Although regularly posting on a company blog may sound like just another tedious task to add to your already long list of weekly to-do items, if you want to have a digital presence, a blog is a must-have — not a nice-to-have. If 77% of internet users read blogs, there must be something to them.
The whole idea behind industry or business blogging is to increase your online visibility. If you’re new to the concept of blogging, you might have some questions, like:
- What actually is “blogging”?
- What is online visibility?
First, a blog is an in-house platform for publishing short form written content, like your own brokerage magazine hosted on your brokerage’s website. What you are reading right now is a great example of that — a short form piece of content, posted on our blog. It is a great way to share our thoughts and expertise in a scalable way, reaching many more people than we could talk to in a day and bringing them to your website.
When you’re blogging for professional services like insurance, the subject matter should relate to your business and buyers you want more visibility with. The key thing to understand is that even though you are selling insurance, your blog doesn’t all have to be about insurance.
For example, if you’re a commercial lines broker who specializes in insurance for nonprofits, you might want to write an informational post about that explains what a deductible is. That could be a helpful question to answer, but unlikely top of mind for the average nonprofit executive director. It would be a lot more engaging, interesting, and valuable to that community if you provided tips for recruiting board members, and a D&O policy could be one critical tip for to attracting a strong group of directors. This is giving value, demonstrating your expertise in the industry, without directly asking for the sale.
Another way to think about it is: what would my ideal prospect be interested in reading? Is their top of mind problem insurance, or is it actually, in the case of a nonprofit society, recruiting board members? If you can offer something of value, answering questions, delivering genuinely helpful information, and engaging them in a meaningful way, it will foster trust.
Let’s move on to the second question: what is online visibility? Simply put, it’s how easy you are to find on the internet. Where does your business rank in search queries? Do you have active social media accounts that are posting regularly? Do you update your blog, or contribute to other blogs? Are you engaging these people where they participate digitally? Consider that many people check their phones over 100 times a day — how many times are they seeing you?
How is business blogging different from other kinds of blogging?
Lots of people have personal blogs, or blogs to follow their hobbies or interests. This is different. A brokerage’s blog is a marketing channel, the same as social media, direct mail, or email marketing, that supports the growth of your book of business. It drives traffic to your website and provides an opportunity for that traffic to convert. Whether that’s getting in touch with a salesperson, subscribing to the blog, getting for a quote, or purchasing insurance, the point of the blog is to initiate conversions that drive more business.
Why should a brokerage be blogging in the first place?
People have questions, they are searching for answers, and the people who provide the answer will win the business. If you want to turn your website into a marketing asset, you need people to see it. Besides direct traffic (simply typing your brokerage’s website URL) there are many ways you can make your website visible on search engines.
The more pages your website has, the better your chances of ranking higher in search results. Each article you post to your blog adds a page and addresses this opportunity. By creating useful content that makes sense in the context of your brokerage, you’re adding to the total size of your website in a clean, organized way.
Every time you publish new content, you increase your chances of ranking higher in search engines. So when someone Googles “how a nonprofit should manage volunteers,” hopefully they come across your blog. If they find you as a useful resource, they’ll engage with you and your website and are more likely to purchase insurance.
Publishing on your blog doesn’t just mean hoping someone will just stumble across it, either. Producers and account managers can share content through their own personal channels and use it in their sales cycle. A great way to increase touch points with a prospect is to send them valuable articles, demonstrating the service and expertise you will offer if they become a client. The more people share your content, the bigger your domain authority grows, and the more successful you will be selling insurance in the digital age.