Making your independent insurance agency marketing strategy actually work can seem like a difficult task at times, especially when the marketing is digital. In fact, you may have thrown in the “digital marketing towel” altogether. However frustrating your experiences may have been, digital marketing is always worth the effort and has a high ROI, when approached from the right direction. In this article, I am going to discuss prospect perceptions that are robbing you of business and how to address these perceptions in positive way.
Consumers today are used to seeing big brands and the perception about smaller brands is that they are of less quality. Most consumers have these perceptions about insurance companies also. They see insurance companies something like this: Geico, StateFarm, Progressive, AllState,…and the other guys.
This is bad for independent insurance agencies and the large aforementioned companies are huge proponents of this mentality. Take this StateFarm advertisement for example:
It is commercials like these that perpetuate independent insurance companies as lacking expertise and overall market pull.
However, nothing is further from the truth. We all know that Geico can save you 15% or more on car insurance, but at what cost? We all know that the savings comes from somewhere and we all know that it comes out of the customer’s insurance policy. Finally, everyone knows (or should know), you get what you pay for…
Insurance agencies often fall into the trap of differentiating themselves on the basis of “service.” Now, while mentioning your stellar service is important, it is not really the best lead point…afterall, Geico, StateFarm, and all of the other also have great service. At least at face value and in terms of customer interactions. The simple reality is that customers expect great service, so that isn’t a selling point in their mind.
So, how do we deal with these perceptions? Well, consumers and prospects ultimately care about two things. One is conscious and the other is not so much.
When most agencies refer to their service, they are actually referring to their experience. While agencies consider experience to be a part of great service, consumers see service as how fast you get their quote to them and how friendly you are. So, it really carries more weight to mention experience separately.
Independent agencies need to push the expertise aspect, by relating exactly what their experience means to the customer, why they are in a better position to care for the customer’s insurance needs, etc. However, this by itself is really not enough.
Before I mentioned that there are two things that customers and prospects care about, an unconscious element, and that is “the human aspect.” Local, independent, insurance agencies have the ability to connect with their clientele in a human way that Geico can only try to replicate. In most states, State Farm does a better job of this than Geico, but there is still a disconnect, where only a local insurance agent can really make the connection.
Making the Connection
So, how do you make that connection; what is the recipe for connecting with the digital world?
First, tell your story as a company. Your content marketing should have elements of who you are as an insurance agency, but also who you are as a group of individuals. Perhaps your secretary brings her dog in one day, post it on social. Show the human side to your secretary that connects with people on human level.
Second, tell the story of your clients. Who works with you? Why do they work with you? Do you golf with one of your client’s? Again, take a picture and show that on social media, maybe even your blog or website. People really do want that connection to people and you need to show that you are that type of company…a company that genuinely cares. Let’s face it, everyone knows that Allstate customers and ultimately just a number…
Finally, share your community. What is it you do in your community that connects with your prospects? Maybe it is as simple as being involved with the local chamber. That in itself resonates with local business people. Once again, these things need shared on social media.
Providing that human connection to your business is what will make your independent insurance agency marketing actually work. This is the factor of differentiation and it will make you stand out.
So, what’s your story? Go tell it!