Are you in the insurance industry and wondering how you can better market yourself, build a better client base, and have a more successful career? Insurance marketing is a different ballgame and it’s critical to understand the importance of it, the benefits of it, and the best ways to accomplish it!
This guide is a marketing tool designed specifically for insurance agents like you! Its purpose is to help you achieve true success with your marketing – from start to finish. In addition to this guide, we partnered with The Marketing Squad to create a series of Insurance Marketing Webinars, free for our agents and followers to download at any time.
We also condensed the content from the marketing webinars and created informational blogs that highlight the information in the webinars and provided simple, easy-to-process steps for creating a successful insurance marketing strategy. Don’t miss out on these additional value-driving resources available to you!
As we move forward, remember: From getting started, setting goals, and establishing a target audience to finding the right marketing rhythm for you, this will walk you through each step of your journey and provide the answers you need throughout!
Get ready to experience the ultimate guide to insurance marketing success!
The first section of this guide is focused on helping you define your insurance marketing goals and strategies. If your sales or marketing efforts have not previously been planned in advance, but are rather a disjointed approach, that’s ok! You have to start somewhere.
If you’ve been in business for a long time, then it’s still important to reassess and look with fresh eyes at how well you’re sharing your business with your target audience. This is a great stepping stone for you to utilize while you intentionally set goals and pursue your agency’s sales and marketing.
We’ve broken this section of the guide into five critical parts. Our goal is to make it easy to comprehend, retain, and create a plan-of-action around your marketing goals.
Let’s get started!
Leads are the people who you are targeting through your marketing efforts and they are potential customers.
Leads have a specific want, need, or problem and they are looking for a solution.
Your products and/or services could be their answer! Leads opt into your brand in some form or fashion – from engaging with your social media to attending an event you host.
There are two types of leads – marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads.
A marketing qualified lead might be someone who follows you on social media or downloads an informative resource you offer on your website. By taking that action, they have expressed an interest in your marketing and have “qualified” themselves to receive more of your marketing. You can continue to market to that lead to further engage with them!
A sales qualified lead engages with your higher-level marketing (like filling out a form or requesting information) or takes an extra step on your lower-level marketing (like commenting on a social post or consistently opening and clicking through on your emails). They “qualify” themselves to receive harder-selling marketing because they have expressed a serious interest in what you’re marketing/selling.
You should be targeting your marketing to gain these leads!
What you’ll want to do is establish a goal number of leads that you’d like to attain through your marketing and then adjust your marketing to achieve that goal!
The nature and industry of marketing have evolved over the last ten to twenty years and will continue to do so in our ever-digital world. The way that consumers engage in marketing content and the way marketers can reach them is becoming more challenging as the market becomes more saturated.
Inbound Marketing Methodologies are changing the ways we approached marketing in the past and how we continue to market today! To keep up with the fast-paced digital age, you must ask yourself these two questions:
1. Does my brand/message rise above the noise?AND
2. Am I continually adapting and improving?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, you need to assess where you (or your company) is compared to others in the digital space and market around you. We all want to set ourselves apart from our competitors, and Inbound Marketing is key.
The types of Inbound Marketing strategies that you can use to reach your target audience include blogging, email, social media, downloadable content offers, digital advertisements, and landing pages.
Of course, you don’t simply want to have a large quantity of these types of content, you, more importantly, want to produce quality content that people want to consume. The content you provide should engage your audience and entice them to keep coming back for more.
The journey of your “buyer” starts as a stranger and moves through a “funnel” (to use the marketing term) until they reach the level of promoters of your brand, which is where you ultimately want a buyer to end up.
The most important step for you to take in order to understand and create a successful buyer’s journey is to determine your target audience. A target audience would be the type of people you want to attract in order to convert them from lead to customer.
Once you determine that, you can start to construct a marketing strategy around that target audience to create a better journey for them. The five stages of the funnel for a buyer are Stranger, Visitor, Lead, Customer, and Promoter.
