Every insurance agency needs to have goals in today’s ever more competitive insurance space. Your goals could be financial, strategic, or marketing in nature, but hopefully you cover all three areas.
I have goals for my insurance agency. I’m heading into year 10 of owning my own agency. Looking into this next year, I need to have more marketing-focused goals to keep up with direct writers who continue to raise their marketing budgets. I’m writing this article to share what is going into our strategy here in my agency. It also never hurts to take a look at the goals any business or business owner should have when it comes to the promotion and marketing of their agency.
With 2016 here, let’s take a look at some potential marketing goals for your agency…
- Focus on quality content. It’s all about quality, quality, and more quality. This year, focus on the quality, not the quantity of your insurance agency’s content. Yes, you’ll need to produce a lot of it to make waves out there in the social world, but you should also put effort into sharing things that will be meaningful to your community. Invest back in your online community as well, because with more and more noise out there in the internet world, you will need to be laser focused on your community!
- Have a content plan. This probably should be your first priority, but my list is in no particular order. Content is a crucial piece of marketing, and has been for the past several years. This content must include what you publish on your website (also make sure your website has been updated), what you share on Facebook, pictures you post to Instagram, and what you post in the Twitter world. You can’t go into content marketing blindly, because there is just too much competition out there to do that successfully. Have a plan for your content, and make sure it is shared with your entire insurance agency so you can get buy-in from your staff. A key factor is to keep the team well-informed and to also get there opinion and buy-in on your plan.
- You must find new ways to distribute your insurance agency’s content. If your agency is not blogging, then what are you waiting for? Start with an agency blog, but please make sure to put together a plan instead of just writing anything from blog to blog, because it simply will not work.This is the year to be different, so try to find new avenues to get your content out there. For example, if you’re not in the Instagram world, then get out there and start to brand your agency in areas you’re not presently in. Another great area is Pinterest. The top million articles in 2015 showed that the most engaged platforms in Social Media were Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. So the question is this: are you
and your insurance agency playing in these social arenas? If not make it happen in 2016!
- Facebook is great, but let’s focus on other social media arenas. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is a huge player in the social world, but there’s more out there for insurance agencies than just the Big Blue. If you haven’t tried Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram, try it. I’m not recommending you abandoned Facebook, I’m just recommending that you add other social areas into your marketing strategy. The best strategy is a well-rounded and balanced attack.
- Get out of the internet world and do something in-person. You could spend your entire marketing budget and time on just social media, email marketing, and digital marketing, but that won’t reach everyone. Not everyone in your target audience is online or in the social world, so get out from behind that desk, and head out to some networking events in your communities. I’m old-fashioned and still feel the best and easiest way for me to sell more insurance is face-to-face and with our talent to talk.
- Partnerships. This could also be an old-fashioned way of marketing and networking, but your insurance agency needs to find other businesses with similar mindsets. If you’re only handling social media for clients, align yourself with someone who does web design, visuals, or Search Engine Optimization. I’m sure you have some common clients (or potential clients) you can refer each other, and a good relationship goes both ways; don’t be afraid to introduce people with others in your online or offline communities. Today’s world is all about who you know, not what you now.
- Set goals. Wouldn’t we all love to rake in six or even seven figures because of our marketing efforts alone? Yes, for some agencies, you may be able to, but for most, that’s not realistic. Whatever your plans are for 2016, make sure they are reachable and realistic. A great thing we do is analyze our goals monthly and quarterly to make sure we understand, as a team, where we are and where are we going; it’s a great roadmap, and it keeps our teammates engaged.
- Have a strong marketing team in place. We have two full time marketing specialists within our agency, so the question is do we need more? My question to you and your agency is do you have a full time person who is responsible for your insurance agency’s brand and generating more opportunities for you? If the answer is “no” I would highly recommend you hire someone and have that person work from within your agency.
- Mobile. Are you mobile ready yet? This is very very important in 2016. First, you need to cover your insurance agency’s website by making it mobile friendly and ready to serve your clients and your prospects while they are on the go. Secondly, and equally as important, does your agency have a mobile App? The everyday person is searching online from their mobile smartphone, so we are trying to improve with our mobile strategy everyday. For example, our staff is rewarded a bonus based on how many mobile Apps are downloaded, because as an agency owner, the more of our clients use our App, the more our agency can service our clients 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
- Are we proactive and ready for that next big storm. There’s nothing like having a winter storm or power outage and not being able to respond to our clients. My advice is to be prepared with proactive emails (“What to do in case of…”) and proactive messages to be pushed through your agency app. Being ready is half the battle.
- Technology. Are we where we need to be, or are we looking to get up to date with technology? The insurance world is way behind in my mind, which is why I recommend that we are always keeping an open mind (and keeping our eyes open) to what’s next in the technology world.
- Find an agency/business mentor. Having a mentor is something that is very underrated in the business world. All insurance agency/business owners and marketing professionals need to have someone they can look to for advice. This could be for advice or guidance, or for help in an area that you may be struggling with. Mentors are a great way to always strive to improve. In my case, I belong to The Greenwich Group, which is 20 agency owners from all over the US and Canada that come together two times a year to share what’s working and what’s not, and our goal is to help each other. I also have a business coach, and they too are very helpful!
- Track everything. To see the full-scale results of your marketing efforts and how well your marketing team is doing, you need to track the analytics (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, etc.). Make sure you know what’s working and what’s not working in your efforts; the only way to do that is by tracking. Analytics is the first place for your agency to start. Also, make sure you and your agency have your whole sales team involved, because they will be able to help your marketing team track each and every lead that comes in and where they came from. Tracking is key, but right along with that is making sure your sales team understands what to ask and how to measure where their opportunities are coming from.
With all this being said, please take it one bite at a time; you can not tackle all of this at once. Hope these tips help, and here’s to a prosperous 2016!
This should be required reading for every agent to begin the new year! Absolutely great advice for independent insurance agents. I would add one thing. Be sure your marketing people are participating in an organization like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or the American Marketing Association. Cross pollination with other industries and perspectives can help invigorate and inspire your team to accomplish what Chris has presented here.
Hi Chris, great content!
Agencies can really learn a lot from this piece.
As far as guest blogging goes, what I’ve found helpful is to identify the top blogs in your industry. A free Google Chrome extension called ClearWebStats Site Report will show you website stats like daily unique visitors, Pagerank, etc. This can really help to identify what blogs you want to write for if you’re going for max exposure.
Nice! Thank you for you blog. Its very helpful to everyone and this should be required reading for every agent to begin there business. Absolutely great advice for independent insurance agents.