The winds of the digital age are blowing over the insurance industry and changing the way everyone does business. Years ago, it was the norm to market your products and services as an ancillary insurance broker via mailers, phone calls and print ads. Today, important business tools for insurance brokers include a website, blogging and social media. With this guide, you will get the information you need to use these tools and help your business thrive in the digital age.

Establishing Your Website

Your office is where you do business. If anyone wants to connect with you, they visit you there. Once they arrive, let’s face it, they use your office to judge you. What’s the outside like? What’s the inside like? Is well kept, neat and organized? Think of a website in the same way. It’s your online office. It’s where prospects will come to learn more about you and what you offer. Currently, 89 percent of adults use the internet compared to 52 percent back in 2000. When people are trying to find services or products, they begin online. In fact, 65 percent of people see an online search as the most important source of information.

Having a website that is optimized for search engines increases your chances of coming up as one of the options when a prospect searches on Google. What’s their experience when they visit your website? Your website should be functional, appealing, foster a connection between you and your potential customers and be loaded with useful content. Therefore, it's important to regularly review the site and make sure its design, functionality and content are modern and updated. Here are six components of a great website that will help you attract and retain customers.


Less is more. When people visit your site, it should be clear who you are and what you offer. They should also be able to find what they need easily. Here are some tips that will help:

  • Fonts should be easy to read – no script or gimmicky fonts.
  • Images and graphics should make sense for the products you sell.
  • Menus should be simple, near the top of your site and direct.
  • The content on each page should be direct and to-the-point.
  • White space should be plentiful to allow the eyes to focus on the important information.

As you design your website, you should consider adding features that help you attract new customers, retain current ones, drive sales and more.


In 2011, only 35 percent of adults owned a smartphone. Currently, 77 percent of Americans and 92 percent of consumers 18 to 29 years old own a smart phone.  As for usage, smart devices have become like a limb we can’t do without as shown by these stats:

Therefore, your website must work across various mobile devices. In fact, Google expects that internet users will be able to effectively search and get the best answers, regardless of which device is used. If you already have a website and it's more than a few years old, then there’s a good chance it’s not mobile-friendly or responsive. A quick check you can do to determine if your site is mobile-friendly is to check your website from your phone or make the browser window on your desktop the size of a phone. Does your website rearrange to fit the screen, or does it remain the same design with small type and sections of the website hidden off-screen?

If your website is not mobile-friendly, and appears outdated and difficult to use, visitors will exit quickly. Two action steps you can take to make sure your website is optimized are:

  • Use Google’s resources, Mobile-Friendly Test and the Webmaster Mobile Guide to test if your site is mobile friendly and how to improve it.
  • Make sure you chose a mobile-friendly template when building or updating your site; most modern, ready-made templates are mobile friendly.

Calls to Action (CTA)

Normally, when you get a visit to your physical office, you make it clear to prospects or leads the actions they need to take. In a virtual office, it’s even more important to make sure people know what to do because you’re not there, talking to them. The solution? A call-to-action.

What is it exactly?

According to HubSpot, “a call-to-action (CTA) is “an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a 'call' to take an “action.'”

Therefore, your website should have calls-to-action for your visitors, but not too many that it's overwhelming. Two important ones to have are "Request a Quote" and "Contact Me."

Your website can feature other CTAs that prompt consumers to take an action:

  • Email Sign-Up - If you intend to create an email list to keep in touch with customers and leads, then you should also have a prominent email sign-up form in your header or footer. This makes it easy for consumers to sign up.  
  • Blog - If you intend to have a blog on your website, then every blog post should end in an appropriate call-to-action, whether that be to contact you, download a guide you've created or use a quoting tool on your site.

Getting people to take action and interact with you and your site gets them that much closer to contacting you for their ancillary benefits needs.


