Digital Marketing Tactics for Insurance Agencies To Out-think Corporate Goliaths
Obviously, the Internet has changed the insurance industry as a whole. Let’s not forget that COVID-19 has only added to consumer reliance on Internet research and purchasing options.
All of this is both good and bad news.
The good news is that your insurance product has never been more easily available, and it’s never been easier to reach new and existing customers than with digital marketing.
The bad news is that this is also true for your competitors.
The insurance industry is crowded. There were an estimated 5,965 insurance companies in the United States alone in 2018. The industry employs 2.7 million people. Plus, the top 10 insurers write around 72 percent of all policies in the country (a rise from 64 percent in 2000). Your job is to stand out from the crowd and inform your potential customers why you’re a better option.
To make the job even harder, low numbers of new buyers enter the market each year, which pushes insurance companies to take market share from competitors.
Your advantage in this area is directly correlated to your brand reputation. Consumers estimate that about 29 percent of what influences their buying decision is brand reputation.
If your competitors have a better online presence than you, they’re already establishing a better reputation than you are. But it’s not too late to change that. Below are marketing strategies to build your brand identity in the eyes of the consumer.
1. Video Marketing
Digital video marketing (note the word marketing and not advertising) has massive potential for business to client (B2C) and business to business (B2B) promotion across all industries. Some studies have shown that digital video marketing is as effective if not more effective than television advertising, and it’s easy to see why—United States consumers watch up to six hours of digital video daily. For many, it replaces television.
There’s a reason we referred to it as marketing and not advertising, though. As we said in the introduction, insurance customers especially do not want to be sold to. Instead, they want to inform themselves. While we’re not saying you shouldn’t employ video ads on sites like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, it’s just as important that you create your own content in order to provide value to the consumer.
Below are some ideas for video content:
- Tutorial videos: How-to videos are wildly popular on video hosting sites. Consumers are three times more likely to prefer a YouTube tutorial video over a product’s packaged instructions. Plus, 86 percent of YouTube users say they use it to learn new skills often. Consider the skills and knowledge your desired customers will seek out, and meet them there with informational content that will benefit them.
- Feature policyholder testimonials and conduct other interviews: Don’t be afraid to use sources outside of your company. When you include an outside source (a customer testimonial, an interview with a professional, etc.) these guests will share the video into their social networks, helping you reach a brand-new social circle as potential clients. The importance of talking about others instead of yourself cannot be overstated.
- Show your commitment to society: Customers value businesses that show social responsibility and align with higher values. Especially in an industry such as insurance, where many consumers are skeptical about an organization’s integrity, it’s important to display your social responsibility. Highlight the causes your company cares about through fundraising drives and other spotlights.
2. Review Generation
Online reviews are important, and if you’re not managing your reputation by monitoring your online reviews, chances are you’re falling behind your competition. Ninety-five percent of consumers read online reviews, and a whopping 85 percent of internet users value online reviews as much as recommendations from friends.
Before you start monitoring and managing your review profile, you need to actually have online reviews. Below are some methods to encourage your policyholders to leave reviews.
- Ask: Many companies overlook how easy it is to just ask your clients for a review. Even a small reminder after a phone interaction or a sign at a service counter in your physical location can increase online reviews immensely. Don’t be afraid to solicit your policyholders via your email list as well.
- Keep tabs on new policyholders: You should have a policy in place to check in with new customers, to assure their experience has been pleasant and that they don’t have any additional questions or confusion (remember, they often will have a lot of questions). When you follow up with them in this way, it’s a great time to ask for reviews.
- Review generation software: There are various forms of review generation software you can install in order to gather, filter and promote positive reviews from your customers.
3. Email Marketing
Email campaigns are a common form of internet marketing, but that’s not a reason to skimp on them. These campaigns can help keep you in your customer’s mind, reinforce your brand and inform policyholders of new and important updates.
Just because it’s frequently used, don’t underestimate the power of the marketing email. Here are some helpful statistics:
- Forty-four percent of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on an email.
- Forty percent of qualified leads discover sites via email.
- Sixty-four percent of decision makers read email messages via mobile devices.
- Transactional emails have eight times more opens and clicks than any other type of email and can generate six times more revenue.
- Email marketing offers a staggering return on investment. It yields an estimated 4,300 percent ROI. Every dollar spent on email marketing offers a return of $44.
Remember that a campaign doesn’t just have to be about sales. Like blogs and other social media content, it’s important to provide information your clients find useful. Here are some ideas for email campaigns:
- Seasonal guides
- Referral contests
- Renewal reminders
- Automatic follow-ups
- Monthly tips
- Discussions or warnings about trends impacting consumers
- Educational tips and reminders
4. Social Media
Social media is probably the single most effective marketing tool in the current digital climate, and most insurance companies are aware of this. Already, 93 percent of insurance companies use social media. But many of these companies are missing opportunities to make the most of their social presence. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent, to be specific) don’t measure the ROI.
When running social media, it’s important to understand that you can’t just post at random and hope for the best. Every strategy and post type should be tracked, and all of your metrics should be measured in order to identify what tactics best fit your client base.
Used properly, a strong social media presence can generate sales leads, assist in fraud detection, help you gain data for marketing performance, and help you and your client base connect on a more intimate level (which will aid in retaining clients who are constantly targeted by your competitors).
Below are some important Insurance social media tips:
- Use the “NPR model” when posting. This method, like its name implies, mimics the nonprofit radio station. NPR broadcasts programming their listeners find extremely useful and engaging 80-90 percent of the time, which helps them find and retain an audience. The other 10-20 percent of the time, the station asks for donations. In your case, this represents the portion of your time you’ll ask your clients to make purchases.
- As we mentioned above, consumers only want to follow accounts they find entertaining or useful. Help them out by providing tips to keep their insurance costs low, debunking common misconceptions and maybe throwing in a joke or two.
- The human brain naturally receives information conveyed through imagery a little more easily than through blocks of text. To make useful information more accessible, you can create and share infographics about the insurance process and other things your clients will find useful.
- Use your social media to share those “deer in headlight” resources, such as 30-second how-to videos.
- Social media is perfect for customer testimonials. When you highlight specific customers on your social media, it both makes the consumer feel important and helps establish a more trusting relationship between you and your clientele.
- Post about events you hold and special sales. If you hold large events, post photos. Remember that your clients want to see the kind of content they would enjoy from their friends and family.
- Share your web series or blog on your social media regularly in order to keep consumers coming back on a set schedule.
5. Community Outreach
As previously mentioned, the insurance industry suffers from a high amount of consumer distrust. Forty-three percent of adults are skeptical of all insurance agencies.
One of the best ways to establish yourself as trustworthy and credible is through community outreach. This allows you to show your human side, build a relationship with your community, and garner both employee and customer enthusiasm in your mission.
You should start each year with an outreach goal and build the cost into your yearly expenses (consider it a marketing cost) as opposed to just donating whatever can be spared at the end of the year.
GET TO KNOW EVEREFFECT
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