As we’ve shifted into a digital world it has become harder for insurance agencies to generate leads and new business opportunities. This has left many agents scrambling for ideas on how to market their insurance agencies more effectively.
If you have done any research or attended events on marketing then you know the amount of information that comes at you can become overwhelming. That’s because when it comes to marketing in this era, there is a lot that agents can do.
With this blog post, I want to help agents clear the noise and understand the process of effectively marketing their insurance agency. In this post I highlight the steps to marketing an insurance agency, strategies to use, and considerations you will need to make.
First Steps to Marketing Your Insurance Agency
In its simplest form, marketing is about connecting your message and service to your ideal customers. Seth Godin “Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem.” When you market your agency it’s not about spamming your message to anyone within reach. It’s about teaching your audience how you can solve their specific problem.
Everything you do must revolve around who your agency is, what problems you solve and how to connect with your ideal customer.
In order to shape your marketing the right way you will need a few things. Here are the first things you need to get started.
Build An Agency Website
Your website is now just as important, maybe even more important, than your physical building. Instead of stopping in or speaking with a salesperson, prospects and clients will look at your website first. Do you have a website? Is your agency’s website consumer-centric? When it comes to doing business in the digital age you need more than a one page website. In order to be of value to your clients and prospects there are certain criteria your website needs to meet.
• Is your website mobile friendly?
• Can your website be easily edited and customized as your marketing evolves?
• Does it have a blog, or the ability to create content?
Your website doesn’t need to be immaculate before you begin marketing your agency. But, it does need to have the right pieces in place so that your marketing can be effective.
Establish Your Google Profile
Google is the epicenter of how people find information and services online. Your first step in connecting with those who are searching is to setup your Google profile.
If someone were to Google your business name after meeting you what would they find? What will they think? In many ways, your Google profile is like your online storefront. It gives people a quick first impression of what doing business with you will be like.
There are just a couple things you should do right away with your Google listing that can help your agency’s marketing.
- Setup and claim your Google listing
- Get reviews from your top clients
- Add photos and create posts
Give people the confidence to do business with you. Setup your profile so that they know you are a business worth doing business with.
Become Active on Social Media
Prospects are going to use social media to see who your agency is and what you’re all about. Around 80% of U.S. consumers are influenced by their friends, family’s and business’s social media posts. That is a REALLY big deal!
Facebook is a must when it comes to marketing an insurance agency. However, it’s not the only social media site you can utilize. There are many social media sites you can use for your marketing, but remember that the site you choose must be based on where your ideal clients spend their time.
When you dive deeper into marketing you will find that there are 100’s of social media marketing tips, strategies and ideas. But when it comes to getting started you don’t need to do everything at once. Your agency should focus on the areas where clients and prospects will engage with you the most.
When someone looks at your insurance agency’s social media accounts they are looking to see if you are worth their time.
Once you’ve taken the time to setup your website, Google and social media profiles, you’ll be ready to tackle a number of different marketing strategies. Now, let’s get into the steps of marketing your agency.
Steps to Marketing Your Insurance Agency
Assess Your Agency Goals
What are your agency’s overall goals for this year? What role does marketing play in achieving your agency’s goals?
Are you wanting to do more branding? Is your agency looking to improve retention? Most agencies use marketing as a way to generate leads, are those your marketing goals as well?
Assessing your agency’s goals is an important step in marketing. Without understanding the agency’s overall goals marketing can lead to a drain on your resources.
What are your agency’s goals? How do you see marketing helping? Be specific in how your marketing strategies will help achieve your goals.
Explore Different Strategies and Ideas
As you market your agency it is important to know what strategies you have at your disposal. Every different marketing strategy and creative idea will lead you to a different result. Knowing what’s available and how the strategies work are important to knowing what the end result will be.
As businesses in a digital age, we have many strategies at our disposal:
- Social media – You can brand your business, share your content, build relationships and trust. It’s also a great place to run ads.
- Content marketing – This is a great way to educate prospects and customers and help them solve their problems.
- Email marketing – Nearly everyone has an email address, so why not take advantage of that?
- Blogging and SEO – When it comes to being found organically on Google, Blogging and SEO is the go-to option.
- Google and Social Media advertising – Posting content isn’t the only way to get in front of your audience. Using digital ads allows you to extend your reach to people who otherwise would not see your marketing message.
- Traditional marketing tactics – Just because we live in a digital world does not mean every marketing strategy needs to be digital. Some traditional marketing tactics such as live events and mail campaigns can still bring positive results.