Word-of-mouth is perhaps the most powerful referral you can get. Rest assured, that’s not disappearing anytime soon. In fact, word-of-mouth has simply taken on a digital form: online reviews. Eighty-four percent of consumers have as much confidence in online reviews as they do in a personal recommendation. Therefore, if you don't have testimonials and reviews on your website, then you are missing a big opportunity to convince leads that you're the right broker for them.

What can you do about this? Ask customers to write a sentence or two that you can use on your website; if possible, include a picture of the customer to make the testimonial more personal and believable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Page

You are a repository filled with the many questions you have been asked about dental and vision benefits, insurance carriers, open enrollment and a host of other questions. If someone finds you online, you want to still offer them great customer service and keep them engaged by answering their questions. Therefore, your website needs a FAQ page.

FAQ pages are valuable search engine optimization (SEO). SEO refers to techniques that make it easier for people to find you and your solutions when they search on Yahoo, Google and other search engines. Your FAQs may include the questions they are asking and the answers they seek, making your site a great place to visit. Plus, a FAQ can save you time. When customers get the answers they need, there’s no need to send you an email or a voicemail.

Useful Content

People are looking for solutions to their problems. They are looking for information that will help them make better decisions or live better lives; if they visit a website and it does not have this, they will leave. It should also be full of useful content for your visitors. Content on your website should include: 

  • About Us Page: tells the consumer who you are
  • Product Page: features the products and services you offer
  • FAQ: provides answers to common questions consumers ask about your product or services
  • Blog: used as a vehicle to establish you as knowledge expert in your field. It can also be used to provide more in-depth answers to questions consumers ask and can branch into other topics related to your products and services

Where to Start?

You have options. You can seek a professional to build your website; you can also build it on your own. Building a website may sound like it’s something completely out of your expertise but it’s easier than you think! Today, there are many great tools that make creating your own website easy.

If you're new to website creating, then you probably want to head over to an all-in-one service. They will help you set up your domain name, which is your website address. They also host your website and provide easy-to-edit templates for your website. You can have a basic site set up in a couple of hours through one of these services.

Writing a Blog

An essential business tool that has the power to establish you as a knowledge expert in your field and keep consumers coming back to learn more is your blog. While creating your website is a fundamental step to establishing an online presence for your business, it’s a bit passive. However, through your blog you can boost your online image, share your insights on ancillary benefits, current events,  ACA changes and invite prospects, leads and customers to interact with you.

Per HubSpot, “Blogs are usually maintained by an individual or a business with regular entries of content on a specific topic, description of events or other resources such as graphics or video. 'Blog' can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.”

There are many benefits to blogging:

  • Allows you to be seen online and grow your business
  • Shows potential clients that you are an expert in your field
  • Communicates that you are willing to spend the time to educate your clients
  • Increases the number of pages on your site and therefore, more opportunities to appear in search results

Businesses that blog as part of their content marketing strategy get 67 percent more leads than those who don't. Here are some tips as you get started with blogging.

Choosing Blog Topics

Coming up with blog topics is easier than you think. In fact, you are going to find that you are more of an expert at it than you may have expected. You know what topics your clients and leads are interested in because you talk with them all the time. You just have to ask yourself the following: What questions do prospects and customers constantly ask me? What problems do they need help on? What are their biggest challenges? If you're able to give them an answer on the phone or via email, then you can write a blog post about it.

Here are some tips to help you get started in blogging about the topics your clients and potential clients are searching for:

  1. Create an initial list of topics based on your interactions with clients
  2. See what other brokers are writing about online
  3. Research trending topics in your field and give your insight
  4. Stay on top of newsworthy changes and write how it may affect your clients

For example, if you are an ancillary benefits broker, you may want to write about:

And remember, your topics don't always have to be about insurance. They can also be on topics related to your products. For instance, instead of writing about dental insurance, you could write about the connection between oral and overall health or foods that are great for your vision.


