digital marketing during a pandemic

BrightFire Webinar on Digital Marketing During A Pandemic for IIARI

On June 25, 2020, Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island (IIARI) had BrightFire present a webinar to its member agents on “Digitial Marketing During A Pandemic.” The webinar was based on the top 11 frequently asked questions we received from insurance agents over the last three months. 

The realities of changing consumer behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic presents not only a challenge, but also a huge opportunity for insurance agencies.  So it’s imperative that agencies adapt quickly now and then to the post-pandemic times.

IIARI’s Mark Male and Sarah Ribera hosted the webinar and BrightFire’s Michael Garner was the presenter. 

Watch The Webinar

Additional Questions?

If you have any questions about digital marketing for your insurance agency that you would like answered, please contact us or call us at 888-778-4393.


Webinar Transcript

Mark Male: Good afternoon and welcome to today’s session: Digital Marketing in a Pandemic. I’m Mark Male. Before we begin the program, I just want to say that everyone’s microphone has been muted. At the conclusion of the presentation, Michael has agreed to take some questions, so I would encourage you to use the chat feature found at the bottom of the screen on most computers. You can type your questions in there, and Michael will endeavor to respond to all those inquiries.

Mark Male: With that, let me give you a quick intro. Michael’s the co-founder of [BrightFire], which is a marketing company that specializes in digital marketing for insurance agencies. He personally has been helping insurance agencies to improve their online brand and increase lead generation with digital marketing since 2000. His responsibilities at BrightFire include marketing communications, program partner relationships, and business development. With that, let’s please welcome our speaker today, Michael Garner. Michael?

Michael Garner: Thank you, Mark. Thanks for having me and thanks for that introduction. Yes, the subject of today’s webinar is, of course, digital marketing during a pandemic. The way I structured this was based on the most frequently asked questions that I received from our insurance agents over the last three months. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit into a nice perfect top 10. I have a top 11 this time.

Michael Garner: Before we get started, I just want to give you a quick overview of what we do at BrightFire and just give you some context and background on our company. We really started out as INS Digital Media in the very early days and then became BrightFire about nine years ago. Our first agency customer was a local insurance agent here in the Atlanta area in 2000. Back then we didn’t focus on insurance agent digital marketing. Back then it was just general business websites. That one insurance agent referred me to a buddy and to another friend, and then I got a lot of referrals for other insurance agents, and it just grew. Then eventually I decided to make insurance agencies the primary focus of our company. Over the years the number of our insurance agents grew quickly. As we grew, we added new services including reviews and reputation management, social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and then local listings management. So we’ve expanded and grown as the needs of the insurance agent market has also grown. Today we’re at over 2,000 insurance agents across 48 states. So there’s the background on BrightFire.

Michael Garner: What I did for these questions, they’re kind of generally in order, maybe by more broader questions first, and so that’s how we’re going to proceed today. With that, let’s get started. Question number one: With everything going on with coronavirus, what should I do with my digital marketing: scale-up, downgrade, pause? That’s a very big question, and unfortunately or fortunately it has a big answer. In a lot of ways, to me, this is similar to the 2008 recession where many businesses decided to retreat and cut their marketing budgets. Back then, we had a lot of agencies that said they needed to save money, so they canceled or reduced their marketing and their lead generation, which is really counterproductive. By cutting back your lead generation, you make the lean times a lot leaner.

Michael Garner: So for today, instead of just wholesale shutting down your marketing until things return to the way they were, which I don’t think even from a marketing perspective that they’re going to go back to the way they were, by all means, I would recommend reevaluating all of the marketing that you have, your digital and your physical, to see which channels are actually driving the most business and has the best ROI. In our current situation with lockdowns and quarantines and stay-at-home orders, everybody should be reevaluating their overall marketing budgets for the year. For example, I’m sure a lot of agency owners here had planned on attending some industry trade shows or insurance association conferences like InsurCon this year, most have already canceled or been postponed, or you’ve planned other local events in your community. So budgets, money set aside for those events could be moved to what’s available now and what’s working now. I’d recommend you move those marketing dollars to where the people are and what’s effective.

