The Baby Boomer Generation, those born between 1946 and 1964, represents the single largest group of individuals that will transition from the workforce to retirement, happening from 2011 to 2029. Doing the math, it works out to approximately 10,000 per day or, even more granular, one every 8 seconds. They control over 70% of disposable income and spend most of that on travel, health and wellness.
They’ve been influential on many fronts, no more so than the creation and use of technology. Both Steve Jobs of Apple and Bill Gates of Microsoft were born right in the middle of the baby boom, and have enabled the world to consume information and media in ways the Silent Generation never dreamed of. It’s no surprise that over half of those aging-in are comfortable with shopping for their health insurance online. Would they be able to find you there?
We’ve reached the tipping point; agents and agencies need to have an online presence that includes:
- a website
- social media sites
- search engines/review sites
Let’s discuss each of these items, why they are important, what function they play for an agent/agency and some tips on how to stand out in the digital age.
Think of your website as your 24/7, always-on business partner. They work hard, understand the market and the available products, and are willing to educate. Your website should have an easy to remember and easy to type URL (think jsaonline.com) so people will be more willing to type in the address from your business card or advertisement. It should be neat, clean and uncluttered to allow your clients to learn more about you and the products/services you offer without much distraction.
Your website should be your client’s go-to resource for educational information. You can work with many of the web-hosting providers to incorporate a blog, where you can share educational information on hot topics in Medicare, which allows your clients to share the blog posts on their own social media platforms and helps the site become more search friendly.
It should also include the ability for prospects to comb through your portfolio of products, generate their own personal quotes and even request more information. Consider this your digital business card.
Don’t forget about the compliance aspect. Make sure it includes all of the necessary disclaimers and that it remains generic in nature. (We can help with that.)
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Reddit – the list goes on and on. 15 years ago none or very few of the Boomers knew what these sites were, let alone how to use them. Fast forward to present and over 71% of Baby Boomers use social media on a daily basis. They use it to catch up on current events, keep up with various hobby groups, and connect with friends and family all across the world. My grandfather has even started to send “Happy Birthday” messages through Facebook Messenger instead of his usual phone call.
Regardless of the social media site you use to create your business profile, there is still a lot of red-tape around how we can utilize this platform to reach more people. This is where a clear line is drawn between the purpose of your website and the purpose of your social media platforms. Your website is your digital business card, where people can learn more about your business and the products and services you offer. Social media is where your current clients can learn more about you, where you can be more of a person and less of a business, and where clients can share in their appreciation for what you do.
Some of our best social media agents/agencies like to share valuable content like tips on staying active, interesting articles about Medicare or other insurance topics, easy recipes, blog posts to drive traffic back to their websites and promoting any upcoming events. They also like to post client testimonials (with permission, of course) and congratulate other businesses or local influencers on a job well done. It will bring more of the human aspect of your business to your followers and keeps you top-of-mind. Who knows, you may even get some good referrals out of it, too.
Search Engines/Review Sites
Boomers are diligent learners, and consume information at an astonishing rate. They will research everything and read plenty of reviews before making a purchasing decision. In fact, most boomers are about 58% of the way through the buying process before they reach out to an agent directly, after they’ve done their research on Medicare and yes, even you.
Google used to be just the name of a search engine in a sea of other oddly named websites. Now, google is a verb and it’s usually the start of a quest to learn new information, find the lowest price for an item, look up movie times, check sports scores or find a new restaurant to enjoy. It’s also the starting point down the “what’s the best plan for me?” phase for many as they approach age 65 and you better have a business listing. Just google “Jack Schroeder and Associates” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. This is a place for clients to find quick information about your company like the address, hours of operation, phone number, website URL, and also, more importantly, your star rating.
Make sure to set up your page for free by visiting https://www.google.com/business. Then, encourage your satisfied clients to leave you a nice review on Google with 5 stars and you’ll get a better rank when prospects search for “Medicare agent in my town” or the like. Ratings are a quick and easy way for people to see if you’ve been able to help others in the past and how satisfied they were with your services. Why do you think most online retailers always send a follow-up email to review your purchases? The more reviews they have, the higher the likelihood that someone will buy from them.
You can also set up other review sites like Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, even the Better Business Bureau to help boost your online exposure.
Bonus Tip – YouTube
Congratulations, you’ve made it all the way down to the end of this blog post! As a reward, we’ll let you in on a little-known secret among the broker community which can make all of the difference.
The #1 search term for the 65+ population is “youtube”.
No, not just “youtube” by itself but what they would like to learn more about with “youtube” added to the end of it. For instance, instead of searching for “Medicare insurance plans” they will search for “Medicare insurance plans youtube”.
Video is a powerful tool, and outside of a website & social media, it’s one of the best ways to enhance the relationship with a new prospect and gain trust and credibility with your online audience. If you’re up for it, explore creating your own on-topic videos about the various parts of Medicare, focusing on education. Don’t know what to cover in your short clips? Make sure to talk to your JSA Account Manager about the Medicare Minute program.