Evaluating your buyer’s journey allows you to adapt your processes to create the ultimate customer experience. Buyers want to feel like their needs are being heard and that you can provide the means to meet those needs. Your marketing should help make the buying journey more simple. It should guide your target audience through each step of their buying journey, quickly and efficiently.
The main takeaway from The Buyer’s Journey is that Understanding your Audience + Targeting Your Efforts to your Audience = Better (and More) Conversions.
In order to move forward, you must have a starting point.
Then you must build a foundation and create a plan. Building a foundation simply means creating a base marketing structure that the rest of your marketing can build on. For instance, a website, social media presence, or online presence that you can use to draw people to with your marketing. This is the foundation for all of your marketing, it’s where you will direct your target audience!
Once you have a strong foundation, you can base all of your marketing efforts around it and will be set up for success.
Setting goals is simply a matter of determining achievable and beneficial outcomes for your marketing. Here’s are some examples of goals you might set:
These are all great goals!
But, these goals mean nothing if you don’t track them. Tracking a goal is simply the process of keeping track of how your marketing helps you achieve those goals.
For example, if someone in your target audience follows you on Facebook, your social media marketing has generated a marketing qualified lead! You will want to make sure you have a process for marking and noting what you did that achieved that specific lead type that added 1 lead to your goal of 10 over the course of one quarter.
We’ve created a helpful goal tracking spreadsheet that you can use to keep track of your leads from different marketing sources – click here to download.
If you want to dive more in-depth into the process of goal setting and tracking, then check out this comprehensive post: Tracking Leads and Closing Sales.
Data and research show that a year of consistent marketing efforts will yield a 25 percent increase in social media presence and reach. This is a statistic that will help you create an achievable and data-driven goal for your social media marketing.
Another metric to know is that successful businesses see around three percent click-through rates from email conversions to links on your website. This number may seem small, but this kind of engagement and name recognition from your audience is beneficial for you.
As you set a foundation and goals, make sure you understand the industry averages so that the goals you set are attainable and realistic! When setting specific numbers for your goals, you should take into account these percentages and do not feel discouraged by these numbers.
It’s also good to remember that you have to start somewhere to be at an even greater place a year from now. Provide clear messages, target your audience, and present your CTA (call-to-action) in a direct way to see the results you want and reach your unique goals.
Developing a marketing campaign is the most difficult and rewarding part of creating a successful insurance marketing strategy. This can make or break your marketing entirely, so pay careful attention as we break all of this down!
The good news is, once you understand everything and create a campaign, you’ll begin attracting the attention of your target audience, leading them through your marketing funnel, and achieving your goals like never before.
So, let’s get started!
The first step to developing a campaign and attracting attention is to understand what a campaign is!
A strategic marketing campaign is a focused and organized series of communication, such as blogs, ads, and social posts, directed to a specific goal. A campaign will provide a plan to execute that will achieve your desired goals. There are various campaigns you can use to accomplish these goals, both large and small!
The goal of a major campaign should line up with your overall business goals. This would be the primary campaign that you’ll use to reach those goals!
A major campaign is designed to achieve large results due to the efforts put into it. A campaign of this nature is a major milestone in your overall marketing efforts because it ultimately drives the progress that can be measured in leads and growth.
For example, if your goal was to promote open enrollment, some of the characteristics of your major campaign might include:
Although different from a major campaign, a mini-campaign still serves a substantial purpose in your marketing plan. Mini campaigns will still share some of the characteristics of larger campaigns – basically fitting within your bigger campaigns and they contribute to your overall goals. But, these usually vary in their capacity and scope. These campaigns will be for a shorter amount of time, such as a week(s)-long time frame versus a whole quarter.
Special offers are often used in mini-campaigns to entice consumers to become interested and respond to you because of a very specific call to action. Most companies would not offer a special discount for three full months, but they may offer it for a short period of time to drive awareness or cause a bump in leads for a certain month – that’s why they’re perfect for mini-campaigns.
WHY THIS MATTERS
You might be asking yourself, why are campaigns important?
