What are the top misconceptions insurance agents have about digital marketing?
Digital Marketing Is For Techies
False. The process of Digital Marketing is different from the process of newspaper advertising or a yellow pages listing- but the concept is the same. You want to be visible in the spaces where your biggest pool of prospects spend their time. More and more people of all age groups start their search for any product or service on their phones. This was true before COVID and even more true now. Getting to them doesn’t take a computer science degree and you don’t have to be a wiz kid. You just need to understand a few basic concepts about the various mediums, so you know the pros and cons and what it will take to pursue success in a given platform.
Digital Shoppers Aren’t The Ideal Customer
False. People who search for insurance products or pricing online have trended toward online brands like Geico because there haven’t been that many options online. Being first to market has its advantages, but it isn’t at all a foregone conclusion that the first online brands (like Geico and others) will always be the companies most favored by online insurance shoppers. There have always been good prospects and bad ones- online and offline.
As more agents are visible online, consumers will start to recognize they have more options. When the convenience is the same across the board, you can bet that a large percentage of prospects would prefer to be advised and serviced by a local agent if all else is equal. The trick is getting to that “all else being equal” part. If you don’t believe that prospects will ultimately choose local agents if given the choice, it might be time to contact us about maximizing your agency value and prepare to perpetuate. This is no longer a trend. It’s simply the way of the world.
The ‘good’ prospects are shopping using the same methods as the ‘bad’ ones…although they may value different things. The solution is not to avoid digital spaces, but to make sure that your messaging is targeted toward the audience you are trying to attract.
Agents Can’t Compete With The ‘Big Guys’
You guessed it- also, false. We can’t dismiss the value of scale and the fact that venture capitalists are pumping money into virtual agencies and carriers left and right. It isn’t that the money doesn’t matter, but it doesn’t keep agencies from also having success. The underlying truth that works in our favor is that many customers really do prefer local- especially for professional services that are advisory in nature- like attorneys, CPAs…and financial products. This is not true of everyone- but the trend for “near me” searches is very obvious in Google’s data.
If you haven’t noticed, Geico has recently opened up agent “offices” around the country- specifically for targeting local traffic. They’re doing it in order to avoid missing out on this extremely important aspect of Google searches. If that isn’t a validation of what we’re suggesting here, I don’t know what is. That said- customers know the difference between an office with a sign on the door- and an actual local agency that is invested in the community and in their customers. Local agencies can compete because that’s what customers ultimately want. The search engines know it and the algorithms increasingly reflect it. Over time, the question will be whether the “big guys” can compete with local agencies. Agencies that adapt will continue to thrive. Will yours be one of them? Let us know how we can help!
What trips you up? Tell us your biggest pain point, and we will provide a solution- or at least point you in the right direction!