Looking for effective marketing ideas? Of course you are, it's the life blood of your business..
As an Insurance Agent, Marketing is one of the most important aspects of building your business. It is the engine that drives your brand, fuels your growth and maintains your company’s reputation.
We’re going to keep it narrow and focus on the activities that we think are the core driving force for growing your business.
With this in mind we wanted to create a list of 10 powerful marketing ideas for insurance agents, that have been proven to help grow businesses.
I’m sure we don’t have to talk about how important referrals are. So, let’s talk about how you get referrals.
For starters, before you can get referrals you have to first be referable. In order to be referable you have to create a first class customer experience.
So, how do you pick the right referral source? Maybe it’s a client that is very appreciative of the work you do, or maybe a local business with customers in common that could bring referrals your way.
Whenever you have someone referring you, make sure they know how to refer you. Don’t leave anything to chance.
Give them some content to pass along or send an email detailing how you want your business to be referred.
Give multiple points of contact so customers can find you where they like to communicate. Phone, email, text, Facebook, Linked-In, etc.
This should all be set in a methodical process that you can repeat easily each time.
There are software applications that can really streamline this process. Decide what works best for you, just make sure you take the time to do this right.
Don’t forget about an incentive for your referrals. You want to be referred over and over again, so make it worthwhile to those referring you.
A steady stream of referrals is business gold, and will pay off big time. It’s better to put the time into developing a good referral process than it is to spend all your time finding all your customers on your own.
This seems obvious, but we don’t mean throw up a one page website and call it day. Put some effort into building a website that represents your company in a way you can proud of.
It doesn’t have to be “fancy” or full of graphics, just make sure it presents your company and the services you provide in a clear, professional manner.
If you have to start simply, that’s fine. Just have a plan to get someone who understands web design and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to design your site when you're able to make the investment.
Building a website doesn’t guarantee traffic. Other marketing channels listed in this article need to be employed in order to drive the right traffic to your website.
You will need to understand the keywords and phrases people are searching for in your industry, and update your online information accordingly, if you want to be found by search engines. (hint: you do)
There are so many options for website creation you will have no problem finding one. You will need to decide if you just want a web site designed, or if you want a more inclusive marketing tool.
Some companies, will provide a website and even offer email marketing and social media integration, For a per month subscription cost.
If you can't afford what you think you need up front, start in such a way that allows you to grow what you have without having to start over from scratch a few years down the road. This is where having someone with web design and SEO experience will be critical.
Content Marketing is the process of planning, creating, and sharing content to reach your target audience.
Content marketing is extremely important because it answers your customer’s questions and provides information that tells them that you are an authority in your industry.
You are also encouraging conversions by giving consumers the information they need to make an educated purchasing decision.
Content can include anything you provide to inform your potential customers. It could be articles and blogs, infographics, videos etc.
Ideally you would create all of the above. Content marketing is a long term game. An article that eventually ranks well and delivers leads on a monthly basis is a passive lead machine.
Once it’s created you really don’t have to do much else with it, except occasional update or add to it. Of course, sharing periodically on social media is highly recommended.
Once you learn a little bit about keyword research and understand how to find what your customers are looking for, you will be armed with the information to start your content marketing machine and start bringing in that inbound traffic.
Related: How To Decide What to Write On Your Insurance Blog
An email strategy can get very complicated. We don’t intend to present a complete guide here, we’ll save that for another in depth article.
For now we want to provide some tips and a simple way to approach email, in order to get started without spending all day with your email process.
Based on data the data below from an OptinMonster report, email marketing is still ranked as the most effective marketing distribution channel.
The success of your email marketing will be directly related to the quality of your email list. Building that list will be an activity that you will focus on as long as you are doing business.
Your content will entice your site visitors to sign up to your blog, download that free pdf full of helpful information or give their information in return for a free consultation.
They sign up on a form to receive that content and are now become a potential customer and are trusting you with their contact information.
This is the beginnings of your email list. What you do with that email list next will decide what kind of success you get out of that list.
Most people will not make a purchasing decision until interacting with your company several times.
In short, you will need to provide value to your potential customers before they are willing to pull the trigger.
When you get good at providing content and services that are relevant to your customer base, your emails will be better received.
Learn how to research what your audience is looking for in order to deliver specific content that they actually want.
So many people glaze over this part and end up spamming their audience with information they think their audience wants, but in actuality they don’t really care about.
When email isn’t working, it’s not necessarily that email itself doesn’t work so much as it is that you are not providing your audience with valuable information they are looking for.
Understanding Content Marketing and how to research what your audience is looking for is key part of the email process. After all, email is just a distribution channel. It's your content that will win them over.
