One of the hardest aspect of insurance digital marketing is simply knowing which strategy to try.
There is Facebook, email marketing, video, blogging, etc... and while it is hard enough trying to figure just one of these out, agents are being overwhelmed with the thought that they have to do it all.
Well, I am here to tell you that you do not have to do it all. Each insurance digital marketing strategy has its own unique use and therefore, you should only utilize the strategies that when used together will help you achieve your agency's goals.
In this blog post, we are going to break down each individual strategy and show you the uses, who should utilize it and discuss a common question for each.
How it all works together
One of the biggest reasons that insurance marketing misses the mark is because many agencies do not understand how the different pieces work together. So what happens is agencies get overwhelmed with everything they jump into and to make matter worse, none of the efforts work as expected.
However, once we look at the different efforts and their purposes we can better understand what strategies we should be using and which ones we shouldn't.
Below is an image of a marketing funnel created by our friends at Hubspot.
This image showcases how each marketing strategy works and at what point in the funnel. So, as one example, if you are only posing on social media and not bringing them to your landing pages or nurturing them on social, then you will never get them as customers.
As we explore these insurance marketing strategies more closely in this blog, you should be able to begin see how each piece fits in your agency and know whether or not you should be implementing the strategy or not.
Social media is a platform that allows people to communicate digitally. For business purposes you can reach your followers in mass amounts but it also allows you to connect 1 on 1 with individuals.
Insurance agents can use social media in a number of ways:
- Creating targeted ads
- Push your message
- Create an ease of communication between your business and clients
- Customer service
- Direct Selling
Social media is unique that within each of its platforms has a unique purpose, use and audience. So, what will work on one platform may not perform as well on another. You must also compare your goals to how you utilize social media. For example, if you want to network and gain meaningful prospects, you must be willing to engage and connect with individuals with your personal account.
Who should utilize social media as an insurance marketing strategy?
I believe everyone should use social media and the reason is simple. Because it is all about communication. It is a free tool that will allow you to communicate with your clients and prospective clients. It also is your business's online front door. When people check you out to see if they want to do business with you, they will explore your Facebook page.
Business page or personal?
A special question which is a bit different than the other elements is whether to utilize the business page or personal.
If I could only pick 1 I would say to utilize your personal page, but in all honesty, your best bet is to utilize both. Use the business page for branding and your personal page for better communications.
In our own marketing efforts, we found that individuals are more likely to engage with a personal profile, however, when someone checks you out online, they are much more likely to check out your business's profile.
Do not confuse email marketing with simply, emailing your clients. I believe many greatly underestimate the power of email marketing and leave it to a simple quarterly newsletter.
Email marketing can have many applications. Here are some of the different ways you can utilize email marketing:
- Retention marketing
- Up-selling/bundling policies
- Selling to prospects
Email marketing is a great way to continually communicate with your prospects and customers without having to physically communicate with them on a consistent basis.
Who should utilize email marketing as an insurance marketing strategy?
If your goals have anything to do with increasing retention or increasing prospect to client rate, then they should probably think about email marketing. It is a way for you to continually "drip" a focused message to specific set of individuals.
What type of email options should you send?
When it comes to email marketing, a quarterly newsletter is not really producing value. Think about it this way. How would you feel if someone had not spoke with you for months, and the first and only thing they say when they reach out is "here's what's new with me."
Your emails should have a purpose behind them. So, it could be a monthly newsletter that keeps customers informed which would be great for retention purposes. Or maybe you could send a bi weekly educational email which helps customers understand different policies which will eventually mean someone bundles, or picks up flood insurance.
Blogging is long form content that allows you to discuss and inform about different topics. Insurance agents can use blogging to answer questions their customers/prospects may have or to attract people on search engines who are searching for something specific.
This is a long term insurance marketing strategy that can be used in a couple different ways:
- Educational sales tool
- Engaging in SEO and niche marketing
- Lead generation
When done right, blogging is one of the best lead generation strategies and can produce leads at a very low cost. Blogs are also a great tool to be used in tandem with other marketing efforts to help move individuals through the sales process.
Who should utilize blogging as an insurance marketing strategy?
If your goals are to generate more leads and/or increase your customer conversion rate, you may want to consider blogging. However, blogging also takes a great time commitment and takes time before it begins working. So if you are short staffed and drowning with work already, then you would need to make arrangements before you start blogging.
What should you write about
Your blog should be unique. Many agencies go wrong because they either utilize another company's blog or they post short blogs with no value. Your blogs should go deep into topics to showcase your expertise and to be transparent/trustworthy in the eyes of the reading.
The more value you put into your blogs, the more profitable they will be in the long run.