Long posts are very helpful to readers when a topic is complex, or you're trying to walk readers through every step of a process; however, not every post you write has to be long. People are busy. Short posts (300 words) are very common across the internet and are the perfect length for a short reminder post or quick checklist your readers can use when choosing an insurance product or doctor.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Are your eyes glazing over a little bit right now? Resist the temptation. The tendency is to think only tech people can understand this stuff, but it’s not as complicated as you may think. As stated above, SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to techniques used to make your online content more visible to those searching on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.   

Here a few optimization tips to make it easy for prospects and customers to find you online:

  • Use headers: Using an appropriate header for the title of your blog and the different sections allows Google and other search engines to make sense of the hierarchy of content on your page.
  • Use SEO term or phrase in blog: What do consumers typically type into Google to look up the topic you’re writing about? (Quickly, type in the topic in question on Google then scroll to the bottom of the page for some examples.) That term or phrase should be in your title and show up two or three times in your content. You can then come up with secondary search terms you think people will use and use those terms naturally one or two times in your post.
  • Link to related posts: Linking to your own related blog posts and linking to other blogs also helps your ranking. But don't go overboard and stuff your post full of search terms and links. The content should read naturally, and as long as your post is helpful, as more people find it and share it with others, your SEO rankings will improve. Soon, you may even be on the front page.

Where to Start?

Blogging is easy once you get started. The first thing is making sure that your website has blog capabilities. Then publish a new post at least once a week. If you aren't a great writer or just don't like writing, you can create a video blog where you talk about a topic to the camera like you would a friend or client. Alternatively, if you have the budget for it, you can pay a person or services to write your posts for you. If you have any concerns about SEO, you can use SEO tools available with your website platform to make sure your content has all the elements to help it perform well. 


Joining Social Media

Networking events, family get-togethers, house parties and office parties are only some of the many ways people gather together and socialize. The digital age has added a few more ways for people to connect and ask questions and get feedback, in the form of online communities. A behavioral study shows that 91 percent of the participants say online communities impact decisions they make about their health. If growing your business is important, taking advantage of social media must be a part of your business plan.

There are a lot of social media platforms you could utilize. Here are four of them and how they can help you expand your online reach and build your business.  


  • 2.2 billion people log into Facebook everyday
  • 68 percent of Americans use Facebook
  • 35 percent of its users are less than 25 years old
  • 41 percent of its users are 65 years and above

With these impressive stats, it’s no wonder Facebook is the oldest and largest social medium out there. Insurance brokers who are serious about growing their business create a Facebook Business Page. Use this page to share your blog posts on dental coverage, benefits trends, interesting news items and much more. Plus, it’s appropriate to share moments throughout your day with this medium, allowing your audience to connect with you even more.

Facebook Posting Tips:

  • Add a professional profile picture that’s easily recognizable
  • Ensure the photo meets Facebook’s dimensions
  • Publish posts consistently and when your audience is most likely to be online
  • Check performance of your posts


If the word Twitter makes you think of birds and the repeated, short, light or piercing sounds they make, you’re not wrong. It’s probably the main thing we associate with this word before the social medium Twitter flew onto the scene and completely took over that word and world. Twitter is a social medium where users can publish short messages, known as tweets.

Twitter Stats:

  • There are many users: 330 million monthly active users
  • It’s used worldwide: 261 million users are international while 69 million are American
  • Used mostly by millennials: 36 percent of users are ages 18 to 29 years; 22 percent are ages 30 to 49; 18 percent are ages 50 to 64

With Twitter, you are posting a short statement in 280 characters or less, similar to sending a text. Therefore, Twitter is the best platform to use if you want to have instant conversations with users. Use this platform to find out the conversations people are having about specific topics, say dental savings programs, and then join the conversation. You may be able to answer a question or make a suggestion. Fact is, you already do this in your face-to-face meetings or at the events you are asked to speak; you’re simply expanding your reach and doing it online.

