Importance of Cyber Essentials and Steps for Certification

Do you think your organization is in need of a protection from cybercriminals? To preserve your official documents and customer details from hackers and criminals, Cyber Essential Certification is important. They are government implemented a scheme that helps you to protect your ventures stored details against online cyber-attacks.

GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation guarantee the privacy of your personal data, but they don’t provide any specific measures to do so. This regulation tells that you are responsible for your own personal data and it’s your duty to protect them. This part of security can be ensured by Cyber Essentials security schemes when it comes to system and stored data.

Why Cyber Essentials?

Cyber-attacks are the most common criminal activity taking place in recent times. Increase in these crime rates has affected the revenue and reputation of those organizations being attacked. Cyber Essentials were introduced to reduce these crimes and to ensure that all online businesses can be run safely.

These security systems protect those basic Information Technologies and software of the company, which are more easily hacked and used against them. The government collaborated with Information Security Forum (ISF) and the Information Assurance for Small and Medium Enterprises (IASME) consortium and developed some technical methods to create a protection for these basic vulnerabilities of your organization.

Once the customers understand that your organization has successfully certified to this security scheme, they get a confidence to approach you more often. This certification ensures them that you have taken the first step towards securing their privacy as well.

Getting certified with valid certification bodies can keep away hackers who look for unprotected and exposed organization system and software. This certification badge also creates an advantage of attracting more customers who consider your venture a successful, secure and trustworthy.

Certification of security scheme is mandatory when working with government contracts or certain technical products and services. Working with these central government contracts will require handling more sensitive and personal information, thus cyber essential certification is more important so that they can be saved from those cyber threats.

Types of securities

There are different ways to ensure that your system is secured against these threats. Not all the organizations will have time and experts to create a full-on security system for protecting themselves. The main types of securities are:

The easiest way is to gain your own knowledge of cyber securities and secure your companies ITs and software yourself.
Cyber essential certification can be adopted if you want to take security to a more reliable level.
For more advanced cyber security you can opt for cyber essentials plus certification.

Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus

Cyber Essentials

This scheme gives the organization basic security against common cyber attacks. Securing your system from these easy vulnerabilities are important because, if exposed, they can make you an easy target for those cyber attackers.

Getting this certification is simple and less costly. The important advantage of this type is that you can decide how much the certification company, you chose, should interfere once the security is certified. You can ask for as much help as you need and avoid unwanted interference.

Cyber Essentials Plus

It is a type of security system with the same simplicity in technical methods and the place where to put them, as the Cyber Essential scheme. The difference is that the verification of security is done by the certification company, you chose, independently.

5 main technical controls provided by the cyber essentials

When we say that these schemes provide security against cyber threats technically, it means that they provide with the main technical controls as given below;

Boundary firewalls and internet gateways for your system
Secure your system configuration
Control the access to your system or software
Protection from malware
Patch management

Certification methods

After deciding, mentally, the type of security you want to implement to your system, you can start the step by step process towards certification of the cybersecurity.

There are three steps towards certification:

Selecting Certification Body through one of the main five Accreditation Bodies.
Making sure that your IT is secure and meets the standards set by the Cyber Essentials
Complete the questionnaire provided by the selected Certification Body.

We can know about these processes in more details:

Selecting Certification Body through the Accreditation Bodies

There are mainly five Accreditation Bodies currently: APMG, CREST, IASME consortium, IRM Security and QG management standards. Research about these bodies and select the best suit for your organization and your security needs. Once selected the Accreditation Body, click on their website link and go through their Certification Bodies list. These are the bodies that will verify your securities and provide you with cyber essentials certificate.

The processes Accreditation Bodies perform are:

These bodies provide the questionnaire for the certification process.
Conducts processes for auditing the Certification Bodies in them.
Checks whether these Certification Bodies meet all the technical competence demanded by NCSC
These Accreditation Bodies are regularly audited by NCSC

Making sure that your IT is secure and meets the standards set by the Cyber Essentials.

