Social media has created the most significant growth opportunity insurance agencies have ever been afforded.
In the past, effective marketing campaigns were largely the realm of “big boys” with big budgets. Now, every business with a social media account is free to join the world of marketing.
Not only are big budgets no longer necessary, but in many ways, they get in the way. We can all thank and curse social media for delivering that reality.
Making marketing meaningful
Marketing is no longer telling your audience their life is incomplete unless they buy what you are selling.
Today's marketing is much more meaningful. It's about educating your audience, helping them understand their challenges and offering paths to improved results.
Today's most effective marketers are more than willing to give before ever asking for anything in return. Don't get me wrong, marketing is still about creating sales opportunities, but it's more about creating the right sales opportunities.
Yes, marketing still requires a financial budget, but it is now affordable for any reasonably successful business. However, effective, educational marketing also requires a time investment:
Time to study the your audience.
Time to develop solutions.
Time to create content to educate your audience.
Beware the barkers
Some marketers want the best of both worlds. With the big-budget barrier removed, too many are standing on the social media corner barking their self-promotional messages at every passer-by.
For all the noise, rarely do they offer insights their audience needs to address the challenges they’re facing.
When marketers bark their message, it's tempting to listen or, at the very least, difficult to ignore. But look deeper before entering that circus tent. If the message is all wrapper and no candy, run.
If a marketer spends more time talking about themselves (product, service, accomplishments) than they do about their audience (challenges, struggles, solutions), walk on by.
Don't be that guy
We all know businesses that market themselves like this. While it may be tempting to go that route because it's splashy, it will not build the brand you want. Don't let the vocal minority's engagement with this marketing fool you. The vast majority of people see through self-promotional marketing and want nothing to do with such a brand. It will not attract the quality clients you want for your business.
Here's a litmus test for your own marketing efforts and internal buying decisions:
If you aren't regularly getting feedback that your audience has changed their business behaviors based on your marketing advice, then you aren't effectively speaking to the needs of your audience. You have work to do.
Before you commit to your next business partner, ask: Have I changed the way I work because of what I learned from this partner's marketing content?
If the answer is no, don't expect to learn much from them during an actual engagement. And you can expect your prospects are thinking this same about you.
Game on, my friend!
Kevin Trokey is founding partner and coach at St. Louis-based Q4intelligence, a business, sales and marketing consulting firm working with insurance agencies. Contact him at (314) 436-7171 and check out his LinkedIn profile and follow him on Twitter @kevintrokey.
Originally published on BenefitsPro. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.