The answer is that campaigns create maps that guide your marketing. They use tactical, or systematic, approaches to generate revenue through highly targeted communication steps. Campaigns will outline specific actions (CTA’s) that guide your audience to do exactly what you’d like them to do. The thing that differentiates campaigns from other marketing efforts is that they are not just daily actions, but strategically-planned steps to propel your business towards growth and success.
Before you plan a campaign, you need to take an inventory of what efforts you currently have going on, such as channels and platforms to get your message out, then make a list of those assets. This will determine what you need to add or take away from in your current strategy.
Your content and messages ALWAYS need to align with your goals and should crafted to attract people going in the same direction you’re headed.
The content and mediums you use, need to be centered around that target audience.
Therefore, determining who your audience is and the mediums they use will allow you to choose the mediums and create the content that fits those exact people. This ultimately drives them to you and to your website.
After you assess your messaging/content, your mediums, and target audience, you are ready to begin a campaign- here’s how:
Determine what content – emails, social media posts, ads, downloads, blogs, etc., that you need to achieve your goal by taking into account the deeper features of your target audience.This means, you want to consider their pain points, their goals, their lifestyle, etc.! What motivates them?
You must also decipher how, when, and where you will deliver the content and through what mediums. It’s important to note that your content choice matters! When writing, sharing, and creating content, you need to focus on relevant industry/cultural values that your audience cares about. Although trends come and go, there is an appropriate time to use them because give your content the “buzz” it needs.
Two tips we discussed in one of our webinars speak directly to this:
1. Make sure to effectively place CTA’s on all of your material with the best design and wording possible. This ensures your audience sees your content!
2. Use highly searched keywords to make it easy for your website and content to be found on Google. Once you’ve planned your content, mediums (or channels), and checked up on the latest trends, tips, and best practices, you’re ready to begin!
3. Start Implementing the Campaigns Steps. The next step in the campaign creation process is to schedule the content using a calendar and tools.
This is the easy part.
Here’s a few schedule tools we like:
4. Finally, Measure your Work & See the ResultsNow, after your plan has been set into motion, you can track your results! Start by asking these questions:
They’ll help you determine how you campaign is working and if it will effectively help you achieve your goals.
How active you are with followers, customers, and new leads through social media?
Our third webinar in our series broke down the importance of social media, common social media platforms, why it’s important for your busines, how to set-up and establish social accounts, and tips for building and growing social accounts and networks.
You can download that full presentation right now, but we’ll detail some of this information below, as well.
Studies and statistics prove that social media matters in the world of business and the insurance game is no different.
Not only does it drive traffic to your site, increase your brand awareness, and allow you to specifically speak to and interact with your target market, but if used effectively, it can also increase your leads and sales!
Here are some of the ways your social media plays a large role in your insurance marketing strategy:
Now that you understand the importance of social media, it’s critical to choose the right platforms (or channels) for you!
You can do this by comparing the strengths and weaknesses of each and considering how they will help you achieve your goals.
As the largest social media platform, Facebook can be used for specific targeting to your audience and it is a great place to start. In fact, it has the biggest audience of any social media platform, with over 1 billion active users.
If you are on the fence about social media, ease into it with the mother of all socials!
This short and sweet, yet powerful social platform can be used to help spread the voice of you, your agency, and your brand.
With multiple posts a day, you can interact and share relevant content (news, opinions, ideas) with your followers, thus making it a perfect tool to help build your target following.
Also known as the professional social network, LinkedIn is a great resource for businesses to invest in as a means to connect with other businesses, colleagues, and build prospective clients.
You can even hire effectively on this channel.
Personally, LinkedIn can function as a way to digitally house your resume, share accomplishments, and connect with future employers.
Instagram is a fast, engaging, and fun way to share content with your followers.
From photos and videos to comments and likes, Instagram allows you to connect with your target audience in a more visual and compelling way.
It keeps social media social – like its meant to be.
Different from the other channels, Instagram has continued to make a steady increase in users.
The only things to consider is that it is not normally considered a professional platform and it is primarily made for and used on mobile devices.
This goes back to creating a campaign – a major campaign – and sticking to it.
This includes determining what channels are right for you and why. You want to base this on who your target audience is and what channels they engage with.
