Many insurance agencies have finally taken the dive into digital marketing but only to have their journey halted. So many agents finally get the fire started and the desire to move only to have their flame smoldered or extinguished completely.
We hate watching agencies start but then stumble and give up because things didn't go their way.
The reason this happens to so many agencies is because they do not have the necessities in place for their marketing efforts to succeed. This blog article will take you into the 7 essential things every insurance agency needs in order to have success with their insurance digital marketing.
Do you know WHY Digital?
Too often do we see insurance agency owners decide to take the step into digital to be "relevant" with no real foundation as to why they are stepping into digital marketing.
The first thing you need to have in order to succeed with insurance digital marketing is a reason for it.
Do you want to engage with prospects in a better way? Do you want to increase lead generation? Are you trying to create more value for your clients? Why are do you need to take the step into digital marketing?
This is going to be the foundation for everything you do moving forward. If you don't have a real reason for why you want to implement digital strategies then your agency will call it quits as soon as things get uncomfortable. Which by the way, is right away.
If you do not know why you want to engage in digital marketing nothing else will make sense. If you have not figured out why you want to dive into digital then take the time to do so. It will give you the foundation for a successful marketing journey.
Who is going to do the work?
Wouldn't it be nice if your agency could make a single Facebook post and generate leads? Unfortunately when it comes to marketing it takes a bit more work than that. When we think about marketing that actual generates results, it can easily consume a full time job. Think about it, writing blog posts, making videos, posting on social media, creating images this alone can consume a lot of one's week. Then we think about optimizing everything, looking at the data and tweaking everything. It can take a lot of time and effort.
We see agents who try to tackle marketing themselves and sit down once a month to do it. Or an agency hires a CSR to tackle the marketing efforts but are still required to fulfill their full time CSR work.
Too often do agencies underestimate the actual work that needs done in order for a business to see results. In order to have success in insurance digital marketing an agency either needs a marketing person/team to do the work or they need to find REAL time to get the job done.
Unfortunately marketing simply cannot be done in a couple hours a week. If that were the case everyone would be seeing explosive growth in their agencies in no time. One person can however handle the marketing without it being a full time job BUT they need to be very intentional about what they want to accomplish and still need to set aside the time.
What exactly are you planning to do?
I can't tell you how many times a week I ask my kids "What are you doing!? Why are you doing that!?" My kids love to just do things because they thought it would be fun, or it seemed like a good idea at the time or they were simply not thinking at all. If you have kids you know what I'm talking about!
It's easy to roll our eyes at them or laugh at some of the REALLY crazy stuff they try to pull because they are kids. But in the business world, "it seemed like a good idea at the time" simply doesn't fly. (Well, most of the time at least.)
The next thing you need to have in order to see success is a plan.
Some may disagree with me but I do not believe you need a full blown 50 page marketing plan. You do however, need some type of plan that says we will do X because it will help us do Y and here's how.
Treat marketing like any other business function. Does your sales team have goals and an idea of how they intend to hit the goals? Your marketing should be no different. Identify what you intend on doing and why.
What tools do you need for the job?
We have a lot of farmers, hunters and contractors in my area. It's great whenever you need something. Someone always has a set of tools or a knife on hand. They understand that you have to be prepared for whatever a job throws at you. If you don't have the right tools for the job the job just won't get done.
The same is true or marketing. If you don't have the right tools in place your efforts may be futile.
Here is an example of what I mean. You say you want to generate business with inbound marketing, but you don't have analytic programs. How will you know if what you are doing is working? And if it is working how will you know what adjustments need made if you can't see the complete picture?
Another example is having a CRM. Many agencies lack a basic CRM but what will you do with all the incoming leads? How do you follow up with the "not right now's?" If you generate 1000 inquiries what do you have in place to help you balance follow ups and to segment between high quality leads and the junk?
Make sure you (or whoever is doing the marketing ) has the tools necessary to do the work.
Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
Kids are smart. And they learn quickly. Most kids have a desire to know things (minus school things of course). My oldest son loves messing with things and figuring things out - which drives me nuts when he messes with my stuff or breaks my things! It's their nature to want to know.
We see a lot of agency owners who are too busy to care about marketing. We hear, "it's not my job" or "I just don't get it." and push the understanding off to someone else. Unfortunately, if you want your marketing to succeed you have to understand it.
I know marketing can be complicated. I know it is a lot to try and understand especially when you are trying to run a business and sell. But it is a requirement to having success with your marketing efforts. Even if you have a full time marketing person, you have to at least understand at the foundational level.
When agency owners don't understand they make bad decisions. We see agency owners who leave it to their people to take care of it but don't give them the time or resources to accomplish what needs done, because they don't understand what needs done. We also see agency owners buying into these waste of money marketing programs because they are cheap and if you don't understand marketing you won't realize what you bought is a waste of money.
Just creating a video because an expert says video is the best way thing for marketing will not lead to results. Whether it is video, blogs, Instagram, Facebook ads, or whatever, you have to understand what you are doing so you can do it RIGHT.
Who's in charge here?
Digital marketing can become real frustrating real quick. For some agencies marketing can get overwhelming quickly and the important tasks can get left undone. Soon mediocre work begins being put out and there are dozens of projects being "worked on" but nothing solid.
To ensure things get done on time and in a way that will bring results you need a facilitator in place. Someone who can manage the output and keep everyone on track.
This could be the owner, a manager, or even a third party like inbuzz (hint hint). Someone who knows the processes and knows what Grade A work looks like so they can keep the wheels going.
Do you have the help you need?
Agencies are frustrated in their attempts to figure out and see results with digital marketing. A lot of agency owners tell us the same thing: "It's overwhelming. It's frustrating. All the options are paralyzing." For most agents it is the same song. The frustration of trying to put together the notes from conferences, webinars, and articles they read throughout the week and still not knowing what to do or how to get the results they want.
The final requirement for agency success is to get a helping hand.
How many conferences and webinars have you attended? How much work has your marketing team put in to try to see better results? At what point is it more profitable to stop and sit down with someone else who can guide you?
How well is banging your head on the desk working? A sit down with someone who can tell you to focus on XYZ because it will do ____ for your business and here's how to do it right, can be worth a fortune of opportunity for your business.
Getting a helping hand is not necessarily a requirement for success for all agencies like the other requirements listed in this blog, but if you're stuck it may be what is necessary to put you in the right position.
There is no magic pill
Digital marketing is not easy. It takes some work and a lot of thoughtfulness. Don't be persuaded into believing that there is a magic digital pill.
The seven requirements we discussed in this article:
1) Know why you need digital marketing
2) Have a plan
3) Have a team/time to implement digital
4) Have the tools to succeed
5) You need to know your stuff
6) Have a facilitator
7) Sometimes it helps to have a helping hand
Will put your agency in a position to succeed. We listed these 7 areas specifically because these are the areas where we see insurance marketing fail for agencies. These requirements put all the pieces in place so that you simply need to connect the dots and do the work to make it happen.
If you leave your marketing up to chance you likely will not be happy with the results. But if you tackle these 7 key areas you can take control of your insurance marketing results.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe these 7 keys are required for digital marketing success? Can it be done with less? Should there be more? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.