Insurance Agency Executives, I'm speaking directly to you in this one.
Let's be honest. Insurance is not sexy. The outdated, stuffy and old school stereotypes that come with your profession, makes you sometimes question why you chose it at all. The cloud of mystery that surrounds the core of your business also makes it very hard to pepper in the pizzazz when it comes to marketing your products and services. Now, you and I both know that the insurance industry is, in reality, a very great business to be in. You can very positively impact your clients' lives, it takes a great deal of intelligence to be good at it, and it can also be very lucrative.
In my 'former life' I worked as a consultant in a firm that was exclusively focused on Independent Insurance Agencies & Brokerages. During my time there, I had the privilege of working with some of the best agencies from North, Central and South America. It was interesting to see agencies of different sizes and complexities define their brands, processes and competitive advantage. One thing that did, and still continues to, amaze me was just how far behind the times the industry was/is. Some of the biggest and best agencies I've worked with still have a web presence that makes them look like a dinky little "mom & pop shop" from the 90's.
With all of that said above, I love working with independent agencies. The things that make the industry seem so outdated and stuffy are exactly the things that great agencies can take advantage of. No matter your size, with a little focus and direction, you can vastly outperform your local competition. Looking for some inspiration? Below are 11 ideas.
Insurance Agency Sales & Marketing Ideas
I have written about this before, and it continues to happen. It seems every time I move, need something fixed, etc. the same strange thing happens. I go out to the web, search for local companies who do XYZ and contact pretty much every single one from Page 1 of Google. At best, I 'll get 2 responses.
Marketing is a race! What I just described happens thousands of times per day. If you have invested anything in a web presence, you have to be paying attention when it actually works. The first company to respond to a contact request is almost guaranteed to win the business. Do the little things well!
Become an Expert
You and your team are already experts at insurance and risk management, and your clients (and potential clients) are not. Setup a Blog on your site and commit to creating content.
Don't know what to write about? Schedule an initial brainstorming session and then keep a running list of common questions asked of the sales and service teams.
Social on a Budget
You don't have to be a top social media influencer or award winning social company to do social media well. Again, your industry as a whole is seriously behind the times, so this is a great way to differentiate. Understand your target audience and share relevant news, information and agency happenings. Connect with your clients, vendors, local organizations and ideal prospects.
Multiple Touch Points
Do you have or do you want Millennial clients? Your agency needs communication channels that make you accessible to every age group. In addition to social media consider things like text and other messaging services so your younger clients can reach you on their terms.
Consider hosting specialized workshops (first-time homebuyer, personal property appraisals, corporate risk management, etc) at your office. These are a great way to encourage potential clients to experience you and your agency. It never hurts for them to be able to speak with your team as well as other satisfied clients.
Guest Speaking at Local Organizations
Reach out to local organizations which have your ideal prospects as members. Offer to speak for free in order to position yourself with that audience.
What if you had a list of thousands of ideal prospects that gave you permission to contact them regularly? You do - it's your current clients. Set up drip campaigns to bring awareness to the other lines and products which you offer. If you aren't communicating with them, then you are leaving a lot of money on the table.
Great Web Presence
This continues my comments on differentiating in a slightly (perceived) boring industry. A great website which is mobile-compliant, shows some personality, and is informative can really set you apart.
Show Your Personality
People want to do business with people. During the research for the writing of Brand Aid we found that 64% of decision makers will look up a salesperson first, and then the company second if they were satisfied with what they found out about the person. Make sure your entire web presence not only highlights your people, but your entire brand messaging is humanized. Big corporate brands don't resonate like they used to.
Some of our clients do an excellent job of partnering up with their carriers to sponsor local youth teams and community organizations. These are great ways to create brand awareness while also helping your local market.
Find other professionals who share your same client base. Get a good base of centers of influence and consider hosting co-sponsored events (both live & online) so you all can cast a wider net.
It's Not That Hard If You Try
In closing, I want to reiterate my belief that really good insurance agencies can become great with just a little focus. Take the time to look at your direct competitors. What are they doing from a sales & marketing standpoint that you aren't? Where can you be better than them with just a little effort? Where could you be better with a little more investment and possibly some help?
Inbound marketing is not a theory or an opinion, it is the way B2B marketing works, so we created this easy-to-follow checklist to assist you in creating your own great inbound campaign. Download our checklist, grab your team and start planning and executing against the following today.