“Marketing” has meant many things to insurance agencies over the past 20 years. Perhaps you’ve been told that door hangers and pens are a good investment. Or maybe you thought that t-shirts were the way to go. Maybe you’ve invested your marketing dollars in buying leads. Some of you might even sponsor local sports teams. Maybe you’ve tried things like Yellow Page ads, pizza box advertising, or the Reminder Press. The one thing these all have in common? You can’t measure the success of these marketing tactics and the message and medium are stale. If you can’t measure it are you sure its worth doing?
So what do you do? We’re in the middle of 2015 now and a lot of you are still using and falling back on these older marketing practices to get new business leads. It’s time to let those practices go and, while they might provide a sense of security, deep down you know that they’re a waste of time and money. I’m not suggesting you abandon 100% on traditional marketing but what I am suggesting is that 50-60% of your marketing dollars must be going into your digital marketing strategy: your website, social media marketing, search engine optimization, etc. Yes you should allocate at least 50% of your marketing budget towards these types of marketing tactics.
A lot of you have invested time and money setting up a website and social media accounts, but nothing seems to really be working. I hear this daily. That’s because it’s time to take the next big step. You truly have to embrace these online mediums and make them work for you and your agency. How you might ask? Lets start with a content strategy and that includes visual content too. Great content marketing happens when you and your agency create and share interesting content that is meant to help, not sell. Let’s remember that social media is NOT about you and your agency it is all about others. The idea is simple: get your policyholders and prospects eager to hear from you and your agency so that you stay top-of-mind with them.
You already know that the best and easiest lead to close is a referral. 2015 should be the year that you and your agency begin to reach out to your policyholders through great visual content marketing and multipurpose this content across your online/social channels.
1) Starting Point- Create an Agency Blog
Writing a blog is a great way to have a source for all of your insurance agency’s . Now if you approach your blog writing as a chore, it will become one. Where content marketing helps you here is when you are putting together your topic list. If you’re in home, auto and umbrella insurance, don’t write about the benefits of policy bundling because people don’t want to read about bundling what they want to read about is the new technology in cars that have Heads Up Displays (HUD) to help keep your eyes on the road and how this newer technology will help you save money on your auto insurance. Or maybe you could write about great ways to shop for appliances for your home to help you save money. Your agency must produce content that’s interesting and engaging and always remember to include the visuals within your blog because it matters. Think of it as being industry adjacent to what you do but not so out there that it doesn’t fit your business.
2) Email Newsletter-Go Digital
I know, email newsletters aren’t anything new; they have been around a long while. But now that you’re blogging and creating great content, wouldn’t it make sense to put that content to use elsewhere? Take those great agency blog posts you’re writing for your insurance agency and put it together in an email newsletter format. But remember, there are millions of newsletters out there – make sure to have your insurance agency’s newsletter stand out. Include your clients and there businesses – don’t just create a newsletter like everyone else. That way, even those policyholders that don’t actively read your agency blog will now be able to enjoy in your hard work.
3) Promote Through Social Media
With new agency blog posts coming out every week, it would be a great idea to share these on your personal and professional social networks. Unlike email or even telephone marketing, social media audiences have the ability to truly silence you by unfollowing you or worse, blocking you. That’s why sharing high quality content to your social networks is key to having a socially engaged network of followers. Another key to your social success is that 85-90% of your insurance agency’s posts should be about something other than insurance. People get bored with insurance – you need to keep their attention.
4) Referral Contests
Getting prospects to request an insurance rate quote from you and your agency is something that is always of interest. So why not run a referral contest? You know that these referrals close so much easier than cold internet leads so this is your chance to capitalize on your existing policyholders. Do some sort of social campaign that enters everyone into a drawing. For every referral they submit, they’ll be entered to win an iPad. If this is a successful approach for you, think about doing it quarterly but I wouldn’t recommend doing it more than that because it can become overkill.
To make the most out of killing two birds with one stone, run your referral campaign through your insurance agency’s Facebook page. You can promote the content through email and social media, and then have everyone “Like” your page in order to submit referrals. This is a great way to get your email only clients on your social media channels and your social media clients to read all of the great blog posts that your agency has been sharing.
When trying to do a blog, email newsletters, visual content or content marketing, and social media, it’s best to approach this logically. Trying to do each of these by yourself is exhausting, but if you take a single piece of content and reuse it across all mediums, the amount of work you’ll have to do is significantly lessened. My personal opinion is that your agency needs a full time marketing person if you want to have the best results.
I hope that this content is helpful for your agency because when independent insurance agencies stand together, we become stronger. It’s time to beat the Lizard. Happy Marketing!