When we discuss marketing in today’s world, the first thing that hits my mind is our agency’s efforts to successfully market our products and services in the digital world. Marketing has taken a shift, and a large one, because everyone now has access to the web, whether it’s on their desktop computers or their mobile devices. When you consider your customers’ overall journeys, first it starts with their problem. The next step is to look for word of mouth referrals from their family or friends if they are available. After that, they step online to discover solutions to their problems, whether that’s through search engines, social media, or any other digital avenues.
We are fighting a constant battle with our competition to be discovered first in the digital world, and there are many factors that all play an individual role in that process. This can include your agency’s website, social media networks, email marketing sendouts, the strength of your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and more. With the right strategy and the right consistency, you will be able to dominate the online space, but today, we wanted to supply you with some of our in-house social media strategies at our agency, Paradiso Insurance.
Yes, social media is a very powerful tool when it comes to being discovered online, nurturing client relationships, and retaining your customers. The key to social media is to be seen by your audience though, otherwise you’re just shouting to an empty room, metaphorically speaking. When we consider how our audience discovers our agencies via social media, there is first the metrics that we hit organically; this is how many people liked, commented, shared, or engaged on our posts without us having to pay for the engagement. But, as you might have assumed, we can also “pay-to-play” for our posts, or reach wider audiences by paying Facebook. There are multiple forms of paid-for content on Facebook, which we will discuss, but it’s critical to understand that you can reach quite the wide audience for a minimal budget.
Let’s Start with Boosting
The first thing I’d like to discuss is sponsoring your content on Facebook to reach a wider audience, better known as the “boost” feature. There is a boost button at the corner of each post that you put out on Facebook, and when you click it, there are many options to choose from for sponsoring your content. First, you can select the age demographic you’d like to target, as well as the gender you’re targeting. From there, you can select interests, which narrow down who you’re targeting, and assure that your posts will be seen by those who can truly appreciate the nature of your content.
Boosting is incredibly important to your online presence in the social world. When it comes to social media, one of our ongoing objectives is to always increase our reach, or the overall size of our audience. Boosting allows you to do just that, because Facebook makes the rules, and they are after our money like any good salesperson would be. This isn’t a bad thing though, because if you aren’t boosting already, you can assume your competition probably isn’t either. This is a chance for you to get ahead, and hit more numbers on social media than you could in the past.
While extending your reach, boosting has a few other advantages as well. When it comes to marketing, everything branches out from your agency’s brand, and the more people that experience your brand (whether it’s through your branded messages, branded visuals, etc.), the stronger it will become. Boosting is a great way to strengthen your brand if you tailor your posts and content to be 100% “in-brand,” then reaching a wide number of people with that content through boosting. When selecting what to boost though, it’s important that you’re welcoming in your posts, or that you also include posts that are more personable. Consider this: if you boosted a bunch of posts on your agency’s Facebook page that are strictly about your products, services, or other insurance related topics, then who would want to follow you in the social world? Things can get pretty repetitive or dull if you aren’t also including personable posts, such as advice for families, inspirational/motivational quotes, or even pictures of your agency and staff that display what it’s like to be a customer at your agency.
Overall, boosting is a great way to increase your traction quickly in the social world, and you can experiment by starting off with a smaller budget. Once you have a chance to experience boosting, measure what works, and what doesn’t, and capitalize accordingly. Be sure to always tailor your content to meet your targeted audience, and the results you see will be astounding.
Now let’s take a look at Facebook ads. There are many more options available beyond just sponsoring your content, better known as the boosts. Facebook gives you many options, including promoting your page to get more likes, reaching people near your business demographically, or increasing your brand awareness.
To get started with Facebook Ads, simply log into your Facebook, then look for the arrow down options in the upper righthand corner of your screen (to the right of your notifications). In the drop down list, there will be an option that says “Create Ads,” which will bring you to the advertising interface to start building your first ad.
Facebook is designed to help you build the most optimal ad to accomplish specific tasks or goals. For instance, let’s say that your current objective is to get more of your customers to install your insurance agency’s mobile app to their smartphone. Well, first, you’d log in to the advertising dashboard like we explained above, then start taking a look around at the options you have available. After a quick glance, you’d most likely notice that one of your chances is “Get installs of your app.” Naturally, you’d select this option, and from there Facebook will guide you every step of the way. They’ll ask for a download URL for your app, who your targeted audience is based on demographics (such as gender, location, age, and more), and then guide you through the final steps of building the content of the ad.
Most advertising mediums on Facebook work in a similar fashion, in that you simply define your objective, and then Facebook guides you through the majority of the process. There are many options to choose from in the advertising dashboard, so it’s important to explore them all with your marketing team to see what works the best for you and your agency.
At the end of the day, the major difference between Boosting and Facebook Ads is that boosting is designed to get many more eyes on your posts and reach a wider audience, while Facebook Ads are designed for a specific purpose or objective. So the million dollar question is this: should agencies be using Boosts, Facebook Ads, or both? The simple answer is that both hold their own strengths and capabilities, and your agency should find a healthy balance of using both. At our agency at Paradiso Insurance, we find that about 25% of our pay-to-play budget on Facebook goes to Facebook Ads, while the remaining 75% goes to Boosting. Be sure to explore all the possibilities with your marketing team to figure out what works best for you, and always measure how well you performed so you can hit it even harder the next time.
I hope you take the time to explore Facebook’s pay-to-play system; that way your agency can build a stronger presence on social media, and develop a wider audience as a whole. At the end of the day, it can help strengthen your brand, ramp up your retention rates, and help your agency’s profits as a whole.