Generate content ideas that work

You have been to enough conferences, webinars, YouTube channels and read enough blogs to know that content is a HUGE factor in your digital marketing strategy. The problem is that you don’t know what type of content to produce.

You know creating content is important. And heck, you probably are already creating content but it’s just not generating results so you’re looking for more ideas that work.

Well if this is you then you’ve come to the right place. Today we are going to discuss how to generate content (that works) for your insurance agency. Let’s dive in.


Why Create Content?

If you dabbled in digital marketing a few years back then you’ve heard the term “Content is King.” While the vigor of the quote has dwindled the depth of it has never been truer.

We must realize that digitizing our businesses is not about adding technology but rather changing the way we communicate. Like a digital clock communicates the time with digital numbers, we must communicate our message to consumers in a digital platform.

This is why we need content. Our content is nothing more than the message we want to display and communicate to our clients, prospects, and anyone interacting with our business. As you sit down to write your next blog, video or social post, think in terms of communication and not “posting for digital marketing purposes.”


Create Content that Works (not just because you should)

In a second I am going to show you some really cool {and easy} ways to generate content for your agency. But first, let’s talk about content that works vs content for content sake.

We can see from most insurance agencies that blogging has become standardized. Now, you can sign up for $10 a month and have pre-generated blog posts delivered to you weekly. And while a large percent of agencies are doing this, I have yet to find a single one who has any results with it.

Why? Because they are posting content for content sake. This type of content does not help a buyer make a decision, it is not the type of content that communicates a specific message to consumers, it is not the type of content that uniquely paints a picture of who that agency is, it is not the type of content that Google deems page 1 worthy and if I’m being honest, most of the content out there leaves readers thinking “why did I waste my time reading that?”

So as we get into these content ideas,  you will want to use content that answers questions, that helps buyers make a decision between this or that, that moves cold leads from “What’s this? To, I think I need that.” Create content that Google finds credible and helpful. And create content that ultimately opens the doors of conversation between a visitor and your agency (even if the one they will be communicating with is a bot). -This is content that works.


11 Ways of Generating Content Ideas

OK, so now I hope you are in a place where you understand the type of content you need to create or at least have an understanding that content needs to have a purpose. With that understanding, you can now use these ideas and put the results together into a content strategy that gets results. So here they are.


1) Ask your clients what information would be helpful. 

It seems too simple to be true right? We try to be so sneaky with our digital strategies as if we want our consumers to think our content magically appears. But there’s nothing wrong with saying “hey, we make this content just for you, so what type of content would make your life easier/better/more efficient?” Or whatever your ideal customer wants.

This adds value to them and you’re getting your content strategy right from the horse’s mouth.


2) Keep a notepad at the desk of every customer service rep

One major way to draw people to your agency is by answering questions. Want to add value? Then answer questions.  If 10 people call in to ask the same question then chances are there is 100 others just like them on Google looking for the same question. I learned the follow technique from Marcus Sheridan the Sales Lion.

Keep a notepad by every service person’s desk and have them write down every question asked over a 30 day period. After the 30 days tally up how often every question was asked. If out of 30 questions you get some that are asked multiple times, then that is definitely a question that needs addressed in your content.

One of the #1 uses for Google is to have your questions answered, so naturally Google will rank content that answers common questions higher. This means that by answering questions you can make Google and your consumers happy,


3) Find a top piece of content and make it better

If Google and consumers are finding value with a specific piece of content then why not recreate it in your own words and then make it better? This is called the skyscraper technique from Backlinko’s creator Brian Dean.

This was originally created to generate more inbound links and traffic to a website via a blog, but why not take the idea and use it for social posts, videos, graphics, ads, and other pieces of content in addition to blog posts?

What better place to find ideas for content that works then to find content that is already working?


4) Use your carrier created content

Did you know that some of your carriers already have great content that they’ve created for the use of agents? Our insurance agency used many of the resources available through our companies. We often used Westfield’s “Grains of Knowledge” in our agribusiness emails, we used beautifully created social posts from companies like Auto-Owners but added our own message, we used niche specific guides from companies like Hanover and the list goes on.

Many of your carriers have worked hard to create content and some of it they’ve worked hard to create content specifically for agents.

“But Zach, didn’t you say earlier not to use pre-generated content?” I did, however, when it comes to your carrier’s content, it is often a higher quality piece of content. In addition to being higher quality than the $10 a month blogs, I also encourage you not to copy and paste the content, but to re-purpose it for your agency’s digital strategy.


5) Use your sales process

People online are not only looking for cute puppies and helpful content online. Most people are looking to make a purchase or to find someone to make a purchase from. So why not use your sales process in your content?

After selling insurance for a few years (or 20) you begin to recognize that people in different parts of the sales funnel have different conversations. Use this in your content strategy. Talk to people via your content as if you were talking to them in person.

Create content from the top of the sales funnel to the bottom of the sales funnel pushing them from one piece of content to the next.

