Independent agencies and brokers rely on sales to survive. Without sales, an agency will lack customers, lose revenue, and have no future.
If sales represent the vehicle driving the success of your independent agency, then marketing, specifically community marketing, is that vehicle’s fuel.
Community marketing is essential to any independent insurance agency or insurance broker’s survival. It is what will replace cold calls with warm leads that will ultimately grow your agency.
Having well-planned strategies for marketing yourself on the community level will help you grow and sustain a base of customers who will turn to you first for all of their personal and professional insurance needs.
Many knowledgeable independent agents and brokers understand sales and are great at what they do, but marketing can be a challenge for many. A benchmark for success is not as straightforward when it comes to marketing.
This article offers some pointers on how independent insurance agencies and brokers can better market themselves on a community level.
Community Marketing for Independent Insurance Agencies Using the Internet
Although an essential part of community marketing involves getting your name and face out into the local community, the world wide web plays a significant role in doing just that.
Let’s face it, your potential customers are using the Internet just as much as you are. By having a solid Internet presence, you will keep your independent agency at the forefront of their minds when looking for insurance.
Make sure that your community marketing budget leaves room for the following:
A User-Friendly Agency Website
Having a well-built site with a URL that is easy to recognize and remember is a must. Don’t forget to ask business clients to consider a link exchange as a chance for you both to gain referrals. Considering that most people now use their smartphones to access the Internet and conduct business, you’ll want to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly as well.
A Social Media Presence
Having a social media presence is crucial to an independent insurance agency’s online marketing success. Consider having Facebook and Instagram business accounts at a bare minimum. LinkedIn can also be beneficial, especially if you want to find potential commercial clients.
Publish Relevant Content
Using your online presence, you can generate and share content such as blog posts, articles, slideshows, podcasts, and webinars to help build your brand and reputation as an industry leader.
An independent insurance agency’s online presence should never end up being an afterthought. Your customers will expect you to have some online presence as a measure of your professionalism.
Marketing Your Independent Insurance Agency on the Community Level
While the Internet is a valuable and necessary tool in marketing your independent insurance agency, you cannot abandon tried and true “offline” community marketing efforts because independent agents and brokers can’t sit around waiting for their customers. Unfortunately, even with a strong Internet presence, you can’t compete with the big-name players in the industry if you’re relying on the Internet alone.
The people in your community have a desire to support local businesses like yours, but they have to know that you exist.
By connecting with the members of your community, you’ll generate the solid reputation and name recognition necessary to get more clients.
Some great ways to promote an independent agency on the community level include:
Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Joining your local chamber of commerce will provide you with access to a whole host of valuable resources, community discounts, and the ability to foster new relationships that can help your agency save money while organically increasing your marketing efforts. You can significantly improve your local credibility and visibility by joining a chamber, thus boosting overall sales.
Create A Referral Network
By entering into a referral agreement with other professionals in your network, whether they are clients or folks you do business with, you have an opportunity to boost sales by sharing leads. Car dealerships, mortgage lenders, real estate agents, and community banks have great potential for referral sharing. It is also a great idea to encourage referrals from existing customers and clients. Sometimes offering an incentive, such as a gift card or a promotion, is a great way to get them to offer up a referral.
Buy Out-of-Home Advertising
Out-of-home advertising on a local level is one of the best ways to build your brand and increase recognition. Having your agency name and your face on billboards, at bus stops, and in grocery stores around your community will go a long way toward ensuring that you are the first person that a potential client thinks of when it’s time to purchase insurance.
Community Marketing Takeaways for independent Agencies
Marketing an independent agency comes down to one thing, making sure that you get your business out in front of the community. The key is to ensure that yours is the first agency that a potential client thinks of when it comes time to purchase insurance. While one approach on this list may work better than another, don’t be afraid to switch it up and try different strategies until you find the one that works right for you and your business.