- Understand how to create an effective marketing strategy
- Learn about different online marketing strategies
- Understand the importance of tracking when it comes to successful marketing
- Explore different tips to boost your current marketing strategy
How much should you spend on marketing?
When it comes to determining how much to spend on marketing, there is no set number to be successful. However, if you are just starting out, consider investing most, if not all, of your profit from your previous month’s growth into your marketing until you achieve the level of growth you want to achieve. If you are comfortable with less growth or find that level of investment is more than you can handle at the time, invest less. The most important thing to remember is that your money on marketing is not an expense but rather an investment in your business.
Marketing vs. advertising
One thing to keep in mind is that marketing is not advertising. Advertising is placing ads in newspapers or television commercials. Many small insurance companies simply do not have the advertising budgets to compete with the big national insurance agencies, so it is often better to focus your efforts on marketing.
Marketing, in contrast, is about building trust and relationships with potential customers. It is about connecting to your local community and taking the time to make personal connections and relationships. And, in many cases, your marketing efforts don’t need to cost you anything more than your time.
Strategies for successful online marketing
In today’s world, most people looking for insurance of any kind turn to the internet for their information. It is important that you, as an insurance agent, focus your marketing ideas on your online presence. This can include social media platforms, business listings, and your personal website.
Here we look at some surefire ways to make sure your potential customers can find you online, as well as some online marketing strategies that can help you connect with those potential customers.
1. Social media platforms
There are various social media platforms available, but the two main ones you should focus on are Facebook and LinkedIn. If you don’t already have a Facebook profile for your agency, it is time to make one. Ensure that your profile includes a professional photo, an engaging cover photo, a call-to-action button that potential clients can click to contact your directly, and relevant information about you, your agency, and the services you offer. When posting, consider sharing industry news, sharing your blog posts, and tips and information your target market will find beneficial. This same idea crosses over to LinkedIn as well.
While having a completed profile and making regular posts is essential for social media platforms, it is only a small part of a successful insurance agent marketing strategy. The purpose of social media is to engage with your followers and other potential clients. Ask engaging questions in your posts and respond to all comments. With social media, engagement is key!
2. GMB, Bing, and other NAP citations
When a potential customer searches online for insurance agents in their area, you want to make sure you come up and that the information displayed is accurate. The Google My Business tool is the first place to start. Ensure that your Google listing has all your correct contact information such as your phone number, business location, website, and operating hours. If possible, add a photo of yourself to help personalize your listing. In addition, add a photo of the entrance to your building as this can make it easier for people to find you.
While Google is the most important as it is the most used search engine, Bing Places also allows you to confirm your business information is correct. While not as popular as Google, many still use this engine and it is often overlooked, so ensuring your information is available can help give you an edge over your competitors.
In addition, your business information can show up on various business websites. These listings, known as NAP Citations (name, address, phone number), are also important to check for accuracy. While locating and finding all these possible NAPs can be overwhelming, the good news is that companies, such as Yext, offer to manage and make corrections for a small monthly fee.
3. Personal Website and Blog
Your agency website is the key focus of your insurance marketing strategy as it is often your first impression to potential clients. A good website can be a reliable source of new leads and customers. Some key factors to consider when creating your website include:
- Professional appearance and content: When creating your website, whether on your own or with a website designer, it is important to display a professional appearance. This includes quality photos, quality content (be sure to edit for mistakes), and all necessary contact information.
- Quick loading and mobile-friendly: No one wants to wait for a page to load, including the search engines. A slow-loading website is likely to turn away potential customers and make the search engines skip you over, resulting in poor rankings. In addition, many people search for information on their phones, so it is important that your website is mobile-friendly. This also is important for search engines and can affect how they score your website in terms of ranking.
- Easy navigation: People do not like to hunt for information, so be sure your website message is clear, including your navigation. Consider adding a call-to-action button on all your pages that help enable a potential customer to contact you or ask for more information.
- Always include an About Us page: This is a page where you can get personal with potential clients and help build a relationship and connect.
- Add an email sign-up link: Your website is a great place to generate leads and get contact information. Offer a link for them to subscribe to your email newsletter.
4. Email marketing
Email marketing is a great way to share your knowledge and drive interest in your services. With the email sign-up on your site and your existing contact list in your customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can easily set up regular email marketing campaigns that share regular tips, information blog posts, and more.
5. Video marketing
Video marketing is a powerful digital marketing tool that allows you to raise awareness, create engagement, and boost your bottom line by reaching a large group of potential clients. Video marketing allows you to better connect with potential clients, helps to build trust and credibility, and increases engagement with potential clients. Sharing marketing videos or educational videos on social media or on your website is a great way to start a conversation.
While organic content is essential, in the insurance industry, organic content alone is often not enough to make you stand out above the competition and reach a large audience. Online advertising, such as pay-per-click ads on search engines or social media platforms, allows you to extend your potential reach. When creating your ads, be sure to use keywords targeted to your audience.
