How to Market an Independent Insurance Agency
Let's start with the basics: marketing is not sales. That doesn't mean they are wholly separate. In fact, good marketing is how you turn cold calls into warm leads. A well-planned marketing strategy helps you generate a customer base that already has your agency’s name in mind when they are considering insurance.
Most independent insurance agents are good salespeople. That’s their bread and butter. Marketing, however, can seem a bit murky. It doesn’t have the obvious objective of a sold policy to signify success. And the lists of creative marketing ideas on the Internet sometimes only make the waters muddier.
In the end, your marketing strategy needs to be your marketing strategy. How you choose to grow your customer base will depend on how you understand your customers' needs.
How to Market Your Insurance Agency on the Internet
Once you're in your customer'shoes, you'll realize how plugged in they are. A strong Internet presence can keep your agency top of mind when they look for insurance. Some online options are…
- Creating an agency website. A well-designed website with an easy to remember URL is key to propsects finding you on the web. You might also consider offering to link your commercial clients’ websites to yours. The goodwill they feel may result in referrals.
- Going mobile. People use their smartphones to navigate most of their day. Don't forget to make your website mobile-friendly so it is always accessible. (Related reading: "Study: If Your Website's Not Mobile, You're Missing Sales.")
- Using social media. LinkedIn is particularly useful for prospecting commercial clients.
- Creating slide shares, podcasts, and webinars. You can use these inexpensive online tools to educate your customers on the products you offer.
- Purchasing online advertisement. The web has plenty of ad space. You could choose to sponsor a site, create a banner, or use a pay-per-click ad. But whatever you do, don’t buy a pop-up ad. People hate those.
Your online presence cannot be an afterthought. Customers expect a degree of internet savvy from the professionals they work with, and that includes their insurance agents.
How to Market Your Insurance Agency through Increased Contact
Independent insurance agents can't wait for customers to come to them. The web has made it too easy to bypass the friendly, neighborhood insurance agent and simply choose a big name intermediary. On the other hand, people want to support locally-owned business like yours. They just need to know you are around.
Contact with your community can generate the name recognition and good opinion you need to capture more clients. Some ways you can promote your agency are to:
- Sponsor events. Every bar owner knows that sponsoring a team is a good way to put butts in the seats. The same goes for an independent agent. Host charity event or back a t-ball team. That kind of community involvement lets people know you are more than just a salesperson. For more ideas, check out "How Giving Things Away Could Mean Bigger Profits for Your Agency."
- Enter referral agreements. A referral agreement is a mutually beneficial partnership between you and the members of your professional network where you share hot leads with each other. For example, you might share business leads with an accountant who in turns passes their restaurant clients on to you.
- Go where your customers are. If you wanted more contractor clients, where would you go? Probably to the hardware store first thing in the morning. And if you had coffee to share, even better. The idea is to think about where the customers you want need to be and get there – hopefully before anyone else.
- Encourage give-and-take. Charities know that if they give potential donors a gift they'll be more likely to give. That's why so many send address labels or pens with their request. You’ll do even better if you try to connect your giveaway with your insurance product. Maybe try handing out smoke detector batteries or emergency contact magnets.
Ultimately, marketing your independent insurance agency is a matter of figuring out what your customers need. Once they're in the door, Insureon Solutions can help with the rest. Call us at 888-466-8848 or email [email protected] to speak to a representative today.