Insurance Marketing Strategies: Starting a Blog

Insurance Marketing Strategies: Starting a Blog

Among the many insurance marketing strategies out there, blogging continues to be a popular and useful tool across the years. We consider blogging an effective method and have the facts to back it up: websites with blogs have over 400% more pages indexed in Google than those without a blog, and more than 60% of consumers made a purchase based on a blog post.

See why we ranked blogging among our top insurance marketing strategies to gain website traffic

Beyond the stats, blogging also provides benefits like:

  • Frequent new content, bumping you up in search results
  • A platform to show off your brand and values
  • More ways to directly connect with your community and build relationships
  • Additional sales content ready-made to deliver to prospects
  • Relatively low upfront and on-going costs, offering a potentially large ROI

So, how do you get started?

1. Start small and grow

As with any new process or strategy, start small with your blogging and scale as you go. Begin with one or two posts a month and slowly build as you get your footing. It takes time to establish your blog presence, but the wait is worth it. Focus on the quality of your content rather than the quantity to start.

2. Designate a point person/people

Ideas may flow freely, but action can be sparse. Ensure you have a team or a team member heading up the blogging process. Ideally, you should have a few individuals devoting time to your blog to diversify ideas and spread-out responsibility. Still, there should be one point person dedicated to moving things forward.

3. Generate ideas

The first place to look for ideas is other blogs in the industry. Check out their topics and determine if any would resonate with your audience. Check-in with your larger agency team, too. Discover the common questions team members get from customers and ask what topics they think are relevant. No idea is a bad idea at the start – this is the time to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

4. Determine your keywords

To make your blog an effective marketing tool, you want to use relevant search words reasonably often in your posts. Your locality name plus “insurance,” or “insurance agency,” and other variations are an excellent place to start for most independent agencies. Another great combination is adding in your specialty for something, like “small business insurance Houston.” These key phrases have a lower competition since they focus on your local city or county, but they have a relatively high search volume.

Once you have a few phrases, you can discover more using tools like Google’s keyword planner to identify similar search phrases and rank your current terms by competition and search volume.

What’s your agency’s specialty? Discover how to determine and leverage your agency niche here

5. Make navigation easy

Before you start churning out posts, determine how you will categorize them. Take a look at your topic ideas and determine how you should group them (i.e., Auto insurance, Life insurance, Tips and Tricks, etc.). Organizing posts makes it easier for someone to continue diving into topics of interest, keeping them on your site longer, and increasing their engagement.

6. Spread the word

A blog without readers is like a tree falling in the woods – does it make an impact? The answer is no. Once you have a few posts up, begin sharing the news of your blog on your social media and via your regular newsletters. Add a “share” button on each post so readers can let others know about posts they enjoyed.

7. Make your website attractive to get your blog seen

No matter how great your blog content, if the site it’s hosted on is out-of-date or difficult to navigate, it won’t succeed. Ensure your agency has a professional, secure, and attractive landing place before implementing your blog strategy.

Partner Platform users can get a sleek, engaging custom website to promote their agency brand thanks to our Partner Connect agency website offerings. Find out more about how you can upgrade your agency’s website experience: contact us at sales@sisware.com or 800.747.7005, Option 6.

Seven Steps for Insurance Prospecting: Software and Processes

Seven Steps for Insurance Prospecting: Software and Processes

Ever feel like the once critical phone call is now irrelevant? You’re not alone. The rise of data-driven prospecting and digital outreach sparked this rumor that phone prospecting is dead.

Yet, successful development teams still leverage the phone with insurance prospecting software for great results – in fact our Partner Platform agencies are emphasizing that a phone conversation is more important than ever. But how are they getting to that conversation?