For the certification process, the Cyber Essentials will need some requirements for your information technology and you will be advised to provide various forms of evidence before the certification process.

All you need to take care of is that your systems and software can meet these requirements and can submit those evidence, the Certification Body you chose demands, before moving on to the next step of certification.

Complete the questionnaire provided by the selected Certification Body

After providing with all the requirements and evidence demanded by the Certification Body, they will start the installation, configuration and maintenance of your information technology. Now the last step is to answer the questionnaire the Certification Body supply you with and submit them

Becoming Instagram Famous Isn’t That Hard

A strong and stunning Instagram feed
There are a number of key factors that can make your famous here on this widely used platform all over the globe. You have to keep your concerns only with those who are going to get you a great number of followers for a long time. In this regard, the most important thing is to make your profile look great to others. Making your profile appealing for your visitors is one of the key factors of becoming popular on Instagram.

For example, you are supposed to showcase your photography skills to the public, don’t ever dare to post a low quality or a bad photo, which will surely ruin everything in front of your audience. Rather choose not to post anything at all. High-quality content is the only thing that is going to get you the expected engagement rates.

Moreover, keep in mind that the people will attract to your profile only if you have something unique as compared to others. Uniqueness is the most important thing because if you aren’t unique, you aren’t giving people any reason to follow you. For example, if you are selling content writing services to the public, make them available the reasonable rates or give them offer to have the first article done for free. In this way, you can attract the people towards you by posting these offers visually on Instagram.

Make the people notice your profile
Managing to get the attention of people isn’t something very simple. You have to go through a lot of struggle in this scenario. You are having the aim of thousands of followers, likes, and comments but unfortunately, getting a few hundred followers becomes a hectic job.

In this regard, you can try out a few things to make other people notice you. Approach the people whom you know already and ask them to follow you on Instagram. Choose to add hashtags or captions to your photos. Using hashtags will make you appear in the hashtag feeds of Instagram. You can choose to follow a plenty of Instagram profiles and in this way, lots of them will follow you back. Also, interact with them in a nice manner to have a healthy relationship. Leaving good comments on photos of others may also get you, followers. Keep experimenting with different things until you get the desired number of followers.

Keep your followers engaged with you the right way
One of the most crucial things to mention here is that becoming Instagram famous isn’t about getting followers only but you need to retain your existing followers as well. In this scenario, keeping them happy, satisfied and engaged is another goal to achieve. Choose to make an amazing relationship with your followers by posting on a regular basis, replying to their comments individually etc. You may also choose to ask questions or try anything else to engage with your followers. It will surely let you build long-lasting relationships with your followers.

The Power of Content Marketing Storytelling

3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Social Media Engagement

Once upon a time your social media marketing strategy was probably largely focused on sharing links to third-party content with your audience. Well, those days are over, and if you want to stand out in the crowded and noisy online environment, you need to focus on content marketing storytelling.

We all love a compelling story. Whether it’s an adventure, comedy or fairy tale. Stories influence people’s emotions, which we as marketers know can then influence buying decisions and brand loyalty.

According to Jennifer Aaker, a psychologist and professor at Stanford University, stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts.

Here’s a great example of how a passionate story inspires, promotes and increases loyalty and social media engagement. SoulCycle is a trendy spinning studio that entices people to try out a fairly pricey class by using an emotional narrative.

This is also an example of brand positioning, but SoulCycle used it as a content piece across online platforms and on studio walls:

So how can you incorporate story telling into your business marketing efforts? Here’s 3 easy ways to get started with:

1. Lights, Camera, Engagement

One of the top ways to tell interesting stories is with video. I recently attended Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, and this was probably the biggest takeaway: you need to be focusing on video if you want to increase your social media engagement.

I know some people hate being in front of a camera, but there are a few ways to make it easier.

For example, if you’re a life coach, you could create short videos answering common questions your clients face such as Am I in the right career? How can I be happier in my relationship?