Michael Garner: Clearly, what’s effective now in our current situation is digital marketing. Within digital marketing, I would emphasize two very close things as far as a priority. The first one would be an insurance agency website with a blog. With so many people at home, obviously more people are using the internet for shopping and using it to a greater degree. I know it kind of feels weird to say this in 2020, but if you don’t have a website, you need to get one ASAP. It’s crazy to say but we still run into a lot of insurance agents and agencies that don’t have a website or maybe they don’t even have, I’d say, a real website. Many agents today rely on an agent profile that was provided by an insurance carrier, or they’ve gone with a website builder service like GoDaddy or some other DIY service which really doesn’t make much more than a static brochure of a website. These are cheap and probably pretty easy to get something online, but they’re very limited, and then their search engine optimization is really basic.

Michael Garner: If you do have a website, your website definitely needs to be optimized for Google searches so you can be found by all these people that are at home. I also want to say that SEO means different things to different marketing companies. At BrightFire when we do an SEO service, it includes three different areas. The first one is the agency website with onsite technical and content optimization. Second is the online reviews and reputation strategy because that also influences your search engine rank. The third thing is complete and consistent local listings across the internet, so listings on Yelp, Google My Business, Yellow Pages for example. There are many other directories out there as well.

Michael Garner: All three areas of those are actually needed to rank highly on Google.

Michael Garner: With that website, you’ll also need to have a page dedicated to COVID-19. This page is going to include everything that your customers and prospects may need to know, like your current availability and any other agency status you’d like to give. It could also include updated procedures for contact and carriers or carrier support information.

Michael Garner: Now, I mentioned the blog and a blog should also be on your website. With many businesses right now, it’s important to show your customers and potential customers that you are in business and you are available to help. So a blog is an excellent way to show customers that you’re active and that you’re an expert resource. So regular blog posts go along way in providing that image and building trust.

Michael Garner: A very close second, maybe even 1B to the website with the blog would be social media because, by far, that’s the best channel of communication right now. It was certainly a must before COVID-19, but now it’s just critical. Over 70% of the US population is on Facebook and Instagram. Also now social media usage since the pandemic started has been up as much as 50%. So it was a big deal before, and it’s only become more popular. So with that, you’ve got to have more than just a profile page on Facebook that just has a profile with no content and no updates. Without content and updates you look like you’re unavailable at best or maybe even possibly out of business. Then you want to be a source of helpful information and provide some value through those channels. Maybe even some positive news during all this news, too, would be very helpful. Then provide updates on agency operations and carrier updates on your social media sites. In summary, don’t reflexively shut down your digital marketing. Reevaluate what’s going on, what’s happening today, and how it will be after the stay-at-home orders have passed. It makes no sense to reduce the number of leads that you’re getting. If anything, an insurance agency needs more opportunities now.

Michael Garner: Onto the second question: Is it distasteful or inappropriate to market myself or run ads during the pandemic? Now, I think this is a great question, and obviously I would say, absolutely not. But I think with a lot of things going on now, it kind of really depends on how you do it. Obviously, you’ve got to be very sensitive to current events and what people are going through. You never want to make it look like you’re taking advantage of their circumstances, whatever the circumstances may be during any type of disaster really and with the current one being Coronavirus. So you really don’t want to sell or market to the crisis, but instead you want to market to the need or the needs that exist. People certainly do have a lot of needs today. I’ll go as far as you don’t even need to mention COVID-19 or Coronavirus in that messaging. You can, but people already know what’s going on and why they have a need. So just be a helpful resource and address their needs and answer questions.

Michael Garner: For example, something that you don’t want to have is if you’re selling life insurance, you don’t want to use ad copy like, “With COVID-19, now’s the best time to consider life insurance.” That would be definitely inappropriate to do now. You don’t need to do that. Somebody may be thinking about buying life insurance, but to be that abrupt would not be good. So just showing that you’re available to help, answering questions, and providing relevant, helpful information during this time will sell yourself.

