Whether you're an insurance agent, broker, carrier or lawyer,getting your target markets acquainted with your insurance servicescan feel overwhelming. For many, their expertise lies in theinsurance business and not in self-promotion, marketing oradvertising.

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Word-of-mouth is the prime resource for many small insurancebusinesses to win new clients. But depending solely onword-of-mouth to grow your insurance business can be a slow-goingaffair.

So how to find new clients?

Depending on what kind of insurance services you offer, the bestmeeting point between you and your potential clients may be online.As such, online advertising is the smartest, most direct way tocast a wider net and reach out to markets that might never hear ofyou and your services otherwise.

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Below are some basic tips for the novice online advertiser:

  • Know your audience and where they are on theInternet. Which websites do they visit? Which blogs do they read?Which social networks do they engage with? Are they researchingreal estate online? Or looking at car reviews? Are they in themarket to buy a boat? Once you identify who your potential clientsare and what their interests include, you'll have a strong sense ofwhere to find them online.
  • It's wise to use media partner research, likedata on media usage, as a guide to reaching your target audience.Find out how many unique users a website has per month, how muchtime a user spends on each web page and everything else about howusers interact with the website. This data will help inform yourdecision-making process when it comes to deciding what kind of adsto buy and where they should run. If, for instance, you're lookingto corner a particular market or city, determine the top indexingwebsites for that given city or town. For targeting a hyper-localaudience, these sites are priceless.
  • Identifying which websites you want your ad campaign torun on is equally important as what kind of tools youdecide to use. Websites typically offer advertisers a range ofoptions for how they want their ad to run. Banner ads, for example,can run horizontally along the top of the page or vertically downthe side. Each placement type can be strategically utilized toachieve a particular objective. Using high-impact onlineadvertising units, such as sliding billboards, interstitials andhomepage takeovers, can prove incredibly successful for increasingawareness of insurance services. When trying to push a specificinsurance offer, nothing will work as well as high-impactplacements to draw in a potential client's attention.
  • Deciding the campaign objectives upfront willalso help cut through the clutter and identify where you shouldspend your advertising budget. The clearer these objectives are,the better. Are you trying to drive traffic to a website? Or, doyou want people to enroll in a newsletter? When running aconversion-based campaign, for example, high volume rotationalmedia is a more effective than a one-day homepage takeover.
  • Run ads early and often. Like with any otherform of advertising, repetition is key and it reinforces yourmessaging with the viewer, reader or listener.
  • Lastly, don't underestimate the importance of strong creative.Ultimately, no matter how great the placement is on a web page, itsstrong visuals and messaging that will earn aclick-through. The creative doesn't need to be flashy. It justneeds to be relevant and to resonate with your targetaudience.

Jesse Goldstein is an account executive at New YorkCity-based digital media services company Gamut.

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Related: How to find high-quality prospects with Facebookand LinkedIn ads

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