The Facts Don’t Lie

Insurance prospecting software evolved, and savvy agencies took these new tech advances and leveraged them to improve time-honored outreach methods. Studies show there is no reason to put the phone call to rest:

  • 69% of buyers accepted one or more cold calls in 2019
  • More than 80% of buyers said they set sales appointments as a result of multiple contacts that started with a cold call
  • Almost half of buyers say cold calls are their preferred first contact
  • 57% of C-suite executives report they value information gained from phone calls with reps

These stats show phone outreach is alive and well. It’s all about how you leverage it.

1. Start with a data

Data, gained through your insurance CRM, is your starting point. Even though initial phone outreach is known as “cold calling,” these calls shouldn’t be cold at all. The information gained from your marketing automation campaigns and CRM should provide essential background knowledge you can leverage to build a relationship right away.

2. Use more than one outreach method

While the prospecting call is very much alive for some, it may not work for all. Your outreach efforts should be part of a multi-pronged strategy. Content sharing, email, and social media are all elements of what makes up effective, professionally persistent, data-driven outreach.

Are you a digital-savvy agency? Discover why digital matters and how to leverage digital tools for your agency

3. Get to know prospects

Whether via phone, email, text, or another method, each of your conversations should contain an element of discovery. Focus on understanding the person you’re talking to: what do they need most? What are their barriers to purchase? Do they have any non-negotiables? The more you know, the better you can tailor policy proposals to meet their needs, making them more likely to choose your agency for coverage.

4. Make it easy to focus

Stay focused on the call and the prospect’s needs at all times. Eliminate distractions: close your door, sign out of email and social networking, and consider wearing headphones to block out other noise.

Show your commitment to the conversation by saying the prospect’s name often, smiling, and leaving room for them to talk. Over 60% of individuals surveyed said someone who listens to their needs is more likely to win their business.

Get more tips on the systems and steps you need to gain insurance leads on our blog

5. Provide useful follow-up

Keep the prospect engaged with a follow-up re-cap of what you talked about, confirmation on your next communication (whether a call, something you’ll email, or a meeting), and add in something they can use. That “something useful” could be a link to client feedback, contact info for a referrer, special offer, or any other content that provides more information. This follow-up gives them a reference as they think it over, and it shows you care more about meeting their needs than signing them as a customer.

6. Train your agents

Too often in sales, it’s thought you either have “it,” or you don’t. Though there is some element of natural ability and interest, successful agents grow from coaching and training.

Know your agents’ strengths and weaknesses and leverage training to fill in gaps. Perhaps you need to bring in new agents to add to the team or look to others in your agency who could grow into the position. To help grow your group, establish mentorship and coaching, allowing team members to bolster confidence and learn the ropes. And have a constant feedback loop for all team members, ensuring each has someone to consult to assess growth and celebrate successes.

Learn how to train and motivate your agency sales team in this helpful post

7. Keep moving from better to best

As with all successful agency processes, you need to review and improve your prospecting strategy continuously. Try different outreach cadences, test various scripts, and add to training as is necessary to help your team stay fresh and focused.

And keep your team equipped with the right insurance prospecting software. Essential tools include your insurance CRM and marketing automation systems as well as quality communication tools like an up-to-date insurance agency website, integrated email and texting, and a custom client portal. The easier it is for you to connect with prospects, the better.

Discover more about essential prospecting tools and how your agency can get them all in one place: view a demo of our all-in-one Partner Platform agency management system today.

No Business Too Small for Analytics: Get the Agency Software to Leverage Data in Three Steps

No Business Too Small for Analytics: Get the Agency Software to Leverage Data in Three Steps

Data isn’t just for “big tech” and major corporations anymore. Tech advances made data and analytics accessible to everyone – including your agency. Modern agency software kept pace with the rise of big data, and successful agencies now leverage data for everything from customer service to prospecting. In fact, data-driven businesses are five times more likely to make decisions faster than their peers, meaning those who ignore data are left in the dust.

Does your agency have what you need to keep up?

