From a marketing point of view, Facebook and Google are the mainstays to help drive substantial amounts of traffic to insurance businesses. Both companies have “perceived” free options and paid options. Let’s look at both sites, their offerings, and bust some myths about driving traffic.
Facebook have two distinct options to drive traffic. Engagement based activity and paid traffic activity.
Engagement consists of building pages or communities on Facebook and growing an audience by adding great content and trying to create dialogue with a group that relates to your market. So as a boat insurer you could build a dinghy Facebook group and discuss and share content around the whole of the subject – not just insurance. Or as a hot hatch insurer, you can build a page around cars and piston heads.
Myth 1: driving engagement on Facebook is free. Yes, adding a Facebook page or group is free but you will still need to dedicate time and resource to grow something meaningful. And that still costs money somewhere in your business be it staffing or outsourcing for content or services.
Understanding this ahead of time will help you understand what effort you will need to put in to this form of activity to get it to work. Simply building a page and simply adding marketing messages to it will not drive traffic or sales to your business.
The other form of marketing you can carry out on Facebook is paid. In the last several months, Facebook has seriously increased the paid advertising options, you can buy visits to your site, drive people to your company Facebook page, attract downloads of your web app and much, much more.
Myth 2: simply buying traffic to your Facebook pages will not guarantee success. Having a large audience on your Facebook page is not enough to guarantee you will drive enquiries and sales. You will still need to engage with them.
Myth 3: my customers don’t use Facebook. The profiling options in Facebook mean you can really drill down and find pockets of your customers. Doing this research ahead of time will be the difference between success and failure.
As we know, Google has been the unchallenged 900lb gorilla in marketing for a large number of companies for a few years, in fact some insurance companies we have seen only use Google for their online marketing. (That’s not a good thing). The same as Facebook, there are two ways to drive traffic from Google – natural rankings and paid listings.
The dreaded SEO, the art of getting your site in front of people looking for your product. Again, as lots of people feel they aren’t paying for traffic in the same way as paid for traffic, they consider it free.
Myth 4: Google natural ranking traffic is free. To try and get your site ranking higher you will need to invest in content and expertise to make sure your website is optimised to suit both search engines and users. This costs time and effort and the return on investment can take longer than simply buying traffic.
Myth 5: I can guarantee you top 10 rankings. No agency can guarantee you page one rankings. Not even Google, who have been caught out in recent months in trying to game their own rankings with newly acquired sites and then getting penalised as they struggle to rank them.
As well as Facebook, Google offer Google Adwords which is a pay per click service where you can simply buy traffic based on the keyword searches you wish to.
Myth 6: I can simply pay more money than anyone else to sit at the top of paid search. It is not as simple as paying more money to get to the top of the paid searches. They have a complicated process which could see someone paying less than you sitting above you because their advert is more engaging and seen as relevant.
Myth 7: I just need to drive people to my homepage. Google Adwords traffic is not simply driving traffic to your homepage. You need to build campaigns around specific pages or topics on your sites and drive people to the most relevant page. This might not be your homepage.
I think from a marketing standpoint, Facebook is becoming like Google. Both have perceived free options and also easy to use paid options. Hopefully this article will show you that while this is partly true, you need to ensure you understand what you are getting yourself into, whichever way you decide to try and grow your business.
Jason Hulott is Business Development Director at Digital Marketing Specialists, Speedie Consultants. He is Google Partner certified. His role is to identify and implement traffic generating and revenue increasing ideas for our client base.