Michael Garner: Then on the needs, as far as needs go with insurance, people definitely need to save money. With everyone facing so many unknowns and dealing with financial hardships, there’s definitely a need to save money. So there’s a lot of people looking to save money on their insurance by shopping around or even getting requotes. So, yes, you can and you should market yourself during this time. As I mentioned, I would caution and watch your messaging, how you do it, and try not to make it seem like you’re exploiting the situation.

Michael Garner: Question number three: What is the first thing I should regarding my digital marketing? If you haven’t done it already, put an advisory notice on your agency website and your social media regarding your current agency operations: your availability and how to contact you during this time to get support. Every state has different orders or stay-at-home directions. Every business operates differently. So your notice will need to be customized for you and your community. Email them updates, but include links to your website and social media. People are getting a lot of coronavirus emails from all these different companies, so it may be best to direct people to your website and social media to get the latest updates instead of sending a long series of emails every time something changes. So with circumstances and stay-at-home guidelines changing often, this is something that you should always keep updated with the latest status and information. Again, I think this falls under the category: people have questions. There’s uncertainty. So make it easy for them to find those answers through you.

Michael Garner: Question number four: What is the best way to keep policyholders updated with changes in agency operations and availability? Again, this is a similar question. It’s your website and social media. Again, your agency website and social media are definitely the best for regular communication or frequent updates. Customers were using these platforms before, so these will be the best avenues to reach them. Again, I’d recommend using email less frequently, but including links to your website and social media so they can check there for the latest information. Of course, the page dedicated to COVID-19 is important for your website. At BrightFire, for that notice on the website, we use what’s called a notification bar. It’s basically at the top of the website. It’s sticky, so it stays there even though visitors go from page to page. It’s very easy to see. You can click on that to actually go to the COVID-19 page for each agency and see the details there. This is something we set up for our agencies. There’s no cost for us to do this, and the changes that we make are included with our service.

Michael Garner: So clear and timely communication is definitely needed. Government lockdowns, stay-at-home orders have been issued and then updated several times, so timely updates are super important. Again, you can email your customers, but don’t overdo it. Inboxes are getting overrun by all these emails, so customers could get numb if you keep sending them emails to this communication, and it can be kind of disruptive. Just communicate major announcements and business changes directly to your consumers and then leave out anything that’s irrelevant.

Michael Garner: Question number five: Should I change the content or messaging on my blog and social media? Definitely and quickly if you haven’t already. What you want to do, you want to review your content calendar for both your blog and your social media. By content calendar, I’m talking about the content that you’ve already written and already scheduled. So if you write and schedule posts like we do for insurance agents, you must review those and pause or edit those posts because what you wrote back then may not be appropriate now. You definitely want to be less salesy, less overly promotional, and then adjust your content to be more helpful or timely with up-to-date information. Like I said, we did that with ours. We went back and looked at the posts that we had scheduled for the blog or the social media posts and threw out anything that seemed inappropriate at the time. Was it “insuring your toys”, or was it the wording of certain life insurance ads? Then it had to be updated just to be sensitive to the times.

Michael Garner: Plus, I would say, don’t be afraid to highlight your agency’s efforts to help. If your agency or staff is doing something in the community to help be sure that’s included in your messaging as well. But only do it if you’re actually doing something to help the people. You don’t want to make it look like it’s artificially self-promoting. You definitely want to be authentic with everything that you do on social media.

Michael Garner: Like I said, everyone’s getting bombarded with COVID-19 communications right now from businesses. It started with the airlines. They were the first ones to do it. Then all businesses had some email going out regarding what they were doing for Coronavirus. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I would just caution against messaging that would seem a little bit more that praise yourself as a do-gooder than to actually serve the customers, so it can backfire a little bit. Again, you don’t want it to look like jumping on a bandwagon so just take care of that messaging.