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Insurance Prospecting Software and Tips: Growing Your Insurance Family with Referrals

Insurance Prospecting Software and Tips: Growing Your Insurance Family with Referrals

If you think gaining insurance referrals is more effort than it’s worth, you’re underestimating both the ease of gaining referrals and the impact of the payoff. Nielson found 84% of consumers trust recommendations or referrals over all other forms of marketing, and people referred by a friend are 4x more likely to make a purchase. Deloitte found those referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate than other customers.

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Becoming A Digital Insurance Agent: How to Do It and Why It Matters

Becoming A Digital Insurance Agent: How to Do It and Why It Matters

Digital insurance matters. According to McKinsey & Company, agencies that “digitally transform stand to gain satisfied customers, lower operating costs, and achieve higher growth.” Going digital doesn’t mean moving all your operations to A.I. and forgoing a physical location; it simply means moving towards meeting customer needs, improving processes, and protecting your business.

What are the first steps to harnessing the digital insurance landscape? Below are the tools and training your agency needs to get started.

Learn more about customer demand for digital agencies on our blog

Your Top Digital Agency Tools

  1. Your agency website. J.D. Power found 74% of insurance shoppers used agency websites or aggregators to research and obtain quotes before purchasing insurance. You need to have a website that’s easy to find and navigate to stay in the game.
  2. Social media. You don’t have to post daily on all possible platforms, but you do need a presence. Social media gives you a way to connect with customers and prospects to hear what they need and give feedback on their concerns. And it boosts your visibility.
  3. Customer self-service options. This includes a Client Portal and mobile access. Self-service options increase customer satisfaction and reduce time and energy spent on assisting customers who can help themselves. Agency Nation found one agency that added a client portal, “…increased client retention to 93% and saved $70,000 in COI labor, printing and postage expenses per year.”
  4. CRM and marketing automation. Both tools are designed to streamline your agency’s operations and improve your ability to identify and convert leads and understand your customer’s needs.
  5. Paperless options. Digital lines download and digital document signing, sending, and storage not only get business done faster (downloads alone can save up to 60 minutes per employee per day), it can save hundreds annually in printing and postage as well.

Get more details on how to leverage digital tools to improve agency lead generation and conversion

Top Team Training for Digital Agencies

  1. Agency management system training. Your management system is your agency’s central processing tool and you and all your staff need to know how to use it in the most efficient, digitally-compatible way. Modern systems offer client portal, CRM, and marketing automation integration. You need to understand how each capability can best serve your customers and your agency.
  2. Website training. Your agency website is not a “one and done” situation – it should be dynamic. You need someone in-house who understands how to update information on your site to stay accurate and relevant.
  3. Social media training. This one may come as a surprise. Although social media is relatively easy to implement and understand, you should talk with your team about how their personal social media use reflects on your agency. Especially for independent, community-focused local agencies, when your team says something outside the office they could be construed as speaking for your agency. Be clear on what is appropriate.
  4. Cybersecurity training. With all the benefits of digital tools comes the threat of cyber-attacks. In an interview with Insurance Business Magazine, Ron Berg, executive director of Agents Council for Technology (ACT), part of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA), said insurance is the fourth most attacked economic sector. Educate your staff on what risks exist, how to spot and avoid attacks, and what to do should your agency experience a cyber-attack.

Get our full guide to Cybersecurity for the Digital Insurance Agency here

Get the Right Tools and Training in One Place

We work with our agency clients and industry experts, like our partners at Agents Council for Technology (ACT) and IVANS, every day to identify the most powerful digital insurance tools. Thanks to these collaborative efforts, we’re confident our Partner Platform agency management system suite offers the best and most effective capabilities to help agencies better serve their customers and grow their business.

And we don’t stop at the “what” of digital tools but go the extra mile with the “how.” With targeted agency trainings and always-accessible online videos and guides, our Partner Platform agencies stay informed and equipped. We also offer regular webinar trainings, focusing on topics like cybersecurity and customer self-service tools.

Get to know more about the Partner Platform system, including our service and training, at sispartnerplatform.com.