Filed Under:Agent Broker, Sales & Marketing

How an insurance agency can market online

Relying on referrals and traditional advertising sources is no longer an acceptable way for an independent or captive agency to succeed.

Whatever avenue you decide to go for your online marketing, the majority of it should focus on information for the reader. (Photo: iStock)
Whatever avenue you decide to go for your online marketing, the majority of it should focus on information for the reader. (Photo: iStock)

Let’s face it. Insurance isn’t a favorite topic for many.

It’s one of those required purchases that people make and then spend very little time thinking about until they need it.

Related: Inbound marketing: Give insurance prospects what they want, for free

Insurance isn’t a glamorous subject, so you have to work extra hard to get through to the customer. However, you can’t be too 'salesy' in your presentation or you’ll turn people off.

Here are some ways you can market your insurance agency online:

Use social media


Social media isn’t a trend for insurance agencies. Most independent insurance agents don’t have an active social media presence.

Studies show that 7 out of 10 customers are more likely to buy from an insurance agency that is active on social media. Being active means you post or tweet regularly, your content has value to the consumer and you respond to any communication from the customer.

Many times, consumers will follow a business before they need it. They may like something the company posted or find information they’re seeking through a post or tweet. When they’re ready to buy the product, they’ll look to the companies they follow first.

Create other online marketing tools


Add a blog post to your website or send out an email newsletter. Whatever avenue you decide to go for your online marketing, the majority of it should focus on information for the reader rather than being too salesy.

Related: Quick tips to capture and keep more online insurance customers

Today’s customers are looking for companies that are experts in their field. In insurance, this translates into the latest statistics on car accidents, home safety tips, impaired driving and ways to prevent theft in your home or business. Provide content that informs the reader rather than selling to them.

Have contests and promotions


Just because insurance is a serious subject, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. Online users love contests and other promotions to capture their interest.

Have them compete to caption on a photo or give them a free T-shirt if they share a post or get someone to request a quote from you. Getting your customers to share your posts is like a recommendation, which carries a lot more weight than anything you can say.

Have a website that ranks well


Sixty-nine percent of consumers use some form of online search (i.e., Google) before they make a purchase for typical property and casualty products . Ideally, your website must rank well to get attention — it must appear early in the Google results or consumers will look elsewhere.

Related: 10 tips for improve insurance agency SEO

This issue becomes more difficult because many independent/captive agencies are competing for local online space with national carriers. Therefore, it’s crucial that your firm is visible to your local market.

Integrate everything


Remember that all of your online efforts are part of one big campaign designed to get new prospects and retain your current customers. Make sure everything works together.

When you put a new post on your blog, share it on Facebook and Twitter. Of course, there are too many social media channels to speak about for the purposes of this post; the key is to be where your prospects are looking for information.

Related: 7 ways for insurance agents to covert community involvement into leads

Speak to your customers and ask them what social media channels they’re using and adjust your plan accordingly. The more avenues you have to get your message out, the more likely you will impact them.

Currently, the majority of insurance purchases are influenced by digital sources. Relying on referrals and traditional advertising sources is no longer an acceptable way for an independent/captive agency to succeed. Online marketing must be taken more seriously if you want your firm to be part of the purchase process.

Wendell Waldron is a partner at Business Listing Center and works with independent and captive insurance agencies to help them increase their book of business. He can be reached at 647-932-9304 or 844-688-5478.

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