It feels much more comfortable and natural to speak about what you know, and you might find yourself actually enjoying it.

You could sit in your office, outside with a cup of coffee… whatever puts you at ease and creates a nice aesthetic for people to look at.

If you’re still shaking your head, how about creating videos that feature other experts (who aren’t competitors) or using imagery and text to tell a short story? A life coach could share graphics with inspirational quotes set to music or shoot a beautiful sunrise and ask followers: What are you grateful for today?

Whether you’re using Facebook Live or creating 15-second clips to share on Instagram, use the platforms your target audience does and start shooting!

2. Lose the Links on Facebook

It’s now common knowledge that Facebook limits the reach of your post if you include a link. When you share a post without a link, your engagement is much higher. We’ve seen his happen and have changed our Facebook marketing ways accordingly.

It’s not just Facebook who doesn’t want to see a bunch of links-it’s your audience. People like to engage with a brand and have authentic conversations, not just be fed a steady stream of links to relevant content.

You can limit your links by creating videos with calls to action, focusing more on problems and solutions your product and services offer, and asking your followers questions they’ll want to answer.

3. Add More Humanness

I kept hearing the word “humanness” at the conference. It relates to the simple idea of creating a more authentic story by being yourself to connect with your audience.

Warby Parker is an affordable eyeglasses company that focused their brand positioning around humanness. They never marketed to their audience by saying something like “We sell cheap eyeglasses for the whole family!”

Instead, check out the story they used across all of their channels:

“Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. (We don’t recommend this.) The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were the options?”

Remember, telling a story is not intended to be a sales tool! Your end goal is of course to grow leads and sales, but your intent should be building strong relationships with your customers and online community. If you do that well, the rest will follow.

Don’t have a way with words, or the time to juggle all of your tasks, let alone focus on growing followers and engagement?

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.

Reviewing Niche Products And Services

Reviewing Products and services can lead to unlimited opportunity

In this article we’ll be discussing the process of researching products and services that can be used as reviews within the posted content on your website. There is an awesome opportunity residing in every niche and product reviews are a critical component to any successful authority website on the internet.

Let’s have a look at these topics:

Introduction to Product Reviews
Products and Services can lead to great opportunity
The Top Platforms to use for product research
Building product keyword lists

Introduction to product reviews

Marketers create several types of product reviews:

Single product review – ex: Mr Coffee 12 Cup Coffee Maker
multiple product review – ex: Best 12 Cup Coffee Makers
Product vs product review- ex: Mr Coffee vs Keurig 12 Cup Coffee Makers

There are other ways to review products, some other product review types are:

Video – display product and how to use
Unboxing from delivery
Negative review warning viewers and offering a better choice
The 5 Ws – ex. who: Mr. Coffee – when: sold in stores, what: digital coffee pot, why: it’s new and improved, where: online and near you.

What can be included in our review:

Overall rank
Product descriptions
Pros and Cons
Price
Guarantee – yes/no
Product specifications

These can be displayed somewhere on the review page.

The reviewing products and services process is all to inform your readers so that they can make an educated purchasing decision, and help them make the best choice for their situation. The viewer has come to your website by choosing our link from the search engine result pages (serp’s).

The first thing they see upon entering your site is the link page that they clicked on. We should come across, or appear to them as professional business people who care about them so they can feel comfortable and trust us as niche authorities.

We also need to see the whole process from the right point of view in that we are trying to help the reader make an educated purchasing decision. We are NOT trying to sell them anything. Our service to the reader is to provide them with reliable quality content that answers their search entry, and lead them to the better choice, which could be the product that we are promoting.

How Reviewing Products and Services can lead to great opportunity
Every review represents a burst of traffic to your website and also an evergreen, or continuous, source of traffic. It’s a great idea to pay attention to the new releases, or trending products in your niche that you can review. As viewers are looking for the new product they can see your review and end up on your website, possibly leaving their email address or even making a purchase.

