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Digital marketing trends and techniques continue to grow and evolve in 2017. Here are a few of the significant changes I’ve been observing so far this year:
Greater investment in social media advertising
According to the We Are Social Media blog, there are now over five million advertisers on Facebook. This represents significant growth in social media advertising, as the number was four million only seven months ago.
Traditionally, the financial services industry has promoted its services through marketing channels such as direct mail and mass media advertising. However, it has been slow to embrace and adapt to any of the new digital marketing channels that have become available at least in part because of regulatory concerns.
The drop in direct mail campaigns continues to be directly proportional to the rise in social media adoption. As agents continue to experiment and test out social media marketing, they are finding the cost savings and ease of prospecting to be invaluable. For example, by switching from direct mail to social media marketing to promote their seminars and workshops, many agents are seeing their average cost per household registration drop from $125 per household to as little as $40. Often, I’ve even seen campaigns with registration costs below $12 per household.
Mass-targeting replaced by micro-targeting
Today, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, and search engines like Google, have incredibly detailed information about each of their specific users. They know what consumers like and dislike and they understand people’s interests.
Producers limiting themselves to mass media and direct mail can’t get very specific about who they’re targeting. Filtering by age, location, ethnicity, gender and income are a few of the limited options producers have when it comes to mass media or direct mail. Not to mention the accuracy of the data on mailing lists are questionable at best.
But today, producers can customize their digital messages based on what each individual prospect is attracted to. A woman, age 55 can be shown a different image than a woman age 60. Different sets of ad copy and photos can be delivered to men, or people with specific occupations and/or interests.
Quicker, more flexible campaigns
Late last year, I was helping an independent insurance producer plan a Social Security workshop. Together the agent and I built landing pages and started running Facebook ads to get people signed up. Two days after the ads started running, he called me in a panic. “You won’t believe this,” he told me. “The library just called and told me they double booked our workshop. They let me know that I can’t use the room anymore!”
“How quickly can you book an alternate venue?” I asked. “If you can get something quickly, I’ll update the ads and landing pages, and no one will know the difference.” Once the producer found a new venue, we updated the campaign and reached out to everyone who had registered to let them know about the venue change.
In addition to flexibility, independent insurance producers find that they can significantly shorten the duration of their campaigns, without sacrificing the number or quality of responses. Digital campaigns can be set up quickly, and the budgets can be easily manipulated to generate a strong response in a short amount of time.