Historically, independent insurance agents have been able to rely on traditional marketing tactics — referrals, print ads, direct mail, etc. But gone are the days when agents go door to door or book face-to-face appointments to generate leads.
While COVID has indeed limited how agents can sell insurance, consumer expectations and behaviors have been shifting for years. Prospects are increasingly reliant on the internet when it comes to insurance. According to J.D. Power, 74% of customers shop for an insurance policy online. Digital marketing for insurance agents and brokers is more than just an option, it is a necessity.
Getting Started: Types of Digital Marketing
There are many digital marketing platforms to choose from— many of which are free. Here is an overview of the different digital marketing avenues that make the most sense for the insurance industry:
As intimidating as it might feel, social media marketing is unavoidable. When you search your name or that of your business, oftentimes the first results are your and your business’s social media pages. That’s because the search engine algorithms look favorably upon those well-known sites. From LinkedIn to Facebook to Yelp to Instagram, there are several available options. You should choose a handful (one to three) mediums to focus on based on your location, target audience, and business goals.
Social Media Marketing for Insurance Agents
If you are hoping to attract business owners and commercial clients, LinkedIn is the way to go. See here for detailed tips on effectively harnessing the power of LinkedIn.
If you are looking for a younger clientele, then Instagram would be your best bet; current clients and industry experts, Twitter; people looking for more information on your business and current customers, Facebook; potential local customers, Yelp.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As we mentioned in an article on Google Ads, search engine visibility is hugely important. When people are considering purchasing a new policy, they turn to the internet. SEO is the process of appealing to search engine algorithms to increase rank (aka your visibility in search engines). Keywords relevant to your business, words, or phrases that prospective clients may search, are the basis of SEO. After selecting your keywords, you build your website around it. You cleverly insert the word(s) into various pages on your website, and, if you have the time, you might even choose to create a blog.
SEO For Insurance Agents
Blogs can be time-consuming, but they provide an opportunity for you to greatly strengthen your digital footprint (in addition to educating your customers and showcasing your voice). The more material you produce on the internet, the more opportunities you have for customers to visit your site. The key is to produce consistent, targeted, quality content. Create content that answers questions that customers may be searching for, or write general blogs about your area of expertise. Like the website pages, build each blog around a keyword.
To better understand the theory behind SEO, imagine yourself as a consumer. You are searching for a new policy, say you’re in the hotel industry and you conduct business in California. Your search would look something like “insurance for hotels CA.” You see the results and likely click on one of the first few links, nothing more. With SEO principles you can organically work your way up to being one of the first links.
Tried and true, email marketing has some of the highest ROI of any marketing medium. While a fancy newsletter might wow clients, a high quality, personal email can be equally effective. The backbone of email marketing is a good email list. A common way to build your email list is to offer prospective clients an incentive — some kind of digital guide or even a discount. You can also have different lists, commonly called segmented lists, that separates customers by region, status, or interests. With segmented lists, you can tailor content to the specific group to which you are sending an email.
At the end of the day, you are an expert in insurance, not digital marketing. Your skills aren’t centered around increasing your rank in Google or running a Facebook page, and that is okay. Focus on authenticity and consistency, and keep it simple.