Michael Garner: Then as I mentioned before, watch out for inappropriate posts that may have been appropriate at the time, like, “There’s never been a better time to consider life insurance,” or “Insure your toys in time for summer.” So that may not be the best with the current situation with lockdowns and quarantines. In summary, it’s vital for your agency to strengthen your relationship with your customers on all digital marketing platforms. By being helpful, this increases the loyalty and affinity to you. I think how you connect with your customers now during this time of need can really affect your business over the next 10 years and solidify those relationships.

Michael Garner: Now as far as what you should avoid saying to customers, you don’t want to provide irrelevant business details to your customers, and you don’t want to overly promotional or salesy, as I mentioned. You can still promote yourself and what you have to offer. As long as the messaging is helpful and promoted sensibly, I think you’re okay. What I would do, I would avoid the following types of communications: stating personal opinions or political beliefs, sharing information from unreliable sources, maybe even spreading myths or scare stories, so you really want to stick to those reliable sources, and maybe speaking about Coronavirus too much especially if it’s not part of your business. Then the last thing maybe if you’re still out of the office is promising a new office opening date. Unless it’s really soon and you’re very positive, then I would maybe hesitate about publishing something like that.

Michael Garner: Question number six: With all the messaging bombarding us during COVID-19, how can I make my campaign not sound like every other ad, for example, using terms like “difficult times” or “unprecedented times”? With this question, I completely agree about the repeat messaging that’s out there everywhere now. A lot of those examples have certainly been overused, overused for any product or service. Actually, I’ll add in another one that I’ve heard, I don’t know, it seems like every day is “now more than ever.” My teenage son has heard this so many times that he’s grown deaf to the actual meaning of it, and now he uses it every day, like, “Dad, I’d like Chick-fil-A for lunch now more than ever.” The point of that is that if you use clichés and use the same expression, it becomes overused and your messaging just becomes lost. Now for the messaging on your own ad or social media content, definitely avoid those commonly used phrases that maybe seem a bit cliché. Aside from your audience becoming tone-deaf to its overuse, it may seem like you’re dramatizing the situation in order to just sell something. So it’s better to use more practical or use wording that’s less emotional.

Michael Garner: Aside from the Coronavirus situation, additionally I would recommend using local references in your content whether it’s your website or blog or social media, local references like mentioning your city, your state, or the county in your marketing messaging. That gives it a much more targeted feel, and it’s customized for your community. This was the case before COVID-19, and it still holds true today.

Michael Garner: Question seven: How can I take steps to retain policyholders during this time? Again, aside from being available on the phone, agency websites, and social media to answer all those questions that they have and showing your value, on the digital marketing side I’d recommend that you run an NPS or Net Promoter Score campaign. If you’re not familiar with an NPS or Net Promoter Score surveys, basically they’re simple customer surveys on “Would you recommend me or my service to a friend or colleague?” It goes from a score of zero to 10, zero being very unlikely to 10 being very likely. Then there’s also a comment box for additional feedback. These can be used to gauge a policyholder’s opinion of your agency, and this is before or after or during Coronavirus, and can head off any issues that may lead to bad reviews or even non-renewals. It’s much better to hear about customer dissatisfaction now rather than after they have left a bad review on Google, Yelp, or Facebook, or even worse once they’ve left and gone to another agency. It’s better to know right now. So the NPS surveys, these are campaigns that we do as part of our Reviews and Reputation Management service here at BrightFire, and it also helps generate new positive reviews. There are plenty of other services out there as well that can help you with generating NPS campaigns as well.

Michael Garner: Question eight: Our physical office is closed. How should I go about updating our listing in places like Google? With this, the business information referred to in this question is part of Google called Google My Business. Having your business listed on Google My Business will definitely increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, in Google Maps, and in the organic rankings in general. If you haven’t done it already, you’ll definitely need to go claim your business listing before you’ll be able to make any changes to your agency’s Google listing. Good news on this front, it is free. It’s one of the few free things from Google actually, and it’s very powerful indeed.

