It’s more important than ever for smaller, independent insurance agencies to market effectively. Here are 10 insurance marketing ideas, tips, strategies to help you generate leads and earn more referrals.
Insurance is a referral driven business, and it used to be that smaller, independent agents relied exclusively on that channel for new business.
But today there are so many affordable ways for smaller businesses like local insurance agencies to market that it’s not only worth it – but essential – that you do some marketing.
Opportunities are mainly online. With low-cost website marketing and hyper-targeted social media ads, insurance agents can create a local brand. Referrals are still essential, but they tie in with online reputation.
Here are some of the essentials for marketing an insurance agency today. Execute these and your local brand and lead-generation will keep you busy and growing.
Insurance Marketing Idea #1: Hone Your Website
Today, it’s rare to meet a client face-to-face before they’ve looked at your website. It’s just second nature for consumers to “feel out” a business online. This is true of both referrals and new leads.
It’s important, therefore, that your website makes an excellent first impression. You need a clean, modern design that radiates expertise. Here’s an example mockup from our UXI® templates:
This is a conversion-based website design, meaning that its primary goal is to get leads to contact the agency. A phone number and request an estimate from are front and center.
Many insurance websites also offer gated content or an email newsletter sign up to capture emails. This is effective for nurturing leads who are still researching their insurance options.
Professional website designs are neither expensive (we offer our website designs free to our marketing clients) nor time-consuming to build. There’s no reason for an independent agent to have a sub-optimal website.
Pro Tip: Offer Useful Information
For insurance agents, information is a lead-generation tool. People are confused by insurance, so when you answer questions, you earn trust.
Blog, send an email newsletter, and create social media posts that provide useful info on insurance. This will help you nuture leads, stay top of mind with current clients, and improve your website SEO.
Create some videos and put them on your website, social media, and YouTube channel.
Also, use visuals, like this infographic:
Insurance Agent Marketing Tip #2: Offer Fast, Easy Estimates
When you offer insurance, the main thing leads want are estimates. We live in the world of Geico’s “15 minutes” and Progressives “price tool”.
Digital consumers expect speed. Make them wait and you lose the lead.
It used to be common for independent, local agents to mesh a free consultation with providing estimates. At one time, it was possible to arrange face-to-face meetings based on the premise of providing an estimate.
If you try to do this now, you’ll kill your lead-generation. Today, you have to provide real-time quotes.
Streamline your quote process and use it as an introduction for new leads. Use it as a gateway to providing other consultative services that are of high value coming from a local agent.
Insurance Marketing Idea #3: Manage Your Reputation
While your website content is vital, there is another type of online content equally important: online reviews.
Today’s consumers check online reviews for most services, including insurance agents. What’s said about you in those reviews has a big influence on their decision to work with you.
This starts with your service itself. Realize that everything you do with clients impacts your marketing. Today a business must make customer service part of their culture. When in doubt, put the customer’s needs first. Overwhelm people with your service.
Also, follow up with people to encourage them to review you. Mention it in phone call follow-ups. Our reputation management team uses email follow-ups that are effective at getting more reviews using this type of template:
Try to get reviews on the major platforms including Google, Top Rated Local, Facebook. Do not solicit reviews for Yelp as they have a strict policy against it.
Keep an eye on what’s said about you and respond to anything negative. Reviews are also a great place to get customer feedback that can help you improve your service.
There are still a lot of independent insurance companies that don’t do a good job of gaining or highlighting reviews. If you do, you’ll have a strong competitive advantage with your lead generation.
Pro Tip: Put Testimonials on Your Website
Another excellent way to be proactive about customer comments is to put testimonials on your website. This is a way to get positive comments in front of people before they go searching third party sites.
You can have a testimonials page, but what’s more effective is spreading the content around your site, close to your calls to action. Video testimonials are also really effective.
Most insurance websites make grand claims about the value they offer and how much they care about their clients. But they offer little proof.
Instead of you saying how great you are, let your clients say it. It’s more persuasive with today’s audiences.
Insurance Marketing Idea #4: Promote Your Referral Program
No leads are hotter than those that come through referrals. Encourage clients to send you referrals with a rewards-based program.
