A lot has changed over the past few years due to the unexpected disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. All industries felt the impact, and the insurance industry is no exception. One of the most notable disruptions is the speed at which changes took place, especially around customer expectations and marketing.
What Your Agency Needs to Know About Insurance Marketing
Changes in insurance agency marketing that were projected to solidify in 5 to 10 years ended up evolving rapidly in just two. Chances are you’ve already made some of these adjustments to keep up with immediate demand, but there are other more “behind the scenes” adjustments agencies are making that you should note.
1) Know how people find you
Do you know how clients are ending up at your agency? Whether through referrals, phone calls, or other methods, you need to know and understand how to capitalize on those areas.
One of the most prominent channels these days is online searches. Surveys show that almost 70% of consumers run an online search before reaching out to an agency. And, over 65% of insurance consumers did not have a specific agency in mind when they started their search. Queries for terms like “insurance near me” have grown by over 100% in the past two years. Are you poised to show up in the results?
As a result of this uptick in online searches, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is extremely valuable. Pay attention to what’s on your website, focusing on adding specific key search terms throughout your pages for ideal optimization. Paid advertising on search engines like Google and Bing can also boost your visibility but at a cost. Some of these ads cost more than $50 per click, putting them at the high end of search engine advertising.
How your website looks is also a factor. Over 50% of online searches for insurance take place on mobile devices. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you can quickly turn a potential customer away. And, Google includes mobile optimization as part of their algorithm, meaning you can be dinged if you have an incompatible site. Your site should be mobile optimized, easy to navigate and provide a clear way for interested visitors to get in touch.
2) Know how prospects make decisions
As an agency, you need to understand a potential buyer’s thinking when evaluating their insurance options. Price and types of insurance offered remain top of the list as decisive factors, but service quality is becoming more prominent.
To hit on potential customer needs, your agency should offer various ways for customers to get in touch with you. Offer online, text, phone, chat, and in-person options to fit varying consumer preferences. Self-service portals and mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular as a first contact source to get in touch and gather the information prospects need to decide.
Yet, surveys showed 78% of insurance customers called an agency after running a search, and 62% said talking with an insurance rep was the “most influential factor” in making their decision. This shows that your online presence matters, but your human service interactions matter, too.
When Your Service Makes a Difference
Specific turning points in the customer’s journey make a big difference. What you do in those moments can either turn a prospect into a customer or turn a prospect away. Some of those critical moments include:
1) Your response time and quality
The immediacy, accuracy, and overall quality of your response to initial outreach make a big difference in how customers and prospects perceive your agency. Surveys show most callers hang up after waiting about 90 seconds for a response, so you need to ensure you’re connecting with individuals quickly.
Systems like marketing automation are extremely valuable here as they instantly send a response to individuals who email, fill out a contact form, or connect via chat, among other contact methods. To add quality to your responses, connect your marketing automation with your insurance CRM to automatically create follow-up tasks so you can connect on a personal level.
2) Your level of personalization
Along with the rise in demand for immediate, digital service, customers are also asking for more personalization and human connection. Almost 90% of insurance customers surveyed said they demand more personalization from their providers. And, 84% of marketers said phone calls have higher conversion rates than other outreach methods. The personal connection found in a phone call still matters.
You can create opportunities for personalization via digital connections, too. Marketing automation is designed to make emails, social media connections, and other forms of digital outreach as targeted to each individual recipient as possible. The takeaway here is that your agency needs to offer multiple avenues for connection to meet the varying needs of your growing customer base.
Who Can Help Your Agency Stay Nimble
Our Partner Platform team and agency community are committed to understanding growing insurance marketing and service trends. We provide regular webinars, in-person trainings, and an annual user conference as just a few ways to connect and discuss changes in the market.
Plus, our partners in the insurance tech industry help our community stay up-to-date on the latest technology, keeping our Partner Platform agencies well equipped.