Last week I discussed the See Think Do marketing framework, created by Avinash Kaushik, and how insurance agents could implement it. This week I’ll focus on content marketing ideas for insurance agents at the top of the funnel – the See stage of the See Think Do marketing framework.
WHAT IS THE SEE STAGE OF BUYER INTENT?
At this stage your audience is the largest relevant audience you can reach. For a benefits broker this is best described as employers with under 500 employees in the US.
At the See stage, your audience isn’t thinking of the products or services you provide. At this stage they may simply be looking for a solution to a specific pain point, and not one necessarily related to employee benefits. For example, they could be looking for help with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or other HR related activities. Does any of your current content speak to employers at the See stage of intent?
You may be wondering if you really need to speak to employers at this stage.
Just because they’re not looking for a benefits broker at this stage, it doesn’t mean they won’t be in need of your services sooner or later. You should consider speaking to your largest relevant audience at this stage because once they become aware of your brand and services, you may come to mind when they’re making a decision about employee benefits.
In order to create an effective strategy for the See stage of this framework (and every stage for that matter) you should look at your marketing programs and ask:
- Do you have content relevant to the See stage of buyer intent?
- Is the execution strategy (creative, targeting, CTA) appropriate for the See stage?
Effective digital marketing requires truly understanding what your marketing efforts are solving for in the customer’s perspective.
Yes, closing sales is the ultimate goal. But, how can you create more opportunities if the only type of content your audience gets from you are “BUY FROM ME NOW” campaigns? Especially when they’re at the See stage of buyer intent?
With this perspective in mind, it sheds new light on how to plan content marketing ideas for insurance agents to integrate into their strategy.
CONTENT FOR YOUR LARGEST AUDIENCE
What matters for See stage marketing is that you’re not trying to sell or pitch at this stage. Instead, provide helpful resources. In the example I gave earlier of employers searching for help with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or other HR related activities, think of the different ways you can share information on that topic.
You could create a blog post with a detailed overview of the FMLA, solutions to streamline the process, and communication strategies to educate employees. This provides a win/win situation where your audience gets a free resource that helps them resolve a pain point, and you can link to previous blog posts which will help increase search engine rankings for your blog.
This is just one example of the type of content you can create for See marketing. Here are some other content marketing ideas for insurance agents you can use at this stage:
- Blog posts
- Video – vlog, how to videos, etc.
- Interactive content (quizzes, etc.)
- Templates specific for your niche
- Employee engagement activity planner,
- Open enrollment calendar,
- HR budget template,
- Email newsletter.
No matter which route you go with these content marketing ideas for insurance agents, the key component for this stage is creating helpful/interesting content rather than trying to sell. This approach will help bring employers back to your agency’s website repeatedly as they’ll view your brand as a resource. What business doesn’t want that?? Too often we focus on segments that are already researching a solution. Creating content for the See stage provides the opportunity to create relationships earlier on in the buyer’s journey, with a wider audience, and expand your brand awareness significantly.
I’ve given you content marketing ideas for insurance agents to use at the top of the funnel. But, you’ll still need topics and themes that are relevant to your specific niche. There are a number of employer/HR related issues you can speak on in the content you create for the See stage:
- Recruiting millennials
- ACA compliance
- Employee wellness
- Benefits/HR technology
- Increasing engagement
- Establishing company culture
And the list goes on. Use Google Trends to see what pain points employers and HR managers are trying to solve for. Find specific keywords for SEO to ensure your target audience can find your content.
The Best Channels to Promote See Stage Content
While SEO will help increase inbound traffic to your website, you should also actively promote your content. You may be wondering what channels would be best to specifically market See stage content.
Remember, at this stage you’re targeting your largest relevant audience. Social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter will provide you with the widest reach for content distribution at this stage. A study on 220,000 articles found that this type of content garnered an average of 21,000 shares per month over a 6 month period!
Share See content on your social media pages to drive traffic back to your website. This approach can help increase inbound leads and brand awareness.
Once you’ve worked out your distribution strategy for the See stage of buyer’s intent, you need to understand how to properly measure success.
MEASURING SUCCESS FOR THE SEE STAGE
At the See stage, the goal is simple – brand awareness. That’s it. No, don’t overthink it. That’s all to it. Remember, this is the largest relevant audience you can reach. It doesn’t matter if they’re interested in working with a broker or not. So when it comes to measuring success of See stage content, it’s not about how many quote requests were generated.
Success is measured by interactions with your content. If it’s a video, measure number of completed views. If it’s a blog measure subscription count, website traffic, time on page, etc.
If your distribution strategy is primarily through social media, measure success with likes and shares. For email measure open and click through rates, etc. You can use these channels to drive traffic to your website, so measure unique visits. I can go on listing various examples, but you get the picture.
It all comes down to the idea of aligning measures of success with the goal of See stage content, i.e. brand awareness.
The See Think Do framework provides a simple way to understand modern customers and how to align your marketing efforts to their perspective. The See stage is often overlooked. However, implementing the content marketing ideas for insurance agents I shared with you today will help to establish your brand as a valuable resource, strengthen your thought leadership, and expand brand awareness.
Tune in next week as I take an in-depth look at the Think stage of the See Think Do framework. Subscribe to the Broker Tool Belt to stay up to date on the latest and greatest marketing strategies for insurance agents.