With practically every company in America now using webinars for events, how can you make yours a success?

Before anything elseyou need to consider the goals and vision of your webinar. Are you trying to acquire cold leads, attract current clients and referrals, promote your brand? Once you know the answer, you’ll better know how to build your presentation and your marketing.

Second, understand your audience and craft a targeted message campaign. Targeted messaging is a critical part of your event; it will position your business and services to your IDEAL client, and ensure they are the people coming to your event.

Lastly, be an expert on your material. American’s are looking for assurances, and we want confident people to deliver them. You have a limited window to do this, so take the time to hone your presentation and your message for the audience, NOT FOR YOU.

To help you stay on track with your webinars, I’ve created a 10-Step Marketing Planning Guide and a list of 14 tips and best practices for your events.

Download the planning guide
Download the tips and best practices

I hope this helps you on your path towards success with your marketing in 2020.

Skott McKinney, Head of Marketing & Creative Services


Curious about the future of marketing in our “evolved” virtual environment?

Join me on a shortened replay from Asset’s May 13th virtual summit, where I explain what you can do to WIN the marketing race in a virtual world and walk attendees through best practices for building their webinar presentations.

Click here to watch NOW!

Visit the Asset Business Resource Center to see how Asset Marketing Systems is helping financial advisors crush webinars.

Virtual Meetings and Webinars: The Simple List of Tech That’ll Make You Look Like A Pro

Skott McKinney, Head of Marketing & Creative Services

We’ve all felt it. The need to get up and running quickly to continue to do business with overwhelming anxiety and constant uncertainty. I’ve been asked many times over the last few months, “What do I need? Where do I begin?”. The truth is, I often find myself on a Virtual call, face-to-face with an advisor asking them why they’re so concerned when they’re in fact on camera using the computer at that time.

Change can be hard. But the difficulty is often in our own minds and we forget to realize that everything goes smooth, as long as you don’t panic. Most computers nowadays come with the necessary hardware to conduct these meetings. So, don’t procrastinate. Get familiar with your new environment, then you’ll better understand what you need.

To help those who are ready to take their virtual tech power up a notch, here is a short list of equipment that will help you achieve webinar stardom.

The backbone to any webinar or virtual meeting is of course the software. Here are my picks for virtual meeting and webinar software to get you going.

  1. Zoom meetings can be added to your meeting repertoire for Free, but I do suggest going one step up to $14.99/mo. Zoom offers a host of features that offer flexibility and integration with many of your other business tools. With recent security breaches, Zoom has patched their product to ensure your meetings stay secure.

    Start your Zoom meetings now
  1. WebinarJam is my goto for webinars. The simple interface, flexible options, and robust features allow you to get up and running quickly and professionally. WebinarJam’s interface will also allow you to take your webinars to new heights with live rooms, highly optimized registration page templates, and more.

    Click here to get your 14-day WebinarJam trial

Now that you have the software out of the way, let’s take a look at hardware. The hardware you choose is important. You don’t want to spend an arm and a leg if you’re not intending to make the next virtual mini-series from your computer, so I’ve put a list of great hardware that won’t break the bank.

  1. The Camera. You want a camera with a sharp picture, secure mount, and compatible with your operating system.

    The Logitech C930e has a glass camera with auto-focus, digital zoom, has automatic low-light compensation, and can stream in full HD at 1080p with 15 megapixels. Plus, this camera is compatible with Mac, PC and Chrome OS through the USB port.

    Typically, under $100, this is a great camera at an affordable price. Note that webcams are in high demand and price gouging is in full swing with these. Check it our here
  1. The Microphone: Many internal or integrated mics tend to pick up all ambient noise, as well as your voice. This means your viewers/listeners will lose much of the tone separation, making it difficult to understand.

    The Blue Yeti is a retro-style microphone with modern-day technology built-in. The Blue Yeti is a condenser microphone that plugs in using USB and it’s compatible your Mac or PC. With features that allow you to choose your sound pattern and adjust sensitivity on the fly, your listeners are sure to enjoy an immersive vocal experience. Check it out
  1. Your Lighting: To look your best, humans require soft, directional light. This eliminates unwanted shadows and makes your skin look healthy and vibrant. Unfortunately, most home and office lighting is not set up to do this properly.

