How Companies Can Compete in Digital Advertising and marketing
The internet is a growing marketplace. However, it is full of websites and brands competing for a consumer’s attention. Because of this, increasing brand awareness online can be difficult.
There are two strategies that even the smallest insurance agencies can use to create brand awareness online: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You might think these are the same. You are not. But we’ll get into that later.
The practice of search engine marketing is not new. However, the landscape has changed over the past decade.
The insurance industry had sales of $ 630 billion in 2019. The largest insurance companies are now taking full advantage of practices such as pay per click advertising (PPC), search engine optimization, and social media advertising. As a result, it has become more complex to be on the first page of search results. This is especially true for insurance agencies with limited marketing budgets.
Google’s first page is a battlefield. It’s a battle for expensive keywords and well-positioned marketing campaigns. Before we create your battle plan, it is important to understand the facts.
Search engine advertising in modern times
In 2020, the U.S. spent more than $ 55 billion on search advertising. According to the same Statista report, U.S. ad spend is projected to grow at a 7.2% rate and reach over 66 million in 2021.
Even if social media advertising isn’t new, it has evolved. Better localization functions and targeting are now available on social media platforms. As a result, adoption has skyrocketed as companies shifted their marketing budgets to social media.
The cost of advertising on Facebook has also increased. According to Forbes, prices are up 90% year over year. The insurance industry is feeling this increase. The finance and insurance industry has one of the highest cost-per-click (CPC) prices on Facebook at $ 3.77.
That is a lot. While many experts believe these costs will moderate, Facebook knows the value proposition of their offering. There are more than 1.69 billion Facebook users in 2020. 74 percent of Facebook users are high-income people. Ninety million small businesses use Facebook.
The benefits outweigh the costs.
Keyword context is valuable
There are two things you can get from the growth and rising cost of search engine and social media advertising.
1: PPC is valuable
Businesses gravitate towards PPC for a simple reason. Return on investment. Below are some key metrics that show the potential return on investing in SEM and social media advertising.
- According to Google, “for every dollar spent on Google Ads, businesses make an average of $ 2 in revenue.”
- PPC ads are among the top three generators of on-page conversions. (Form stack)
- 65 percent of clicks from users trying to make a purchase go to paid ads.
- Overall, Facebook ad impressions rose 37 percent in 2019. (Sprout Social)
2: The context makes you stand out
You may be wondering how to compete with PPC and keyword buying. The answer is context. To help you better understand what I mean by context, let me first give you some context.
In simple terms, a contextual keyword is a more specific keyword. One that your carefully selected target audience is looking for.
For example, this is what happens when I search for auto insurance on Google:
As you can see, State Farm, Progressive, and GEICO have the top advertising space for this keyword. They paid a lot of money to be present in this advertising space. It is just not cost effective for small insurance agencies to compete for these generic insurance keywords.
Let’s turn this up.
What if I enter the keyword “what is the best independent insurance agency near me” instead?
Yes, progressives and some major insurers were still very popular in the advertising space. Local agencies too, however.
This is a great example of the space your ad budget might want to target. It also shows how a little extra context about your keywords can add up.
Would you like to learn more about bidding on Google Keywords? Check out this free Masters of Marketing webinar: Google Ads: Keywords and Bidding Tips.
Be specific and get local
Here’s a great example of the creativity with PPC ads on social media and search engines.
A company I worked for previously relied heavily on conferences to attract buyers. However, the competitors were in the same situation. We knew that many participants would be on the phone during a three-day conference. It was inevitable. They would surf social media and share their experiences. We also knew that during downtime, they would rely on their phones for directions, restaurants, and entertainment. Search engines are perfect for this type of thing.
We decided to locate ads within 10 miles on social media and search engines for the duration of a competitor’s conference. As a result, we were able to record a significant increase in the number of hits on our website during this period.
Strategy and creativity win the day! The rule of thumb for winning the contextual battle: get local and think specific!
If you want to learn more about geolocation, check out these free resources:
Facebook has many additional features to help you get the most out of your Facebook ad budget. Facebook has tools to help you with this.
Facebook small business ad plans
Facebook understands that small businesses need to be competitive. They also understand that not everyone is a digital marketer.
They want to “take the guesswork out of Facebook ads and create a free, high-performance solution to help small businesses and their marketing teams. Anyone can get help creating an ad schedule using Facebook for Business’s personalized ad tool. All you have to do is answer a few quiz questions and the tool will have everything you need to get started.
Growth without killing your budget
SEM should be a cornerstone of any marketing budget. But don’t forget about SEO! You really should have a healthy mix of around 30 percent SEM and 70 percent SEO.
The great thing about SEO is that it’s essentially free if you’re willing to do the job yourself. It takes time, patience, and persistence to generate positive gains from SEO. However, a consistent focus on content creation, review creation, and Google My Business refinement is an excellent way to increase your agency brand awareness online!
Check out these free resources to learn more about SEO:
When it comes to keyword selection, SEO is no different from SEM. The context is the key.
Use Google Analytics to determine which keywords are working best or not at all. Make them more specific and measure your results from there.
The landscape of search engine marketing has changed. You can grow your agency brand online with a marketing strategy that focuses not only on content but also on context.
ITC supports insurance agencies with their digital marketing to drive leads and power growth. To learn more about ITC’s marketing services, visit GetITC.com today.