘get a moment’.

4. Don’t just post, broaden your reach

Most brokers I know struggle to get a large, engaged social following. There is little point in posting lots of content that just reaches a limited audience (unless that audience is your target market). By using your partners/sponsorships you can boost your reach without the need for thousands of direct followers. Paying to sponsor updates can be a good way for cost effectively reaching more people.

5. Integrate your offline and online activities

Use your offline activities to help provide content for your online channels and use online work to promote offline activities. Not only will this boost your content but also reduce the resources you need.

Social media can suck up a huge amount of resources, often with little return. You need to make sure you have a targeted plan and integrate it with your broader sales and marketing activity. This will mean you devote the appropriate resources to increase your bottom line.

Need a hand? Contact Nick for a free 30 minute insight session.

Nick Hill is the Director of Hillster Marketing with 20 years’ experience of marketing within the insurance industry around the world. Hillster Marketing is a Partner Service Provider for Steadfast and works with companies from all areas of the insurance industry. He can be contacted on 0419 371 018 or email nick@hillster.com.au.

Ten marketing presents to make the most of the holiday period

The Christmas and holiday period is a funny time of year. It is either crazy busy, crazy quiet or a bit of both! Businesses often feel neglected at this family time of year.

Here’s a list of ten presents you can give to your business this year.

1. Have some fun – any business can inject a bit of life into their marketing and even the most corporate can get away with being light hearted over Christmas. How about getting the team to video a Karaoke thank you to send instead of a Christmas card, or gift wrapping all December proposals.

2. Social media never goes on holiday – even when they are on holiday, people will still be surfing the web and using social media. If nothing else, make sure you are monitoring any requests or comments so you don’t miss out – or worse, come back to find unhelpful comments have gone viral.

3. Sort out a project – use the holiday time as an opportunity to complete that project you’ve been meaning to get around to for ages. If you are a service provider, try offering to undertake a project for your client while they are on holiday.

4. Recognise your people – most businesses do give their people some kind of Christmas bonus or gift to say thanks. If you don’t, you should. Why not do something different this year like buy a family pass somewhere or even just give people an impromptu half-day shopping afternoon?

5. Thank your business partners and clients personally – sending that typical bland Christmas card with just an illegible signature, or an impersonal e-card, screams, “I really don’t care about you much”. If you are going to buy cards/presents, make the effort to personalise them properly – you could even use your own handwriting!

6. Catch up for a coffee or a beer – while many people are away, there are still lots of us who are still working. With less phone calls and emails flying around, often people have more time for a physical catch up.

7. Do some planning – time away from the business is perfect for working ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ the business. Sitting on a sunny veranda with a beer in one hand and a pen and paper in the other can be remarkably fruitful – or by an open fire in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t forget to drink responsibly though!

8. Make a seasonal offer – that isn’t just a typical holiday sale. How about delivering an ice cream to everyone in the office for a purchase? If it’s a big account, get an ice cream van to turn up!

9. Gear up for February – everyone comes back to work with a nasty bump after the holiday period. Prepare your next sales campaign, so you are ready to push the button, as soon as your prospects are back, will put you a sleigh ride ahead of your competitors.

10. Take some time off – if you are one of those business people who never stops working, treat yourself. Recharging the batteries will help reinvigorate you for the New Year ahead.

Above all I hope you, your loved ones, and your business have a safe and happy holiday!

And by the way there are free ice creams for any new Hillster Marketing clients in December – no matter where you live!