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Digital marketing: How to win over local prospects

About 80% of all shoppers use a digital channel at some point in the insurance buying process. (Photo: Shutterstock)
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About 80% of all shoppers use a digital channel at some point in the insurance purchase process. (Photo: shutterstock)

Independent agent value has always been an option. The consumer has one point of contact (you) but has access to many products (carriers).

The challenge for independent agents is how to stand out in such a crowded market. Let’s be real. You are I can not Match your marketing dollar to companies like GEICO, Progressive or State Farm. Nor should you try. They spend millions of dollars every year on digital marketing.

So how do you stand out? What is the differentiation of your insurance agency?

Many agencies claim that the service is what sets them apart. Well, I have some bad news for you. Service is not a differentiating factor because consumers today expect good service.

So, if not the service, then what?

You can be what big companies can’t be with their national television budgets or high marketing budgets. You can be local.

Earn local

You know what is important to the people in your city because this is your city. Here’s the truth. The million-dollar Super Bowl ads are funny, perhaps memorable, but they can’t compete with your insurance agency on a local level.

Here’s why.

Did you know that 80% of all shoppers use a digital channel at some point in the insurance purchase process? Like it or not, insurance shoppers are now online. The good news is that most don’t want to buy without talking to you first.

So how do you win locally with online shoppers? with local marketing.

thelocal marketing Target consumers within a certain radius of the physical location of your business.

There are now two types of local marketing strategies: Offline online And Online local marketing.

Insurance agents have mastered local offline marketing. Attending local events, postcards, mail, billboards, and relationship building are all effective tactics. These tools work because they present your agency to consumers as someone they can trust.

Mastering local online marketing is somewhat uncommon.

Did you know that 46% of Google searches look for local information?

Directions, phone numbers, store opening hours and information. And the list goes on.

So, if half the people in your city started searching for insurance with Google, wouldn’t you want them to find your insurance agency’s website?

Here’s another case that should grab your attention. Eighty-eight percent of users make a local search visit or call within a day. If nearly 90% of people looking for insurance in your area called or visited you, would your agency grow? I think so.

Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s move on to how You can win locally.

Your agency’s website

The website is no longer an optional tool. In today’s digital age, it’s a must. why? Your insurance agency’s website is the focus of all your marketing.

It’s where you want to direct any marketing initiative or campaign, online or offline, to get more information. Therefore, it is crucial to have a solid website to present to the clients.

To get started, you need to take a closer look at your website. If it’s been three or more years since your last website redesign, it’s time to revamp it. Website design trends change rapidly, so it doesn’t take long for your website to look outdated.

A quality assurance agency website should have a good design, a clear CTA, and lead capture forms. It should also be portable and easy to use.

The ability of your insurance agency website to convert local leads is within reach because of the following tool that helps you win locally.

Google My Business

Google is the traffic light that controls the traffic in your town. Whether we like it or not, we have to work with Google.

“Successful SEO is not about fooling Google. It is about partnering with Google to deliver the best search results to users,” said Phil Frost.

Google has gotten really good at giving us the results we want. Let me give you an example.

What would happen now if you type pizza delivery in your phone now? What results do you expect to see?

I’m willing to bet you’re expecting a pizza place near you. You don’t even have to add beside me for your search. Google knows you’re looking for a local search result. And the results I see will be different from yours because we are in different locations.

Your Google My Business listing (if complete) provides everything you need to help your agency appear in local search results. It’s free and crucial for local search. Think of it as a digital phone book that helps consumers learn more about your agency.

Content

Content is king.

This statement has never been more true than when you were talking about Google. Google wouldn’t be Google without all of our content.

If you want to be found in local searches, you need to start working on your local content to submit to Google.

The local content on your website should include everything about your agency, showing consumers why they should choose in your area.

Make a list of everything you ask of customers and prospects daily and answer them on your website. Chances are, if you do, you’ll cover quite a few local topics in your content. And don’t forget your local keywords.

Reviews

Can you believe 90% of people read online reviews before visiting or contacting a company? What if I told you that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. So, a review is as good as a referral.

The trick is to get it Much of reviews.

Are you more likely to trust a product with three 5-star ratings or one with a total of 4.7 stars but more than 2,000 reviews? I will take the latter.

Step 1: Ask for reviews.

Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews at every possible opportunity. You want to time your question as soon after a positive interaction as possible. Automation tools can help you with that. Google likes to give search authority to companies with up-to-date reviews.

Step 2: Monitoring

Comments are not just someone’s opinion of your agency. They are a two-way conversation. Keep an eye on them so you can respond to everyone.

Step Three: Reply

respond to all reconsidering! Good or bad, respond to each one. Google loves to see that you are involved in your online reputation. Always start with gratitude and thank them for their feedback. If it’s a negative review, don’t match their tone of voice, apologize for the experience, and try to take the conversation offline to address their concerns.

blogging

Local content, of course, is about presence Sweetened. But most importantly, it’s all about existence useful.

Blogging is a great way to achieve this goal. Here are some ideas to build your creativity.

You can review local businesses or meet local personalities. Write about local news or events. Profile of your referral partners. Another local blog topic idea is Top Five Lists. For example, create a list of the best picnic spots, cheap date ideas, or places to get a great cup of joe in your community.

The goal here is to provide minute details that only locals will know.

Social media

One of the best places to win locals is on social media.

Being local on social networks is to include your agency’s website in your profiles.

Whenever you are present at any local events, be sure to tag your location in your posts.

If you are doing any advertisement on social media or promoting a post for more reach, you can target that by location.

My advice to agents across the country is to always start local and never give up on marketing. The only way to climb the mountain is step by step.

Becky Schroeder is Chief Marketing Officer at Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), a provider of marketing, rating and management services and software for the insurance industry. ITC helps its clients across the United States grow their businesses and increase their business efficiency through a philosophy of providing high quality programs and services. ITC currently serves more than 200 insurance companies and more than 7,000 agencies.

This article originally appeared on the International Trade Center blog and is republished here with consent. Reviews here are those of the author.

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