If that title caught your eye, I can tell you care about the future of your insurance agency, because marketing is critical for any business, regardless of if it’s within the insurance space or not. So what exactly determines the fate of marketing for your insurance agency? Well, there are many factors of course, as you’d imagine. Today, I wanted to focus on one factor in particular that I believe should be present in every independent agency, and that’s to have a full-time marketer living in-house within your insurance agency. Many insurance agency owners will argue that there is no need to have a full-time marketing professional working within their agency, but I beg to differ. In fact, I like to have two full-time marketing professionals working for us, in addition to a part time intern working for us as their assistant. So why do we invest so much into our marketing? Here’s the thing, when it comes to focusing on growth, you get back whatever you put in. We aren’t afraid to spend some money when it comes to growth, and with that being said, I have no problem telling you that our insurance agency’s marketing budget is roughly 20% of our total revenue. Is it too high? I’ve never regretted the decision to increase our marketing budget s, because the growth we’ve experienced has been exponential. Let’s go over what my full-time marketer does with his day so you can see the benefits of hiring a full-time marketing professional for your insurance agency as well.
Why a Full-time Marketer?
I have received many questions asking me about what my full-time marketing professional does all day, and I have no problem sharing that information with you. Before we get there though, let’s talk about the advantages of having a marketing professional living within your agency versus hiring a subcontractor and/or third-party service to take care of it instead. First of all, when you shop cheap, you get cheap. I understand that you’re trying to reduce your marketing costs, but if you’re not willing to pay, then you’re not willing to play. This fundamental is present in all aspects of your marketing, including whether or not you make the decision to hire a full-time professional or not. A lot of insurance agency owners fear that this big of a change may not be profitable, but when it comes to your decision-making process, you can’t let fear dictate the final outcome. You have to embrace change on all fronts, and that could mean expanding your team.
Even if you decide that you don’t want to hire a full-time marketer, I would suggest starting with a part-timer that can work for you regularly in-house. By having a marketer as part of the overall team, you will find that your marketing will grow and develop overtime, which will affect your overall gross revenue because you will be able to reach a wider audience. Once a marketing professional integrates with your team, they can understand your brand, communicate ongoing strategy, track metrics to figure out what’s working and what isn’t (and capitalize from there!), and they’ll have a full understanding of the message that you want to send your audience. You simply won’t get the same results for a subcontractor, so it’s time to take the leap of faith and hire a marketer to be a part of your team. I’m sure I already know your next question though… “Once I hire a marketer to work for me full-time, what will they do all day?”
Responsibilities of a Full-time Marketer
Now, I wouldn’t want to give you advice without a sense of direction, so let’s break down the responsibilities of my full-time marketer so that you can approach your interviewing and hiring process with the right skills or strategies in mind. First and foremost, we have made the job description for our full-time marketing position available to view online, that way you can craft your own job description for this role.. This should help you with finding just the right candidate, but let’s dive a little deeper to the major responsibilities that my full-time marketer takes care of on a daily, or regular, basis:
- Social Media Marketing
Now, before we delve into responsibilities, I would like to mention that delegation is key when it comes to running a successful insurance agency. Even though you may think you can be in all places at once, that’s simply not the case, and it’s important to focus your time where it matters the most. That being said, the first responsibility that my full-time marketer takes care of for me on a regular basis is social media marketing, and that’s a loaded statement.
When it comes to social media marketing, my marketer is touching six networks on a regular basis, including Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. Not only does he post live to these networks, but he also creates scheduled posts to these social media networks with tools such as Hootsuite and Tailwind, which I would highly suggest doing a bit of research on. My marketer is always receiving ongoing training, so that he knows what to post, when to post, and how to capitalize on posting to social media as a whole. Not only that, but my marketer also understands our brand, tone of voice, and overall message, and conveys that to our network via social media. While I love to spend time on social media, as an insurance agency owner, I simply cannot be on our networks all day. Simply managing those six networks alone would be enough to create at least a part-time position within your insurance agency, but it doesn’t stop there.
- Content Creation
Yes, this is the next major responsibility for my full-time marketer. Without content, our social media networks would be blank, or at the very least, incredibly dull. Content comes in many forms, and let me tell you, the only form of content I ever take care of is written. When it comes to our visual content marketing campaigns, I leave that 100% up to the marketing war room, and while I may take care of writing from time to time, the marketers write on a much more regular basis. When it comes to visual content, my marketers use the Adobe Suite, specifically Adobe Photoshop. Our marketer follows our insurance agency’s branding guidelines when he crafts his visuals for our visual content marketing. I also mentioned that my marketer takes care of a lot of writing, and that’s critical, because we push out two blog posts per week for Paradiso Insurance. The last form of content my marketer creates is video content. Not everyone that you interview will be a video professional, but if you find someone who can take care of videos for your insurance agency, that could be huge. Video has stepped up to one of the most engaging forms of content online, so having videos that effectively convey your brand brand in a well thought out and creative manner will seriously push the envelope with your audience online.
- Community Engagement
We are all about being a huge part of our local community, and that is not something I say lightly. One task that I handed my full-time marketer is to help us become more engaged with our community in whatever ways that we can.. One campaign that we are currently running right now at our agency is called reverse trick or treat. This is a campaign where we take the time to give back to the children at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Unfortunately, these kids can’t have any Halloween candy because it could react poorly with their medication. Instead, our office collects toys during our donation drive from all of the local residents, and we have them delivered to the kids at the medical center so that they can enjoy the holiday too. While we have been putting on this campaign for the last few years, it’s still up to my marketer to get the message out and get our local community into the office with their donations. Through successful visual content marketing along with social media marketing and paid-for advertising (or “boosts” on Facebook), we can get that message out to a large audience.
Another way that my marketer keeps us involved with the locals is by visiting our commercial clients as part of our partner program. At our insurance agency, we believe in shopping small and shopping local, and our partner program is a way that we get the word out about our client’s shops to generate more business for them. My marketer takes trips out to our clients, shakes hands with them, takes pictures and videos of their businesses, and then comes back to the agency to craft visual/written content as well as videos for our clients (and at no charge to them). At the end of the day, we give our clients huge social media shout outs, and believe me, they are incredibly thankful for it.
- Assisting your Agents
My marketer puts the team first when it comes to his work. If the agents ever ask for his help, he is there, and that is critical. Sometimes it may be a simple computer issues, but other times, it could be a huge project. We want our agents to have visibility with our audiences, this way they can be more successful (and this applies to both our outside agents who travel on the road as well as our agents who work for us in-house). If the agents bring up a message to my marketer, he will push it out to our networks via social media and email marketing blasts. They also work closely when it comes to marketing the mobile app, or helping our customers get it set up on their phone. Sometimes one of my big billers in the office will host events or attend events for his clients, and my marketer will push out the message to get a stronger presence and reach a wider audience. Not to mention, with our agents who work in-house, we have just launched a new campaign where we blog and give a biography and introduction to each one of our agents. This is an extension of our “meet the staff’ page so to speak, and it allows our customers to get to know our agents before they even come into our office, and we strongly believe that this will improve their overall customer experience as a whole.
At the end of the day, my marketer puts the success of my insurance agency above all else, and that’s something that you should look for in any of your staff members. I hope you see the advantage of having a full-time marketer in-house, because I understand it can be a very big change. Remember, change is good, and without it, your agency will go stagnant. We could all use a little more marketing in our lives, and if you need advice on your search, please feel free to email me any time at email@example.com.