The Travelers Companies scored a YouTube success this summer by uploading its humorous television commercial starring a lovable pooch that is afraid that a prowling “cat burglar” might rob his doghouse. But Travelers isn’t the only insurer seeing a bump in Web traffic thanks to the ad.

After requesting Travelers’ permission to embed the video in his company blog, “we’re getting about 25 hits a day from people who have Googled the video,” says Nibby Priest, vice president of the independent Vaughn Insurance Agency Co., in Henderson, Ky. “These are people who have been directed to our Website who wouldn’t have come otherwise.” And the hope is that some of these visitors will linger on the site long enough to become new customers.

Priest’s use of the Travelers commercial illustrates the beneficial relationship that can exist between local agents and national carriers as they use social-media tools. In striking the right balance that plays to each others strengths, agents are leveraging the sizable brand recognition and knowledge base of carriers—while at the same time emphasizing their own local roots and connections.

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