It can be tough out there for insurance agencies. Changes in Obamacare is shaping the way employers provide health insurance for their employees. Rate increases on the Property & Casualty front are always present and a constant objection many agents must overcome. In fact, the new legislation is trying to curtail the role of insurance agencies in the insurance procurement process. Persistent slow economic growth has reduced business investment, which adds additional steps and approvals to the insurance buying process.
Despite all of these challenges, there are still opportunities for savvy insurance agencies to grow. Agency owners and managers turn to Google and social media to try and make sense of the never-ending onslaught of insurance regulations. Your best bet as an agency principal is to get found when your prospects look for help on the internet. Here are 5 strategies to increase your odds of being found by qualified buyers.
1. Start an Inbound Marketing Program
This may seem self-explanatory, but it's important to understand why you need to get started as soon as possible. It can take time to see results from online marketing efforts. You need to develop domain authority by showing Google you're producing content relevant to the keywords your prospects use to search for you. So if you haven't started yet, your prospects won't find you when they search for solutions to insurance problems with Google. They will find your competitors.
Many agents look for an edge starting out and often come to us to get organic inbound traffic calling their agency while their online presence grows. This is a great way to continue to write new business all while developing your online presence.
2. Run an Inbound Campaign Around A PREMIUM CONTENT OFFER
A premium content offer like an eBook, webinar, or video series is a great way to generate inbound leads. Think of topics like "5 Ways To Reduce Home Insurance Costs" or "How To Manage Health Plans Under Obamacare". Place the eBook behind a landing page that captures contact information (name, company, email address, etc.) in exchange for the eBook download. Promote the eBook in your blogging efforts by including calls-to-action within your blog articles that link to the landing page. Promote the landing page on your social media channels. Use analytics software to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and make adjustments as necessary.
3. START CONVERSATIONS with Your Prospects On Social Media
Look for the social media networks where your prospects spend time and develop a presence on those networks. How can you find which networks your prospects use? Ask them (or your customers.) Depending on which lines your agency offers, it's safe to assume that B2B prospects are on LinkedIn and individual insurance buyers are on Facebook. But think behind the obvious - B2B buyers are on Facebook; if they see your posts while perusing their timeline, they just may want to learn more. Many people overlook the lead generation potential of Twitter. You'll be surprised how effective Twitter can be as a lead generation tool.
4. START BLOGGING REGULARLY
The best thing you can do to increase traffic to your agency's website is to blog. What should you write about? For a start, ask your customer service team the top ten questions they hear from your customers. If your customers are asking those questions, it's likely that your prospects have the same questions.
Assign an editor to make sure each article reflects the company "voice" and is optimized for the keyword phrases you're targeting. Speaking from experience, blogging can be a fun way to interact with your clients and potential clients all while helping them out in the process with timely and impactful articles.
5. Nurture Leads with Email Marketing
Most buyers aren't ready to buy when they first come to your website. But that doesn't mean that they won't buy eventually. When a visitor comes to your website and becomes a lead by downloading your premium content offer, use email marketing to help educate them and provide useful information as they move through their buying process.
Although insurance agencies are challenged producing new business in today's economic and regulatory environment, an effective inbound marketing program can generate leads for your producers. Follow these 5 steps and you will get found by buyers on the internet, convert website visitors to leads and close new business by solving customer problems.
Tell us what you think! Have you tried any of these methods for your agency? What are some of the successes you've seen, or lessons you've learned?