We all dive into digital marketing because we want to see our business's grow and flourish. We know that people are buying differently and that technology has opened new opportunities.
We see other businesses using digital marketing for massive success and we want those opportunities for our business as well.
We dream of the potential it can have on our business yet many owners struggle to get started or face marketing that leads to frustration instead of growth.
For insurance agencies who struggle to obtain growth with their digital marketing efforts, many have failed to answer one simple question.
How will you SPECIFICALLY use Digital Marketing for Growth?
Have you ever thought about how you want to use Digital Marketing to grow your agency?
This may seem like an odd question, but when most agency owners adopt digital marketing they don't think how. Of course they WANT to use digital marketing to grow their agency and in most cases they have an idea, but it is usually a general thought of "having people buy more insurance."
Being on Facebook, growing your followers, then getting more website visitors sounds good in theory but will that really lead to growth? How? In order for your marketing to work, you have to dive deeper in your understanding of how these things fit together.
As we will cover in this blog, there are various ways to get more people to buy more insurance with digital marketing however you have to be strategic in how to do so.
Now, let's discuss the different ways you can grow your agency with digital marketing then we will swing back around to this question.
3 ways of growing your insurance agency with digital marketing
Before we go into the different ways to grow your agency we need to take a step back. Too often do agents read a brief blog on topics such as this then jump in only to find confusion and a lack of growth 6 months down the road. In order to see growth in your agency we must first go back to our agency's goals as a whole.
What does your agency want to do as a whole? Where is your agency going? Without digital marketing, how would you intend on spurring on growth in your agency?
It is not until you have a goal for your agency that you can decide which of the following opportunities will lead to the desired growth within your agency.
Now, we can get into different ways to grow your agency with digital marketing. Here are those ways.
One of the most common ways agencies choose to grow is through lead generation. After all, more people in the pipeline to buy means more growth right?
There are a few major ways to generate leads with digital marketing:
- SEO and Blogging. Though this is becoming more difficult to do, there are still many markets and areas where an agency can use Blogging and SEO to generate leads.
- Digital Ads. There is nothing wrong with advertising to generate more business. Some of the more efficient ways of doing so at this time are through social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
- Local SEO. The effectiveness of this one varies from agency to agency but can be a great passive way to generate leads. If one agency stands out among the other local agents on Google, they can see a large amount of local leads coming in.
Of course there are other methods such as guest blogging and posting on social media which can generate leads, however they are not the most effective sources when it comes to lead generation.
Drip marketing is essentially continuing to communicate or "drip" the message of why you are the right choice as an agent by providing helpful content. Most often this is done through email marketing, however, social media and re-targeting ads can be part of or integrated into this process.
Here are 4 ways of using drip marketing to grow your book:
- 1) Using your current client list. This has one of the highest potentials for agencies with unrounded accounts. An agency can send monthly (bi-weekly, weekly, or daily) emails discussing different products offered through the agency that the clients many not know about. This is especially successful when you segment your list.
- 2) Using a prospect/lead list. Part of being in sales is dealing with people who are not quite ready to buy. A family flirting with life insurance. A business owner who is unhappy with his current agent but not yet willing to leave, someone who is subscribed to your blog but hasn't made the commitment to take the relationship further. By sending helpful information you can tip the scale bringing an uncommitted prospect in for a conversation.
- 3)Using a closed-lost list. When it comes to sales, no often means not right now. Just because you lost the opportunity now doesn't mean you shouldn't keep engaging with them. If you drip market to your lost opportunities then you will be first in line when they discover their agent is a jerk or no longer can meet their needs.
- 4) With lost clients. Just because a client leaves doesn't mean they are gone for good. Some clients leave for "better" opportunities or have needs you can't meet. But by keeping the lines of communication open and by providing helpful insights you can bring them back when the time is right.