As a good rule of thumb, we recommend setting up at least 3 of the 4 social channels we discussed above to cover your bases and gain traffic online.
Here are some helpful steps to follow as you set up your accounts:
Aside from the previous information we have shared above, we’ve put together a list of some basic tips you can follow to improve your social media presence and enhance your channels’ growth:
The first digital display ad was released in 1994, and the use of them has grown exponentially since.
Digital advertisements can be used for a variety of targeting to get your brand noticed and found through searches such as:
If you are going to run social ads on your social channels (like Facebook and LinkedIn), we recommend using Facebook above any of the others.For paid search ads (PPC), you should use Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM) for the best results for your money. You might see these ads when you search for something on Google!
If you are more inclined to use traditional advertisements versus digital, then TV or print ads can be an option for you! Although some find them to be disruptive, many consumers are still in that space and familiar with these kinds of ads.
We recommend using trusted outlets with the research to back them in order to reach your target audience. This might be direct mail or geo-targeting at an office park during OEP. It’s up to you and your target audience.
In order to define and understand your target audience, we laid out a few of the differences between generations.
This will help you understand how they receive information, how to sell to each generation, and the use of digital advertisements in marketing.
It might even help you define different audiences and create unique campaigns to capture those audiences.
Baby Boomers are the oldest of the three generations we, in the insurance business, are trying to target in today’s market. They are ages 51 to 69 and are more tech savvy then most people would think! For example, research shows that 96% use search engines, 95% use email, and 92% shop online.
This shows us that Baby Boomers are very reachable online and we can target them through certain focused messaging on the correct platforms.
To reach this audience, consider using Facebook, as they are very active on this social media channel.
When it comes to buying, Baby Boomers tend to watch videos and reviews to help them make decisions. These characteristics and preferences show us the ways that will be the most beneficial when marketing to their generation.
Things to consider when marketing to Baby Boomers:
The generation that follows Baby Boomers is Generation X.
These are people ages 36 to 50. Our Gen Xers are tech savvy, but have more traditional values than our next generation down the line (those crazy millennials).
They tend to be culture-conscience and plugged into multiple social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Typically, most Gen X’ers prefer using their laptops, desktops, and TV as their mediums for how they engage in content, but they are mobile-friendly.
If you are trying to gain the attention of Gen X, you may first try to win over their friends and family because they are influenced by their recommendations!
Things to consider when marketing to Generation Xers:
Use Visual Based Storytelling.
Social Media Channels.
Search marketing (PPC)
Build brand loyalty
Be cost conscious
Millennials are the youngest demographic we try to market to, as they are from ages 15 to 35.
We classify Millennials as the digital doers because they are all about mobile devices. From social media to online shopping and booking, their world is mobile.
They tend to value social issues over economics and buy based on reviews or from the influence of bloggers and social influencers.
Millennials care about experiences, but they rarely enjoy these experiences as a part of their reality.
If you are eagerly trying to target Millennials- be careful, as they don’t like being pushed! They are true to what they know and act as brand loyalists to companies they love.
Things to consider when marketing to millennials:
This is where you see the results you’ve been working towards for so long and gain even more business along the way.
This section of our guide addresses sales goals, explains how to track your progress, and provides some critical tips and tricks to gaining more leads and sales throughout it all. Plus, we’ll point you to some helpful resources and explain how AgentLink can extend support to agents like you!
Let’s dive in!
When thinking about where you want to grow and flourish, setting sales goals is the first step. That said, be careful. It’s far too easy to set sales goals that are too small or unclear. These types of goals will not help you grow and flourish, but merely add to the original problem!
What you need to do is to choose sales goals that keep you consistently motivated and accomplishing those goals.
The BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timetable) formula is a great tool for gauging the goals you’re thinking about before you set them! This is also a good yard stick for knowing if you’re going after the right prospects to offer your services.
Here are some of the best practices for setting goals and achieving success:
After you set the goals that we discussed above, you have to track those goals to see how much progress you’ve made.
Without tracking your goals, you have no way to gauge if you are being successful in your efforts. Here are some tips for tracking:
Because operational teams often want to see reports of this nature, you can reference your tracking document. Or if you use a CRM, you can track within that database and pull automatic or customized reports!
