From the shadows of the internet and live at events I examine and study what is working for insurance marketing and what is not. I keep my eyes and ears perked up for new success stories to watch for and to see agents having success. Who in groups is bragging on a successful campaign? Who is asking questions because they cannot seem to get it to work.
From those I meet in person to those I hear about through the grapevine, there is one thing in common that has led to their insurance marketing success. And that is the willingness to invest in it.
The Magic Pill
I have seen it since the beginning of inBuzz and I still continue to see it. We even wrote a blog about it in 2016. (check it out) Many agents want a cheap, magic pill as a solution to their marketing needs. Unfortunately this magic pill does not exist. If you want to see a return with your marketing efforts you are going to have to put forth the effort.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to know what strategy is going to have the best impact for your agency or asking for advice on what your content should say, but if you look around in the insurance industry we are seeing a lot of marketing for marketing sake. People are taking cheapened versions of solutions and calling it a day. Experts say blog so agents find the cheapest blogging company they can find to provide blogs. Someone sees success with Facebook advertising and other agents boost a post that says "get a quote" hoping it will yield the same results. We have to stop looking for the cheap magic pill that change your agency.
Think about your career as an insurance agent for a moment. Could you have learned everything you know now from a 30 minute webinar or from a conference? Probably not. You had to learn coverage information, you had to learn agency processes, you had to learn how to build relationships with people, you had to learn how to get your foot in the door and to close the deal.
You didn't just sign up and start selling insurance. You know that there is a lot that goes into learning how to become a successful agent and then a lot of work in actually doing what is necessary to be a successful agent.
Learning marketing is very much the same. You can't learn marketing in a 30 minute webinar or by asking a single, generic question in a Facebook group. You have to invest.
Different ways to invest
Every agency faces the same problems when it comes to digital marketing. "But Zach, I just don't have the time, or money, or knowledge to my marketing work." Guess what? Marketing is like gravity. The same rules apply to everyone. If you don't invest the time, money or energy into it, it will never work. This is not a marketing thing, this goes for EVERYTHING.
So if you want to make your insurance marketing successful then you have to find a way to invest into it so that it can work.
Don't have the money? Then find the time to do the work yourself.
Don't have time? Then find the money to pay someone to do the work.
Don't have time or money? Then you need to look at your processes and every day activity and find a way to put in the time or find some extra money.
I think the reality is that marketing is not a high enough priority for some agencies to want to invest the time or money. My partners Mark Reilly (former agency owner and sales manager) and Jeanie Giesler (former agency COO) mentioned many ways to find the time and money for marketing in 2 videos.
You can also lean on your carriers for support. Many carriers offer training for you and your staff, and they will co-op your marketing efforts. Some will even provide co-op dollars for you to hire a marketing person or for specialized marketing training.
You don't have to invest all of your energy into digital marketing. And as an agency owner you really shouldn't. However, you need to be involved in the process and if you hire a person then you need to invest into them.
Where and what to invest
OK, so I think you get it. Investing in your insurance agency's marketing efforts is important. But where should you invest your time, money and talents?
Again, many agents are waiting for the perfect marketing opportunity at the right price (i.e. free) in order to invest. Sadly, it will never come.
Agencies have to be willing to try something even if there is not a guaranteed return. That is how you learn, move forward and eventually succeed.
So where should you try investing your time, money and talents?
- Events. Attend events to gather information, learn strategies and get success stories of others. It is also a great place to find other agencies who have had success with digital marketing that you can get ideas from.
- Education. Digital marketing has been evolving at an extreme rate as platforms change, and technology evolves. You must constantly be learning. Read books, read blogs, attend educational events and seminars, watch videos, Google things, and just start asking questions.
- Talents. Your agency needs to try things! Start a blog, run Facebook ads, try videos, if something sounds like a good idea then try it. Or if you have internal staff who wants to try things then give them the freedom (and finances) to try it.
- Outsourced help. Don't be afraid to spend money to make money. You can outsource marketing functions or you can outsource the training of your staff. Regardless, there is nothing wrong with getting paid help to help your marketing succeed.
You may end up going to events and learning nothing, or hiring someone and losing money from it. It's OK. It is part of the process. If we invest and fail, we can figure out where the problem was, but if we never do anything we will never see success.
It's Time to Make a Choice
At this point in the blog there is not much left for me to add to this conversation. You have the information and the understand that you have to invest into digital marketing or it's not going to work. So, you can leave this blog and go look for another blog in hopes of finding a magic pill, or you can leave this blog with the intent on investing in your agency's success.
If you decided that it's time to take things seriously and invest then High Five! You are well on your way. If you are ready but not sure what to do then reach out. Ask us at inBuzz to help, go to an agent you trust in the industry to help, or reach out to someone who is doing what you want to be doing to help you get started.
Believe me. Every insurance agency who is succeeding with digital marketing has invested time, money and a whole lot of energy into making it happen. Will your agency do the same?
I know all this marketing stuff can be hard. I hope this is the little nudge you need to move forward. If you have any questions on any of this please don't hesitate to reach out.