Email can be a fickle friend. It will take practice and lot of experimenting with your strategy until you find the tactics that work for you and your audience.
There are a lot of variables involved with crafting a successful email campaign. You have the graphic elements, the copy, call to action, timing and more.
Changing one element at a time and studying the results can give you an idea on what works better. That will take patience and a well thought out process.
Remember, you are a guest in your customers email inbox. Treat them with respect and send them content with a sincere intent to help them and provide value.
If you approach everything you do with that approach, then you will have a much higher success rate than if you approached them by simply trying to sell to them.
⍟ Refine Your Social Media Strategy
It probably goes without saying that, in order to build a brand and grow your company, you’re business needs to have a social media presence, and therefore a Social Media Strategy.
Seniors (65+) are utilizing social media in growing numbers, and growing your business will be much easier if you can effectively leverage social media to engage your audience.
Although seniors don’t use social media as proficiently as younger adults, they are using it more and more every year.
87% of seniors access social media daily. Of those, 93% access Facebook multiple times each day.
25% of seniors use a radio streaming service like Pandora, and more than 25% are also using TV streaming services.
Nearly 54% of those surveyed watch online video compared to 65% of the general population, according to a Google and Ipsos study.
These numbers show that seniors are gaining confidence in social media, and marketers looking to reach them should embrace that trend.
Facebook is the favored channel for seniors, but you tube is close behind.
All of this information is telling us that we need to use multiple channels to capture senior’s attention. Facebook and You Tube are the top choices as of 2020.
If you write a relevant article, record a video or an audio of yourself narrating the article and embed it into that same article. Give options to seniors to interact with your content in the way they find most convenient.
Of course, that video would also be uploaded to You Tube and link back to the article, providing breadcrumbs for someone to find more of your information.
Social media channels are just the distribution point for your content.
After time, if done properly, your content will be ranked and found via internet searches and on multiple social platforms.
Share content regularly with the intent to the provide useful information your audience is looking for. In this way you will be seen as a trusted source for information for years to come.
Related: Social Media Strategy For Insurance Agents
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.
When people see evidence of people having a positive experience through their interaction with your brand, like with testimonials or reviews, they assume they will have the same experience.
According to a Nielsen survey, 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase.
Another study found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The same study showed most people need to see a 3 star or higher rating in order to consider a review positive.
Getting reviews from your customers stating their positive experience with your business is critical in establishing trust with your potential customers.
The key to a good review is to ask for specific examples to be cited. Reviews aren’t as effective if they are broad. ie. Saying “I liked working with Bills Best Medicare.” Will not have the same impact as “Bill from Bill’s Best Medicare answered all my questions and made it easy to find the Medicare supplements that were best for me.”
When it comes to reviews, specific examples are always more powerful.
Social proof can be used in endless ways. Add a quote to an email, to a website page, to a blog, anywhere that you want to build trust.
Ask for reviews regularly, and don’t be afraid to ask for specifics.
But what about the dreaded bad review?
Most business just won’t display them and this could be a mistake. Everyone realizes it’s only a matter of time until you get bad review.
Not showing anything but 5 start reviews can looks suspect. If you get a bad review just make sure you respond to it appropriately.
Apologize for the customer’s bad experience and review what happened. Let them know you are doing what you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
You’re speaking as much to everyone who reads the review as you are to the person who left the review, so choose your response carefully.
People want to do business with people they trust and like. That is especially true for seniors.
Having evidence supporting the fact that people like and trust you will go a long way towards making the decision to work with you an easier one.
Asking your customers to share their insights and perceptions is the best way to tune in to what your customers think of you.
This can be a difficult thing to do. It’s a lot easier to ignore this step and just shoot from the hip.
If you are serious about building a long term business you have to do it. Listening to your customers is the best first step to understanding their needs.
Customers appreciate a request for a survey. Whether they take the time to fill it out or not is a different story. The fact that you put forth the effort to honestly ask your customers to share their experience with your company will go a long way in gaining their respect.
We’ve all had bad experiences dealing with companies in the past. Whether someone continues to do business with a company after a bad experience is usually decided by how you're treated after the complaint.
If they respond with respect, acknowledgement, and take measures to to make it better, then most people would be willing to continue doing business with them.
People understand that you are not perfect. You don’t need to shy away from recognizing your mistakes.
Ask for information that can help you course correct and you will gain the respect of your customers.
The type of information you can ask for is endless. Think about the most important elements of your process and ask away. Always leave room for comments to let people add their own thoughts.
Once you receive the information from several surveys you will start to see how powerful the process can be.
You just have to be willing to change when it’s required.
Your local rank is all about how well you rank compared specifically to local businesses in your immediate area.
