I want you to consider a one major question: “Why would someone buy insurance from you or your agency”?
My personal answer can be summed up in a short sentence: We make it fun and easy for our customers
and, as independent insurance agents, we will provide you with a number of different options. You, in this case, means the insured prospects or clients, and this is the underutilized beauty behind the world of the independent insurance agency. The insured prospects is our number one priority, and because of this, the quality of service and customer experience provided to each individual is exceptional in our agency. Plus, the American way is the power of choice, and that’s exactly what we offer to our customers.
Now, let’s talk a bit about Facebook.
Facebook is a platform that is designed to build relationships in the social world.It is a place where insurance agents can establish a stronger connection with their prospects and clients. Facebook allows us to put a face with a name, unlike any other social platform, and that is very powerful. Facebook helps agencies get past the 800 number, and also get past that “You’re not just another number with our agency.” It also reinforces the idea that you can provide a personalized level of service that the other guys can’t. Through Facebook, your insurance agency becomes something that’s a lot more tangible. Facebook allows your insurance agency to have a voice.
In order to utilize Facebook to your insurance agency’s full potential, I have outlined several aspects that you need to focus on in order to have success.
Two simple Words: Inbound Marketing
Before I go on, I need you to understand these two words. In simplest terms, inbound marketing is a strategy designed to attract prospects and clients to you or your agency by using relevant content that your target demographic can relate to. Inbound marketing can and will help you earn the attention of your target demographic if done correctly. It also helps by allowing your insurance agency to answer questions and concerns, and with that, you’ll be attracting prospects and clients to your agency’s website. Unlike many other forms of social and digital marketing, inbound marketing delivers the prospects/consumer straight to your agency instead of your agency having to go out and find them. Inbound marketing should be the center of your marketing engine.
Inbound marketing is nothing like traditional marketing that was used 10 to 15 years years ago. When it comes to Facebook, inbound marketing concerns the type of content your insurance agency is posting on your agency’s Facebook page, and how that content will ultimately convert a prospect into a client.. Instead of pushing content outwardly and hoping people will like it and respond to it, you should do just the opposite: produce content inwardly that your target demographic can relate to. That content must be full of helpful information, like something you might share with a friend or family member. Essentially, inbound marketing builds trust and puts the decision completely in the hands of the prospects.
Now, the million dollar question I’m asked is, “What should I be posting?”
“What should I post?” Great question. My first question back to you is, “Who do you want to sell to?” The content I am posting on heavily depends on the interests of my audience and who I
‘m going after. Once that question is answered, we need to ask ourselves: “What would that audience be interested in reading about?” For example, I love to write classic car insurance. So first I identified my audience, which are males between the ages of 40 and 70 years old, who are married with children, who own their homes and businesses.Now that I have explained who I’m after, I can write to that specific type of individual and answer questions and issues that audience might have through content that is more engaging, and more geared toward their interests. I think you get the idea, and I could literally come up with an endless examples on this, but I just wanted to make sure you had a clear understanding of the concept behind this strategy. My hope is that you’ll have a clear understanding of the importance of knowing your insurance agency’s audience and what resonates with them before you ever post anything in the social world.
“Where do I get content?” Step two is finding things to post for your targeted audience to engage them with you and your insurance agency online. This is is such a broad question (“Where do I get content?”) and my answer is broad as well. It all depends who your audience is. For example, I use Pinterest a lot for classic car visuals and content. When I’m writing business insurance content, I’m going into my Google+ circles of business owners to find out their issues and concerns. So be sure to explore and look around to find the right content to repost or re-share, and please try to avoid spraying and praying; that’s when you just grab content and repost anywhere and everywhere, but that does a lot more harm than good. What I do for our agency is set time aside (just a few hours a week) to build what I like to call a “Library of Content.” A library of content is simply a place I store all the links to blogs, interesting blog articles, and great visuals that I locate out there in the internet world, and also websites with useful resources that I will want to go back and review to see if I want to re share or start following the people who either wrote the content or the people who re-shared the content.
Consistency in your Schedule
If you take anything away from this article, one key concept is that consistency is probably the most important thing to practice when it comes to all of the rules of engagement in the s
ocial world. If you have an understanding of your audience, that’s great! If your insurance agency’s Facebook page has flawless content to share with your targeted audience, that is even better! However, if you don’t post on a regular basis, everything you have tried to succeed at will fail. Yes,without consistency, everything else is pointless. The purpose of consistency is to build an audience that looks forward to your posts, that opens and reads your posts and the content you have to share on a recurring basis, and then turn that into a strong relationship built on trust.
Hearing all this about consistency may make you think you’re way too busy for all this. Well, I am too, but I find the time and I invest in the right marketing staff to make sure we are remaining relevant and consistent. I understand, everyone is extremely busy, but none of us insurance agency owners are ever too busy to make our agencies more profitable. So here are a couple of tips to help you be consistent.
