Six Tips to Ramp Up Your Digital Marketing Efforts
Agents juggle a plethora of roles from sales to customer service, health advocate to trusted resource. With more and more of our daily activities shifting online, it’s more important than ever to keep up the pace. Here are some tips to help you maximize your digital marketing efforts without sacrificing other priorities.
Tip #1: Learn the Basics
Now is the perfect time to get back to basics when it comes to marketing in general and digital marketing specifically. Marketing is about promoting awareness and engagement. In other words, marketing is the story you’re telling and the images you present. Digital marketing is promoting awareness and engagement online. Very simply stated, digital marketing channels are the online locations where you share your story/images and include things like social media and web. Digital marketing tactics are the individual items you share through these channels.
Tip #2: Find Low-Hanging Fruit
Plenty of people and businesses make digital marketing their full-time jobs. Don’t feel like you have to make it your full-time job, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it at all. Instead, it means you’ve got to be strategic with your time, energy and resources. To do this, start with your audience and figure out where they spend their time online. According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of Americans aged 65 and older use the Internet.¹ With 68 percent of Baby Boomers and 40 percent of the Silent Generation owning a smartphone,² seniors continue to engage in digital technologies. Since 2012, Facebook use has grown fastest among seniors, with double-digit growth.2 These stats make two digital marketing moves clear: have a website (for External Agents only) and get on Facebook. We’ll cover channel-specific tips next.
Tip #3: Keep Your Website Simple
As a reminder, only External Agents may create their own website; Career Agents may not do so. Follow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service’s guidelines and Humana’s guardrails when creating your site. Don’t forget that Agents may not reference Humana or Humana plans on their websites. Think of your website as your business card times ten. It lets people know who you are and what you do, and you can leverage it to share news and helpful information for clients and prospects regarding their health and Medicare. It acts as a hub for your business and works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Gone are the days of needing to learn code to build a website. Plenty of platforms now exist with ready-to-use template designs. Some of them offer additional services like buying a domain name and email all in one place. Whatever tool you end up using, be sure to keep your website simple. Less is more, especially when it comes to helping people navigate and use your site. Opt for larger text and plain backgrounds over small text and busy patterns. Clean, intuitive design wins over confusing and busy every time. Keep an eye on website maintenance. Be sure you update it regularly and have accurate information to stay relevant and help search engines find your site.
Tip #4: Leverage Facebook
Just like you need a separate business bank account, you need a separate Facebook page for your business in order to stay compliant and maintain a professional demeanor. First, consult the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service’s guidelines and Humana’s guardrails. Second, read Humana’s Social Media policy and complete the Social Media training on MarketPoint University. You’ll learn how to set up a Facebook Business Page, mandatory rules of the road and basic functionality. Third, head to the Marketing Resource Center for Humana’s new Social Media Pilot Tool for professionally designed, pre-approved, customizable Facebook posts along with an instructional video. Only Agents who have completed the MarketPoint training will get access to the Tool. Agents may use the assets on the Social Media Pilot in addition to non-Humana content in compliance with Medicare Communication and Marketing Guidelines (MCMG)* such as educational posts from reputable sources, uplifting and motivational posts and “get to know me” posts as defined in the MRC Social Media Pilot overview.
With social media, your focus should be on building a community through slow, natural growth. It will help drive engagement and build relationships authentically. While it’s free, it takes a lot of time, energy and effort to grow your presence. It requires constant attention and creativity, but it’s worth it because it can be a great way to engage with clients and prospects. Remember that social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
One way to build your social media presence is through curated content, which means you share a post or link from another reputable source such as a national news outlet or government agency. You could share information about well-being habits, a new research study or safety alerts. Curated content can help establish you as a trusted and helpful resource.
Tip #5: Humanize Your Marketing
Great marketing puts the audience at its center. It has the solution for what the audience needs. It communicates with empathy. It is relevant. It is transparent, valuable and trustworthy. This might sound difficult, but you probably already do this intuitively offline when you speak with clients and prospects. Aim for that same natural, caring tone when online. If it makes it easier, you could imagine you’re speaking directly to a single person.
Tip #6: Be Patient
Digital marketing is not a one-and-done action item. It’s an ongoing process. It’s going to take time to get where you want to go. Be patient with yourself as you learn and try new things. Lean on your local support team when you need it and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be realistic with yourself and set attainable goals. Maybe you start with a post once a week. You don’t have to turn yourself into a digital marketing guru, but you should try and stick with it. Chunk the work down into smaller, manageable tasks and you’ll be surprised by how much you can accomplish over time. Ideally, you’ll want a mix of digital marketing channels and tactics for an integrated approach. However, it’s most important to commit to doing one thing and doing it really well if you have limited time. Once you’ve got the hang of that thing, you can add another and focus on that.
*Compliance Reminder: Agents may NOT post or add comments that include any type of marketing related content as this would require filing with CMS. If an individual comments, likes or follows an agent on social media, this does NOT give the agent permission to contact the individual. Humana will be monitoring agent Facebook Business pages to ensure compliance.
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