For locally-focused insurance agents, Facebook ads offer the perfect combination of affordability and market-capturing opportunity.
As denizens of the digital age, we’re constantly inundated with viral, shareable content — which can make it feel like the secret to growing an audience online is to craft the perfect social media or blog post that will miraculously sprout a pair of viral wings, delivering your brand/message directly to your target audience.
In reality, content doesn’t work like that — especially within local markets. Aside from occasional mega hits, the vast majority of content receives relatively little exposure. On Facebook, in particular, the power of organic reach (the number of people who see your business’ average Facebook post) has been steadily dwindling. Adweek reports that the average organic post reaches just 2.6% of a given user’s audience.
Even more troubling, Contently estimates that (accounting for the man-hours needed to create Facebook content, of course) it would take the average company six years to pay off the costs of acquiring enough followers through organic social media clicks.
For nearly all local insurance agents, then, it pays to pay — for Facebook ad space, that is. Paid Facebook ads are by far the best way to reach a local audience over social media, since the method’s ability to target and reach the desired audience is unparalleled.
Target a Specific and Interested Audience
Facebook’s ads are so effective because they ensure that your content is delivered to the right people, and at the right time. eMarketer reports that marketers rate Facebook ads more highly than any other social ad platform for its “sophisticated targeted advertising platform.”
As Jennifer Jessie notes, Facebook ads give insurance agents an astounding array of targeting choices. Most broadly, agents can select an audience by location, demographic (age, gender, language, etc.), interest, behavior, and connections — you can even ask Facebook to target “lookalike” audiences, or people who are most similar to your current customers.
But the categories of ‘interests’ and ‘behaviors’ are where the service really shines. Not only can you target ads to people who are looking for a certain kind of insurance, like auto insurance, you can even select people based on the date their policies will expire or need to be renewed. Want to attract customers who are homeowners, or those likely to have no healthcare dependents? The power is yours, at affordable rates (as low as $5, or high as your campaign’s need dictates).
Track What Resonates
With Facebook’s Ad Manager, it’s incredibly easy for agents to track the performance of their ad campaigns — which can also include other paid options, such a Boosted posts and Sponsored pages, which elevate the performance of everyday content.
Here, you can see which demographics respond to which ads, enabling you to adjust your ad spend wisely, focusing only on the most effective content. In addition, we recommend continually A/B testing your ads — changing just one feature, reposting, and keeping track of the engagement for each iteration — to uncover even small changes that can make a huge difference for your audience. Adding a different pictures for different audience segments or making your ad copy more conversational, for instance, can make a huge impact.
If it sounds like we’re huge Facebook ad fans, it’s because we are. It’s becoming harder and harder for local insurance agents to successfully grow an online audience even as it becomes more important to do so, which means they need to use best tools at their disposal. And while paid advertising never feels as great as free publicity, its returns are much more consistent.
(Main image credit: Unsplash)