Many insurance agencies have thrived for years entirely on referrals. Satisfied customers help spread the word and keep new business coming in. But the world has changed around us. While the recommendation of friends or family remains the most trusted source of advertising, online methods are gaining impact overall. In fact, because online methods can carry a clear call to immediate action, their impact can, at times be more than word of mouth referrals. While insurance agents are wise to continue to pursue word of mouth referrals, they should also supplement that work through increasingly affordable online options. Here are six online marketing tips for insurance agencies designed to help that new business stream in.
1. Find Your Brand Voice
Before you leap into online marketing, spend some time thinking about who you are and how you want to represent your business online. This comes naturally for many agents when everything is face to face. However, it becomes more critical to have clarity when you are starting to be present online and on social media. Your brand voice is your agency’s personality. Are you super-serious? Are you more laid back? Do you joke around or do you stick to business? This is important and even more critical if you are going to have someone else help you with your online presence.
2. Revisit Your Website
Chances are, even someone who has been referred by a friend or family member will look at your website before you ever meet them. It has become common practice for people to visit any business’s website before calling or visiting. Your agency’s website is your new front door. It is the very first impression you will make. Take a look at your website and ask some questions like:
- Does this site look modern?
- Does it have all the essential information like where you are located and how to contact you?
- Does it offer a clear call to action to help site visitors become customers?
Sometimes, we need a fresh set of eyes on our website. Enlist some trusted friends to take a look and answer these questions for you. They may see something you don’t.
3. Create Helpful Content
Finding customers online, just like offline, is about creating and nurturing relationships. People may find you online, not only when they need insurance, but when they are searching for related information. By sharing some of your knowledge through blogs, social media posts, infographics, and even downloadable guides, you build relationships. If you show someone you can be helpful and trustworthy, they are likely to remember you when they need a new policy.
Also, consider video content. Video has become a more and more popular medium. At the same time, the cost of recording professional video has plummeted. With a modern smartphone and tripod, you can create video clips to share information, give an inside look of your agency, or promote events.
Content, whether text, graphics, or video can be shared on your website and also on any social media channels you choose. Just be sure that the professionalism of the video matches that of your agency. You don’t need broadcast quality production but be sure that the video looks good, and the audio is easy to hear.
4. Use Email
It’s hard to believe, but after all this time, email is still one of the most effective marketing methods in the toolkit. However, email is only effective if used correctly. Your subscribers will only open your emails if you consistently offer content that provides value to your recipients. Simply promoting your agency or asking for referrals will quickly lead to low open rates and, eventually, lost subscribers. Consider what information you can provide that will help answer your customers’ questions and fix their problems. Once you master that, it is easy to leverage those emails to keep your agency at the top of clients minds and create new leads.
5. Social Media Spending
Social media is a great marketing tool and is underused by most insurance agencies. However, while social media is free to use, it may be worthwhile to invest a little money to ensure the right people see your content. Facebook offers different ways to get your content to show up on user’s timelines. Facebook ads can be explicitly targeted to reach customers in your lead profile. Also, if you create good content on Facebook, you can also increase the impact by paying to boost your post. This will ensure that it is seen by as many people as your budget allows.
6. Reputation Management
Your website and social media accounts aren’t the only places people will read about you online. It is becoming more common for consumers to check out online reviews before doing business with a company. While you can’t control everything people say about you online, some basic reputation management will help protect your agency. Here are some tips to improve your agency’s online reputation.
- Read your reviews – Be sure to check out Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other sites to see what people are saying about you. Hopefully, you will see nothing but glowing reviews. If not, use the opportunity to see if there is anything else you can do to create a better experience.
- Consider your customer service – In an online world, bad experiences spread fast. A customer may never tell you they are not satisfied, but they may leave an online review everyone can read. As always, make sure you are offering the very best service and check in with your customers to make sure they are satisfied.
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews – The best time to ask is right at the moment of purchase. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask again during follow-up calls, emails, or letters.
These are just a few of the ways online marketing can help your agency grow in the months and years ahead. You don’t need to master all of these at once, but any steps you take to improve and increase your online presence will return dividends in terms of new clients and policy renewals.