Internet Marketing…Not for Commercial Lines?

Internet Marketing has been a leap of faith for many of us. There is no question that the world has changed in terms of marketing modalities. For example, the Internet has turned, what used to be considered, trade secrets into white papers. We used to focus on outbound marketing efforts such as telemarketing, direct mail and knocking on doors, and while those things are still effective, there is a trend toward inbound marketing efforts due primarily to the Internet. One way to entice people to respond, is to give something away. This is an updated version of banks giving away toasters in return for you opening a checking account with them.

Insurance marketing executives and agency principals are struggling to understanding the value, or at least how to measure the value of Internet Marketing. Let’s face it, it is always easier to maintain the status quo than to learn something new. Especially something that has turned marketing on it’s veritable head. Some people take a quick look at this new modality and the supporting structures, like social media, and think social media is for kids, or, Internet Marketing is for personal lines and other consumer goods. They don’t think it will work on a business-to-business basis or, in our world, for commercial lines. These preconceived notions are wrong and they could be detrimental to the future of your business.

Here are some facts. In July of 2010 Comscore, a market research firm, recorded 16.6 billion searches in the United Sates. The searches ranged from finding a restaurant to large companies looking for M&A opportunities.

The myth many agency principals and insurance marketing executives believe is; ”I’m commercial only and we don’t need SEO”. The truth is you have a following or you wouldn’t have a website or a company. The key is understanding who your customers and prospects are, how they are searching for the solution you provide.

The second myth is; “I’ll put my big Internet Marketing push on next year”. The longer you wait the tougher it gets. Why? Because more and more businesses are realizing that Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing are not an option but a matter of survival. Optimizing your site involves building back links and distributing relevant content based on key words people are using to find businesses like yours. the number of key words people use is finite and building links takes time. The more time you give your competition, the longer it will take and the more expensive it will be to catch them.

Getting there now is important because where your company appears on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) matters. Over 60% of all clicks go to the top three spots on page one. Clicks translate into website visits which convert into leads and ultimately sales. Here is a brand new activity curve report that shows the percentage of clicks based on the 20 spots on the first two pages of the SERP.



This report comes from Optify Data who also says there is virtually no business value to being on the second page. However, if you double your investment to get to the first page you will triple your visits for that key word.

Social media is also an important part of the equation. Did you know that you sites rank is determined in part by the presence of as blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn page? We have been looking at our clients web sites and tracking visitor sources and what we are finding is 5%-8% of their visitors are generated from their blog and their social media sites.

If you sell commercial lines, I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts about SEO, SEM and Social Media Marketing for commercial lines?