Lead generation is a key business goal for many insurance agencies. Traditional marketing tactics like referrals, word-of-mouth, and networking are all tried-and-true ways to generate leads. But, for us and many of our clients, there’s nothing quite as powerful as Pay-Per-Click Advertising for lead generation.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising lets you reach your audience as they’re actively searching for information. You target users based on the specific keywords and phrases they search, so you can focus your budget on qualified leads by selecting keywords with clear purchasing intent.
Watch the webinar to see how your agency can generate leads quickly with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising.
Watch The Webinar
Spencer: Hi everyone. My name’s Spencer Breidenbach, and I’m a Sales Executive here at BrightFire. Thanks to everyone for attending our October webinar in our 20 Minute Marketing Webinar Series. We’re excited. We had a great turnout for our 20 Minute Marketing Webinar last month on local business listings and how those impact your website’s SEO. If you didn’t get a chance to attend that one and are curious, don’t forget that you can access this one and all of our previous webinars on-demand when you visit brightfire.com/webinars.
The goal of our webinars is to provide you with digital marketing advice and discuss current digital marketing topics in a brief 20-minute format, followed by a Q&A session answering additional questions from attendees.
Today we’re going to be discussing Rapid, Cost-Effective Lead Generation using Pay-Per-Click Advertising. So if anyone has questions that you think of during the webinar, please go ahead and shoot those overusing that Q&A feature in Zoom. There’ll be towards the bottom of your screen, two little speech bubbles that say Q&A. And if you click on that, you can type that over and send it in. As a reminder, today’s webinar is being recorded and will be available on-demand for future access.
Spencer: Just to start out, we’ll give you guys a brief little background of BrightFire, then we’ll talk through what exactly Pay-Per-Click Advertising is, some categories of pay-per-click ads, get into what it is about pay-per-click that makes it such a powerful tool, and then talk a little bit about how BrightFire implements that and approaches it for clients.
Before we head into that, let’s just give kind of a brief overview of BrightFire’s background. We started out by providing Insurance Agency Websites in 2000 and over the years, as more and more consumers have grown to depend on the internet for research and buying decisions, the needs of insurance agents grew with that.
We expanded our digital marketing services beyond just the agency websites to also be able to tackle things like search engine optimization, helping clients build up their number of reviews and their reputation online, marketing content for them on social media, managing their local business listing so that they’re found everywhere online and Google has more trust and authority in their agency’s website. And we’re going to be talking about today pay-per-click ads. Today we work with 2000 clients across 48 States, and we’re really pleased that that first client that started out with us back in 2000, still a BrightFire customer today.
Why Is Pay-Per-Click Advertising Effective for Lead Generation?
Spencer: With that little background, let’s go ahead and talk about pay-per-click advertising. Why is pay-per-click effective for lead generation? Lead generation, obviously, is a really key business goal for many agencies or any business, traditional marketing tactics like referrals, word of mouth and networking, are all obviously tried and true ways to generate leads. But for us and many of our clients, there’s nothing quite as powerful as pay-per-click ads for lead generation.
Pay-per-click advertising lets you target your audience as they’re actively searching for information, you’re reaching those users based on the specific keywords and phrases they search. You can really focus your budget on qualified leads by selecting keywords with clear purchasing intent and avoiding folks who are looking for something different.
What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising?
Spencer: What is pay-per-click? Pay-per-click, or a lot of times you’ll hear it just referred to as PPC advertising, it’s a type of internet marketing used on search engines where advertisers pay each time their ad is clicked by a user. In other words, let’s say you get a hundred people that scroll right by your ad. You’re not paying a cent, even though you possibly had that exposure and maybe they’ll recognize your brand later on, but you only get charged on the basis of somebody actually clicking on it, hey, let me check out Acme Insurance. This looks like it could be a fit. Let me click on this and further investigate them and consider reaching out.
These ads can be highly targeted towards potential customers who are searching for very particular products and services. They can also be extremely effective in driving the right people to your website at the right time. When you perform a search on a search engine, pay-per-click ads are the first few results on the page, just above the map pack on Google, where you’ll see, hey, here are the local options for this service I searched. In the regular organic search results, you’re used to seeing below that, that prime real estate placement makes pay-per-click ads coveted real estate for business owners.