The goal of all your sales and marketing should be to close a sale and increase your revenue. So, what business doesn’t want to close as many sales as possible?
With that in mind, we put together a few tips and tricks that will help you gain the leads and sales you want…
1. Sometimes good selling means asking!Have a refined–but not routine–message that connects with people. When you close a sale, don’t be afraid to ask for a referral. This will only aid in future business! The worst they can say is “No”.
But, if they just chose to invest in you, they’re likely willing to work with you in other ways. Just create a system for follow-up with your customers that’s natural for asking for referrals.
2. Social Media Crowdsourcing and ReferralsIn the same way you can naturally ask a recent sale for a referral, you can ask your social media follows for the referrals you need!
3. Share video and written testimonials to prospects and leadsThere’s three things we want to say here! Never be afraid to ask your happy clients for testimonials and (if they’re willing) capture them on video. This way, you can use their testimonial on social media or in emails in both written and visual format! And, go ahead and make a few into official case studies or portfolio examples. These kinds of materials will be invaluable to use as you seek to gain more leads and close more sales.
4. Grow your reviews on Google and FacebookThis is another form of testimonial that can lead to significant results. By encouraging your clients and/or followers to leave Google and Facebook reviews, you’ll gain credibility online and build your personal or business brand even more. One fun way to get more Google and Facebook leads is to do a social media giveaway – each review is an entry!
There are many CRM (customer relationship management) tools available on the market that provide assistance to businesses at different levels. This is definitely something you’ll want to take advantage of!
Additionally, there are also a variety of training resources available for every industry and cross-industry. Here are some of our top choices that your business can utilize to maximize your sales and meet your goals:
One major way that AgentLink can assist in your sales is through our Agent Support which includes:
Another way is through AgentLink’s Concierge Services, where we help you provide for insurance needs you don’t specialize in or don’t have time for. This includes:
Our hope from this guide is to further educate agents like you and provide you with valuable resources for effective marketing practices in the world of Insurance.
In this section, you’ll find a few of the main steps you should take in order to establish a successful marketing rhythm. You’ll also find some of our most frequently asked questions and some helpful tips for using LinkedIn to grow your business.
If you do not put goals in place before you get started, you can get lost along the way with no plan and no way to measure your success.
Campaigns should focus on products, services, brand values, or partnerships that help, educate, or connect with your target audience.
Doing this will keep your goals in sight and make them easier to accomplish with the right actions to accompany them.
A content calendar will allow you to plan for holidays, important Dates for your Business/Industry, and campaign timelines!
It will also keep all of your content organized and pre-planned out for the year so that it is easy to refer back to when it is time to blog, complete social media, ads, emails, and other marketing initiatives.
We recommend always looking back to reflect before the next quarter to see what worked and what didn’t. With those reflections in mind, you can then strategically plan for the next quarter. This is also a good time to make sure your goals still align with your overall business plan as things can change throughout the year.
Basically – Set goals, Plan, Execute, Measure, and Repeat!
Ready to learn more about insurance marketing?! These questions (and answers) will assist you in establishing the perfect marketing rhythm and/or improve your current marketing rhythm!
1. How do I improve my email marketing?
2. What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation tools help you automate things such as emails, social media, blogging, and lead nurturing. From blogging to email marketing, each of these platforms has specific mechanisms to ease the marketing process:
First, and most important, if you’re not using LinkedIn to grow your business – start now!
The main three goals and uses for LinkedIn include:
If “people” are at the core of your business, you can and should utilize LinkedIn!
Check Out These Tips for a Great LinkedIn Page
Are you ready to get started?
This guide was meant to provide you with the information you need to better market yourself, build a better client base, and have a more successful career.
As you seek to achieve more with your insurance marketing, remember the steps! Set goals, develop a campaign, utilize social media, identify your target audience, and track everything. If you follow this guide, you’ll develop a successful marketing rhythm that will deliver the results you need to succeed.
Get ready to experience the insurance marketing success you’ve been waiting for!