As I said in a previous article, Get in My Business! Using a Blog to Attract Customers”, to be successful you have to first show customers the benefits of doing business with you as an insurance agent. You do this by focusing on delivering value and building relationships with your prospects. A blog can help you do both. This is called Social Media Networking – using social media to network with new clients and develop active relationships.
The insurance industry is notoriously slow to adapt to change, yet the more progressive carriers are now incorporating social media as their way to interact and reach the public. Insurance companies are not only doing the obvious, such as providing new channels for customer service and support, establishing claims “hotlines,” and utilizing the marketing and communication capabilities to achieve better brand recognition, they are also beginning to explore ways social networks can be mined for information critical to the underwriting process, for conducting pre-employment screening, and running background checks on potential employees and policyholders alike.
Insurance agencies are still trying to figure out how to achieve an ROI from implementing some sort of a social media program. But, there are agencies that are figuring this out and have put in place a very successful interactive agency website that connects them with their community.
The door is wide open for the individual agent to market themselves through social media as the insurance expert in their community and search for business outside of their territory. The way that this is done is through branding their name online with a blog or website. Blogging is one of the easiest ways to share information on the things that you want to talk about. Those articles will begin to brand you as an insurance expert. There are an unlimited amount of topics that most agents can easily write about and use as a chance to educate the customer. People are using the web to find information and very likely they could find the information on your blog.
It is important to show your visitors that behind your blog is a living, breathing person ready to understand and meet their needs. Put your picture on your site and write a bio that lets visitors get to know you both as a person and a professional. They may connect with you just based on similar interests and your college.
Your website puts you just a click away from your customers at any time. Put resources and links on your site that educate customers by creating a resource tab on your site. Make sure they know they can always reach you online. Remind them that are you are there to help them. Relationships go a long way in keeping a customer. Your goal is to show your prospect or customer that you can meet their needs.
15 Insurance Blogging Topics
1. Advantages of the Independent Agency System vs. Direct Writer
2. Your primary area of expertise i.e. commercial lines, personal lines or benefits
3. Different exposures and policy solutions
4. Why price shouldn’t always to the deciding factor
5. Your target marketing program
6. Risk management topics
7. Loss control & safety issues
8. Catastrophe protection and mitigation
9. What to do if they have a claim
10. Your service proposition
11. Successful claims resolutions
12. Certificates of Insurance requirements
13. How to reduce premiums/ cost containment
14. Comparisons of Group/ Benefits
15. Discuss under-insurance
The list is really endless, but the point is that insurance agents are professionals with a lot of knowledge that seldom gets used in front of the client. A blog really provides a way that you can stand out from the other competitors.
Community Involvement: As a normal part of their networking, many producers are active in the local communities. Some insurance agents have identified social networking platforms as the perfect way to highlight community involvement, showcase charitable activities, and promote themselves as upstanding citizens, all the while building a profile with local residents as a trustworthy resource. Keep in mind, insurance is an industry built on trust, and in times of economic strife, the age-old question, “Who you gonna call?,” becomes important once again. Agents with deep ties to the local community will have a competitive advantage.
Your blog should highlight your charity and community work. People like to see this and you can drive people to your site just by your community involvement. It is all about actively engaging, not directly selling.
Don’t be afraid to be a real person on your blog. A blog is great way to share your other passions in life with your readers. You can talk about your community activities, your family, charities you support, and your goals for your business. Although the majority of the information on your site should be business related, including posts about other things in your life will make it easy for readers to relate to you.
Email Marketing: Because you are creating content by writing articles on your blog you can easily email those same articles to your prospects and current clients. We used to call that a newsletter in the “old days”, but now you can drive this list to your site to read your relevant article. It may be the exact information that they were curious about and while on your site they may take the time to click on other information that reinforces your brand as an insurance expert.
SEO/Search Engines in your insurance blog: It is important to keep Key Words in mind as you write your articles. Internet search engine activity is driven by keywords, the words or short phrases that Web users enter to find the information they need. Therefore, effective search engine optimization begins with extensive, yet focused research to select keywords that will attract qualified traffic to your site. If you have a Target Marketing Program for Dentists, for example, you would want to come up during a search by the consumer seeking insurance for dentists. Prior to internet marketing, expanding your market countrywide would have been a difficult task and costly to advertise. Now, you could simply write about your program to get the message out.
Integrating with Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter: Your blog is really your home base for social media. Articles can be shared through your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to expand your social network. Make it a habit to create one new piece of content on your blog a week. This can be anything from information on a product to a useful resource to an educational article. Your site will consistently grow with time, giving your visitors a reason to come back and increasing the number of search keywords your site will be indexed for.
With the help of your blog, you can create a unique identity, distinguish yourself from your competitors and promote yourself as the expert in the insurance industry in your community. Using a blog to attract customers is a great marketing tactic that only becomes more effective the more you use it. Focus on providing value and building a relationship with your prospects and watch your business soar.
Debbie Russell is a marketing veteran who provides tips and tools for attraction marketing, social media marketing and building your reputation online. For more advise on how to brand your business for success, visit her website at [http://www.debbierussell.me]. For a turnkey branding system that puts your name on the Google map quickly and easily, visit My Branding System ( [http://www.debbierussell.net] ).