All insurance agencies and brokers should blog, showcasing their expertise with original content. Blogs help website stickiness, provide content for social media marketing and help improve insurance search engine optimization. Here are six simple steps to create more effective insurance agency blogs:
Make the headline succinct – 5 to 10 words: Long blog headlines impede formatting, sharing and efficacy. Spend a little extra time to streamline insurance agency blog headlines. Remember, they don’t need to be a sentence – they can be a topic or a phrase.
Offer an interesting angle or knowledge nugget: Just as a newspaper reporter or freelancer would seek an angle to pitch their article, so should agents, brokers and agency marketers. Why is this blog of interest to the target readers? What will they learn? What is interesting, compelling or educational about the blog?
Add an image: Images are interesting and blog readership metrics show that blogs with images attract more views. Images can improve formatting, professionalism and branding. They can help quickly convey what the blog, and/or your agency wishes to convey. For example, if the blog is about new OSHA regulations relating to restaurant insurance, an image pertaining to OSHA, food, food storage or perhaps a restaurant exterior can improve the blog.
Use bullets or subheadings: It’s faster and easier to assimilate information in bulleted or subheading formats. Many recommend that emails to executives use bullets to quickly convey important information. Blogs should be relatively short as noted in Step #5, and bullets and subheadings help keep information succinct and better organized.
Keep the content short (200 to 500 words): There are many perspectives on blog length. I tend to think shorter blogs can be better blogs. Lengthy topics often work better with a blog introduction and a link to additional information on an insurance agency website such as a white paper, recorded webinar, video or a web page with relevant content. Blogs can be very short, even a couple of sentences can suffice if the blog is redirecting to other content as previously mentioned. In the instances of video sharing within a blog (for example – watch this white board video on group captives and large deductible plans), these are often referred to as vlogs as opposed to blogs.
Publish consistently and share your blogs: For a blog to be effective, it needs to be consistent. Visitors who view a blog and find the most recent entry is a few months old are going to be turned off. They will know that the insurance agency is not paying much attention to the blog, and question relevancy. Blogs need to be current and should be shared. Blog content help agencies with insurance social media marketing, providing something current and relevant to share with their target market. Agents should ensure they have social media sharing chiclets associated with each blog, so their readers can share them too.
Insurance agents and brokers can and should blog about insurance topics, such as benefits and compliance, PPACA, PLI, and group captives though they can also intersperse blogs on business, travel, book reviews and other items that might be of general interest. Agencies lacking the time or resources to write consistent blogs (at least once per week), can use a proficient insurance marketing agency to augment their efforts.