Types of Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Spencer: Let’s talk through some of the common types of pay-per-click ads. There are several types of it and we’ll focus on the four that are most applicable specifically for insurance agencies.
The ones a lot of the clients we talk to are most familiar with coming in as Search Advertising. These are the most common ads you’ll see, those pay-per-click ads like I was talking about before appear at the top and bottom of the search results on Google and Bing, and they don’t contain any imagery. You’ll see these tagged with the word “ad” so that you can indicate, Google wants to clearly delineate, hey, this is paid content, versus this, is what we’re showing organically below.
It’s really effective, since you’re targeting people who are actively searching for a particular product or service within an intent to research or make a buying decision pretty quickly. People are coming into this, hey, I’ve got some trigger event or some reason that I’m feeling urgency about this. I’m not window shopping insurance for fun. I’m more likely than not trying to make, research who I’m comfortable talking to and who I should quote from so that I can make a buying decision and get it out of the way.
Spencer: The next major type is Display Advertising. These are banner or text ads that are displayed across different websites within an advertising network. Google has the largest display advertising network, thousands of websites like Healthline.com, this example over here. They don’t want to go through all the hassle of selling and running all the management of ads on their own. Most websites will outsource, hey, we’re going to use some ad network. And Google’s by far the most common example.
Display advertising is known as interruption marketing, meaning that the person who sees the ad, they may not actually be in the market at that exact moment in time, to look at making a purchase of the product they’re seeing.
Spencer: The third big type, this is kind of related to display advertising. A lot of folks are familiar with actually having seen this, but just don’t know the name for it. If you’ve ever been on a website and then later on an ad for that exact website pops up somewhere else, that’s Remarketing.
So, hey, I’m looking at this pressure washer on Home Depot’s site, and now I’m seeing ads for it elsewhere. Or I’m looking at this pair of shoes at DSW, and now I’m seeing that when I checked the weather report on weather.com, that’s all remarketing. Since the user for remarketing is someone who’s already shown interest in your business by visiting your website, remarketing can be a really effective pay-per-click strategy. Seeing your ad a few more times, that may be just enough to entice them. Hey, let me visit their website again. And yeah. Actually move forward and contact them for a quote.
And remarketing really helps keep visitors engaged with your agency and helps keep you top-of-mind for the service they’re researching. Sometimes it can be a stop-start, hey, I intend to reach out and make a decision, but this came up and now I put it off two weeks. Or, my kids distracted me since I’m working from home and we’ve got something else and this is on the backburner now. That’s keeping you in the game and in front of them, so when the moment’s right again, you’re top-of-mind.
In addition to remarketing your own website visitors, you can also remarket to custom audiences based on other websites that someone has visited. Custom audience building can help you target competitors and visitors to other websites that signal to users on a buying journey for what you sell. So as an example, a client might say, “Hey, in our local market this firm has about 70% of the market share for group benefits for small businesses. So, hey, when people are going to their website, they’re going to see our ads now.” Or, “Hey, we sell these financial products that people interested in X, Y, and Z are probably a good fit for. So if we see people on these kinds of financial sites or these blogs, we want them to then see our ads.”
Spencer: The fourth major type of pay-per-click advertising for insurance agencies is social media advertising. Social media ads on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, generally target people who have certain interests, as well as those sets like ages, genders, marital status, and location. Social media ads are really a great way if you’re trying to reach a specific demographic and interact with them. However, similar to display advertising, this is a form of interruption advertising. Again, meaning that the person who sees the ad, may not be interested in purchasing that product or service at that exact point in time that they’re seeing the ad.
8 Reasons Why PPC Advertising Is So Effective
Spencer: Next, let’s talk through the eight biggest reasons why pay-per-click advertising is so effective. First, customers are actively looking for someone like you. Leads that come from pay-per-click advertising on search engines, are again actively looking for info about that service that you’re selling. Due to the fact that you’re connecting with a consumer during their buying journey, search ads have a stronger conversion rate compared with many other types of advertising.
Spencer: Gaining leads quickly. We talk to a lot of folks who are told, “Hey, this vendor told us we can get really fast results from search engine optimization or SEO.” This really isn’t the case. SEO is definitely a necessary digital marketing channel. Don’t get me wrong. However, it is more of a long-term strategy. When you’re doing SEO, at the end of the day, everything’s up to Google and Bing. They don’t want it to be, hey, this is a flip of the switch. I just turn on a light switch and now we’ve got good SEO, we’re ranking well. They’re wanting to see consistent, reliable changes and a repeated pattern from your website and your business to decide, hey, we’re starting to trust this. Let’s show them higher over time.
