20Oct

Sit in front of your television for a couple of hours and what are you going to see right now? Aside from your usual mix of car and mutual fund commercials, right now the two most common options are either political ads or ads to educate people about open enrollment. This year, billions will literally be spent on advertising those two topics alone, not to mention anything having to do with the holidays, retail and so forth. Putting aside politics, why is so much being spent on health insurance, especially for a free service like Medicare?

Health insurance agents and advisors know exactly why this money is being spent. Open enrollment is the one time of year where everyone in the medical coverage field has to have their game faces on and put together a strategy on how to get even more signees than they did the previous year. Why? Because this is the easiest and most significant of the time of year to grab new patients. Every year, there are millions of people who become eligible for Medicare for the first time in their lives and the majority of them need help with enrollment. Help that you can provide.

Knowing why open enrollment is important is one thing, but how do you reach such an expansive audience? Should you consider the television route or try something else? This is where so many factors play a role including your budget, getting quality content made, and much more. However, before you invest in anything, you need to do your research and figure out where the audience is and how best to reach them.

The Value Of Research

While there are more platforms and ways to advertise to an audience than ever before, it’s important that you understand what each one offers the user, how they use it, what they use it for and if it’s the right platform for you. For example, you notice that in your area, there is a way to target 100,000 people who are between the ages of 64 and 67 by using Facebook. That’s an incredible stat and the platform will offer you an affordable way to reach that audience. However, are they going to take an action from there because they saw your ad?

This is the challenge every marketer has to go through. What platforms give you easy, reliable traffic and what platforms get you results? The truth is that every company that advertises on Facebook or Google sees mixed results. It can be because of the quality of your content, the time you are running your ads, what you are offering or even your budget. Should you expect to get real attention from that same audience with a budget of $1,000 a month when your competition is spending ten times that each day?

Where Do Medicare Audiences Go For Info?

When we research where Medicare audiences go to get their open enrollment information, the interesting note is that they tend to go to a variety of platforms instead of just one. Each of these platforms are selected based on the interest users have in health insurance content, but may require a different approach than the other. However, that doesn’t mean one will work better than the other. The reality is it does come down to a variety of factors and trying multiple campaigns to discover which one works better.

  • Google: The world’s largest search engine is still the first place people go for information about their health insurance, especially when it comes to open enrollment and specific changes. This platform is ideal for individuals and agencies in that it allows you to market in any capacity you see fit whether it’s free advertising with a business listing or by going the more expensive route by using SEO and PPC options.
  • Social Media: Originally skeptical of these platforms, insurance agents are now seeing more and more interest from social media. However, in many forms, it’s not what they expected or they’ve had to go a different route. For example, with Facebook, a simple ad educating users on the fact that open enrollment is coming up and that you offer free advisement may get you some traction. However, those ads have been beaten plenty of times over with content that focuses on areas of concern for the audience including major changes, ways to save and so forth.
  • YouTube: Everyone learns differently. Some can read a paragraph and know what to do while some may need a video. Content should be shared on as many platforms as possible if you are trying to educate people on something as important and widely researched as health insurance. Videos on this platform are easy to create because you do not have to invest money into production. People have built great audiences just by sitting at a desk and talking about the issues and posting that footage.
  • Mailers: It seems that health insurance agencies do not want mailers to work anymore because of how expensive they have become. While that may be the case from a budget standpoint, the fact is that this strategy is still utilized because it still works. You can hit someone with a dozen ads in a single day about Medicare, but they will not pay attention to a single one. Then, as soon as they get home, they notice the mailer and call an agent.

Learning where and how to reach your audience is challenging. Some Medicare advisors love to use multiple outlets throughout the year. They find email is the best way to communicate with customers throughout the year but when open enrollment is upon us, they find that more aggressive options tend to work better. It’s understandable as you consider the fact that audiences are bombarded with ads to begin with and that becomes, even more, the case when we get to the end of the year.

Your budget will dictate many of your options but not all of them. Facebook, Google, YouTube and other platforms have all become extremely popular and charge plenty for the ability to advertise on their sites. However, what you have to understand is that each one of them still offers a way for you to utilize their platform for free and still generate interest. Do your homework on each one and learn how to manage your content as well.