True Stories from Our Agents: How They Are Using Digital Marketing to Attract New Business
It’s no secret that our agent partners are eager to grow their businesses.
And while the root of most new business is derived from word-of-mouth referrals, challenges arise with the newest and largest generation of buyers (Millennials), who are reported to have the average attention span of just eight seconds. That’s below the attention span of a goldfish. Yes, you read that correctly.
In an effort to stay visible, our agents are adopting clever digital marketing strategies. Although we’ve all seen it in the news for quite some time, we needed finite proof – so we decided to do a little old fashioned research. We plunged headfirst into our local agency force to find out what we could learn, and we were surprised to hear of the crafty tricks our agents are using to acquire new business (and lots of it).
We began our journey by visiting some of our local agency partners, and here is what we found…
But first, what is “Digital Marketing?”
Digital Marketing can range anywhere from email marketing, blogging, social media, website management (ex: google analytics, lead generation), apps, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), online PR coverage, etc. Click here for a more detailed list provided by Hubspot. To put it simply, digital marketing is the only way for your business to be everywhere at once.
Here is what we learned:
The first stop on our journey was to Continental Property and Casualty, where we learned that a simple reboot of their website was what ultimately landed them a six-figure account (and growing!). Their client openly admitted that they chose Continental over their competitors because their website was “polished and easy to process,” – little did the client know how easy it was! We agree with Continental’s advice – “don’t be afraid to play around with it…that’s the fun part!” In addition to enhancements to their site, they can also be seen on several social platforms such as facebook, linkedin, twitter, yelp, and to top it all off, a Google+ account that packs quite the punch with nearly 400,000 views. When asked about why she chose to create an array of social media accounts for her agency, Cecilia Aviles of Continental says, “It’s not an option anymore when doing business. We absolutely have to be on social media in order to gain insight into who our audience is and who we want to be reaching.”
And while many agents rely on a Google search for insureds to discover their website, a visit with Xfinity Insurance, the second destination on our list, taught us that it’s imperative that digital marketing efforts are paired with a lead generation tool. A Lead Generation Tool allows the user to leverage their marketing strategy by capturing the contact information from the audience interested in a specific product or service. Xfinity swears by Salesforce, a Lead Generation Service, which provided them with “150,000 leads based on users’ search terms,” and then filtered the contacts into Xfinity’s commercial auto database to contact later. We can see that many of our agent partners who use Lead Generation tools paired with a Customer Relationship Management tool (Salesforce includes both of these) experience a streamlined process of managing new and current relationships.
We then arrived at All Florida Agency, whose preferred method of communicating with insureds is text messaging. Really. Using a marketing service called Textline, they have been able to grow their agency by 9-12%. For All Florida Agency, texting is a short and sweet way to provide quotes to potential clients, collect photo ID’s, send flyers and promotional images, and even collect documents using multiple computers and devices – the service even connects straight to facebook messenger. Texting tools are popular because they take the labor out of purchasing insurance – resulting in a spike in customer loyalty. “Getting straight to the point is easier and much more effective than email,” says Jose Herrera of All Florida. “When people receive an email, they don’t know what to expect and it can be easily overlooked. But we have found that a text message filled with important documents is much more effective and it imports all of the client’s information straight into our database.” It was refreshing to see an agency apply an innovative service in such a creative way to bring in new business.
Our last local stop was to Coastline Insurance Group, who embraces digital marketing by using social media – mainly as a means to attract new prospects. Ron Deri, Coastline’s owner, told us, “Because we are a busy agency (which is a good problem to have), we have very little time to spend on advertising and marketing. Facebook ads have helped my agency to easily become more visible to my clients without a lot of work.” But he doesn’t see social media solely as a way to attract newcomers. Deri also adds, “I see facebook and linkedin as a way to improve my current relationships and build my brand. I hope that when my clients think of insurance, when they see me on facebook they will think of me.”
Experiencing agency marketing first-hand confirmed that digital marketing is not only easier and more effective now than ever, but there is an increasing number of platforms that have the potential to transform agencies. Our agent partners are adjusting to the new insurance climate by becoming more dynamic and versatile, and that involves much more than what happens at the brick and mortar.
Although we were only able to make local visits in South Florida, we are eager to learn more from all of our agents. Let us know your clever Marketing tricks for a chance to win a $50 gift card! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org today. We look forward to hearing your story!