Spencer: If you’re looking for faster results, pay-per-click advertising is definitely a good fit for that. Few marketing strategies will allow you to put highly targeted ads right in front of your desired audiences, as little as a few days and that’s what the pay-per-click ads can do. While insurance agents often prefer leads generated through organic search results since obviously there’s no cost per click element to SEO, combining the two, doing pay-per-click in coordination with SEO is going to deliver a more well-rounded lead generation strategy. It can take months for organic SEO updates to show a measurable increase in lead generation. Whereas with PPC, you’ll see almost instant results.
Spencer: The third big thing is getting fresh leads. When you compare this to other channels like email marketing or organic social media, pay-per-click provides the advantage of targeting people who may not already be aware of your brand existing since your scope isn’t just limited to your existing followers or contact lists you’ve built. It really lets you cast a wide net quickly to find new prospects and customers.
Spencer: The fourth piece of it is that, the fact that the ads are highly targeted. Unlike a traditional ad that might show up for everyone, a PPC ad is only going to show up when someone searches for the key word or search phrase you want targeted. You know that when someone sees your ad, it’s someone who’s raised their hand and indicated, hey, we have an interest in your service and what you’re selling.
PPC advertising offers targeting capabilities that many other marketing tactics can’t get as granular and controlled. You can focus your ads so they appear in the exact cities and zip codes you want, as well as to the demographics you want, like, hey, we’re looking for higher-income or we’re looking for females or people who are parents, different age groups, et cetera.
We’re also able to control when and where your ads appear. For example, you may decide, hey, we only want our ads to run during regular business hours. This gives you greater targeting options based on who you’re trying to reach. Putting your ads in front of your target audience increases the chances of getting a click through to your website or landing page. And ultimately what you really need, converting that visitor into a lead that you can follow up with and hopefully close.
Spencer: The fifth big element is the fact that it’s increasing your overall awareness and visibility of your insurance agency online. As a small business, you may not have everyone in your area or a more widespread area aware that you’re out there. People who aren’t aware of your insurance agency’s brand, aren’t going to search for you by name. But when they search for insurance-related keywords, your PPC ads can be displayed in their search results, thus increasing your visibility and, hey, we’ve looked up contractors insurance, hey, now we see Acme Insurance right at the top. Haven’t had exposure to them before, but now this brand is right in front of us.
Spencer: Visibility is definitely step one in online marketing, no one can buy from you if they can’t find you. The first hurdle every business has to get over is getting in front of people in their audience. PPC advertising gives you a guaranteed way to show up in places where your audience is spending time, whether it’s search engines or social media sites. As your PPC ads show up more frequently, more people are going to see those and later recognize your brand the next time it comes up. That’s great for building your insurance agency’s online reputation even if people don’t click on the ad. Pay-per-click is a valuable tool for achieving that awareness and getting folks to notice you.
Spencer: The next benefit of PPC, it gives you really flexible control over your ad spend budget. One of the features that makes it such a powerful digital marketing channel is this is something that can scale and has the ability to accommodate a lot of wide range of budgets. PPC advertising works with any size or type of insurance agency. We’ve seen this work well for, “Hey, I’m a one-man show selling Medicare.” As well as clients that have three or four or five office locations. You get to decide your monthly ad spend. That makes pay-per-click advertising an option for any size budget.
PPC is cost-effective for lead generation since you’re only paying when someone clicks on your ad to visit your ad’s landing page. If you’re not seeing positive results in one campaign, but you are seeing positive results with your other campaign, you can scale it up immediately. So for example, if you see your auto insurance ads are producing better quality leads with a really healthy ROI on it, you can increase your budget for auto insurance and leave your other ad campaigns unchanged. And you’ll, if you want to pause any campaign, you can always pause and stop those ads right away.
Spencer: The seventh piece of it, it’s how tangible the results are and measurable in terms of your return on investment. Between your Google Ads and Google Analytics, PPC campaigns are easily reportable and deliver measurable results. Complete tracking enables us to show you exactly how many leads came into your site via pay-per-click ads, and which keywords or campaigns were more successful. These analytics from your campaigns combined with actual sales data, from which of your PPC leads turned into policyholders will allow us to track your ROI.