The more reviews that you write means more and more traffic to your website, coming from the many social media sites, forums, and various serp’s (search engine result pages). So, the more quality product reviews we can write means all the more potential opportunity through the many avenues can come our way.

The Top Platforms to use for product research

Product source or website – Best for specifications and details
Manufacturer – Best for specifications and details
Distributor source – Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot
Reviews – great for feedback on the product. It’s a good habit to always check the product reviews on Amazon, and wherever the product is sold.
Google alerts – Google.com/alerts/product name – this will get lots of relevant info in your email so that you can stay updated and well-informed concerning the product.
Highest Competitors – could find some info useful whether a video or previously unknown fact.
JV sources – joint venture: JVzoo, JVnotifypro, phys example: The Rock and Under Armour teaming up to create a specific line of clothing.

Building a product keyword list
It’s really necessary to use a good keyword tool and there are a number of good ones Free online and most at least have free trials.

The FREE Google Keyword Planner has been around for many years now and is a great one to use. This keyword planner is great to use with each and every post, article, or page that you write and can certainly be of great assistance as you fill up your website with fresh, quality, relevant, keyword rich content that attracts viewers and satisfies their search inquiries.

One great thing about using this tool is that you can draw information directly from Google’s search engine which is by far the largest and most used search option available.

Find a quiet place and spend some time researching within and making a list of topics and ideas that you can write about. Every title should have one main keyword in it. Within every niche there are many areas or topics that can be written about. Every article, post, or page that you create for your website should have a keyword in the title and that will be the focal point of the article.

The goal for every article or post is to get your article and website ranked well with Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the rest of the search engines. This will attract visitors from the vastness of the internet to visit your site.

It’s best to save all of the keywords that we want to use and add them to the list which is saved within the keyword tool that we’re using. Some great information is found in the keyword tool, and it’s also best to choose a keyword that:

Is relevant to my niche
Gets over 30 average searches per month
Has less than 100 QSR, or quoted search results (competing sites)
Must be grammatically correct

While you’re building up your website with useful quality article content you are also presenting yourself as an expert within your niche.

Importance of Followers and Fans on Social Media Platforms

In recent times, social media platforms have taken the market by storm. Not one or two, but there are several platforms where one can post their creative ideas like pictures and videos. Also one can follow various people there if one likes their content. Seeing that these platforms have millions and billions of users and out of the 70% of the users are regular ones, these spaces have turned into a great channel for marketing and advertising. However, it is not enough to just have great content one also will have to increase their fan following.

Who are fans and followers?

People who use a certain platform not only post their content, but also look for other people’s content with whom they can connect. So when these people start following their favorite accounts religiously, they become a follower and a fan.

Just like marketing happens in the real world, one will need more fans and potential customers to follow them on social media so that they can be converted into customers. That is why it is seen that fans play the most crucial role In making or breaking an account and their creator’s social media influence. These fans will only become loyal supporters, chain marketers, and customers for their followed people and business accounts.

Why followers and fans are so important?

Having a huge following on social media is important because:

Make the brand popular: one can use social media to promote their brand, whether it is any product, service or thought. Having a huge number of followers means they can reach out to their fans and establish their offering to them.

Create a community: many times it is not about just marketing or advertising, sometimes it is about reaching out to like-minded people. Social media can be a great platform for finding people like oneself and also it becomes easy to say what one wants and it will reach people easily.

Increase the influence: every brand or a social media influencer needs to spread their business and for that followers and fans are the best way to go about. Usually, these fans and followers only become marketers thus spreading the brand more effectively.

Why buy fans and followers?

Now that one has noticed how much followers and fans can affect one’s social media presence, whether it is an individual or a business. Therefore, other than some of the organic ways one can also buy followers for their account. Some of the benefits of buying social media fans are:

One can grow their business instantly without having to wait for a longer period of time.

Followers attract followers, so if one has a strong number of followers on their profile this will show the popularity and effectiveness of one’s products and thus will attract more followers.

Having more followers will influence people to visit one’s website, thus increasing the website traffic.

