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Visual Content Marketing is king, but it still takes great insurance content to be profitable.  I bet you already knew that because, at this point, you’ve probably heard it a thousand times. If you’ve been in or around the marketing industry for any length of time, you’ve heard this statement over and over again.

Content marketing is a huge black hole that we fall into everyday. Every one of us is trying to build an online presence and get a following of readers or fellowship. We already know that visual content is king and great online marketing agencies are serving up content and hopefully visual content on a daily basis. If done correctly it will bring us what we want, which is new insurance prospects.  But if done incorrectly, you are not only wasting your hard earned dollars but you could also being doing harm to your agency’s brand and its bottom line.

But content isn’t alone.  We all know that because we understand the world has gone “visual”. Another aspect to content marketing is “community is the kingdom”.  Have you heard of this before? If not, no worries.  It hasn’t become a popular notion yet.  But still, let’s dive into it a little.

Let’s define the “community is the kingdom” principle.  It means that our agency creates content that people (hopefully prospects) need and/or desire and we’re going to build a loyal community/fellowship around our agency’s brand.  This leads us to why content will remain king in your marketing strategy.  In real simple terms, it’s all about having the right audience.

However, there is another statement that has also been thrown around that I feel rings true.  If your agency’s content is king then the community is the kingdom of your agency’s content.  What we’re really talking about now is “relationship marketing.” I am wondering if you are buying into my theory here. If not maybe we need to sit down and talk about this or, if you live too far away, please call me (860-684-5270). Yes, I’m very serious about this.

Let me just remind you that relationship marketing is the glue that holds your agency’s marketing strategy together. It’s also a great way to not only to attract prospects but to get to know many of the wonderful independent insurance agents out there.

Your agency’s content will be fueled by your relationship marketing.  Let’s not forget that. I’m not trying to tell you that writing great content isn’t very, very important, I am only suggesting that your agency needs to build relationships in the world of Google. Writing great content is still vital to your success, but only after building trust within your online brand.

Getting your agency to have a viral social media share in the world of social media we live in is like having a dozen eggs dropped on our head.  Yes, we will have egg on our face. The chances of it actually happening is very slim so let’s always remember the focus is on the relationship building process.  However, your agency’s chances of having your content/visual content distributed in the social world only improve when this relationship is formed.

The web of social media is now mainstreamed through the building of online relationships among people with like-minded ideas, or similar niches, and the concepts we have. It’s becoming harder and harder to “game” the search engines such as Google.  So why even try to spend your time, energy and money in relationship marketing?  Stop with the games.  Google is too smart and has too much money for us to game them so let’s get back to the basics – relationship building.

If your agency is a new content writer in the insurance industry you may find it tough to get articles/blogs noticed on the web. But don’t give up. It’s going to take time and patience and I promise you, over time it will get easier and it will become very profitable.

If you’re wondering “Why it is so difficult to gain traction immediately?” it is because no one knows you or your agency yet.  But most importantly there are others who have been doing it longer than you and you are going to hit road bumps. But like I said, we all hit them so it’s up to you to fight through the hard times, which I did and I hope you do too.

There are an awful lot of reasons you want to build these relationships online. For the most part, people will build them because relationships help their agency in many ways. But if you’re only out to build relationships to make your business succeed, you won’t go very far. I will repeat myself; don’t build a relationship just to sell to your online audience. That doesn’t work and will hurt you and your agency in a big way. You need to build trust and credibility. You need to be real!

Yes, It’s Simple.  Really?

Many times, it’s the simple things we forget about that work the best for us and our agency. We all know there is no secret formula for getting your content or visual content out there to go viral. It takes hard work with lots of effort and energy, most of which comes from our agency’s building a solid foundation of relationships with our online peers. The same works offline, it’s all about building a relationship which is the foundation. Content is what will hopefully spark their desire and have them follow us and our agency.

The best in the business, when it comes to content marketing, is Jay Baer who says “relationships you build in the future will fuel the fire of your content”. If we just listen to Jay I can assure you his advice is spot on.

I realize that your agency’s content is the fire to your online marketing and social media is the gasoline. Yes this is Jay Baer motto and I couldn’t agree with him more. But let’s remember one thing.  Social media can only be the gasoline when you have built a good base (foundation) of wood (which is relationships) that will keep your agency’s fire burning continually. Build that fire, but don’t start out with the largest pieces of wood and the biggest fire. Start off with kindling, the small kindling bits will catch on faster plus it helps you and your agency get over the speed bumps. While that doesn’t make a large fire, it does allow you to add bigger and bigger pieces around it so you can catch the rhythm and it will allow you to grow. After a bit, you have a large blaze fire going that started from that tiny piece of kindling. That’s the only way to start this process if you want to succeed.

If someone is in your insurance niche and is doing something similar to what you and your agency are doing, don’t put them down or discourage them. Follow them and look for advice because let’s never forget that we independent insurance agents aren’t fighting against each other. Our war is against the direct writers. These kinds of relationships will allow you to start that fire in your relationship marketing. Your agency brand needs to be visible in the future and it will allow you not only to succeed but it will also help you to remain in this great industry for years to come.

Content is connected through Relationship Marketing.  It sure is!

If you can build relationships with your followers, you can start to understand their wants and desires along with their needs. Let’s remember that these are two totally different things.  If you really think about it, does anyone have to follow you in the social world? No they don’t, but they do because you are fulfilling a desire which makes them want to.  Most likely it is because your posts are funny, informative and simply interesting – that’s what keeps them looking for more. I will tell you that this is the emotion you and your agency are trying for because it is what will help your followers understand your agency’s brand.  When and if you can accomplish understanding your agency’s audience, you understand this simple fact as well. When you post and promote your content, make sure to make some of the content about your clients and friends and about the businesses you insure. You have to remember one thing at all times.  Social media is NOT about YOU, it is all about our audience and if we write with that in mind you and your agency will win the battle of content marketing.

These connections you make in the online world are the foundation of your relationship building. Relationship marketing has been around for hundreds of years and will be around for hundreds more so I remind myself that it is the glue that holds my agency together. So every article or blog I write, I need to remain focused on what my audience that follows me wants. It’s about writing from the heart, even though sometimes you may go against the grain.  That’s ok; you need to be real and truthful to be able to earn their trust. With that being said it is key to make yourself available to your followers. It’s very important to get involved in the conversations so that you can show who you are to the social world.  This allows your followers to earn your trust.

Your audience wants actionable content (hopefully insurance content) that helps your followers achieve their goals. They want to be able to take your content and put it to good use. In order to make that connection, you have to get to know the people (relationship marketing).

My Final Thought on Relationship Marketing

Content/Visual Content is still king of the marketing world. Yes it lives in a kingdom of your online community. With that being said, social media could be the queen that builds up the content you create for your agency.  After six years of doing this online marketing thing, one thing is for certain. Relationship marketing is what allows for success in visual content, content and social media marketing. The king of all kings remains “relationships” and your agency’s marketing strategy needs to revolve around that word. You and your agency’s marketing team need to take some time each and every day to engage with your online community, listen to what they have to say and always follow through with them if they have questions or concerns. No one likes to be ignored. Relationships are KING and with the right relationships, your agency will grow. Happy Relationship Marketing!