What’s great is that every time you help someone on social media, without expecting anything in return, you gain. For example, you build your reputation as an expert in your field, you stand out as someone with whom people may want to do business and you keep your name “top of mind”. Ultimately, your activity may position you to offer your services when the opportunity arises.

Once you have your account set up, you can post multiple times a day. Unlike other platforms, you can post the same things multiple times without it seeming like spam. For instance, if you want to tweet out a recent blog post you wrote, you can do so several times a week because of the "in the moment" nature of Twitter. Also, use hashtags related to your tweets to help people outside your own followers find your posts. While hashtags take up precious characters, they also make sure anyone searching for terms like #insurance can see your content.

With over 300 million users, many of which are millennials, Twitter represents a flight of opportunity for brokers who are looking to grow their business.


LinkedIn is a professional’s best friend. It is the largest professional network with over 562 million users located in over 200 countries. It’s an effective tool for selling dental and vision benefits to both individuals and other businesses. Here are LinkedIn stats showing the power of this platform.

  • 80 percent of business to business (B2B) leads occur on LinkedIn
  • 92 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn over other social media platforms
  • 46 percent of traffic form social media are from LinkedIn
  • 10 pieces of content are reviewed by users before deciding on a purchase
  • 94 percent of LinkedIn SlideShare reach 70M users each month; ranks in top 100 most-visited websites worldwide.

Once you have created and completed your LinkedIn profile, join groups or follow organizations related to the insurance products you sell and groups to which your target audience belong. These groups are where you will build your reputation as a thought leader in the industry  and, therefore, the person from whom everyone should buy insurance. You are an expert and you can show it by what you post.

LinkedIn is best for long-form content, so use it as a place to repost your best blog posts. Choose the ones that performed well on other social media platforms or have the most relevance to the groups you belong to on LinkedIn.

You should also answer any questions you see related to your field with no expectation of anything in return. If you build your reputation and stay active and at the top of everyone's mind, then people will remember you when they're looking for insurance.


Instagram is where you begin building relationships with a younger audience because the users on Instagram skew younger than the other platforms. Instagram is considered a blogging platform but in picture format. People post pictures they take in their daily lives, such as travel pictures, inspirational quotes, memes and other image-based content.

As an insurance broker, you can post images of happy clients and stories of who they are and how you helped them. You can also post pictures with short, product related tips in them, and the description can have more details about that tip. No matter what you post, try to make your images interesting to look at because Instagram is a visual medium.

You can't link out to your website from Instagram, so your posts should be self-contained and designed to make people want to take the time and energy to find your website on their own. Just make sure you have your website linked in your profile for easy access. Also, like Twitter, you should use hashtags to get your posts seen by others beyond your initial fan base.

Where to Start?

In general, social media can take up a lot of time. So, here are a few tips to help you as you get started:

  • Start with one or two platforms. Once you get used to using those platforms, you can expand to include others.
  • Consider social media tools. As you increase the number of social platforms you belong to, you might want to use social media tools to help you schedule posts, get notices when someone mentions you on a platform, or follow specific terms (like #insurance) so you can easily find and respond to people's questions.
  • Link to your contact page. Every platform you use should be linked on your contact page and in the header or footer of your website. This allows anyone who visits your page to easily follow you on the social media of their choice.
  • Send Alerts. Every time you join a platform, you should also send a notice to your current customers, letting them know that they can follow you on that platform to stay updated and to contact you with any questions they may have. This will give you a built-in fan base that can like and share any of your posts.

    Finally, as the winds of the digital age continue to change the way the entire world functions, the best way to respond is to bend with these winds. In other words, be flexible and be willing to change how you get the message out there about your excellent service, expert knowledge and quality products. And in today’s climate, when people can easily find and interact with you online, they have more confidence in you and your business. Just by setting up, or updating, your website, starting a blog to educate and share your knowledge and joining a few social media platforms, you will improve your online presence and increase your ability to grow your business exponentially.

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