Digital marketing is essential for agents who want to succeed in an insurance landscape increasingly shaped by digital platforms.
Thanks to the rise of social media and sophisticated advertising strategies, agencies of every size and budget have a wealth of options on the table to expand their book of business and scale their operations. Of course, actually bringing new prospects through the front door depends on honing an online strategy that works for your unique business needs. For agents who are looking to cast a wider net while still engaging prospects in their own backyard, however, striking the right balance is key.
Indeed, three-quarters of insurance shoppers now research policies online, according to J.D. Power’s 2016 US Insurance Shopping Study. With so many different insurance providers available, this digital migration shows that agents who want to stay competitive need to be able to get their products in front of online shoppers — whether they’re across town or on the other side of the state.
If you’re looking to update your digital marketing strategy or if you’re planning your first foray onto the online space to begin with, these four tips are essential to short- and long-term success.
1. Invest in Paid Social Media Ads
When it comes to paid social media advertising, Facebook and Google Adwords will be your best friends. Before you create an ad on either platform, however, draw up a profile of your preferred prospect so that you can orient your messaging directly toward their insurance needs. Whether your ads prioritize lower homeowners insurance rates or smart retirement planning, you’ll know what you need to do to pique their interest.
Additionally, it’s important to know how Facebook and Google Adwords differ. For example, Google requires that you bid on specific words and phrases, but it also gives you control over the geographic area in which your ads appear. Your ads will then be served to users in pre-selected areas who are looking for those terms. Make sure that you bid on terms that reflect your agency’s expertise, such as “affordable group insurance benefits.” This will make it more likely that users toward the bottom of the funnel actually engage with your ads.
Alternatively, Facebook gives you a full suite of tools to hone your demographic targets. You’ll be able to choose who sees your ads based on their age, gender, and general interests. You can even expand your target audience with characteristics similar to your most engaged clients.
2. Optimize Your Website for Specific Keywords
Outside of paid advertising, digitally savvy insurance agents can feature keywords on their website and in their content that are proven to drive traffic. By optimizing for long tail keywords — that is, those that have fewer users searching for them but that indicate a high intent to purchase — you can show search engines that you’re a trusted authority in your specific niche of the insurance market.
For example, if you’re looking to sell renters insurance for younger audiences, featuring “renters insurance for millennials” is a great way to capture a specific user. However, you’ll want to avoid keyword stuffing — or using a phrase too many times — as Google may suppress your search ranking. A good rule of thumb is to keep your keyword density between 2% to 5%.
3. Diversify Your Content Strategy
While investing in your website is essential, it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Instead, you should consider producing blog content on a regular basis that speaks to your expertise, as well as local prospects’ and clients’ needs. Ideally, your content will discuss wide-ranging themes — and do so in varied ways.
Maybe you create listicles that give readers the best tips for renting vacation property over the summer or in-depth guides to current events throughout the insurance space that people should be paying attention to. By writing diverse content and promoting it across digital platforms, you’ll be showing customers that you’re a digitally savvy agent with the expertise to meet their needs.
4. Update Your Business Profiles
Although you may hunt for new business in a large geographic area, don’t forget to prospect in your own backyard. After all, prospects are probably searching for a local insurance agent who they can build a substantive working relationship with.
Put yourself on their radar by building out your Google My Business profile. When internet users search for nearby insurance agencies, your address, phone number, and website are more likely to appear if you have a complete listing. Plus, you can even update your Google My Business profile with your most recent blog content so prospects can immediately engage with your online presence. Like other digital strategies, this will boost your rankings in relevant searches.
When testing out any new digital strategy, remember to monitor the results in order to understand what works and what doesn't. If you find that a Facebook ad campaign isn’t working the way you thought, don’t be afraid to make some changes. By staying flexible and trying out new things, you can expand your digital footprint and engage interested prospects at key points throughout their insurance journey.