When someone searches for a business, especially if they are using voice search, Google uses your company information provided in your Google My Business (GMB) profile to decide if your business is relevant to the search.
When Google determines the nearest and most relevant answer to a user’s query it will display the top 3 in the Local Pack.
The Local Pack is the section of Googles search results that show the local business related to your query and includes a map of the area.
Thus, a fully optimized GMB profile is always a good place to start when discussing local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results.
At minimum, you should have your company name, address, phone number and website address uploaded. Even better, upload photos of your business, if you have an office space you would bring customers to.
You should also be asking your satisfied customers to review your business on Google. Having good reviews gives you more weight in Googles eyes and will help your local rank.
It is also good business in general, since 97% of consumers say that reviews influence their buying decision.
Many companies fail to take these fairly straight forward measures to help google know more about you. Take advantage of that fact by updating your property to the best of your ability.
Google is also taking into account other information it finds about you. Ie. Your website, your blog, articles that may be ranking well, etc.
This information tells Google what business you’re in and who your customers are.
If Google doesn’t know that much about you, then your potential customers won’t be able to find you.
Networking will never go away. Although, the methods used to network may change.
Being face to face with the population you serve is a must. It will not only get you seen and known by the people you meet, and the people they recommend you to, it will give you insight into what they think is important and the questions they have.
You may want to give a talk to a group of seniors at senior community, or offer a webinar online, making use of the email list you’ve generated by writing good content and collecting those leads.
However you do it is your preference, but you cannot easily replace the insight you get by speaking directly with your prospective customers.
Just make sure you’re being genuine when you reach out. If you can’t honestly feel like you want to help the people you’re working with, they will sense that.
If they sense you aren’t being genuine, then that is the kiss of death. If you feel like you can’t find that genuine feeling within you, then you’re better off not attending that event, and focus your efforts elsewhere.
Related: How To Market To Seniors
Whether its an advertisement meant for television, radio, Magazine, Facebook or a direct mail campaign, there is a still a place in your business for paid advertising.
While content marketing can take time to get traction and move up the ranks, paid advertising will give you much quicker results, albeit at a price.
Direct response marketing, in particular, has proved to be well received by seniors.
Direct response advertising is designed to evoke an on the spot response and encourage a prospective customer to take action on the advertisers offer.
It is often helpful to work with someone experienced in this form of advertising, to get the maximum impact. A Direct response campaign can make use of all media and relies heavily on a well thought call to action to motivate the direct interaction.
Remember, your offer must relate to the experiential background of the group your targeting, and not all seniors respond to the same type of offer.
The senior market is composed of many subgroups. They are identifiable by three main groups: Pre-retirees (aged 55-62), active retirees (63-74) and seniors (75+).
When designing your offer, keep the sub groups in mind in order to speak more directly to them.
Whichever platform or type of advertising you feel most comfortable with, remember that the senior market is cautious about the buying process.
Address their skepticism head on by sharing testimonials and stories of people you've helped. Give them a reason to trust you and believe that you have their best interest in mind.
Use multiple channels to gain the most traction. A direct mail campaign could be closely followed by an email campaign along with advertising showing up in their Facebook news feed.
Give them reasons why they should take an action. What benefits will they receive when they click through or sign up? Give them the tangible results up front.
Focus on clear and relevant language and keep advertisements short, sweet, and focused on the positive impact your offer can offer them.
There isn’t one trick that is going to make your business marketing a success.
Success is going to come from a consistent practice of all of things we listed here, and likely more.
Your business and your strengths are your own and only you can find exactly what works best for your business.
Nevertheless, there are tried and true methods that have worked and will work if you employ them and stick to it.
In order to adjust your marketing efforts effectively you have to be tracking the results of your efforts that can then inform any changes that may be needed.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you do that.
Google Analytics is free web analytics tool from Google and provides invaluable information about your online presence. Some people do very well using just this tool, although it does require some learning as it isn’t the most user friendly option.
After Google, the best of the free tools is probably Ubersuggest. Easy to use layout and great information provided for free, compared to others.
Tools like Moz and SEMrush are designed to be easily understood and used by people that aren’t digital marketing experts and will let you track everything from Keywords, Page Rank, SEO performance and offer a social media posting calendar to automate your social media posting process.
These 2 are not free and will have a monthly payment plan of about $150 / month at last check.
There are a slew of others, but we don’t want to get over our heads with this. Just take a look, and see if you might benefit from what they offer.
We are not affiliated in any way, but we use the tools and benefit from them every day, so we think you should know about them.
Tracking and analyzing is the only way you are going to be able to find what resonates with your audience and what may be a waste of your time.
If you’ve read this far, then we would like to thank you for your time.
We wish you the best of luck in all your marketing efforts.