With the advent of social media, marketing has gotten complicated. Between generating leads, developing a schedule and measuring success, one can easily become overwhelmed.
NAILBA 34 set out to tackle this problem at one session today called “Digital Marketing Demystified,” with speakers:
- Amy McIlwain, from Moore Communications Group
- Nicole Orders, from Banner Life
- Paul Slack, from Vende Social
The session, sponsored by NAIFA, was moderated by NAIFA past-president Juli McNeely. Her first question to the panelists: How is your company currently using content and social media to reach advisors? And why is it important?
Amy: Right now we’re seeing this convergence of media of all types, including paid, owned and earned. They’re all coming together in the form of content with social at the very center of it.
Content marketing is becoming more and more essential when it comes to communication efforts. Companies come up with a content strategy and come up with a central theme and use social media to market that. How do you take one white paper and utilize that in three different blogs, a video and various tweets? You do this and position yourself as an authority in that space, and you drive people to your website and your company.
Nicole: It’s important to realize that life insurance started as a word-of-mouth business. You can only talk to so many people in one day, however. The power of social media is that it allows you to reach an exponentially larger group than you ever could talking one-on-one. Social media and life insurance have this natural fit that not a lot of people have adopted yet.
How many people enjoy pop-up ads? The reason we’ve got this movement towards inbound marketing is because consumers are sick of junk advertising. The bar has been raised for advertising. Now, effective advertising has to entertain people and resonate with people — that’s what inbound marketing is. It’s bringing people into your fold because you’re giving them something that’s actually good.
Paul: Content is the fuel that makes a digital strategy grow. When you think about why people interact with the web, 95 percent of the time they’re trying to accomplish something. There’s a knowelge gap that we’re trying to fill. Just begin with the end in mind. That advisor is trying to grow their business and gain knowledge. Content marketing is trying to understand what those things are and what people are trying to find.
Amy: You’ll hear people say content is king. And if that’s true, then distribution is queen. Using social media, social sponsored advertising and email marketing to distribute this asset. Look at your content as assets.
Nicole: When you’re thinking about the content you’re producing, everyone would prefer free advertising. You should create things that other peole are inclined to share — and therefore, they are advertising for you, for free. So they’re distributing it as well; it’s not just you.
Amy: Leverage your employees as advocates of your brand.