We know 2020 was an unusual year, and 2021 looks like it could be equally challenging. While a COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be widely available this year in the U.S., there is bound to be some hesitation on the part of employers and employees to readily embrace a “return to normal” and resumption of face-to-face meetings, including open enrollment meetings.
With that in mind, here are must-have marketing tips for insurance brokers for 2021.
1. Set Yourself Up Online
When you’re first getting started in the industry, it’s important to make sure you can be found when prospects are looking for an insurance professional. Have you ever “Googled yourself”? I know, it may sound silly, but it’s good to know what others will see if they do an online search for you – whether they’re looking for you by name or just doing a neighborhood or community search for an insurance broker.
How, if at all, are you showing up? What about your market focus? If you search by market niche (like “employee benefits”), is your name coming up? If not, you have some work to do. Start with your name or your agency name. If you’re using a DBA, does it accurately reflect who you are – or is it unclear? Sometimes a generic sort of moniker can work against you. Maybe your agency name is too similar to another doing business in your area. When you’re picking your name, it want to be sure you use it consistently – across your online efforts (website, email, social media accounts, etc.).
If you’ve operated your website for a while, when was the last time it had a makeover? Just as we all have to update our wardrobe from time to time, it is good to review and update the look of your website periodically, too. A modern, new look is sure to be welcomed by existing customers and prospects alike.
In developing content for your site, remember ABC: Always Be Current. Make sure the information you are sharing is updated and useful to your readers. Posting out-of-date information is not helpful, and it can actually undermine your credibility. Also, be sure to write (and design) for your readers. If you are targeting individuals and families, your tone can be casual, but it still needs to be professional. If your market focus is employee benefits, and you’re communicating with business owners or HR and benefits professionals, write content and select photos with those readers in mind.
Also, remember that quality beats quantity. It’s more important that what you have on your website be of value to those visiting, rather than having 20 articles or sections that could overwhelm your audience. Developing and regularly updating and re-posting an Insurance Q&A, where you answer frequently asked questions from customers and prospects about health insurance, COVID-19, or other topics can help you drive increased traffic to your site.
2. Social Media Is Essential
Your competitors – if they are any good at marketing – are already on social media. You need to be there as well. It could be the first place your prospects, current customers, or referrals go to find you.
Social media can be an effective method to build your profile and online brand. Review or create your online profile in places that make sense for your business and market focus. That includes LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, and Facebook. Other platforms or vehicles may also make sense – like print and online business directories (locally, regionally, and nationally), Chamber of Commerce sites, etc. For additional tips, check out our prior post, Marketing Yourself on Social Media.
You can enhance your professional reputation by blogging, too – whether you have your own blog as part of your website or you contribute insurance-related content to others’ blogs. A blog helps spotlight your professional expertise, and you can also cross-promote blog posts in your e-newsletter, or consider re-purposing a blog column for your local newspaper or neighborhood bulletin (whether online or printed).
Encourage your customers to share positive feedback about you and your agency on your website (perhaps under the heading “Raving Fans” or something similar) and on other sites like Google, Yelp!, and the Better Business Bureau.
3. Host Events
You can use online platforms or social media – or even your own website – to host online events. If your market niche is Medicare Advantage or employee benefits, you can host a webinar (or a recorded presentation) offering marketplace updates. You can discuss your local market’s carrier changes or new product availability, and offer viewers the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one virtual or in-person meeting. Just be sure you adhere to any rules for such events established by the carriers you represent or, in the case of Medicare Advantage, by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
For ideas on customer relationship management (CRM), and how you can automate your marketing to drive new sales, check out our 2020 article, Intro to CRM Tools for Insurance Agents.
Watch for additional tips on email and digital marketing, strategies for insurance professionals, and more in future blog posts on Word & Brown’s New Broker Blog site.
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2020 Salary Guide
For a sneak peek at what you can expect to earn as an insurance agent, get a copy of our “Insurance Broker Salary Guide.”