Remember, content is about communication, so treat your content conversations like you would treat a face to face conversation.


6) Discuss your everyday 

Gary Vaynerchuck has built his digital presence by answer questions but also by opening the door to his everyday business life. In fact, one of his newest content strategies is to create Mega Vlogs. These are long vlogs showing his entire day.

This type of content shows your viewers/followers what you are all about but also builds trust and confidence in your abilities. Some companies use Gary Vaynerchuck as their go-to digital consultant and are willing to invest the $10k+ price tag  because of their confidence in him FROM YOUTUBE VIDEOS (is that crazy or what?)

Now I know you’re thinking you might not be as animated as Gary and might not have as busy as a schedule but you don’t have to be. Be you. If your day is filled with customer service calls, then people who value customer service highly will want to know that. If your day is filled with understanding complex risks then someone with complex risks will see what you do all day everyday and have confidence in you.

Your digital presence doesn’t have to show how cool you are, it just has to show you as the person to get the job done, whatever job that may be.


7) Use your expertise

This is similar to number 6 but quite a bit different at the same time. Not only do you want to discuss what you do everyday (like #6) you can generate content ideas based on what you do everyday.

For instance, ask yourself what you’ve learned over the past 6 months, 20 years or past 1000 policies. What you discover will be a  great source of content.

Let’s say you’ve written 2000 custom home builder contractor policies. A great piece of content would be “what I’ve learned after writing 2000 custom home builder policies.” Or “Top 10 mistakes contractors make when buying insurance.”

Just like you would take your expertise and guide a potential buyer to the right decision face to face, you can use your expertise and create content to help them make the right decisions.


8) Using Google

You can use Google in 3 different ways to find new content ideas. That’s right THREE different ways. Google has already done the work for you, and it only takes a few seconds.

A) The first is using Google Suggest. You know when you start typing in Google and it begins trying to autocomplete? Well, type in the main topic you want to discuss and Google will give suggested search queries.

B) The next is using the “People also ask” feature on Google. Not only does this generate additional ideas that people are searching for, but when you click on one, it let’s you dive deeper into questions people are asking.

C) The last way is by simply looking at what’s already ranking. What’s on the top 10 for Google for a certain search inquiry? If they made it to page 1 of Google then they likely did something right.

Using all these ways you can identify what people are searching for when they ask a question in Google and what Google is looking for.


9) Use trending topics or hot topics

Who says you have to be the originator of content? People are already reading, watching, and viewing content like never before. Most people are aware of trending topics but many people don’t know what to do with this information. So break it down for them.

There may be legislation change, or huge natural disasters with insurance implications. Carriers may go out of business or may be purchased by another. Use these topics as a spring board and break it down for the people.

If there is a change to Medicare and Medicare supplements legislation then you better bread down what they means for those who are getting ready to go on Medicare and for those who are already on Medicare.

What happens when you show case your expertise on those trending topics? Well, you become the go to source for questions and solutions when people need someone to speak with.


10) Use customer success stories

Once again, who says you have to be the originator of content. Let what you do speak for itself. Use testimonials and praise as part of your content strategy.

You can even take it a step further as using that as a springboard to create a story or series of conversations. For instance, let’s say someone lost their job and was thankful to you because they didn’t know what to do about health insurance, life insurance and their retirement, but you helped. Sure you can use that testimonial and be done, or you can breakdown the process of how you helped them creating a blog post or series of blog posts helping others who are in similar situations.


11) Using content discovery tools

One final way to generate content that I will leave you with is content and/or keyword generation tools. These tools are far from perfect but they can get you out of a rut if you are stuck and need to figure out what to talk about.

Just type in your main idea, and it will generate other topics to talk about. A couple fun free one’s to try are:

These are a quick way to give you an idea of what to talk about especially if you are looking for content that people are searching for online.


The strategy behind creating content

I’ve just given you enough sources of content to create content for the entire year but they come with a warning! Don’t just create content for content sake! You can easily take these ideas, put them into action and not see any results.

We discussed earlier that digital was about communicating with those who interact with our business and how content feeds that. So now, think about what you want to display and communicate with those interacting with your business. And I use both the terms display and communicate separately for a purpose.

From your graphics, to your images, to your videos and to your blogs, you are 1) SHOWING (displaying) who you are to the world and 2) COMMUNICATING with them through your content. This means being strategic in how we approach content creation.

Think about it, you wouldn’t run into a coffee shop screaming “Buy my insurance!” Yet, we send emails and post on social media “Buy my insurance” as people are scrolling through the feeds and checking their emails in a coffee shop. So instead of randomly posting, we have to think of how we want to communicate our message.

When it comes to digital marketing and content creation, remember it is about communication, not the platform or technology.

Be Strategic. Create content that makes sense. Create content that works.


Download The Digital Marketing Self- Assessment


What ways do you use content? How do you generate ideas? Is your content strategically designed or created for the sake of creating content? 


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