Having more followers means more visibility and that means more customers, all this will lead to higher revenue.

A large number of followers will also make one look more credible and thus will give a boost to one account among other competitors.

The Benefits Of Offering A Free Membership

You can truly expand your business fast if you offer a full-fledged and valuable membership site free to your prospects and customers. This is a killer way to build your email list and to really get close to your audience. You see this happening in a micro way with Facebook groups, and how small business owners are using them to build community.

Let’s look at the many benefits of offering a totally free membership.

Grow Your Business

People like free stuff so if you offer a free membership community for your audience, they’re going to jump on it. This is especially true if you already have a following and customers. They like to feel as if they’re VIPs and in the know.

Build a Community of Fans

When you have customers, they may or may not buy from you again. They might not remember to look for you, so it’s not even that likely they’ll buy from you again – unless the price is right and they happen to see a new advertisement or mention of you. If they’re a member of your community, they’ll see it.

Identify New Target Markets

Something interesting happens in a private community among like-minded individuals. They start sharing about other things. They share their lives in an intimate way with the other members. It starts feeling like a safe place to share. When they share, you learn about more ideas and products you may want to create, or lookalike audiences you can target.

Build Your Brand

Having a popular membership site will help you build your brand because more people will know who you are. Give your members the incentive to promote your membership too. For example, give them points for getting people to sign up and for sharing that they can use toward products. That will help you build your list free.

Promote Paid Products

Since they are getting the membership free, you can promote all your paid products to them when they’re using your platform. Since they’re not on Facebook, LinkedIn, or another platform, all the distractions are gone and they’re going to be more likely to take advantage of your offers.

Offer Paid Upgrades

Even if you have a free membership site, it doesn’t mean you can’t offer a more exclusive one that offers more time with you – such as one-on-one video conferencing or something each week. If your free membership is hopping, people are going to want to find out about the exclusive options too.

Build Your Email List

Everyone who gets in your membership is being signed up to your email list. Because it is such a high-value offer, they’re not really going to think anything about giving their email to be part of a membership. It’s easy.

The Power of Content Marketing

WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?

Content marketing is described as a strategic approach to marketing that focuses on the creation and distribution of valuable, consistent and relevant content to attract a certain refined audience for profits in the consumer market.

Most leading brands hire people with courses in content marketing to improve the branding of the product or service being marketed in the public domain and also benefits enterprises by increasing sales, cost saving and getting more and better consumers with higher loyalty.

THE NECESSITY OF CONTENT MARKETING

Marketing has revolutionized today due to the digitization of almost everything around us. Mass media is targeted to reach the specific audience for which the product or service has been catered for. Quality content is extremely essential for successful marketing along with a well-defined plan or strategy.

Different forms of content marketing like social media marketing, search engines publishing quality and consistent content, successful PR strategies, inbound marketing etc. are dependent on a proper content strategy that helps deliver the perfect content for a curated or mass audience.

Today, everything is digital. Marketing for almost anything, be it political, retail products or services, food or academic books etc., Everything is effectively and almost freely marketed via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Most of these social media websites and search engines pop up relevant ads according to the searches we make across the Internet.

STATEGY FOR CONTENT MARKETING

Content marketing must be smart so as to capture the attention of the target audience for the service or product. Targeting the youth on social media, the elderly via television and radio advertisements are some of the strategies for smart content marketing.

The content must be designed in such a way so as to target the right audience in their mindset. Map the content for the product or service and then try to use the right type of content for the problem by mapping the buying cycle of people who have the specified problem and would be willing to venture into the product or invest in the service.

VARITIES OF CONTENT

Different types of content are available suitable for different marketing strategies like vlogs, videos, advertisements, billboards, surveys, email newsletters, posts on social media pages like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc., Polls, podcasts, quizzes, outreach programs, photographs, predictions, news etc.

Each option has its own benefits and can be used according to the demand of the situation. The single main goal of marketing is to increase business revenue and there are numerous ways to achieve that.

