“Adopt, adapt, improve.” Though this phrase is commonly credited to King Arthur and the Round Table, it is actually part of a 1927 industrial speech.
But “adopt, adapt, improve” rings just as true today, especially when applied to your insurance business marketing strategy. If you are still dependent on the tactics of just 5 to 10 years ago, you may as well be marketing in the Middle Ages.
No matter how successful Yellow Pages, radio spots or outdoor boards were for insurance agents in the past, today’s consumer turns to their computer, tablet and smartphone first. They frequent their favorite social media sites and turn to online reviews and rankings to help them make decisions. They don’t just shop, they engage with companies.
- According to the inbound marketing authority HubSpot, half of all shoppers spend 75 percent of their time doing online research. And they’re not looking for ads – they want content: top-10 lists, informative blogs, how-to videos and industry-related articles. When you supply that content, you raise your online profile and enhance your credibility.
- Conversely, the tools of outbound marketing – display ads, broadcast, cold calls and other “interruption” media – are overlooked and even blocked by ad-savvy customers.
Having a website is essential for small business and insurance agent marketing, but it doesn’t end there.
Bringing digital resources into the small business marketing environment of 2013 doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning all the outbound tactics you’re accustomed to using, nor does it mean adopting every kind of digital media. But it does hinge on adopting the best inbound media to drive people to your website.
Smart adoption begins by thoroughly knowing your customers and prospects’ online preferences – the social networks they visit, their use of mobile devices and so on. You will likely learn, for example, that having your website optimized for the smaller screen of a smartphone can help your customers access your services anytime.
Adapting your company to the digital marketing environment is a top-down, bottom-up process. Everyone, from president to entry-level employee, should have a stake in your marketing plan. Anyone should feel free to participate in your inbound marketing efforts – contributing content, surveying customers, and researching the search engine optimization (SEO) “keywords” that help Google identify and rank your website.
- When employees, vendors and customers can share your content among their social networks, it expands your online profile.
- Support your inbound marketing using the best of outbound. Perhaps it’s a QR code leading to your website that’s included in a piece of direct mail, or an email that contains a link to your blog. Cross-channel marketing can deliver more visitors to your website.
A consistently implemented strategy that combines valuable content, social media and website optimization is a proven way to help users find your company and proceed to your landing page, where they may exchange their contact information for more content or special offers.
Improving your insurance business marketing strategy is also part of the equation. Expect to test out different elements of your media – like email subject lines, call-to-action, and the wording of your landing page – to see what generates the most “hits.” You may find there’s not one specific approach, but several approaches that appeal to different customer segments.
Inbound marketing is a cost-effective strategy that allows insurance agents and small businesses to compete alongside major companies. Your customers have already moved into a digital environment, so meet them where they live – online.