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Is your agency feeling overwhelmed at times with the many marketing channels and mediums in the Internet world?  Just to name a few there is: E-mail marketing, newsletters, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Vine, Flickr, Pinterest, Facebook, online advertising, mobile marketing, inbound/outbound marketing, etc.

According to a recent study done by eMarketer, a leading internet industry research firm, small to medium sized businesses (SMB) find social media and e-mail marketing to be the best marketing tactics in terms of its cost-effectiveness and ease-of-use.

While advertising, whether it’s traditional or social, still leads the way with respect to proven effectiveness.  But it’s clear that overall small to medium agencies like yourself prefer other strategies.  So the big question then is “Why is this the case?”

Regardless of what your agency focuses on, you cannot deny the power and opportunities created by social media marketing and the digital opportunities created with e-mail marketing.  Do you need more proof to convince you that  your agency needs a full time social media person?

Here are three arguments for why you must take full advantage of these marketing tactics:

Personal Quality – How do you feel when you’re listening to the radio or walking down the road and see the huge billboard? You are constantly bombarded with the most irrelevant and useless advertisements, like the Lizard.  You probably just ignore most of them and move on, but it’s still very annoying, RIGHT?  Imagine a world where you only receive ads that relate to you, and on top of that, you can sometimes choose when you receive them and in the manner you want to receive them.  Well, that’s precisely what social media marketing and e-mail marketing does for your agency!

With social media marketing, you can find out who would love to either listen in or engage with you and your agency along with listening to your prospects and/or clients.  That is one super powerful avenue for your agency to grow with, wouldn’t you agree? Let’s look at some takeaways.  Say you have a client who receives an email from your agency explaining all the policies your agency sells.  Do you feel that’s powerful?  Our agency has an on-boarding process, which has 26 touch points in the first 9 months a new client signs up with our agency.

One of the most powerful emails we have is the email that goes out listing all of the different types policies our agency sells.  We regularly receive emails back from our clients asking for further information.  It doesn’t stop there.  Let’s look at Facebook.  Getting your clients to like and to comment on your agency’s posts or follow you on Twitter are great ways to stay public and to get your agency out there in the world of the Internet.

Your Agency’s Reach – In terms of reaching an exact and sizable segment of your target market, social media and e-mail are co-kings.  Yes, I said co-kings because one is not more important than the other.  They work together and your agency needs to be using both.  Facebook has over 1 billion registered users in its database, Twitter has in excess of 300 million and LinkedIn has over 180 million.  What does all of this mean to you and your agency? It means that within the next year, it is very likely that two billion people will be on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Yes, over 2 billion people!  Most agencies have no social media marketing person and the ones that do only have a part timer. Having neither a part timer nor no marketing people in your agency does not work in today’s times.  Don’t forget that while people may flip flop between a plethora of subscribed websites or social media sites, there is one subscription they very rarely opt out of – e-mail (our agency opt out rate is well below 1%).  Think about yourself!  How often do you change your e-mail address for yourself or for your agency? The takeaway here is rather than closing your eyes and blasting out a message or a mailer to certain cities or neighborhoods, wouldn’t you rather just tell the people who really care and who wanted to hear your agency message?  With social media marketing and e-mail marketing (digital marketing), they want (and often times, need) to hear from you!

Your Agency’s Cost and Time – But wait, there’s a big cost and huge time suck involved with digital marketing and all this social media stuff, right?  Yes and no.

Social media tools cost absolutely nothing or very little and, in many cases, only demand a whole 5-10 minutes to set up and learn.

E-mail marketing tools can be free, but require a bit more time to set up and understand.

I use a digital marketing system that costs about 300 dollars a month and it’s very automated and really does a great job with guidance.  With the proper subject lines our emails aren’t spammed and it has a great tracking tool, which allows me to review all of our email open rates.

Hang on, with all this being said, about the 10 plus social sites and the digital marketing that takes place yet we are not willing to higher a full time social media person.  Please don’t tell me that there isn’t enough for them to do because there is enough for my small agency to have a full time person and three part timers.  Let’s talk about the takeaway here.  Traditionally, insurance agencies felt that if they placed a huge ad in a newspaper or magazine, ran a TV/radio commercial, or mailed stacks upon stacks of brochures or mailers, they were getting great value for their efforts.  Most agencies even felt confident they would be rewarded with a flood of new prospects and/or customers.  But given the costs involved here, are you really getting the return you’re looking for?  I’m not saying to get rid of traditional marketing; all I’m saying is that you should have a blended strategy of traditional along with social media.

Social media and e-mail marketing are not only effective in practice, but they are also cost and time effective.

How can you argue with the very low cost of free or nearly free?

Given how many and the type of people you can reach at a very low price (or nothing) and let’s not forget the time commitment. Having a social media person is very important in order to push out great visual content.  If your agency doesn’t have a social media person or has them part time, please reconsider this.  Nothing great comes from part time.  Just think, if you ran your agency part time would that work?

We know you’re busy, but don’t let these easy-to-use marketing opportunities fall by the wayside.  Take the time to learn and implement them and you’ll receive dividends like never before.  Your agency needs a full time social media person in order to have a positive ROI.