Use these insurance agent marketing solutions to finish 2017 and start 2018 strong


At this time of year, you probably have a split sales personality: Half of you is focused on closing out the year really strong. The other half is making plans to launch 2018 with a better marketing strategy. So this month we’re providing three insurance agent marketing solutions and strategies to finish strong AND start with a bang. Here goes.

1. An insurance agent marketing solution you can use right now: another smartphone line

GoDaddy, the folks from whom you may have purchased your domain name and who hosts websites for practically pennies a month, has a new product called SmartLine. It gives agents the ability to have a second phone line on their smartphone, keeping their private line separate. It also offers the features of a professional phone system, all on your smartphone.

You can set up a business line in minutes and choose a local number. You can also send/receive texts and multimedia messages using your SmartLine. You can try it free for a month; afterwards, it starts at $3.99 a month, according to their website. Learn more here.

2. Online reviews: How your prospects use them

We’ve talked about your online reviews before, so this mention is simply a reminder to stay on top of what’s being said about you. 

Periodically, pull up an incognito search page and type in your name or your agency name and see what’s being said about you on the first two pages. (In Google Chrome, you click on the three vertical dots at the far right of your search bar and select New incognito window.) 

Why use an incognito window? Because your browser tracks your activity and keeps a record of where you frequently search. That means it’s going to show you totally different results than it will show for someone who’s looking you up for the first time. And that’s the view you want to see.

Here’s why it’s REALLY important: Some 91 percent of consumers say they check online reviews when evaluating local businesses, said recent research from BrightLocal, as quoted in Marketing Profs. Of those checking you out, 64 percent say they find reviews via search engines; 37 percent go directly to review websites.

Their study also showed that 68 percent of consumers read 1-6 reviews before they make their decision. Some 57 percent say they pay close attention to the overall star rating a local business receives and 41 percent pay attention to how recent the reviews are.

In addition to checking any reviews that show up on a Google search page, you’ll want to check such sites as your Facebook page, Yelp, Angie’s List, and other third-party review sites. While you can’t remove those reviews, you can answer them and show yourself to be helpful and interested in righting any wrongs. We’ve written more about insurance agency marketing solutions for reviews, both good and bad – and you can read them here:

6 Ways to handle internet trolls dissing you online
Insurance agency local SEO hacks: Six ways to get more online traffic than your competitor down the street
Insurance agent marketing helps: online competition, reviews and more
8 tactics to help your agency retain insurance clients
Nail 3 new marketing skills to grow your book of business


3. Start your 2018 planning with a competitive analysis

It sounds like a lot of work, and to be honest, it will take you a few hours. But what you’ll come away with is a better understanding of your nearby competition, what their strengths and weaknesses are, what products they sell and where the gaps may be, what new products you should consider – and which to avoid, because everyone and his brother sells them.

Stored in your CRM (or if not, hopefully stored and accessible in your own memory!) are your various pitches over time that you’ve lost and why. Jotting those down will help you begin a list of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. What products do they have better pricing on? Perhaps it’s time to speak with their MGA or provider to see about getting appointed.

Have you followed up with prospects whose deals you lost, near renewal time? How’s the customer service with their current agency? Do they express any pain points you can capitalize on?

Then survey how your competitors market themselves. What events do they sponsor? If they focus on personal lines, do they partner with local real estate agencies or car dealerships? If they sell commercial lines, what additional products do they offer that perhaps you should consider adding, so that you can package products together for an easier sell? How inviting, easy-to-navigate and comprehensive is their website? Where do they advertise? How robust is their social media presence?

Now you can create a quick, informal SWOT analysis as we’ve mentioned before. In their article on competitive analysis, Hubspot provides these questions to help your assessment:

  • What is your competitor doing really well with? (Products, content marketing, socialmedia, etc.)
  • Where does your competitor have the advantage over your brand?
  • What is the weakest area for your competitor?
  • Where does your brand have the advantage over your competitor?
  • What could they do better with?
  • In what areas would you consider this competitor as a threat?
  • Are there opportunities in the market that your competitor has identified?

Once you have a firm grasp on just where you and your agency are in the marketplace, it’s easier to see areas of potential growth, weaker areas that need some attention, and determine your insurance agency marketing solutions. Get started now!