There are still opportunities for insurance agencies to get a jump on their competition with content marketing. The global insurance brokerage firms have been on the forefront of content marketing for years, but most middle market agencies are just getting started using content to generate leads and position themselves as thought leaders. For those in the employee benefits side of the agency business, the annual Mercer Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans is a classic example of how content marketing can drive both brand awareness and business results.
Prior to starting my inbound marketing agency 4 years ago, I spent over 20 years working for both global and regional insurance brokerage firms. To get an idea of how insurance agencies are using content marketing, I reviewed the websites of several middle market agencies in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. None of the websites I reviewed reflected the quality of the work these agencies do.
Most While most of these agencies are using content marketing in one way or another, there are consistent gaps in all of their content marketing programs. So here's what your missing in your insurance agency content marketing.
1. Website Traffic
Alexa.com gives you a relative idea of how much traffic a website has. I know what my website traffic is and what my Alexa rank is, so I can extrapolate a pretty good estimate of website traffic for agency websites. Most of the agency websites I looked at had international Alexa ranks of 2,000,000 and higher, some much higher. This just isn't enough traffic to drive meaningful results.
The reason most of these sites aren't producing meaningful traffic is that they don't have a strategy to drive site visits. An inbound marketing strategy first revolves around driving website traffic and then focuses on generating leads and customers. Many of the missing elements we will explore below are tactics that would flow from the strategy.
2. Basic On-Page SEO
While it's not necessary for insurance agencies to focus a ton of energy on technical SEO, it is necessary to develop a list of targeted keywords and use them to help Google understand what you do so that they can serve your content up to searchers. Your targeted keywords should be those words and phrases that your customers and prospects use to describe what you do and the problems that you help solve.
Use keywords in your page titles, blog titles, meta descriptions, headers on your pages and in your copy. This will help Google index your site so that your content is served up when users search for answers to the problems that you help solve.
3. A website optimized for UX
Most of the agency websites I see have far too much going on. By trying to please every possible audience (P&C, benefits, bonds, etc.), insurance agencies are pleasing no one. Rather than try to show the world how much you do and how well you do it, optimize your website for customers. One of the basic rules of user experience is to limit the choices users have on your website pages. Too many choices overwhelm the visitor and they do nothing - except bounce off your site.
4. Lead generation offers
Most of the insurance agency websites I reviewed had blogs - and many of them had some really good content. But not a single one of them had lead generation offers in their blog posts! Every blog post should have a call-to-action leading to a landing page where a visitor can access premium content in exchange for opting in to your email marketing program. It could be a whitepaper, eBook, webinar registration or an invitation to a live seminar you're promoting. At the very minimum, you should offer an opportunity to subscribe to your blog or opt-in to your email marketing list.
I recommend that all my professional services customers offer a consultation button on every website page (see the top right-hand corner of this page.) It can be phrased differently (talk to an expert, etc.), but it's an easy way for buyers that are in the midst of a buying process to connect with you.
If you don't give visitors an opportunity to raise their hands and get more involved with you, you won't generate leads. Period.
The good news for insurance agencies is that your competitors aren't so far ahead of you with content marketing that you can't catch them. A strategic concentrated effort will drive business results, particularly when it's integrated with your outbound marketing efforts.