    The CowboyStudio lighting kit features two soft boxes and tripods that you can position anywhere that suits you. The softbox diffuses continuous light to give you that perfect glow. They will also allow you to achieve an almost shadow-less light that will appear to wrap around you as you speak on camera. Check it out here

Now that you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to head out and make webinar history. Remember, your biggest failure is to procrastinate while you wait to achieve “perfection”. Perfection is a myth, so go out there, start your webinars now, and please, share your results.

Facebook advertising: Is change a good thing?

Written by: Skott McKinney, Director of Marketing & Creative services, Asset Marketing Systems

In the shadow of the Facebook privacy “scandal,” Facebook recently revealed that they’d made significant changes in their platform. I believe that this is a tactic to divert the public’s attention away from data hoarding to focus more on Facebook as a company of equal opportunity.

So, what really changed and how does this affect the financial services industry?

In a nutshell, Facebook has decided to remove approximately 5,000 targets that they felt had the potential to be misused, financial data targeting included. Facebook also states that they’ll be rolling out a new and required certification to all U.S. advertisers through its Ads Manager tool. This tool will require advertisers to register their compliance with Facebook’s non-discrimination policy before they can post ads.

Here’s a quick explanation of FB targeting:

Ads get optimized for affluent prospects. Up until recently, advertisers had been targeting potential clients by spending habits, debt, age, race, income, net worth, liquid assets, married, engaged, in relationships, birthdays, and the list goes on and on. Based on these targets, an advertiser could capitalize on your situation and habits to become part of your life and forever be present throughout your online experience.

There are a handful of other tools that help advisors determine the best client approach. A Facebook Pixel can be run hundreds of times a month, capturing user’s engagements from the second they click on an ad. This includes capturing spending habits, interests, etc. by following them across all web channels people visit. This is not changing yet, but it’s important to note because legacy advertisers will be able to leverage this captured data as a way to stay prominent and will not have to rely on the targets that are no longer available.

Many of the resources you rely on to fill your workshops primarily use Facebook. This is mainly due in part to the previous endless landscape of targets, but more specifically more GenX and Baby Boomers are users. In fact, of the 1.45 billion active users this year, 72% are age 52-64, and 62% are age 65+. To compare, in 2017 61% of users were age 52-64 and 56% were 65+.

How will seminar marketing vendors stay successful?

If a vendor has been running ads for a while, they’ll benefit from the learned information their combined ads and pixels have been capturing.

This combination of learned Pixel data and age/location targets will enable vendors to maintain qualified prospects in the changing facebook environment. I’ve learned that this methodology was deployed by a few of our vendors before the Facebook change, as a way to test success. Our vendors are claiming that this methodology is producing results similar to the campaigns sent prior to Facebook’s change.

It’s important to note that Facebook has also improved their algorithms to help offset changes, and they’re doing a better job of optimizing ads utilizing Pixels.

Final thoughts

Through 2019, I think we can expect to see moderate success from companies who have established data points, however, I suspect favorable rates of success will decrease towards the end of 2019 for companies that do not have additional resources to collect demographic data outside of Facebook, i.e., direct mail, continuously running a needs analysis to blind audiences, or list purchasing, which add complexity to the organization and may ultimately drive campaign costs up.

I believe that a change of platform is inevitable and advisors will need to turn attention to other platforms geared towards engaging the public’s desire to buy products, such as Amazon. These companies aggregate data to determine a buyer’s persona and ultimately market other products based on the buyer’s previous purchases. Imagine knowing how your clients spend money to better position you to interact with them.

Be on the lookout for future posts on the subject of alternative platforms.

It’s never too late to start your social media strategy. Click here to download Hootesuite’s 8-step guide to developing your social media presence. 

National Western – Extended 1% Commission Bonus

More Time to Earn Your 1% Commission
Bonus on Annuity Business


The 1% commission bonus has been extended! The bonus now applies to annuity applications* received between September 15, 2017 and November 15, 2017, and issued-and-paid by December 29, 2017.
*Excludes NWL Prevail Seven® and all SPIAs. Bonus is payable to the writing agent only. In the event the writing agent is contracted as a Special Producer receiving no compensation from NWL®, the bonus is paid to the recruiting Agent/Agency receiving the compensation.
Questions:
Contact the Marketing Department
at 1-800-760-3434 or by email at mktg@nationalwesternlife.com.

