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How White Papers Can Change the Game

How White Papers Can Change the Game

business info

White papers have become more and more valuable since the rise of quality content being king in marketing campaigns. Not only are these useful educational resources, but now equally as important as a business marketing tool. The next time you come across a white paper relative to your industry, don’t discard it. Turn it into something valuable and use it to grow your business.  Allow AIMS to explain how…

First of all, let’s talk about where to find white papers. A simple Google search for “white paper” combined with your industry terminology will produce a plethora of results. Most companies producing these are happy to allow other companies to share (while giving full credit to source) via their own website because then everybody wins – You get great marketing tool, and the publisher gets recognition for the white paper they created.

Now, here’s what you can DO with a white paper. So you’ve come across some informative white papers that are relevant to your business. Great! Time to open it, read it, and lastly, put it to USE!

  • It may seem obvious, but whitepapers are valuable educational resources for your business – Only however, if it’s read and not put aside to ultimately get forgotten about. Read thoroughly and make note of relevant facts and findings. Share with your business’ staff and employees to further knowledge collectively.
  • Use the information to refine your own marketing strategy. Narrow your Google search to the most recent listings to find the newest research and learn what’s working in today’s business landscape. Things change fast in business, use these whitepapers to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Resonate even more with your target customer by basing content efforts off whitepaper valuable facts and findings. Consumers are increasingly looking to content that offers value information. Write up a blog post summarizing the findings or even a press release (be sure to give full credit to the publisher).
  • Offer a white paper as a download on your own site. Based on the publisher’s copyright, you may be able to share directly. Publishers typically specify how the information can be used by other entities, but if in doubt, ask the publisher directly for permission to offer the white paper. Remember content is king! Appeal to your audience as being a resource.
  • White papers are also useful for prospecting and cold calling new clients. Use white papers as an ice-breaker when reaching out to potential new business. Because the information is coming from a reputable third-party, it is a non-bias way to introduce your business while offering value from the start.
  • White papers provide valuable material to make your social posts more interesting. Social users tend to follow businesses that share insightful, engaging and relevant content. Use this tactic to provide value to your network and generate more connections for your business. Share by pulling out stats and findings in a single post or tweet, or share the whitepaper as a direct download from your website or from the publisher’s (depending on copyright).

AIMS is here as your resource for marketing solutions. Call us today to discuss your marketing needs and how we can help!

Forget the Weather Report, What is the TRAFFIC Report??

Forget the Weather Report, What is the TRAFFIC Report??


Once upon a time, a website traffic report consisted of only a few main sources of measurement. Fast-forward to now, and see that traffic reports have so many measurement facets it can be overwhelming to decipher what is what, and quite frankly put you in a data-coma! Let AIMS help explain the different kinds of website traffic and put you on your way to understanding where you’re getting the most return from your website.

  • Organic –

This part of your report will tell you which keywords are driving the most traffic to your website through unpaid search engine listings such as a Google.com search. It can also tell you which articles are driving the most organic traffic, that is, traffic that you’re not paying for.

  • Paid –

When choosing to purchase for clicks from search engines, this number lets you know how much bang you’re getting for your buck! As you get better at SEO (search engine optimization), you can even remove this section from the report!

  • Direct –

Direct comes from visitors who typed the URL directly into their browser. It can also be a measurement of visitors who clicked on links that do not have tracking variables that google recognizes such as PDF or Word documents, bookmark/favorites, or untagged links within email.

  • Email –

Email can be a leading driver of traffic, especially if you send it daily. You can see how many clicks you are getting on each email and every link in your email campaigns by using UTM Codes.

  • Social (Twitter & Facebook) –

Facebook Insights are built right into the dashboard of every page, and Twitter Ads offers an analytics dashboard as well. Google Analytics does have traffic insights through a social report; however Facebook additionally offers information on how your content is being consumed.

  • Non-Social Referrals –

Visits that came to your site from sources outside of a search engine are considered referrals. Often referrals come from PR tactics or partnerships with other websites and should be tracked separately so you know if it’s paying off.