Spencer: The last big piece of it, it’s you can get a second chance with some of these misconnections. Typically if somebody visits your website and then walks away without contacting you, they’re considered a missed opportunity that you’re likely to never see again and get that second chance. PPC advertising gives you that second chance with prospects that only visited your site once, thanks to those remarketing ads we were talking about earlier. Just because someone doesn’t contact you on that first go-around doesn’t mean that they’re not interested or that they actually identified a different agency that they purchased a policy with somewhere else. We’re able to serve ads specifically to the people that have already visited your site, and remarketing ads help you stay top-of-mind and engage with insurance shoppers no matter how they originally found you.
How BrightFire Provides Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Spencer: BrightFire is an official Google partner. We’ve earned that partner designation by continuously demonstrating our expertise with Google Ads. We also have both Google Ads certified and Google Analytics certified experts on staff. We work with Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising or part of their Bing search engine, Facebook Ads, and remarketing ads. We provide everything you need to be successful and generate leads with PPC, including we’ll do all the initial account set up at Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, or Facebook Ads, provide all of the keywords and parameters that it needs to run. We’ll take care of copywriting, all of the graphic design and ad design that goes into it. We’ll build a custom landing page to support each campaign. After three months, we really want to connect with you and do an ROI analysis. And along the way, you’re going to get monthly reporting and consultation with your ad consultant that’s managing this for you on our team.
How to Get Started with Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Spencer: If you’re interested in getting started, our Pay-Per-Click Advertising service at $100 per month per ad campaign. An example ad campaign is let’s say you decided, hey, let’s do a Google search ad for auto insurance, or let’s do Medicare on Facebook, or a remarketing campaign for the agency. One ad network with one specific focus you’re going after, our pay-per-click ad service, like all of our services, we don’t have any setup fees or contracts. It also includes a 30 day money-back guarantee. There’s a $200 monthly minimum ad spend per campaign.
Onboarding is designed to take the burden off of you as much as is humanly possible and would just consist of two 30 minute phone calls with your ad consultant on our team. Typically, your ads are going to be live within about a week of when you sign up.
Spencer: As a thank you for attending today, we’re offering a $50 account credit to webinar attendees. You can receive a $50 account credit when signing up for our pay-per-click ad service. That offer ends on November 6, 2020.
To get started with generating leads with our pay-per-click service, you can visit our website at brightfire.com or you can also get connected with a BrightFire expert to talk you through any questions at (888) 778-4393.
Q&A on Pay-Per-Click Advertising for Insurance
Spencer: Thank you so much, again. That concludes our presentation on lead generation with pay-per-click advertising. We’ll now start that Q and A session. If anyone has any questions, we’ll do our best to get through as many that come through. And if we don’t address your question during the webinar, someone from BrightFire will follow up with you via email later, to answer that question for you.
“Why is there a minimum ad spend?”
With the ad spend, we want to make sure that your ads are getting enough interaction to lead to new policy sales at your agency every month. The higher your budget, the more policies you’re likely to sell. We have a minimum ad spend since you can’t really gauge the success of giving pay-per-click a try with a budget smaller than $200 a month per campaign.
“How many leads should I expect every month?”
The number of leads really depends on a number of factors. However, what we see as a successful search campaign would be a conversion rate of at least five percent. Since the average cost per click for search campaigns for our clients for insurance terms is about five dollars, that means you can expect about two leads for every $200 of ad spend for the search campaigns.
For remarketing, the average cost per click is about one dollar. However, a healthy conversion rate is much lower for remarketing at around one percent. Many of our customers experience much better numbers than this, especially over time as those campaigns mature. Those numbers are more of like a baseline of what we consider acceptable in the early days of a campaign starting out.
“Do people really click on those ads?”
Yeah, absolutely. We advertise our own services this way and manage hundreds of campaigns for agencies across the country.
“Do I have to enroll in your website service in order to enroll in pay-per-click advertising?”
No. Our line of services is designed to be really flexible and meet the needs of any agency. You can enroll in pay-per-click advertising by itself or mixed with any other kind of combination of services that we provide. And you can always add or remove specific services whenever you want to. We really want things to be flexible and meet your actual needs versus just, hey, do every last thing we offer just to do it.
“What if my competitors go click on my ads all day and waste my budget?”