Content marketing requires creative brainstorming from professionals who can analyze the minds and thinking of the consumer to decide which approach is best to capture their attention. Interactive and creative content will definitely help make a product or service successful.

Why It Pays to Have a Multiple Quote Website

Why it is necessary to get a reliable insurance company in today’s world: there are certain straightforward trademarks of all insurance companies, through which we can distinctly differentiate between them.

Go through the reviews of well-reputed and creditable resources which can assure you that the insurer you are opting for works for your benefit and secured contentment.
Shop around for comparison because there might be companies in market providing premium policies at a dirt-cheap rate, but many a times those companies aren’t legitimate. So, go through policy details and settle for that particular insurer who facilitates all coverage without cutting down the market rate to 50% but at the same time is comparatively cheaper.
Lastly, consider experience as the most important trait of the insurance company. Check their expertise in the field you are concerned about, and if their issue of license has a greater number of years in terms of longevity, then go for it without hesitation.

Categories of coverage: A cobweb of insurance companies is present, offering insurance for multiple categories like:

Insurance for Cars: Two things every car owner should keep in mind while selecting the insurer:

While liability insurance is over-priced, the common policies are quite cheaper in comparison and some other policies are dependent upon the model of your car.
Never allow lapsing of the policy you are paying for.

Insurance for Homes: The most fundamental and common homeowner insurance policies cover at least four of the following criteria:

Coverage that shields your home.
Coverage that protects other liabilities.
Coverage that guards personal properties.
Coverage for the surplus living cost one has to pay in life.
Coverage for undone properties.

Insurance for Health: In this resilient economic condition that we are living in, there is one insurance policy called HDHPs or Catastrophic Health Insurance policy on which every consumer is banking for fortification in emergency situations.

Life Insurance: Points to be noted when investing in life insurance premiums:

Check your financial service aids from which your family can draw.
Write down a rough description of all your long-term financial requirements.

For some companies, there isn’t one particular website for all the information on these categories. Hence, digging through multiple sites and reading along the lines of criteria for multi-categories of policies is tedious and difficult.

So, for all the purposes mentioned above, you need a website which contains concise and updated information on multiple insurance quotes.

The kind of information available on multiple quotes websites: The procedure for proper operation of the websites varies, but the end result remains the same, which includes the following:

They are equipped to present us with the perfect coverage plan according to the basic details about us and our personal requirements.
Easy comparison of multiple insurance quotes so that every doubt is clarified and we choose the optimum and ultimate plan for our own benefits in terms of long term protection.
Based on the range of rates that we have set for us, we get both variety and reliability in the form of information proffered by these websites.

The Internet Lifestyle For College Students

The reality that most college students are facing when they graduate from school are either.

One.

They will not be able to find a job.

Two.

If they do find a job, it won’t be the one that they want to work at.

Which is why starting an internet business in their dorm room and working on it around their schedule is the best option for them.

Many go out and do part-time work, but that is really a waste of time.

Students would better off using that same amount of time to working on an internet business that will start bringing them in passive income.

There are 2 types of income that you can earn.

Active income- the amount you are paid for by the hour for being there.

Passive Income- money coming to you, whether or not you working or not!!

See the difference?

Your main goal in your career is to set up a business that allows you to earn MASSIVE passive income daily!!

This what the schools aren’t teaching their students and it is a huge problem in our society.

Okay, now that you understand the difference between active and passive income.

Here are the 4 steps to starting your online business from your dormitory and living the internet lifestyle.

1). Target a market or niche.

2). Set-up a 1-page opt-in site.

3). Drive a lot of traffic to that site.

4). Monetize that traffic.

This is an outline of what your internet business should look like.

Now, let go little more into details here about each step.

Targeting a niche.

Do your research and find out what type of problems your classmates are facing in school or look to find a product or market that is being underserved.

Once you find it.

Go get a product or service that can solve that problem.

It’s really that simple.

Also, make sure that the market you choose is full of hungry prospects.

