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Agent to Agent: Why Digital Marketing Was the Right Choice for Us

By Ross Swisher, President
Insurance Plus Agencies

Working in the insurance industry means we recognize that having the best coverage truly is a necessity for most people. Whether it’s the plan that protects a client’s home, automobile or business venture—policies are in high demand.

With an industry that has no end in sight – yet continues to produce rapidly growing competition – how can we as local, independent brokerages stand apart?

The answer—strategic digital marketing. The choice was simple for us, if we wanted to positively brand our agency and separate ourselves from other Ohio insurance companies – not to mention compete with direct providers – we needed a comprehensive digital plan.

By now it’s obvious how influential the Internet is. Between Google, Facebook and Twitter consumers are constantly researching, referring their friends and inevitably purchasing items online. As an insurance agency – providing one of the most critical goods a consumer needs to buy – why wouldn’t you harness the power of the web too?

Our journey towards digital success began with a user-friendly, visually appealing website. Our Virtual Insurance Office comes fully equipped with a custom, virtual insurance agent as well as clearly defined product categories – making it nearly effortless for the consumer to further understand their coverage and policy options.

Next comes the implementation of social media – from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging there are a wealth of online portals that an independent agency can utilize to connect with the modern consumer. The most important factor, in regards to social media, is that it provides us with the opportunity for nearly instant communication to a massive population; something we couldn’t even fathom years ago. Roughly 48% of consumers use search and social media in the decision process, when they plan to purchase a product online – these are exactly the people we are trying to target – so why wouldn’t we take the social media plunge and position ourselves right alongside of them?

Right now we are also beginning to launch our blogging strategy and are already seeing success! The most important thing we have learned about blogging is the need to create relevant, interesting and informative content. When a client or prospect is browsing your website, they are inundated with product information and sales pitches – but if you can draw them to your blog with catchy topics and useful, educational content you have the ability to prove your agency is full of credible, knowledgeable insurance professionals who are willing to share information and advice.

Pulling together the loose ends then involves tactical email marketing, something we plan to take advantage of. Whether it’s a holiday email blast, special birthday message or targeted niche campaign; the use of email marketing helps to bring your digital initiatives full circle and again helps to position you at the forefront of your customer’s mind.

We’re excited to see what happens next. The realm of digital marketing and social media is changing constantly. But one thing that will remain the same is the need to be committed and dedicated. Rebranding and changing the way in which you market your business is not something that can happen with the flip of a switch or immediately overnight; we have had to make the commitment to be fully invested in this new marketing approach.

June 15, 2011