Oxford English Dictionary named it the word of the year in 2013. Selfie. It epitomizes much of our social media experience and online culture.
If you search the hashtag #selfie on Instagram, there are more than 300 million results. According to Samsung, selfies make up 30 percent of photos taken by people aged 18-24.
There’s even a National Selfie Day. Get ready for your close up on June 21!
The popularity of selfies can actually tell you a lot about today’s consumers. Here are five marketing lessons you can learn from selfies.
1. Make it about them.
Selfies have a narcissistic implication. Critics view them as silly or self-centered. But we all are at least somewhat concerned with our own self-interests.
We’re bombarded by so much information every day. Articles, videos, pictures, tweets, advertising, etc. We’ve gotten good at ignoring it all if it’s not important to us. Before we give our attention and time to you, we want to know, “What’s in it for us?”
To cut through the clutter, you have to reframe your story, because it’s not about you. Any content you create, any marketing you do needs to answer that essential question of what’s in it for them.
This is where your value proposition is critical. You represent choice, which consumers love. You’re an advocate for your clients. Talk about how you’ve helped your clients. Put them at the center of your story instead of yourself.
2. Be where they are.
We have been taking self-portraits with cameras for more than 100 years. (Many consider this to be the first selfie, which was taken in 1839.) But it’s only been in the last seven years that selfies have become as prolific they are now.
Why is that?
The release of Apple’s iPhone 4 and its front-facing camera in 2010.
The rapid growth since then shows how connected our lives are thanks to the devices we carry around with us. It is an important lesson in why you need to be where consumers are.
We use our phones to research, shop and browse the internet. We want the process to be simple and without hassle.
It’s not just about having a digital presence with your insurance agency website. It’s about having a mobile presence.
You need to adapt to what consumers want. You need to make it easy for them to choose you. Or they will find another option that will make it easy. Price is a factor, but so is convenience.
3. Go visual.
Got a new shirt? Selfie. Went somewhere fun? Selfie. Spent time with a good friend? Selfie. Having a good day? Selfie.
There’s a reason why for many people, especially Millennials, selfies are how they express themselves and share their lives.
A good image or a great video is far more powerful than any text.
How are you incorporating images into marketing your insurance agency? If you’re not sharing images, there’s no time like now to start.
4. Be authentic.
Fifty percent of us admit to editing our selfies. Even though we know they are likely edited, we see selfies as people being their authentic selves.
We want to build connections with other people. When we post a selfie, we’re saying, “This is who I am today.”
Selfies are in the moment and rarely perfect images. I think that’s why selfies are so abundant on social media.
The images or videos you use to tell your story don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to use a professional photographer or videographer. You can do a lot with just your smartphone. (Check out How to Take a Better Photo to Help Market Your Agency.)
You may not consider yourself a great writer. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try blogging. Your authenticity will come across in every post you publish. People don’t want to read canned content. They want content that is valuable and genuine. Your authenticity will go a long way toward building your online reputation.
Don’t worry about being perfect in your marketing. And, don’t try to be someone you’re not. People will see through that. Be yourself, and people will respond to it.
5. Have fun.
Selfies are meant to be fun and not taken too seriously. Insurance is a serious business, but that doesn’t mean you have to be serious all the time.
Have fun with your marketing. Do you do fun things with your team? Share those in your newsletter or on your social media profiles.
Write a recap blog post about a fun event you attended or hosted. There is room to have some fun in your agency marketing plan.
Even if you don't take selfies, you can still learn a lot from this trend about consumers and how to reach them. Focus on your clients and making it easy for them to choose you. Share images that are authentic and fun. Be yourself in marketing your agency.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky 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.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder