Nearly every purchase, large or small, starts with an online search. This includes insurance policies. From automotive to homeowners insurance, renter’s policies and more, you can’t afford to do digital half-assed. Dive in for the most important digital marketing best practices for insurance companies.
Gen-Z, the generation right behind millennials, represents 61 million people who mostly started using digital while they were still infants. No doubt the eldest among this group, in their early 20s, are shopping for insurance right now.
Entrepreneurs, including quite a few millennials, are responding to opportunities created by legacy insurance providers without solid digital marketing strategies. This has led to a rise in insurtech start-ups that garnered about $2.2 billion from investors in the first half of 2019 alone — easily outpacing the total $2.6 billion invested in all of 2018.
What’s more, only 35 percent of insurance customers say they’re satisfied with current providers, which translates to a book of business of about $1.5 trillion up for grabs globally.
Word of mouth and a landline (sales and marketing approaches based on closing a single sale that worked for insurers decades ago) aren’t how current generations purchase insurance coverage.
Legacy agencies must craft a carefully considered holistic digital marketing plan that’s radically different from what would pass just a few short years ago. They need coordinated and orchestrated campaigns across digital channels that provide a comprehensive view of the customer journey.
Marketing automation platforms hit all of these points by consolidating and automating marketing activities — such as email campaigns with conditional logic, web-based content creation and management, and digital advertising. These platforms enable lifecycle marketing that gives a transparent view of the entire journey of each individual prospect and policyholder.
Because marketing automation brings so many functions under one umbrella, it’s a powerful engine for capturing and presenting data about audiences and specific customers. In fact, it’s the ultimate catalyst for growth marketing (sometimes referred to as “growth hacking”).
Growth hacking is enabling companies to achieve impressive revenue in relatively short timeframes based on identifying the most lucrative and efficient areas for growth. Ultimately, it employs marketing tactics that enable companies to garner more leads, convert at higher rates, and nurture customer connections for the long term.
Marketing automation platforms typically offer functions known to be universal tactics for hacking growth and fueling revenue.
We’ve captured the highlights on some of the top tactics for insurance marketers who want to dive right in with growth marketing (and how marketing automation platforms like Act-On can help them execute these strategies).
Build (and update) great buyer personas
Your marketing strategy should start with at least an outline of several types of buyers for your insurance offerings. With the aging out of baby boomers and the influx of digital natives, it’s more important than ever to make sure your marketing resonates with your ideal customers.
If you don’t already have up-to-date personas defining your audiences, this post will guide you in creating buyer personas, mapping the journey for each, and identifying relevant content. This is a great place to start because it provides the basis for executing the most important digital marketing tactics.
Develop and support a top-notch website
Your site must be attuned to the customer journey, meaning it must provide a user experience that accounts for your audience’s understanding of your insurance products. The user experience should start at beginner-level prospective policyholders who have little-to-no understanding of what their end goal should be as far as your products and services.
Information that’s most prominent should be highly accessible for the beginner, navigation should be intuitive, and finding information that enables your visitor to advance along the purchasing path should be easy.
Connecting with an actual person who can offer high-touch customer service also should be easy — whether via email, telephone, or on-site chatting. It goes without saying that audiences expect pages to load at lightning-fast speeds and sites that are optimized for mobile.
Produce high-quality content
Modern audiences are researching heavily before they buy, as well as seeking recommendations and comparisons. In fact, 78% of consumers say that relevant content increases their purchase intent for a brand’s products and services.
Tracking analytics to determine which content gets the highest traffic is the key to consistently producing high-quality content. As always, it comes down to putting your customers’ needs first. Ask yourself which content is going to be most useful for your customers and how can you deliver it in ways that make the most sense for them?
Create irresistible offers for gated content
Creating great content that your audience needs is a key step in attracting prospective policyholders and generating digital leads. Everything from whitepapers and eBooks to webinars and online learning courses provide the opportunity to capture data from your audience by motivating visitors to input their personal information via a conversion form.
By collecting this data, you capture information about high-intent insurance purchasers. From there, you can add these people to your marketing lists to nurture them through the buyer journey. This post about content distribution provides greater detail about gating content.
Deliver thoughtful email campaigns
Using a surgical approach with your email campaigns increases the chance that your audience is going to engage. Your personas will help guide you in your email messaging, as will data collected via gated content.
In the course of building your email distribution lists and reviewing the data, you’ll learn so much more about your audience and their behaviors. This opens avenues for highly targeted and personalized email campaigns.
Once you start building intelligence on your audience, the possibilities are endless.
Invest in learning and implementing SEO best practices
The value of time spent on SEO cannot be understated.
71 percent of consumers surveyed said they did digital research before buying insurance.
Search engines are the most common starting point. Twenty-six percent of U.S. car insurance buyers and 35% of U.S. life insurance buyers use search results to inform their purchases. So optimizing your site to attract more prospective policyholders is well worth the time and effort.
While some insurance brokerages choose to employ search engine optimization (SEO) experts full-time, simply sticking to SEO basics can have a big impact on your bottom line. Most insurance providers are likely performing many of these tactics. However, very few have a marketing plan marrying this work with a powerful marketing automation platform.
Marketing automation software simplifies and streamlines these initiatives for an approach that is cohesive, unified, and backed by data to drive sales growth.
Act-On Has Everything Insurance Marketers Need to Grow Their Brokerage
These tactics are just the beginning of how insurance providers can use marketing automation to grow their digital presence, achieve significant gains, and succeed in this disruptive era. Every day, our insurance customers find new and fruitful ways to use the Act-On platform.
Read more about marketing automation for insurance brokerages by downloading our free eBook, “5 Marketing Challenges Facing Insurance Brokerages.” It’s packed full of great information about what marketing automation is, how it helps insurers improve marketing processes and results, and why it’s the perfect fit for your insurance agency.
Lastly, if you’re ready to learn more about Act-On’s marketing automation solution, our team of experts would love to speak with you about your current situation and how our software can help you take your brokerage to the next level. Simply click here to request a demo with a marketing automation specialist.