With so many options, many businesses have developed an omni-presence marketing strategy. This means being everywhere your ideal customer is. If they are on social media, be on social media. If they use Google, then show up on Google. If they like to attend conferences, then be at conferences.
There are many ideas and strategies your agency can implement. Remember, it’s not about the newest or shiniest tactic available but rather the best one to connect your persona with your marketing message.
Implement and Test
Many insurance agencies don’t make it off the starting block. I get it, there is a lot of information to process and there is a lot of work involved. But, if you truly are looking to improve your agency with the help of marketing then it’s important to get started.
If you’ve found a strategy you think would work, try it.
If you have a fun or creative idea test it out.
There really are no rules when it comes to implementing your marketing strategy and what you do first. However, there are a few campaigns we suggest agents try first:
- An Onboarding, retention and referral campaign
- A Win-back campaign for lost clients
- Upsell and Cross-Selling campaigns
- A Lost sale campaign for good prospects who never became clients
Honestly, you may experience some failed marketing attempts as you begin. Marketing is a journey and sometimes you can have a rocky start. Don’t let this deter you. Get started and try something.
Measure the Results
A big mistake agencies make is failing to accurately measure their results. I see many insurance agencies investing in marketing yet have no idea whether it’s working or not.
There are three different ways you should measure results.
1. Overall Marketing ROI – What is the overall amount spent on marketing and what is it producing? Knowing whether something is ROI positive is crucial but only measuring the overall numbers does not paint the true picture.
2. ROI at the campaign level – How well are each individually campaigns performing? Measuring each marketing tactic’s ROI allows you to see what is working and what is costing you money.
3. Goal completion – Not every marketing initiative is designed to improve ROI directly. In addition to ROI you should also make measurements based on what you set out to achieve. For instance, your campaign may have been designed to improve retention rate.
Measuring your results is important in understanding if marketing is achieving the desired results. It can also help provide improved results overtime by comparing what has worked and what had not.
There are 1001 ways to burn money when it comes to marketing an insurance agency. Don’t let your marketing become a money pit. Measure your marketing results.
Final Tips for Marketing an Insurance Agency
Like I say often, marketing is a journey. This blog highlights steps to guide you through your journey but there are many little tips and steps along the way.
Here are some additional considerations you will need to consider while marketing your agency:
Balance Digital Marketing and “Traditional” Tactics
Digital marketing is a great way for insurance agents to grow their business and get more clients. If you look around you will find many success stories throughout the industry. While digital marketing strategies have gained traction, we mustn’t avoid traditional tactics all together.
Many who are successfully marketing their insurance agency are finding that a good mix of digital marketing and traditional tactics is key.
Find the Right Tools
Your marketing strategy will require many tools along the way. As you look to do more with marketing you will find an overwhelming amount of digital tools.
Most of the tools you will find are good, and work well. But here’s the secret. You don’t need every tool that looks good. You may not need the newest or the shiniest tools. You may not need what the guy down the road or the top agency’s have. All you need to do is find the tools that fit your marketing plan.
Assess what you want to achieve, what strategies you are implementing and find the tools based off this information. The tools you decide to go with should improve your marketing process and results. Not cause headaches.
Look to Automation For Improvement Not as a Magic Pill
Marketing automation has been a great asset to businesses and marketers but unfortunately it has been sold to many insurance agencies as the end-all be-all. When I speak with many agents, they expect automation to be the answer to their growth problem. While it can help, it in and of itself, cannot bring you more customers.
Marketing automation is a tool that can help improve marketing and sales effectiveness and efficiency. If a business is not actively marketing or selling then automation will do little to help. But, on the flip side, if a business does intend on being active with marketing and sales then automation can provide a huge boost in their efforts. The key for marketing automation is to look at it as a tool, not the solution.
Though many try, very few insurance agents are able to run their business and market it at the same time. Many try but realize they can’t wear all the marketing hats and still run their agency. When you start to think about it, there is a lot that goes into marketing.
Keeping up with the different marketing strategies, knowing the best way to implement, creating content, setting up tools and knowing which tools are best, and the list goes on.
Most insurance agents are smart people and have smart people on their team. Many are about 80% there but can use a little help to move the needle.
For many insurance agencies a small amount of help can lead to a large return. So if you are figuring things out, take the time to speak to your peers, find a marketing coach, and/or attend live events.
Learning to effectively market your insurance agency has nearly become a requirement for success. It can help generate new business opportunities and improve the buying experience for your clients. But the biggest setback for agents is the amount of information and considerations.
Don’t wait until you have it all figured out. Get started and begin marketing your agency right away!