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National Western Life Insurance Company®
850 East Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78752
Agent Hotline: 1-800-760-3434 | Fax: 512-339-8350
Email: mktg@nationalwesternlife.com | Website: www.nationalwesternlife.com
For Agent Use Only – This document has not been approved under the advertising laws of your state for dissemination to individual purchasers.
2016 National Western Life. All rights reserved.

10 Ways to Generate More Qualified Leads

10 Ways to Generate More Qualified Leads
By Skott McKinney, Director of Marketing & Creative Services

Balancing client needs and running a business can be tedious enough without having to simultaneously focus on finding new, qualified leads. Prospecting is the top challenge independent producers face (1), and more than a third of independent producers say that finding new clients is the biggest obstacle to growing their business—more so than pricing or the increasingly saturated industry. (2)

The top industry producers focus on building a multi-platform marketing strategy that helps them generate qualified leads consistently each month. Using marketing to maintain a pipeline of engaged leads allows insurance advisors to connect with more people, communicate the value of their services, and build their business more efficiently.

As cold calling becomes a time-consuming tactic of the past, insurance advisors must utilize offline and online methods of traditional and digital marketing to attract more leads. Keep in mind that because different methods will reach different demographics, it is important to test multiple strategies to see what works best for an advisor’s target market.

  1. Direct Mail Seminars

Direct mail seminars are still a tried-and-true offline marketing strategy for insurance advisors. And for advisors who don’t have an extensive network, direct mailers make it possible to reach thousands of community members and invite them to an educational seminar.

  1. Websites

Websites aren’t just for online businesses. Finding and attracting leads online starts with having a web presence. When 50 percent of insurance seekers start their research online, insurance advisors want those prospects to find their website and consider them for their policy needs.

  1. Social Media

Social media is no longer a casual channel for exchanging messages and posting photos; they’re being leveraged to search for products and services. Around 50 percent of consumers use social media (and Facebook, in particular) to research an insurance product and are actively looking for information to help them make a purchasing decision. 

  1. Live Webinars

Seminars have long been a primary marketing strategy among insurance advisors, and live webinars can go hand-in-hand to reach a wider audience. 

  1. Corporate Videos

While content pieces like blog posts and articles are important to feature on a website for educational and SEO purposes, explainer videos can help convert more website visitors into leads. Since visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, and 65% of people are visual learners, insurance advisors can use videos to communicate their value proposition and explain the benefits of their services in an engaging format.

  1. Paid Search

Having a website is the first step for an insurance advisor to build online visibility. Paid search can kick online results up a notch. 

  1. Radio Spots

Over 90 percent of Americans over the age of 12 listen to the radio, and despite the heavy focus on digital marketing tactics, radio spots still have the ability to reach over 240 million people each week.

  1. Targeted TV Ads

Television offers an even larger potential audience than radio, and its visual component provides more ad options.

  1. Local Directories

Local directories play an important role in an insurance advisor’s online presence. Nearly 90 percent of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call that business within 24 hours.

  1. Referrals

Word of mouth is an essential lead generation strategy, as consumers are more likely to trust reviews from other consumers as opposed to a claim a business makes.

DOWNLOAD WHITE PAPER

Overcoming Social Media Challenges

Overcoming the Challenges of Social Media for Financial Advisors
By Skott McKinney, Director of Marketing & Creative Services

The power of social media for business can’t be ignored.

70% of people in the United States currently have at least one social media profile, with over half of the population using two or more networks.

In fact, social media users are rising so quickly, it is predicted there will be 2.5 billion users by the year 2018. But it’s not just the sheer number of users that brings attention to businesses and brands. It’s the influence that social media can have on consumers.

According to recent studies, 95% of adults (age 18 to 34) are likely to follow brands on social media. In addition 71% of consumers who have had a good experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend that brand to people they know.

Unfortunately, not all financial advisors utilize social media marketing to its fullest potential. Social media can do so much more than just help get you in front of consumers. It has the unique power to bring you new clients, increased awareness, and more sales.

Take a look at our complete white paper and learn how social media can help you make an impact with your customers.


Download White Paper