Methods for Consistency:
1. Schedule your content: (I would look at purchasing Hootsuite to help assist you in scheduling your post). Set time aside each week to sit down, and schedule your posts and or sit down with your marketing staff to pick out and review the content that you want to post.
2. Content Exploration:
This is where your library of content comes in and saves you time and energy. Go through the websites, visuals, blogs, and resource links you have saved, and find content to post for the week. I would recommend having a plan that goes out 4 weeks ahead. In the beginning, stock-piling your library might take you a good full day, but it’s worth the time investment.
3. Load Your Content Gun:
Now you can start scheduling your posts, but you must realize that it’s equally important to decide how much or how often you want things to be posted on your social media. Understanding which days and times you should post will take a bit of effort, but you should track and measure what’s working best for you and your insurance agency. I would start (and this is just a starting point) with one post daily, and I would post in the mid to later half of the day. Then after a three to four weeks, review your statistics, and start to post twice daily making sure you’re not overloading your posts with insurance content. People don’t want to read about a BOP or tenant insurance every single day; I would recommend one out of ten posts should be insurance related because in the beginning, you need to build up an audience on trust, and that will not happen that with boring insurance content.
Everyone likes to be acknowledged, no one likes to be ignored. If someone else’s business page post something you really like and enjoy, let them know you appreciate it and like it. Yes, and you can even take it a step further by commenting on their content; tell them you love the post, and thank them for sharing it! You just have to acknowledge people and connect with them. It’s about building a relationship, so that you can build trust. Without trust, you will never succeed. Remember, everyone wants attention, no matter how small or big they are. Social media is NOT about you, but rather, it’s all about them!
Measure and never stop Measuring
Now that you’re doing all of this marketing, you might be asking yourself, “How do I know it’s working?” Well, you and your staff have to measure it, yes, you have to measure your marketing efforts. In order to improve on your marketing, you must realize what you did wrong and not repeat it, and also realize what you did right and continue to do it. In order to do this, I would highly suggest studying the reach and engagement of each post . You may be asking why, and it’s because Facebook’s analytics can be complicated and ever changing, and I could write a whole separate article on the ever changing analytics of Facebook.
Find a place to record your measurements, this could be a word document, agency management system, or an excel spreadsheet. My personal suggestion is a spreadsheet within Google Docs, you could make it a small tab on or within your library and also be able to share with your agency teammates. What ever works best for you is fine as long as you’re doing it!
2. Top Posts:
Twice a week, when you sit down to schedule your posts, I would go through Facebook and look at your top performing posts from the previous week. I would really look over your top three posts and really dig into why they performed so well. After that, look at your bottom performing posts, and find out why they failed. Then you can look at your posts with the most likes, shares, comments, and which ones that have the highest reach. Record the posts, and then over time, you might start to see a pattern and begin to understand what’s resonating with your audience. Remember, measuring takes time, but it’s critical to your success. So never quit when it comes to measuring and reviewing what’s working.
Promote your Agency Facebook Page
Every time your phone rings within your agency, tell those people about your Agency Facebook page. After you quote a commercial policy or an Umbrella policy, take the time to email or text a client a link to your Facebook page, and tell them, “We would LOVE to connect with you on Facebook and other social sites. We share helpful tips and success quotes, and we feel you will love our daily content.” Those simple words can spark a lifelong relationship built on trust between your insurance agency and that client. All you and your staff have to do is ask. You shouldn’t have to jam a promotion or a freebie in front of them, just casually ask for the favor. Liking a page isn’t difficult, and if you provide a link in a conformation email, it
makes asking even easier, this I promise you.
Remember with all this being said, this is something of constant growth and change, constant evaluation, and constant moving targets that you’ll have to aim for. You may not get it right the first time or even the second time, but you must remain committed to the process. I promise you that you will make mistakes, but so what? Learn from those mistakes and move on. You and your marketing staff will grow and learn. Soon, you’ll start building strong relationships with your prospects, and those will turn into clients, and those clients will tell their family and friends to like you and your agency page as well. As your following grows (and if they remain engaged), your agency will grow. Facebook is not dead, in fact it’s alive and well, and there is a lot of money sitting on the table if your agency is willing to go in and get it.
This is a great post Chris.
You really broke everything down. Couldn’t agree more that tracking marketing efforts is key, it’s the only way to allow the business to pivot their concentrations in real-time to improve their marketing strategy.
I think a lot of agency’s have a hard time with content marketing because they rarely focus on one niche and try to cover too much, just as you explained in your targeting strategy. Instead, they should focus on their expertise.
Thanks for sharing.
I agree Mike. It’s best not to spread yourself thin and stick to what you’re good at. It’s all about focusing in on what your prospects want from you and then tackling it with a balanced attack.