Social media also shouldn't be an afterthought but rather a way to share meaningful content, build thought leadership and ultimately drive leads. (Photo: Shutterstock) Social media also shouldn’t be an afterthought but rather a way to share meaningful content, build thought leadership and ultimately drive leads. (Photo: Shutterstock)

In light of the way business has shifted as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, insurance clients will continue to expect virtual service in all areas of their lives.

Although industry experts predict an incremental move toward “normalcy” near the end of the second quarter of 2021, industries such as insurance with high-trust, high-touch client interaction may be permanently impacted, making digital communications an imperative for agents and brokers.

The importance of being authentic

Insurance professionals who are strategically communicating authentically through multi-channel touchpoints now have a competitive edge. And, those who invest time and money in digital marketing will have a personalized conduit to amplify their own brand and expertise to clients and prospects.

So what’s new that businesspeople need to add to their digital marketing arsenal in 2021?

On the most basic level, agents and brokers need to communicate across multiple channels. Website, email, social, and online events such as webinars should be coordinated, carry a consistent voice and all work together to accomplish the organization’s goals. Email continues to be a critical component of a successful communication strategy, with consistency being the key. Sending clients and prospects a monthly or weekly newsletter with relevant content will provide them with actionable advice on topical news and market conditions.

Meet clients, prospects where they’re at

Social media also shouldn’t be an afterthought but rather a way to share meaningful content, build thought leadership and ultimately drive leads. If you don’t think social media can actually drive revenue — think again. Social engagement gives agents and brokers an authentic voice in relating to clients and attracting new prospects.

In fact, a recently commissioned survey found that 48% of all respondents acquired new clients from social media. Younger agents (ages 24-40) see the value in social media more than their 41 and older counterparts — 67% in the first group rely on social media to build their brand, share information with clients (68%), and 59% are adding new clients from social activity.

For the savvier insurance professionals or those who are looking to incorporate more sophisticated marketing strategies, content marketing is critical, and video needs to be in that mix. Videos are increasingly being used to reach current customers and new prospects to help maintain the human connection during the times that in-person meetings are not possible. Agents and brokers who get comfortable with this medium find that it’s humanizing and an opportunity to provide commentary or guidance on current trends. Videos have also been shown to increase landing page conversion rates by 80%.

Digital marketing differentiation

These tasks may seem overwhelming, but the more successful advisors are adding digital marketing tools to their overall technology stack. By leveraging the power of technology, many of these activities can be automated to serve as a foundation that advisors can build upon. This frees up time for the advisor to get more creative with their marketing and, ultimately, better serve their clients. When the foundation is strong, advisors have the opportunity to really enhance their brand and differentiate themselves from their competitors. In other words, advisors have the time to showcase their authentic selves.

In our digital age, it can be difficult to make that genuine connection with clients and prospects. Demonstrating authenticity and a real human side will set one apart from competitors. Agents and brokers can have a bit of fun and be themselves all while helping clients make informed financial decisions.

An agency’s digital footprint can make a powerful impact on attracting and converting prospects into clients. Being able to lean on technology created specifically for the financial services industry can be a huge relief to insurance professionals as they navigate 2021 and whatever comes next. Marketing can ultimately make the difference between increased revenue or stagnant performance as the industry moves into a new era.

Patti Newcomer is chief marketing officer for FMG Suite. As CMO, Patti leads FMG Suite’s brand, product positioning, and go-to-market strategy that’s driven by data. She has a unique ability to focus on both the art and the science of marketing while being a strong people leader and developer of talent. Prior to FMG Suite, Patti was a marketing executive at Intuit, WorldPay US (now FIS), and Wachovia (now Wells Fargo), Capital One and jump started her career at Procter & Gamble.

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