Michael Garner: Once you’ve claimed your listing, you’ll be able to edit it and add any information. So add your address or edit your address, phone number, business hours. You could add photos, which really helps to make a complete listing. Then you can also add posts to Google Posts. Google Posts, it’s not really a social media part of Google. It’s more of a messagingor communication service, and these are meant for more short-term messages. They only stay active or in the forefront for one week, and then they’re archived, so they’re meant for recent updates. So this can be a good way to communicate through the Google profile.

Michael Garner: I also wanted to mention that it’s also important to not change your business status on Google My Business to “closed” if you’re just working remotely. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this a couple of times. Even though you’re working remotely, please keep your business as “open” on Google and just keep the same business hours. That’s not what it was used for, so definitely say that you’re open.

Michael Garner: Question number nine regarding pay-per-click: I’m currently using pay-per-click or PPC advertising. Have you seen any changes in the performance of my ads? Yeah, we do a lot of pay-per-click advertising for insurance agents. It’s one of the best ways of generating leads very quickly, too, in targeted areas. So it’s been a very popular question with our pay-per-click agents. I would say generally speaking, in the pay-per-click industry as a whole, many business types have stopped or greatly reduced their advertising. These are industries like travel, that’s kind of the obvious one, leisure, real estate, and then even the automotive industry has scaled back on their ads. What basically this means that there’s less competition out there and less general advertising noise.

Michael Garner: As far as what we’ve seen at BrightFire definitely ad impressions are up. That’s not too surprising with more people searching. They’re at home so much.

Michael Garner: Then also a change in what we’ve seen, too, is ads are getting a lot more impressions at different times of the day. Especially in the late hours between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., we’re seeing a lot more traffic, a lot more clicks during that time. Specifically after midnight, it’s been up 15%. I don’t know if you’re advertising on your own or you’re using some type of pay-per-click expert, but in many cases, some other ad agencies may stop searches at a certain time of the day because they believe nobody’s searching or online. But that’s definitely an opportunity is to advertise during those times when people are searching later in the day at night.

Michael Garner: I think overall good news is, what we’ve seen, pay-per-clicks costs are down by a pretty good margin, maybe 25% or 30% down than where they were before. So that’s good news for everybody, so you can get more clicks out of your monthly budget. Overall, I’d say there hasn’t been a bit hit to the pay-per-click for insurance keywords. Consumers are still out there searching with insurance-related keywords, and actually conditions favor using pay-per-click advertising now under the current conditions. So that’s definitely a channel I’d recommend exploring.

Michael Garner: Question number 10: I’m using pay-per-click advertising. Should I reduce my monthly ad budget? Again, this was kind of in the beginning of the crisis when there was a lot of unknowns. I would say something similar to the general question we had in the very beginning was that rather than abruptly stop, take a step back, look at your own campaign performance. With that said, it’s really important to remain top of mind with customers as they spend more time online. So while stopping your ad spend during a lot of uncertainty may be your first instinct, you should definitely talk to your pay-per-click advertising expert just to review your campaigns, whatever campaign you have, auto, home, life, any type of commercial campaign, just to see how they’re performing and then make an informed decision. It’s always better to make data-driven decisions over assumptions on consumer behavior or make emotional decisions. I mean there’s so much data that we have access to. The data that we can get from the Google Ads service itself or Google Analytics, there’s plenty of information to make an informed decision. So that’s what I’d recommend. We can make assumptions about how consumers are going to respond to this crisis, but we’ve never been in this crisis before obviously, so you definitely search for whatever data that you can actually find, and there is some data out there for you to use.

Michael Garner: Question number 11, this is our last question: What online tools do you have to help with sales now that so many people are home? I’d say that the first tool that I’d recommend isn’t a tool that BrightFire provides but has been in the news a lot, and maybe it’s obvious, but video conferencing and screen sharing. At BrightFire we’ve used screen sharing and video conferencing for a very long time as part of our sales process and part of our support process. We used to use GoToMeeting but then switched to Zoom a few months ago. This webinar is using Zoom, so I’d definitely recommend that service or a similar service so you can host and have virtual meetings with your staff, maybe customers, sales presentations with prospects. It’s a very good, easy to use service.