The best way to run a referral program is to have a small gift just for a referral that results in a quote. You can also have monthly and yearly drawings, like this agency does:
Make sure current clients know about your referral program. You can also use social media posts to update people on monthly or annual drawings.
Insurance Marketing Tip #5: Master Search Marketing
To drive traffic to your website, you’ll want to show up for insurance-related searches in your area. There are three ways to dominate the search results.
The first is pay-per-click advertising. These ads are run through auction-based systems like Google Adwords and Bing Ads. The main advantage here is that you show in the top positions (reserved for paid ads) and that you can control the ad copy and landing page. For example, you might want to run an advertisement for hail damage insurance after a big storm. Your ad and the page it goes to on your website can match that offer. You can even target the ad so it only displays in the area with the most damage.
Next, you need to set-up and rank for Google My Business. This is the maps listing and review platform Google uses for geo-targeted searches. It’s a free listing you can optimize with your descriptions and by getting customer reviews.
Then you have the organic website listings. These are also free clicks, with ranking gained by optimizing your website for keywords, gaining links, getting social media traffic, and adding content to your blog.
If you do each of these tactics effectively, you can show up in three places on page one:
Insurance Marketing Idea #6: Create a Company Video
A promotional video is a fast, effective way to communicate the value you offer.
Insurance Marketing Idea #7: Offer a Specialization
There are a lot of options when it comes to insurance today. Too many options. So why should someone choose to work with you?
Many independent agencies don’t really have a solid answer to that question because they don’t have a unique value proposition (UVP)
A UVP is an area in which you excel. It’s a service only you offer. It’s the specialized solution you have that solves a particular problem, and it’s the reason you’re a better choice than the competition.
For example, this Colorado insurance agency offers support to the Cannabis industry:
With the legal marijuana industry booming in Colorado, this represents a major business opportunity for this agent.
Most independent agents make claims about their personalized services and the advantages they offer over big, national insurance companies. That’s a legit UVP, but be aware you may have to get even more specific by developing a specialization.
Consider things like types of events or accidents, health conditions, business verticals, or financial considerations that give you a specialized edge.
Insurance Marketing Strategy #8: Retargeting
You can advertise on Facebook and Google with retargeting banner ads.
Retargeting ads display to people who’ve previously visited your website or Facebook page. These banner ads remind them of your brand and motivate them to come back to your site:
Retargeting works well because people online tend to hesitate and get distracted. These ads are a gentle reminder that they need to get more insurance.
Insurance Marketing Strategy #9: Facebook Advertising
Facebook advertising is a remarkable tool. It allows you to target audiences based on precise demographics, life events, and interests.
You can even take the list of your current clients and create a lookalike audience which is just that – a group with many similar characteristics to your client list.
You can also retarget both people who visited your website or interacted with your Facebook or Instagram pages.
It’s important to create a Facebook business page so you have a marketing presence there. You probably won’t get much of an organic following for your posts, but many people will look you up on Facebook to feel you out, much as they do with your website. You can set up an estimate request form and communicate with leads directly on messenger.
Facebook is another tool in your arsenal that’s effective at capturing and nurturing leads.
Insurance Marketing Idea #10: Use CRM and Marketing Software
If you’re thinking all this digital marketing sounds like it would be difficult to track, you’re right. It’s a real challenge to keep up with all the channels, changes in technology, and new communication trends.
Software is the key to success. First, you need to use customer relationship management (CRM) software to track activity with leads and clients. For insurance agents, this is a must just so you can stay organized.
But it’s also a great way to track the customer journey from lead to long-term client. You can use our CRM software for free.
Our CRM is part of the comprehensive Marketing 360® software package that integrates all the marketing channels we’ve discussed here as well as email marketing. It’s an all in one interface with a strategy guided by your dedicated marketing executive.
Put this type of software to work for your insurance agency marketing. It will save you time and focus your resources for maximum ROI.
Contact us for a free demo with a marketing consultant. We’ll even throw in a free website mockup if you’d like to see your branding on a professional website template.