Building Awareness for Your New Insurance Agency

May 22, 2018 Becky Schroeder

When starting a new insurance agency, one of the documents you need to prepare is a marketing plan. A couple months ago, I went over the process of how to create an agency marketing plan for your new agency.

But, what about the tactics? You’re going to need to build awareness for your new agency. That can be difficult when you’re starting out because your budget is small and you have almost no audience.

Here are nine ideas you can put in that marketing plan and use to build awareness for your new agency.

 

But First…

Do you have an insurance agency website? Before you do any sort of marketing for your new insurance agency, get yourself a website.

For any online marketing you do, this is where you will direct people. For any offline marketing, people will want to look you up online. If you’re not there, it’s a big red flag for consumers.

Don’t think a Facebook page will suffice. You don’t own that page so you’re at the mercy of whatever Facebook decides it wants to do. Like earlier this year when they started placing more importance on updates from family and friends instead of pages. That hurt the reach of business pages on the platform.

You don’t have to break the bank and build the most robust website when you’re starting out. Even a basic website is better than nothing. But, you do want a website that is going to meet your needs. So, think about what you want your website to do.

Are you going to be blogging? Do you want to have carrier payment links on your website for customer self-service? Do you want to have quote forms to capture lead information from your online visitors?

If you’re not ready for those features yet, find a vendor that can work with you as you grow. (Just a quick plug… We have multiple plans available at different prices so agents get no more than they need. Plus, you can change the plan as your needs change.)

Now, for the ideas…

 

Ideas for Building Awareness of Your New Agency

Some of these ideas are low in cost but require more of your time. Some are a little higher in cost and lower in time commitment.

Remember, marketing is an investment in your business. It’s going to take either time or money. Decide which you would rather spend, and stay committed.

 

1. Answer questions on your website.

If your website does have blogging capabilities (and after you’ve optimized it), start answering questions on your blog.

When you’re starting out and don’t have much of a budget, this is a great marketing tactic to include in your plan. There’s no cost besides the cost of your website, which you should have anyway (see above).

All it takes for this to pay off is one or two blog posts that answer the right question. When that happens your traffic will increase, and people will start to reach out to you about their insurance needs.

Remember though, blogging is a long game. Traffic and leads don’t come immediately. It may take a few months. It may take longer. Be patient, and blog consistently.

 

2. Use social media.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to have a Facebook page instead of a website. But, I do think you should consider some sort of social media presence in addition to your website.

You don’t have to do all the social media platforms. Choose one or two you’re comfortable with and can easily keep up with. Because to do social media right, you need to be consistent.

Invite your friends and family to follow you. Put your profile links on your website. Have fun, and be yourself when posting. People will respond to that more than posts about insurance. You can find success on social media and grow your audience.

 

3. Network, network, network.

Start attending local networking events. Even if they’re people you already know, you can share the news that you started a new insurance agency in the area. Make sure to take business cards with you so people know where to find and how to contact you.

 

4. Attend live events.

Every community has local events that are looking for support from small businesses. In exchange, you get your agency name in front of the community. It could be a 4th of July parade where you could have a float or a festival where you could have a table.

If you’re not sure what events are happening in your community, check your local paper. Or, contact your city’s parks department as they usually have a schedule of local events.

 

5. Host a seminar.

A seminar is a great way to bring people together to hear your expertise. Or, if you don’t have a topic to present, find someone who does and partner with them on a seminar. You get their undivided attention while they get information that is helpful to them.

 

6. Use email marketing.

I believe in the power of email marketing. I’ve seen it work better and for a fraction of the cost of an ad campaign.

You can use email marketing to follow up on leads. Or, to stay in touch with clients via a newsletter. Or, to retain more clients via renewal reminders.

Get an email marketing platform to help you do those things. But, even if you’re not ready to invest in such a tool, start building your email list. Ask every lead that comes through your agency for their email address. Ask every client that calls with a question to confirm their current email address. Then, when you are ready, you have a list to start with.

 

7. Advertise.

If you have a good budget to work with, advertising can be a great way to build awareness for your agency. You could buy an ad in the yellow pages or your local newspaper or radio station.

But, you might want to try some online advertising first. The cost can be much lower, and it’s easier to track how many leads you’re getting from your ads.

I recommend you look at Facebook. With the targeting available on Facebook, you can get pretty granular on who you want to see your ads. You can target based on geography, age, demographics, interests and behaviors. Like if you wanted to target people shopping for a car in your city between the ages of 30 and 45, you can do that on Facebook.

 

8. Wrap your car.

Turn your car into a mobile billboard. You’ll be building awareness as you drive around town. Just don’t forget to include your website and phone number on both sides of the car.

 

9. Host a community event.

This could be something like low cost pet vaccinations or a free car wash. Choose something that would be a good service to the community. They’ll come to your office and get to know you while taking advantage of the service you facilitated for them.

 

Building awareness for your agency doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It can take some time. Use one or more of these ideas in your agency marketing plan. Focus on what you can do with the budget you have available. Then, as you grow, you can add more ideas to your marketing plan.

About the Author

Becky Schroeder

As senior vice president of sales and marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s sales and marketing departments. Her specialties include creating and documenting processes; establishing metrics for managing those processes; developing content strategy and generating leads; and driving the overall company sales and marketing strategy. Becky was named an Elite Woman in Insurance by Insurance Business America in 2016. She has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.

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