Michael Garner: Then for the next tool, something similar to video conferencing, is a new feature that we released for our insurance agency websites a few months ago called Video Proposals. We had been working on this for several months, and then the release came out just in time after all the lockdowns started. Basically the BrightFire Video Proposals system allows you to create and record personalized videos and then share them with your clients and your prospects. So it allows a producer or a CSR to record any combination of their computer screen, webcam, and audio and then send that customer a unique link to each video. Once you recorded that video, our system makes it super easy to send an email to that client or that prospect to watch a private, password-protected video on your website. Again, besides the sales process, it’s definitely helpful for your CSRs and support as well. We use a few different services at BrightFire. When we ask detailed questions, a lot of those services, instead of sending a long email or sending you or calling you to go through a long process on how to use their platform or dashboard, what they’ll do, they’ll just record a quick five-minute video and send it. Actually, that’s been a really helpful way for us to receive information from our own support requests.

Michael Garner: The next tool I would recommend that you look at now would be website live chat or chatbots. With sales agents and CSRs at home in many cases having a live chat with a person or a chatbot on your website can be very helpful for both the agency and your customers. Live chat is just that. That’s where you have a chat window available to your website visitors so they can chat or text with your staff. We use it for both sales and support questions. Sometimes people just aren’t ready for a phone conversation a lot of times today, so maybe they’ll send an email or they’re using a website chat. They just have a quick question to ask, and they don’t feel like sending an email that’s just at the top of their mind while they’re visiting your website. So it’s great. Website chat’s great. It’s very efficient. We get chat requests on our website, brightfire.com, every day from insurance agents. Mostly on the sales side. We do get a few support type questions, too, but mostly sales.

Michael Garner: Then chatbots are similar to live chat, but the Q&A isn’t with a person at least initially. Chatbots are built with a set of preset questions and possible answers that you create and customize for your agency or your business. So if somebody’s not available, it’s after hours, you can have a chatbot go through a certain list of maybe frequently asked questions depending on what the visitor puts in, and at the end, it could be more open-ended as far as sending a message, or if it’s during business hours, you can connect them with a member of your staff at that point. So chatbots can be helpful in agency automation.

Michael Garner: Next, I’d recommend a website notification bar. I mentioned this feature earlier in regards to the COVID-19 banner or a notice on your agency website. Again, that notification bar is just that. It’s a bar or a banner that’s stuck at the top of your agency website where you can display important notices or promotions. Before COVID-19, we used it for a lot of different promotions. Like, if the agent was selling life insurance and it was during Life Insurance Awareness Month, we would post it there, or different auto insurance promotions at the time with a carrier. So we’ve repurposed it and used it for COVID-19 agency updates.

Michael Garner: The last tool that I’d recommend is another tool that we don’t provide at BrightFire, but we can integrate into an agent’s website is the scheduling or calendar service, services like Acuity or Calendly. With these services, a visitor to your website will have the opportunity to schedule a call with you based on available times in your calendar. You retain the ability to select which hours and days or appointment types or personnel are available so they could click to set up a meeting with you at a future date and see the date, the times that are available and pick one out that’s convenient for them. It’s something you can set up as a group calendar for support, for example. Or even each agent could have their own calendar and set up so they can have it linked through the website, or you can have it as part of your email signature where people can make appointments at their convenience. Another good thing about that is it also sends them notices or reminders about the upcoming appointment that they have 24 hours in advance and then an hour before. So it helps with making sure that the client is there for that meeting. We use it at BrightFire, and it’s been great, not only for getting leads in our funnel but for getting prospects further down the funnel, which definitely helps in closing those sales.