7. Content marketing
Content marketing is a form of marketing designed to educate and stimulate interest in potential products and services without the use of directly promoting a product. When it comes to insurance, consumers are not always sure about exactly what they really need. Creating content that explains different insurance policies and helps consumers better understand their insurance needs helps consumers find the information they need while providing information about the services and policies you offer and how you can help them fill their insurance needs. Content marketing can include everything from blogs to video presentations and online educational seminars.
Tips for successful marketing
Once you have all the above in place, you want to focus your attention on potential clients and how to serve them best. These tips help you determine where to focus your energy and how to achieve the best success.
1. Write your goals
Before you create a marketing strategy, it is essential to sit down and determine your marketing goals. This includes goals for producing, prospecting, sales, and retention. Outline exactly what you want to accomplish, how you feel you can accomplish these goals, and a timeframe to achieve these results. All goals you create should be SMART goals, meaning they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-Focused, and Time-bound.
2. Determine your target market
The best place to start with any marketing strategy is to determine your target market. What insurance are you providing? What policies do you have the most success with closings, and who are the customers purchasing these policies? What is their gender, income level, occupation, etc.? This information will help you determine your target audience.
3. Create a buyer’s persona
A buyer’s persona is a representation of your target market. Understanding these personas allows you to gain a better understanding of your potential customers. Keeping this persona in mind allows you to target your insurance marketing strategies on potential customers with which you have a success rate. With this understanding, you can cater your content and message to their needs.
4. Create an intuitive customer journey
A customer journey refers to the steps they take from acquisition to completing a policy. Every step of your marketing strategy should guide your customers through these steps with the use of calls to action, easy-to-find information, testimonials, and other important information.
5. Make a marketing budget
With your goals and target market in place, your next step is to determine your marketing budget. This includes the allocation of funds for each of the marketing channels you plan to implement. Over time, you can re-evaluate each marketing channel for success and adjust your budget as needed.
6. Set tracking metrics
Tracking every marketing channel is essential to help you determine which methods are working and which ones are not bringing in the desired results. With effective tracking, you can redirect your efforts into areas that are providing the biggest return.
7. Offer relevant and high-quality content
The key to online content marketing is to answer the questions your potential customers are asking. For example, as we mentioned above, social media is a great way to engage with potential clients and learn their questions. While you can respond and answer a question through a comment response for that person, you can assume more people have the same question. Expand on your social media answer with an educational and informative blog post that you can then share across all your social media platforms.
8. Optimize Your Website for SEO
In today’s digital world, if you don’t have an effective website, you are missing out. However, it doesn’t matter how wonderful your website is if no one can find it. Creating a website for search engine optimization (SEO) is essential. You want to create a website that is effective, simple, and optimized for mobile viewing while avoiding a poor user interface or slow-loading web pages.
9. Do PPC Ads
While organic content is essential for every marketing strategy, in the highly-competitive insurance industry, it is simply not enough to get your agency the visibility it needs to rise above your competition. PPC, or pay-per-click ads, is a great way to reach potential clients and drive them directly to your website. Taking advantage of these ads on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram, for example, allows you to spread your message and attract more potential clients.
10. Encourage positive reviews
When it comes to consumers, positive reviews can make or break a company. In fact, as many as 93% of consumers will read and evaluate reviews before committing to a sale. Consumers use these published reviews to determine the quality and trustworthiness of a business. As an insurance agent, you want to highlight as many positive reviews as you can and in as many places as possible. Do not be afraid to ask satisfied customers if they would publish a review. Include links to review sites in your emails and email signatures. Include sites such as social media, Google reviews, and Yelp.
11. Create a referral program
Happy customers can be your most effective marketing tool. Creating a referral program allows you to offer an incentive, such as a gift card, to current clients that bring in new referrals. By highlighting your referral program on your website or through social media, you can encourage your current clients to do the marketing for you.
12. Do customer surveys
As an insurance agent, your goal is to make sure your customers are happy and that you are meeting their needs. Providing customers with a satisfaction survey that includes open-ended questions that address their satisfaction, as well as how your agency can improve, not only give you insight, but you can publish testimonials in your marketing material. Consider offering an incentive, such as a gift card, to those who complete the survey in order to boost your response rate.
13. Keep track of your marketing efforts
No matter what marketing strategies you choose to implement, it is important that you track the efforts of every different strategy. This allows you to see how effective each strategy is, whether you are losing money with an unsuccessful strategy, and how you can better improve your marketing efforts. If a strategy is not working, replace it with efforts that are proving successful.
Insurance agents: Let CRM software help boost your marketing
Once all these components are in place, a CRM can help automate your insurance marketing strategies. As you start building your leads through social media, website sign-ups, and more, you can enable your CRM software to send out regularly scheduled email marketing campaigns to engage with your leads and give them the information they are looking for, which will in turn build relationships and help you close the sale.