It’s true. The billion-dollar carriers have better technology, branding, and call centers. Also, their websites are snazzier, they rank higher in the search results, and they have WAY more money. But, as an agent, you do have one insurance marketing advantage: local supremacy.
Yes, those major carriers are better equipped than you in many ways, but your one true advantage is your ability to operate at the local level. Despite all the technological advancements and changes in consumer buying habits, people still appreciate a personalized service: one that only a local agent can properly deliver.
Leverage your strengths and dominate selling local insurance with the following twelve tips.
Attend and Sponsor Local Events
Depending on the area you operate, there may be numerous events being held on a weekly basis: from local golf tournaments to hot dog eating contests. These are opportunities to get brand exposure and attract more insurance leads.
While you or your staff can probably attend most events, you’ll go broke if you try to sponsor them all. To that end, you should focus on events that meet certain criteria; namely the following three:
- Low sponsorship fees
- Low number of sponsor slots
- High number of attendees
Finding events that match these criteria is not easy, particularly if you have a lot of competition in your area. But if sponsorship is not a viable option, you can simply roll up your sleeves and get down to some good old-fashioned networking.
Create a Local Resources Page on Your Website
No doubt you have a website already set up for your agency. If you don’t, then get one created as soon as possible. Make one of your pages a resource page solely for local content. This part of your web site could include recommendations for local businesses, content about local events, or important community updates.
That will not only attract more website visits from people within the local community, but it is also beneficial for local search engine optimization.
Optimize Your Website for Local Search
A local resource page is one part of attracting local search traffic and boost your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Your entire site needs to be optimized for local search. That means including locally relevant keywords in prominent areas of your website such as the title tags, meta description, and main content areas.
We provide a free e-book guide that details the processes of SEO (click here to download), but suffice to say, it provides a serious boost to your insurance agent marketing efforts. If people see your agency’s website at the top of the SERPs when they type a particular keyword, their level of confidence goes up. That makes them more likely to use your services.
Hire a Community Liaison Officer
Most agents have appointment books bulging with high priority tasks. As a result, finding time to keep abreast of all the local goings on is nearly impossible, let alone attending all of those events. Hiring a Community Liaison Officer does not have to be expensive. You can tap the recent graduate pool to find a marketing student with good social skills.
Task your new hire with researching community events and attending on your behalf.
Send Your Staff All Over Town
If you can’t afford a Community Liaison Officer, or perhaps in addition to one, why not send your current employees out on the town. The more people you have out networking on your agency’s behalf, the more ground that can be covered.
Select a few of your most outgoing, social staff members and get them out there shaking hands and spreading brand awareness. That is a quick way to effective insurance agent branding.
Do Something Newsworthy
Getting your agency mentioned on CNN can result in a flood of visitors to your website and thousands of dollars in new sales. But local news outlets can be just as fruitful. The trick is to pay close attention to what’s going on in your community.
Context is the key to making something newsworthy. So if you see something important happening in the community that is likely to make the news, find a way to align yourself with the event in a positive way. Or you could simply create the news; organize a big charity event, run a competition, or decorate your agency in spectacular colors.
The press loves to cover things that cause a stir. Who knows, you might even wind up on CNN after all.
Create a Local-Oriented Newsletter
As well as doing things that established news outlets would want to cover, you can create your own source of news. But don’t just create a general newsletter aimed at everyone, instead publish a monthly newsletter covering specific local insurance news, upcoming events, and useful information about the local community.
No doubt you will attract the attention of other local businesses, too. They will be interested in getting featured in your newsletter; presenting opportunities for partnerships.
Get in on Local High School Events
Local high schools regularly host events: from science fairs and drama productions to sporting events and fun days. You don’t usually have to have a child in the school to attend these events either. The school’s website usually has details about what’s going on.
Look for opportunities to sponsor events, network with parents, and build trust and recognition in the community.
Get Some Agency-Branded Gear
Many of the ideas here are based on getting out in the local community and meeting people. You don’t, however, always have to wait for an event before you can work on building brand awareness. Invest in some nice agency-branded swag, such as coffee mugs, pens, jackets, caps, or t-shirts and use them personally whenever you go out in public (where appropriate, of course).
Better yet, buy some for your whole team and encourage them to wear/use your specialty advertising items at every opportunity. Not only will this help to spread brand awareness, but it might also encourage conversation from curious local residents.