If you’re looking to get more out of your online traffic and drive leads like never before contact AIMS today for more information on how we can partner together to do more working smarter, not harder!

How to Choose a Social Media Manager

How to Choose a Social Media Manager

Abstract logo about social media, concept vector illustration

Are you tired of handling your business’s social media accounts? Are all of the Facebook and Twitter updates too much for you to handle? Maybe you’re just too busy. Instead of handing it off to another employee, we here at AIMS recommend that you consider hiring an outside social media manager.

Hire? Outside? For something you can do in house? Yes, and here’s why: Unless you plan on hiring someone solely for the purpose of managing your social media accounts, it is just an added burden on your employees who already have enough on their plates. Here at AIMS however, this is what we do, and we do it well.

Do you need someone to engineer engaging and entertaining Facebook and/or Twitter posts? How about someone to manage your LinkedIn or Google+ profiles? Is your business listed on Yelp or Foursquare, and is that information up to date? A social media manager will do all that for you and more!

But you can’t trust just anyone, and even the big guys make mistakes (see: 10 Worst Social Media Meltdowns of 2013). That is why it is important that the person you hire to manage your accounts is experienced, tactful and stays on task.

Here at AIMS, we understand that social media presence is important, and as a business, you need to put your best foot forward, so why not do so with someone who has the experience to help keep your company relevant? A good social media manager won’t just post to your page once a day, they will actively engage with your clients to ensure that your business is being well represented.

Want to know more about the social media services offered here at AIMS? Contact us for more information. We will be more than happy to put together a social media plan for your business!



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Twitter and the Algorithm-Based News Feed

Twitter and the Algorithm-Based News Feed

Web code sample

Did you hear that? It was a collective groan from the Twitter community.

Twitter recently announced that as early as 2015 we could be seeing a new algorithm derived newsfeed. What does that mean? It means that the tweets in your newsfeed will no longer appear in reverse chronological order. Instead of seeing the newest tweets first, your newsfeed will instead feature what an algorithm deems to be the most relevant tweets according to your interests.

Speaking at the Citi Global Technology Conference in New York on September 3rd, Twitter CEO Anthony Noto said that the change in philosophy is because arranging tweets according to time “isn’t the most relevant experience for the user.” His solution? Develop an algorithm to better relay interesting content to users.

This isn’t a new concept. In fact, Facebook introduced a similar system a few years ago. If you’ll remember, the Facebook timeline was once very similar to Twitter. You were treated to updates as soon as they happened. To some people, the new Facebook timeline is great; to others, not so much.

Good or bad, the changes to Twitter are coming, and you are going to need to adjust your branding strategy. All that info we’ve released over the years concerning the best times and days to post or schedule tweets? Toss it out, because what matters now is sharing content that is most relevant to your target audience.

This is going to be tricky. Over the years, Twitter has been outstanding for breaking news and getting info out fast. So what do you do when there isn’t a guarantee your followers are going to see your post when you want them to? Our recommendation is to zero in on content marketing.

There are still a lot of people out there guilty of flooding your timeline with empty offers and regurgitated articles. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to share news and events that interest you, it only means that you need to work on targeting. Who do you want to see this? Is it important and/or relevant to your business? Is it a quality piece?

Who knows, maybe the new Twitter algorithm changes are going to be great, maybe it will spur a rise in new and improved digital content. Stick with us as we all work to navigate the upcoming Twitter changes!


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Why Facebook Like Gates are Overrated

Why Facebook Like Gates are Overrated

facebook gate

Facebook fan gates are overrated. There. We said it. And we don’t mind that they’ve been banned.


In some circles, such a statement is blasphemous, especially since they help so many company get likes. But let’s be honest here, what good is a like if you didn’t come by it organically? What incentive is there for someone to share your page, or your content, if it is something they never had any true interest in in the first place.


But let’s back it up here for a moment. Some of you are probably scratching your heads right now. What is a like gate (or fan gate, to some of you)? A like gate is, in essence, a tab that business owners can add to their Facebook page and run a contest or offer coupons and discount codes from. The catch? In order to enter the contest or gain access to the coupons and discount codes, participants have to like the page first.