Video creation came into the scene years ago but really too off over the past couple of years and it is easy to see why. Much like blogging, video is a way to discuss topics but in video form.
The use of video makes consuming information much easier in our fast paced society plus the visual aspects make it much more enticing to consumers.
Video can be used in a number of different ways in an insurance agency:
- Lead generation
- Customer experience (on boarding, video tutorials, etc...)
With so much noise, video is a way to grab the attention of your followers and educate them. This effort can easily tie in with the rest of your marketing strategies adding value and a new level of depth to them.
Who should utilize video as an insurance marketing strategy?
Those who really want to engage and educate their customers and prospects should consider video. Video can be used to better engage followers on social media or used to get better engagement in email marketing or blogging. Video also helps you brand yourself as an agency or as an individual agent.
What type of videos should we produce?
Video can be used a number of different ways. There are marketing videos that discuss policies/topics, there are branding videos that show who you are as an agency and video can also be used for making proposals for one on one meetings. The type of videos you choose to create should make sense in your agency's marketing strategy and add to everything else you are doing.
SEO and Website Optimization
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of attracting people to your website from Google for free, using your aspects of your website to draw them in. This is likely one of the most challenging marketing efforts to try your hand at but can be the the most profitable and efficient means of insurance marketing.
Unlike other forms of marketing which have multiple uses, SEO really only has one purpose, which is to attract individuals from Google searches.
SEO can fill your sales pipeline with leads on a continually basis and works 24/7. Once you have established a strong SEO presence, your website will work almost as a prospecting producer that doesn't sleep.
Who should utilize SEO as an insurance marketing strategy?
SEO is for those who want to generate a specific type of lead online from search engines. It will allow an agency to generate tens, hundreds, or even thousands of leads online when done right. In order for this to work, you must be proficient in blogging and have control of their website. It can also be time consuming to do in house and can be difficult to master.
Should you hire someone for SEO?
SEO takes a lot of effort and when considering the impact it can have on your agency many want to jump on board. However, there is a problem. Very few agents have the knowledge, time or even the potential to make it work.
Hiring someone seems to make the most sense but it can be dangerous if the person is not a true SEO expert. Hiring someone is OK as long as you thoroughly vet them. Just be aware of the people who say "we can get you to the front page of Google." And especially be aware of those who say they can do it under $100 a month. Many legitimate SEO companies charge $3000+ per month and tell you not to expect results right away.
Online ads will allow you to reach as many people as you would like but at a cost. Online advertising is unique in the sense that you can choose the demographics of the people that will see your ads (at least to an extent). There are also many different places to advertise your message.
While lead generation is the most obvious application for your insurance marketing strategy, you can also use online advertising to better engage with your own customers or followers for social media.
Who should utilize online ads as an insurance marketing strategy?
Those want to fill their pipeline with leads and do not want to wait for results should think about online ads. With online ads you can see results almost immediately but at a higher cost per lead compared to most other marketing strategies. It is also one of the only ways to generate leads without being hands on with your marketing. There will be some work involved to set up the campaigns but the work is minimal and once set, only needs a watchful eye and the occasional tweak.
Are online ads worth the cost?
Online ads can be quite beneficial and profitable but only when done right. When ads are simply thrown up on Google there is no guarantee that they will make a positive financial impact for your agency. You will need to learn how to set up the campaigns, how to target the right market, how to keep the cost per click low and other information for your ads to be profitable or you can outsource it.
Not every ad campaign is going to be successful or profitable, but with enough knowledge (or with a good ad company) your overall results will yield you a positive ROI.
What to do with this information
Ok, so by now, I hope you a decent picture of how the different digital marketing strategies could work within your agency. The purpose of going through all of this is so that you can better understand which strategy will best meet your goals.
For instance, if lead gen is your goals then try blogging, if retention or up selling is your goal then try email marketing. If branding and/or networking is your goal then I suggest social media. Etc....
So let's take a moment and breakdown how to use what we just learned into something more tangible. Here are five steps to take which will allow you to go from random marketing to having a profitable marketing process in place:
- Set marketing goals that will help your agency achieve their agency wide goals.
- Find which marketing strategies will best help you meet your marketing goals.
- Identify tools or resources you will need to get started.
- Create an action plan and timeline of expectations.
Digital insurance marketing should not be a set of random initiatives to throw at your prospects and customers. It should be a refined process allowing you to utilize available tools to meet your agency's goals and to provide a better experience for customers.
After reading this article, your next step should be to set your goals and determine how the different marketing strategies can help you meet your goals. Here is a marketing action plan that should help.
If you have any questions on any of this information, please do not hesitate to leave a comment or to reach out personally.