The digital transformation of business has given all players in the industry an opportunity to upgrade their marketing strategy. Times have changed, and generating new business is no longer about cold-calling and spending massive amounts of time providing quotes to unqualified leads.
Marketing has evolved across the entire business landscape - and that’s great news! The increased use of the internet across all demographics now means that insurance professionals now have multiple avenues to generate new leads and create mutually beneficial relationships.
Inbound marketing brings new prospects to you
A successful digital strategy based on inbound marketing principles can help bring you new leads and generate referrals. Since all clients are different, you can create marketing that addresses your target market.
Inbound marketing lets you leverage market research to identify your best clients while they are in the process of researching their options online. It allows you to create content that addresses their pain points and offers solutions through the insurance services you provide.
The difference between inbound and outbound insurance marketing
Outbound marketing strategies include commercial advertising campaigns, cold calling, door-to-door prospecting, and unsolicited emails. It’s time-consuming, takes a lot of effort, and can be expensive.
In contrast, inbound marketing leverages technology to put your services in front of consumers through digital content that showcases your services and brand. It’s more subtle, less threatening, and demonstrates value upfront.
These techniques don’t focus on generating the sale. Instead, they aim to build trusted relationships that create a natural flow of sales to your insurance business through the following four basic steps:
Step 1: Attract new visitors to your website
Successful independent agents strive to stay relevant by being trusted advisors. The internet allows you to demonstrate that upfront. You can elevate your game by creating engaging content on your website that promotes the professionalism and value of your services.
This helps move your strategy away from simply taking calls and quoting. Allow them to see how an insurance policy with your company is a complete package with high value.
Lead generation starts with understanding your customer
Before you start brainstorming new insurance marketing ideas or spending money on online business listings, take some time to ask the following questions:
- Who is my ideal insurance customer?
- What are their concerns and pain points?
- What unique problems do my insurance services solve?
These questions help you formulate a “customer avatar”. This fictionalized representation of your ideal client will guide you towards making customized content that speaks to them on every page of your website. The next step is to leverage the following ways of attracting visitors to your site:
Search Engine Optimized Content (SEO)
Search engines are a common starting point for most potential insurance customers. Understanding how they work is essential when creating content. This requires the use of keywords and on-page SEO techniques embedded into useful, relevant, and engaging content that provides value to your prospects.
Search Engine Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing
Since SEO can take time to produce results, PPC marketing is a logical next step for attracting traffic to your site. Search engines like Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Yahoo! Gemini provide services that let you bid for ad space when users make search queries, putting your business in front of them while they are looking for your services.
Another way to advertise your services is through the use of digital ads on external sites. You can use video, static ads, and dynamic ads to reach prospective customers after they have left your website, so your business stays at the top of their minds while they research their insurance options.
Social media is more than just image and video sharing. Platforms like Facebook Ads, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer services that give both large and small business owners in a local community the power to zero in on their ideal customers with precision.
Factors like location, age, and other critical information are at your fingertips, giving you the opportunity to put ads in front of high-quality insurance leads that have already demonstrated an interest in your business’ services. These platforms also offer free business pages that allow business owners to market their services to social media users from the local community to the entire global marketplace.
Step 2: Transform visitors into potential customers
Now that you have visitors to your website, the next step is to transform your best prospects into high-quality leads by getting their contact information.
Converting potential clients on a website is much more effective than collecting business cards at conferences and other types of professional gatherings. When a client inputs their phone number or email address into a form on your site, they are effectively communicating interest in your services.
So how do you do it? By demonstrating that you have a high level of value to offer. That is accomplished through a free product on your website they can access in exchange for their information.
- Insurance buying guides
- Case studies
- Free instructional videos
- Complimentary assessments
Remember the customer avatar exercise in the first step? In that exercise, you outlined some pain points. Simply pick one and create a free product visitors can access when they input their contact information. That way, you get a qualified lead in your target market that has demonstrated interest in your unique product offerings.
Step 3: Convert leads into paying customers
Now that you have a list of qualified high-quality leads, you can move on to the next step: converting those prospects into loyal clients.
In the past, most agents would have a list of phone numbers and make rounds of calls to book appointments and offer quotes. These days you have a new way of communicating that can be super-effective: email marketing.
Email marketing gives you multiple opportunities to pitch, again and again. You can do this through a series of emails designed to increase awareness of your services and build trust.
Sending emails with helpful content and industry news helps move leads closer to the buying process. Email marketing platforms help you keep track of how many emails are delivered, how many are opened, and how many people click to visit your site. These valuable tools help you gauge the prospect’s interest and determine which ones are closer to the buying stage.
Not all insurance products the same, and neither should your email marketing be
Many insurance products appear similar by design, but there are numerous differences in levels of coverage and how claims may be managed. Let those differences distinguish your services from the rest. If you make your email marketing all about the price, that will attract “price shoppers” with zero loyalty.
Marketing insurance coverage is a better idea. When you market coverage, it demonstrates that your services closely align insurance products with client needs. Translating that idea through marketing content will help set you apart from the rest and your quote to bind ratio will be higher.
Establishing a solid relationship foundation can ensure that you will have multi-year revenue opportunities. By marketing coverage, your prospect relationship can be elevated while giving you an edge over the competition, improving retention, and increasing agency profits.
Step 4: Generate referrals from satisfied clients
Generating new business using these marketing principles can help you bring the most ideal customers for your particular insurance niche. Since those customers are tailored to your services, they are easier to please because they came to you through value rather than price.
Happy customers love talking about their experiences. Social media is full of reviews from customers raving about services they love. You can also leverage the use of surveys and follow-up emails with your new clientele to keep them engaged and keep the conversation flowing.
The digital age is about “smart” marketing
The days of aggressive outbound marketing are over. Embracing new technology on the internet such as search engines, email marketing platforms, and social media is the way to generate new business best suited for the unique services you provide. It’s no longer about marketing “harder”, but marketing “smarter”, so you can stand out as an insurance expert and leader in your field.