Michael Garner: That’s our last question. In summary, I would say we were in the digital marketing communication age, if you will, prior to COVID-19. I strongly believe that digital marketing importance is even greater now during COVID-19. Like many things in our lives and businesses, things will not go back to the way they were before COVID-19, schooling, sporting events, grocery shopping, how we work, commuting versus staying at home, but also the digital marketing and the sales and buying process is also going to be changed. I’m sure social distancing will continue in some form, and many people that are working at home now because of the quarantines will continue to work from home afterward. Whether or not it’s good or bad, there will be more screen time and there will be more communication through digital means including social media. The realities of changing consumer behavior in the Coronavirus age, to me, presents a huge opportunity for insurance agents, so it’s definitely imperative that agencies adapt quickly now and then to the post-COVID-19 times. Thanks for your time.

Mark Male: Thank you very much, Michael. At this point if anyone has a question, I think everything is open game. Michael will take a stab at it. If you want to post that in the chat window, we’ll make sure that Michael takes a stab at it. I’ll also want to mention, I want to express my appreciation to those who have signed up for today who made a contribution to the Rhode Island Food Bank. It’s our way of saying thanks and giving something back to those who probably need help right now in these odd times.

Mark Male: Before the first question comes up, I’ll also mention on Tuesday, July 14th, BrightFire’s going to do an online reputation management session. Again, that’s a 9:00 a.m. session. It’s free. Again, we ask your consideration to make a small donation to the Rhode Island Food Bank. At this point if anybody has a question, please don’t be shy. I recognize a lot of these names and none of these people are shy, so let’s see if we can’t get somebody to put something up here. It’s all quiet so far, Michael.

Michael Garner: I think I did it.

Mark Male: Yeah. You checked all the boxes and then some. Why don’t we wait just 30 seconds more. If it makes you feel any better, I will not mention you by name, so if want to do something in anonymity, by all means post something up there. Why don’t we wait just one more minute. Oh, we have a question. The question is, so why we look at not mentioning COVID-19 too much, should we mention steps taken like contactless live insurance options, etc.?

Michael Garner: Oh, definitely, yes, yes. Actually, there’s one carrier that we work with, a partner of ours that actually has started that. We have helped their agents promote that. That’s definitely a big yes. That contactless life insurance so you don’t have to have paramed exam to get a life insurance quote? Yeah, yeah, definitely do that one.

Mark Male: While we wait for the next question, just out of curiosity, how difficult is it to incorporate the chat bot feature on a website? Is that an extensive exercise? Is it relatively painless?

Michael Garner: The technical part, it’s pretty easy to do. If you’re with a marketing agency like BrightFire or another one, they can do the technical part for you as far as installing the chatbot and getting that on your site. Maybe with the chatbot there’s a little bit more onboarding or preparation because it can be as detailed and as deep as you want to be as far as what possible questions you want to ask. Because you can start out broad and find out with a chatbot is it a support issue, or is it a sales question? Then it’s kind of like a decision tree as far as what options you have from there. We can help with chatbot, setting up those questions and those answers. With BrightFire, we try to take any type of time or technical burden off an agency, and we take that on ourselves. There is some question and answer you would do with us, but there’s nothing technical that would be required. We handle that.

Mark Male: Thank you for that, Michael. Another question, they’ve heard that Millennials are the biggest online consumer, so are there any recommendations for reaching that demographic?

Michael Garner: Hmm, well, I know with Millennials, I think it goes back to that authenticity, so I think as far as being… Of course, we’re insurance agents and we’re honest. But I think the Millennials can definitely be a jaded group, so I think looking out at your messaging for those and just being authentic and not trying to be overly self-promotional, I think that really irks the Millennial group more than any other.

Mark Male: Are there any other questions? Again, I want to remind everybody BrightFire will do another session on Tuesday, July 14th at 9:00 a.m., online reputation management. Everybody’s invited to attend. There is no cost with that. Seeing no additional questions, I want to say thank you very much, Michael, for presenting today on behalf of all the Rhode Island agents. Be well and be safe. Thank you.

Michael Garner: All right. Well, thank you, Mark.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email