The Other Kind of Marketing – Brand Yourself and Sell More Insurance

In the insurance industry, when we speak about marketing we are most often referring to marketing risks to the insurance companies we represent. Albeit a critical aspect of any agency’s success, this marketing is not the only thing an agency needs to expend its resources on. There is the “other kind of marketing,” often underestimated and not fully understood in the insurance industry, which many agencies simply do not concentrate on at all.

Because of basic misconceptions, insurance agencies are often put off by traditional marketing efforts, which is to find creative ways to move consumers towards their product or service. On the one hand, the industry as a whole seems to be stuck in a time warp when cold-calling and door-to-door sales and other types of interruption marketing held the keys to the kingdom. No new strategies are implemented because agencies believe the old ones still work. The misassumption that marketing strategies and branding are too expensive for the individual agencies and agents makes many think that these strategies are exclusive to the big money insurance companies.

The nature of the modern-day consumer and the rise in the competitive and price-based nature of the market place call for individual agents and agencies to develop innovative marketing strategies in order to maintain an edge in the industry. The advent of the National Do Not Call Registry, Caller ID and email Spam Blockers, for example, make the traditional means of interruption marketing like cold-calling, and mass emailing less effective. Agents must become more creative and begin to take advantage of things like the Internet, newsletters, and article marketing. An Internet based marketing strategy requires very little work and very little out-of-pocket cost.

You need to brand yourself as the insurance producer. It is nice to have a company web page listed on your business card. It is a place for prospects to learn more about your company. However, you need to distinguish yourself from all of the agents out there. Lets face it. Most independent agencies have access to the same markets and the same prices; so what else do prospects have to base their choice on? The agent. An easy way to do this is to create a web page that brands and markets you.

Once you have a web page setup for yourself with content that enhances your image as a highly qualified professional and an industry leader, then you are ready to turn your web page into a fully automated marketing machine. Your web page will become a place to gather prospects’ contact information. You can achieve this by offering a newsletter. There are numerous companies on the web that can help you set up a fully automated newsletter. At this point you are no longer engaged in interruption marketing but the much more successful practice of permission marketing. Additionally, you create a space for yourself to show off your industry knowledge and give yourself a reason to stay in touch with and in front of prospects on a regular basis.

The most critical part of your new marketing strategy will be to drive traffic to your web page and then get permission to contact prospects. Use as many strategies to gain traffic as possible. Firstly, there is old-fashioned offline marketing, (i.e. brochures, letters, and faxes), that draws attention to your web page and a reason to visit the site. You will also need to do as much online marketing as you can. It is affordable and incredibly effective so you should do this as much as possible. Some online strategies to become visible on the web include, search engine optimization, advertising on related sites, article marketing, and pay per click advertisement.