Thankfully, Google’s revenue as a company is really dependent on these ads. So they prioritize with their technology making, being able to identify fraudulent clicks and refund fraudulent ones back. Whether that’s a competitor or some other entity, a middle schooler bored at home, clicking on it. If they detect suspicious activity, they want to make sure that businesses get a return out of doing ads and don’t have something like that taint the water. So yes, they do prioritize detecting and refunding things that look like fraudulent behavior.
“When you engage in remarketing, are you only targeting misconnections or do you also reconnect with successful conversions?”
That’s a really good question. With remarketing, you do build one or more audiences of folks that have visited you before. So your successful conversions can definitely still continue to see your ads. However, you don’t pay anything to Google unless your ads are clicked on. A person who’s already a client is more likely to just scroll right on by and say, “Yeah, they’ve done a good job for me.” They don’t have a need or curiosity to click on it. Whereas somebody who’s a misconnection is much more likely to say, “That’s right. I meant to re-shop my homeowners policy or my liability policy for my business. I’ve been putting it off. Let me click on that, and re-engage with this agency again.” And again, remarketing clicks are usually around a dollar to two dollars.
“Is the pricing page available in print so I can share with my office manager?”
That’s a great question. On our website, if you do an instant quote up at the top, you’ll see that as a menu option. You can email that instant quote to your office manager, or you can simply email them a link. All of our pricing’s laid out, if you visit brightfire.com/pricing.
Spencer: And a few folks were asking about receiving a recording of the webinar. Yes, that recording should be available on our webinars page, brightfire.com/webinars, about an hour after we finish today.
Spencer: And someone was asking to see the slide with the costs again. For what you’re paying BrightFire to actively build out and manage everything, it would be $100 per ad campaign and then the minimum monthly ad spend. So again, this isn’t paid to BrightFire. This is what’s going to Google or Bing or Facebook for people actually interacting with the ads, or in Facebook’s case, seeing the ads. As an example, like if you guys said, “Hey, let’s start out with the minimum for a campaign on life insurance.” Your costs to us would be $100 a month and your costs to Google would be $200 a month. So that all in, your total cost involved would be $300 a month.
“What is an instant quote?”
Basically on our site, it’ll give you five quick questions about how you’re marketing your agency currently, and then it’ll show you recommendations for which of our services we think would or wouldn’t be a good fit for your current needs, and why. And of course, we’re always happy to talk through over the phone and clarify that more. And you can always say, “Hey, it’s recommending these three things, but let’s just start out with these two and add this other one later.”
“Is there any available competitor to Google in this space?”
We do also provide service for Bing ads, as well as Facebook ads. We’re also considering adding support for LinkedIn ads soon, for a lot of our business to business-oriented clients.
Spencer: That looks like it’s it for today, as far as questions we’ve seen come through so far. If anyone thinks of anything later, definitely feel free to reach out to us and we’d be happy to talk through it, or your individual needs and goals as an agency and see what might make the most sense.
Yeah, again, thanks so much for attending today. Before we close, I’d like to remind everyone of our upcoming 20 Minute Marketing Webinars.
Upcoming 20 Minute Marketing Webinars
Our next one is going to be focused on ADA Compliance for Agency Websites. We’ll talk through what ADA compliance means for insurance agency sites, benefits of an accessible website, recent legal activity we’re seeing involving ADA website compliance, and how BrightFire addresses ADA compliance. That will be held Thursday, November 18th at 2:00 PM Eastern or 11:00 AM Pacific, just like today.
Spencer: And then our one coming up in December is going to be focused on social media marketing, with 10 Tips on How to Humanize your Agency using Social Media Marketing. Insurance sales is about developing relationships, and that’s exactly what social media can help do for you. Communicate and connect with insurance consumers and the more fun and casual structure of your social media channels, where you can show them a human side of your agency and take it from just being an abstract brand. Join us to discover 10 tips on how to make your agency feel more human. That one will be held on Wednesday, December 16th at 2:00 PM Eastern, or 11:00 AM Pacific, again. You can reserve your spot at those webinars by visiting the webinars page on our website at brightfire.com/webinars.
Spencer: That does it for today. From me and the rest of the BrightFire team, we’d like to thank you all again for attending and for investing time in this. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend. Hope to see you around next time as we talk through ADA compliance. Thanks again, and take care.