The rise of content marketing is one of the most important trends in the marketing world right now, especially for insurance agents. It affects virtually every company and every industry, and while it presents some challenges, it’s also a huge opportunity for those who master it. For insurance agents, effective use of content marketing will ultimately lead you to better policyholder retention and word of mouth referrals.
What is Content Marketing?
Put simply, content marketing is a way of communicating with your audience through interesting, entertaining, and informative materials that are intended to help, not sell. As an insurance agent, you’re not only someone who provides a valuable product, but an expert that clients trust to help them protect the things that matter most. You have information that your customers value, and if you give it to them in a straightforward way, outside of the context of a sale, you’ll retain more policyholders, be top of mind when they’re ready to buy again, and be the first insurance pro your customers recommend to their friends.
For example, your homeowner’s policyholders trust you to help them protect their houses, so instead of sending them your latest rates, discounts, etc., why not share an article that helps them become better homeowners? Here’s a sample of a campaign we recently did for our insurance clients that focused on energy savings, something every homeowner can appreciate. It performed quite well:
All of your homeowner’s policyholders pay monthly electric bills, making a newsletter like this interesting and helpful. Best of all, it’s going to win you some inbox credibility for future emails. Help out your policyholders now and win over their trust for the future.
With all of this in mind, it’s still called content “marketing” because the long-term purpose of building trust and credibility is to drive more sales and retain policyholders longer. Here are five ways content marketing helps insurance agents build their businesses.
1) Always Have the Attention of Your Policyholders
It’s pretty easy to sign someone up and just let them be. Even if you reach out to them once a year or send them the occasional email, without a purposeful approach to these touches with them, it’s not doing much to help you keep their attention.
The idea here is that you want your content marketing to grab their attention for a brief moment, a few times a month. You want to be that person that always have something of interest for them to read. That way, you stay top of mind and hold a special place in their inboxes and social media feeds to keep their interest.
It’s a supported fact too: 68% of consumers spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in. [The CMA]
2) Build, Maintain, and Strengthen Relationships
With the number of policyholders you have, it’s tough to stay in touch with all of them, let alone build a one-to-one relationship with them. Standard newsletters and direct mail pieces might work to get your name in front of them, but content marketing is what really builds your credibility.
78% of of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content want to build good relationships [TMG Custom Media]. This is why it’s crucial that when you share something to Facebook or send out an email newsletter, that the content be something of value, outside of the scope of their existing policy. We can help with this too.
3) Brand Yourself Professionally
Your policyholders know you as their insurance agent. Unless they already know you personally outside of work, the image they have of you is the person they call when their rates go up or they need to file a claim.
What content marketing does is brand you in a way that carries a much better image of who you are. They already know that you know everything about insurance; but you have so much more to offer! Good content will help you become viewed not just as an agent, but as a valuable life advisor. It helps too that 90% of consumers find custom content useful [TMG Custom Media].
4) Easier to Have Tough Talks
Sometimes it’s tough to have those conversations about why something might not be covered or why a premium went up. No one likes having to save that customer and it’s never an easy conversation to have. But if you are actively in conversation with your policyholders through automated email and social media, that bond of trust that you’ve built up can make these conversations a lot easier.
Content marketing can directly impact someone’s opinions of your company: 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content [Marketing Tech Blog].
5) Great for New & Repeat Business
Quite possibly the best benefit of good content marketing through email and social media is return on investment from your existing policyholders. Think about it. Some of your easiest business comes from your existing customers, whether they are adding to their policy or sending you a referral. So it only makes sense to be actively marketing to them and building up those relationships too. Content marketing is the way to do this.
Perhaps you’ve been doing content marketing and didn’t even know it, have hesitated looking into it because of the potential time and financial costs, or this is your first glimpse into a new form of marketing. Wherever you are in your content journey, remember this: always create great content and stay consistent about it. Provide valuable information to your policyholders and they’ll give you the return on investment that is worth it in the long run. Take a look at the best email subject lines for insurance agents in 2014 for inspiration too.