If you didn’t already know what like gating is, then you probably aren’t too concerned that it is banned from Facebook starting November 5th.


Why would Facebook ban such a successful program. It’s pretty simple really, and this statement from Facebook explains it best:


To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.


Got that? What Facebook is saying, and we here at AIMS agree with, is that companies should be connecting with those who like their pages because of the products and services they offer; because the liker believes in it, not because you have a super rad deal that everyone wants, but will then either disregard or hide you once your purpose has been served.


Our advice? Don’t sweat the like gate ban. Instead, get creative and start connecting with your customers again.


Photo – © trialhuni – Fotolia.com



Facebook Messenger: Not as Invasive as you Think

Facebook Messenger: Not as Invasive as you Think


If you’ve logged onto your Facebook account recently, then you’ve probably noticed all of the hullabaloo about the new Facebook Messenger App. Facebook is now forcing all of its mobile users (i.e. nearly everybody) to download a separate standalone app to send and receive messages.


For some of you, this isn’t a big deal. A little inconvenient yes, but resisting really isn’t worth the time or effort. But for other out there, the whole thing is making you a little uneasy. After all, you’ve heard things. Like how the new Messenger App can send direct SMS message from your phone to contacts in your phonebook. Or that Facebook Messenger’s App can use the microphone on your phone to record private conversations.


But none of those is true, not entirely at least.


For starters, you can still circumvent downloading the app by using the Facebook.com messaging service on your phone and not the mobile Facebook app. It is kind of a pain to connect to the sit directly and not just click on an icon, but it does help prevent you from having to switch over to Messenger.


To address another issue, yes, one of the permissions that is required when downloading the app is to allow it to access your contacts so that Facebook can send, receive, edit and read SMS or text messages. That doesn’t mean Facebook is going to start spamming your friends. The purpose is actually to send you a confirmation code via text anytime you add a phone number to your Messenger account.


Finally, just because you allow Facebook to access your camera and microphone (permissions, again) does not mean that it is going to record your private conversations. The only reason FB wants access to your microphone is for voice calling, a feature that is not included the usual mobile app. The same goes for the video camera. If you want to send a video, Facebook needs permission to access your store videos.


Need help setting up Facebook for your business account? Contact AIMS today!


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Agency Revolution Conference: PDX

Agency Revolution Conference: PDX


Hello there followers! I just wanted to get the word out that I will be attending the Agency Revolution Conference in Portland, OR this upcoming week.


As some of you may already know, I was born and raised in the insurance industry. My parents own an agency in La Pine, OR and I was practically brought up in the office. What I am getting at here is that insurance runs in my blood, and I have a very strong appreciation for the people over at Agency Revolution. Not only have they helped my family market their business in a way that is both efficient and affordable, but, through my experiences managing the application of their software, they also gave me a platform to jumpstart my own business. Who knew playing around on the computer would lead me to AIMS?


Some of you I have met before, some of you I have not. Either way, if you are also attending the AR conference in PDX I would love to hear from you!


In the words of Ray Kroc:  If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.

Here at AIMS, I am always looking to improve upon our services. So if you see me, tell me: What is working at your agency? What isn’t? Where are you seeing growth, and what can/should be cut back? A healthy exchange of information is the best way for me to better structure my business so that I can better serve you.


Want to connect before the conference? Just click on the “Contact Us” portion of the AIMS website and shoot me an email! I can’t wait to see you all this Wednesday!

#Hashtag your next Event

#Hashtag your next Event


Back in July we talked to you about How to Step Up your Hashtag Game and this week we wanted to take it one step further to teach you how to hashtag your next event.

As we’ve talked about before, hashtags are great for branding. But do you know what they are even better for? Organizing an event. Not only will it help get the word out, but it will also help you get a handle on just how much buzz has been generated. You can now track hashtags across the most significant platforms in social media. That includes: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

It’s simple. All you have to do is come up with a #hashtag to brand your event. We recommend keeping it short and simple, something that will stick with the event’s participants and attendees.