Because the market will always determine the niche that you choose.

After you find your affiliate product.

Buy a domain name and set up a 1-page site.

You will need to write up a short 12-page report that you give away to people who opt-in to your newsletter.

Your report must be of value to your prospect, because you want to build trust with them.

Next, do videos to drive traffic to your site.

I would interview experts and then link your site in the resource box.

Start a Facebook group as well.

Write a few articles or share some in your newsletter.

The next thing is to start making money from all your previous efforts.

You should have already signed up with a ClickBank/Commission Junction and any other affiliates.

It’s free too, so don’t worry about that.

I like to contact companies who don’t have an affiliate program and then help them create one and create a distribution channel from it.

Look, this is just an outline that any college student can use.

Effective Lead Generation Through Digital Marketing

How to Increase Your Small Business Lead Generation

Lead generation is a critical component of many different businesses. Take an insurance agency for example, whether you’re providing car, life, home, life, health or business insurance, you need to understand how to consistently get more customers and utilize your sales funnel.

A lead is a person who has shown interest in your company’s product or service in some way.

You want them to buy something from you, but you need to spend some time building up the benefits and wooing them to entice them to choose you over your competitors.

A lead generation funnel centres around a large number of names being poured into the funnel. Over time, you identify which are viable targets, then hopefully turn those targets into prospects and finally convert to buyers as they move down the funnel to purchase.

Direct marketing goes way back in the world of insurance sales, but the internet has made it much easier for insurance companies to get new targets and automatically follow up with potential clients.

If you’re using online marketing strategies, it doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the night and your business is closed – your insurance agency can get new clients anytime, anywhere.

There are 3 steps to this process:

1. Generation

This is the first part of the journey, where you generate the initial spark of consumer interest or enquiry into your products or services.

Ideas to start trying to convert targets to paying customers include:

• Asking people to sign up for your email newsletter

• Encouraging people to fill out an online form for a free consultation

• Using an exit intent popup on select webpages

If you’re doing SEO, SEM, social media marketing and content marketing well, you should have a large number of visitors to your website and social media accounts, where you can initially engage new clients.

Note that Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) requires you to receive consent from recipients before sending messages. Make sure you ask people if they’d like to sign up for your newsletter before you start sending your finely-crafted marketing materials to their inbox!

2. Qualification

Not every prospect you capture is going to become a sale. You need to have an effective process of filtering through all your leads to find the best ones. Otherwise, you’ll waste time on audiences that will never convert.

For example, a prospect who lands on your site, visits your “Pricing” page and enters their information into a form to download your free report is more valuable than a person who lands on your site, reads a blog article, then leaves.

Here’s an example of lead generation through digital marketing from everyone’s favourite gecko.

3. Nurturing

This is the step where you’re focusing your efforts on providing relevant information at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Some examples are providing targeted marketing content and email personalization.

Studies show that compared to traditional marketing, content marketing and email marketing generate 50 percent more leads. It’s important to create original, quality content if you want to attract customers – especially because a lot of insurance information is confusing to the average person.

Content marketing helps you get discovered on social media and in search engines.

Then, you can help drive new referrals organically. Appeal to potential clients’ needs and pain points with solution-based content and you’ll get their attention.

Through continuous nurturing with valuable content, people will start to think of you as a trusted source and authority.

The Importance of A/B Testing

You’ll never know quite how successful any campaign is without testing it! A/B testing is a popular way of determining what works and what doesn’t.

You should be testing the effectiveness of one element at a time to determine what is actually responsible for an increase (or decrease) in traffic or conversions. The more time you spend testing, the better results you’ll see.

Some things you can A/B test include:

• Adding or decreasing text or white space on your website

• Changing a call to action in your email or on your site

• Changing a headline or block of text on your sales landing page

Finding new clients is hard work. So is working hard to stay ahead of your competitors. Will it be easy? No. But if you put in the time and energy you’ll see your insurance marketing strategies pay off!

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.