Using drip marketing is a great way to utilize the opportunities one already has (or had). The key to this working however, is by creating helpful insights. Where many go wrong is when they create generic monthly newsletters that provide no value.
I have heard countless insurance agents say how they have built their business on referrals. Referrals are still a golden source for any business. And while many referrals are still through physical conversations, there is a greater opportunity through digital marketing.
Here are some ways you can use digital marketing to generate referrals:
- Ask! You can ask your current book of business to refer you in many ways. During an automated on-boarding sequence, as a part of your email drip campaign/newsletter, or you can ask those who gave you good reviews.
- Ask clients to share their testimonials online. This may not be a direct referral, but if a client posts their great experience with you on their own social sites it may cause one of their friends to contact you.
- Get introductions. This is not technically a referral and it's more along the lines of inbound sales but it's still a great way of having clients give you warm leads to work with. If you and a client are active and connected on the same social media platform, ask them if they wouldn't mind introducing you to so and so in their connections. It could be a local business owner you want to get in touch with or a connection of theirs who has had a recent trigger event.
There are many ways to integrate referral marketing into your digital efforts. There are companies available who are experts in generating referrals for you, software that lets individuals automate referral messaging, and of course social sites where clients can give reviews and testimonials.
Just make sure that when it comes to referral marketing that you make it easy to refer you and that you do it consistently. If you fail to ask or it is too cumbersome to refer you, people will stop doing it.
So, how will you use digital marketing to grow your agency?
As with every blog it is nearly impossible to discuss every aspect of the topic. The purpose of this blog was not to give you the exact XYZ formula for digital marketing success. It's purpose is simple. To help agents understand that if they want results they need to be thoughtful in how they utilize the different digital marketing initiatives. It's not enough to just jump into Facebook, blogging or video because it worked for someone else.
In order to see the results desired, agents need to know what their agency needs and which strategy best fits their agency's overall goals.
- Do you intend on generating leads?
- Are you planning on drip marketing to round accounts or close more opportunities throughout the year?
- Do you intend on generating referrals?
- Maybe a combination of the three?
No more assuming, guessing, or posting and praying. It's time to provide a thoughtful answer to the question:
How will you use digital marketing to grow your agency?
Before you go there's one more important topic to discuss.
Why Insurance Agencies Aren't Seeing Growth with Digital Marketing
If we look around the industry we can see that many agencies are in fact, implementing the right strategies necessary for growth and many are in alignment with their agency's goals. So why isn't there more success?
Why are agencies blogging, posting, and sending emails yet still not seeing the growth promised by marketing experts?
To be honest, just doing these things will not lead to agency growth. Just because you are sending a newsletter or spending money on Facebook ads does not mean you will see growth in your agency.
Without ranting too badly (we will save that for another blog), the main problem is that agencies are taught what the strategies are, but not how to execute in a way that brings results. Someone says blog, so we blog, someone says video, so we post more videos, all the while not understanding how these strategies generate the results we want or the proper way of executing them to get results.
In other words, many agencies are just guessing.
Agencies are told blogging is how to generate leads with SEO but many are not told they need to use keywords, LSI keywords, be aware of search intent and actually provide value in the blog.
Agencies are told to be on social media but have no idea what consumer's expectations are for them being on.
If you are in charge of the marketing for an insurance agency you have to know more than just the surface level stuff. You have to learn and get a deeper understanding of how the things you are doing will actually create the desired results.
If you want to use digital marketing to see growth in your insurance agency then you need to get serious about what REALLY needs done. You must understand how the strategies work and invest the time/energy into making sure it is done right.
Sorry, I guess I did rant a tiny bit, but it was out of love and a desire for you to succeed.
Digital Marketing takes work. It takes effort. It takes understanding. If you want to see some serious growth with digital marketing, then you have to be dedicated to the process. I want to encourage you to take that step into serious dedication. And if you're stuck anywhere in the process you need to find someone to ask.
I'm Zach Emly, and until next time....
Keep on Learning!