As an example, let’s say we here at AIMS decided to throw a conference for insurance marketers. We know that we need a hashtag that isn’t already in the rotation, so we’ll go with #AIMSConference. It is specific to the event and easy to remember.

In order to get the word out to those attending our event, we start the branding process early. That means #AIMSConference is featured prominently on the event website, invitation and confirmation emails. It is also a good idea to start using it as you plan the event. That way, you can share your progress with your followers and keep the hashtag fresh in everyone’s minds.

At the conference (or whatever your event may be), there should be a reminder for everyone to hashtag their photos, tweets and videos with #AIMSConference.

When it’s all said and done, you can sit back and review your event through the eyes of the hashtag. People tend to be far more vocal on social media than they are in real life. This then, will be a great way to evaluate your event: Did people have a good time? What are the positive reviews? What are the negative reviews? What can you do next time to make the event better?

You might not always like the answers you get, but at least you’ve developed a baseline and can better develop your event in the future. Or, the outcome will be positive and you can bask in a job well done! Odds are the truth will lie somewhere in between.


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Insurance Marketing: Why do scare tactics work?

Insurance Marketing:

Why do scare tactics work?

fear word in wood type

Fear appeal is an attempt by the marketer to induce feelings of anxiety or fear in the consumer so that they are more inclined to purchase their product. Sometimes the campaigns are nuanced and feature more innuendo than an overt message of doom and gloom. Others, yeah, they really are just doom and gloom. Sound familiar?

It should, because scare tactics work. That is why we see so much of it in insurance marketing. Actually, with just one look around the insurance industry, you could say that we’ve cornered the market on fear appeal. That’s what happens when your business is built around preparing for loss.

But we aren’t the only ones using fear appeal as a basis for marketing. Just ask the CDC about its efficacy. Their anti-smoking campaign has been incredibly effective. Rolled out in 2012, it has been estimated that 1.6 million Americans have since attempted to quit smoking with 100,000 succeeding as a direct result of the campaign.

What they found is that people don’t so much care about the images they see, so long as they don’t have to experience them first hand. Once they get it in their heads that the ramifications of smoking are real and applicable to their everyday life, only then do they make an attempt to change their ways.

As insurance marketers we can take that theme and incorporate it into our campaigns. Instead of telling people “Your house is going to burn down, you need homeowners insurance” we can say “Hey, this is what happens when a home is lost due to fire; this is how difficult the recovery process is, and it can happen to anyone.” The difference between the two statements is subtle, but it is important for effectively communicating your message.



Photo – © Marek – Fotolia.com

How Checking Out can help you Check Back In

How Checking Out can help you Check Back In

at the seaside


Did you know that the US is the only developed country in the world to not require even one paid vacation day or holiday? That means fewer and fewer of us are taking days off for leisure, and that’s a shame. Here at AIMS, we believe that checking out for a while is important to staying engaged and on top of your game.


Here are five reasons why checking out helps you check back in:

  1. Vacations help you de-stress. Did you know that too much time in front of a computer screen has been linked to stress, loss of sleep and depression? Our solution? Power down for a while.
  2. They’re good for the heart. Okay, so we could have tied this one in with number one, but it bears mentioning: According to the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine middle aged men with a high risk of coronary heart (CHD) are less likely to suffer a debilitating attack if they take regular vacations.
  3. You can catch up on your reading. No, we’re not just talking business books. But we have found that reading for fun can actually help spur on ideas in the workplace.
  4. Vacations help clear your mind. Have you ever found yourself thinking about that one problem at work that just won’t take care of itself? You’ve invested so much time, but nothing seems to be working. Stepping away for a while can be helpful if only to allow you to clear your mind. After all, a clear mind is an open mind.
  5. After a vacation you’re ready to get back at it. We don’t know about you, but when we take a few days (or weeks) off, we come back refreshed and ready to go! Everything seems shiny and new again, which bodes well for creating a positive work environment.


So now you know why we like vacations, what are your reasons?


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