The benefits industry is incredibly competitive. As more brokers optimize their online presence, digital marketing among agencies will become saturated. The competition is staggering, so how do you stand out from the pack? With insurance inbound marketing.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing focuses on drawing customers to your products and services through content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and branding.
Does Inbound Marketing Work?
I’ll just leave these stats here for you to decide:
- 77% of the B2B purchasers prefer to do their own research before ever speaking to a salesperson.
- B2B companies that blog at least 1 or 2 times per month generate 70% more leads than the companies who don’t blog.
- Inbound marketing generates three times more leads per dollar than traditional methods.
Now, before you think to yourself, “online marketing will make my agency lose the personal touch I’ve established with my customers and prospects”, think again. Marketing in the digital world isn’t as complicated as you think it is. In fact, a lot of the strategies you utilize as a benefits broker are relevant to digital marketing. In order to truly understand how inbound marketing can work for you, let’s take a look at the similarities.
Distant Relatives: Inbound Marketing & Benefit Engagement
One of the greatest challenges in the benefits industry is employee engagement. Some of the key issues that cause low engagement from employees in benefit offerings are a lack of access to information, poor communication, and frustrating processes. Brokers, employers, and HR admins have taken steps to improve all of these pain points to get employees to take advantage of their benefit options.
Now consider the goal of inbound marketing for insurance agencies; a focus on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content. In order to achieve that outcome marketers actively distribute helpful content across a number of channels to drive engagement and get leads to share their information. Benefit engagement and inbound marketing may seem like they have nothing in common, but they share similar goals – and thus similar strategies.
Know Your Audience
Whether its benefits engagement or inbound marketing, a key step to any communication plan is knowing your audience. For example, benefits brokers understand that tailored benefits is the future of the industry. In order to create a benefits package that meets the unique needs of a group’s employees, you need to know your audience. Based on the demographics that make a up a group, you know if the benefits package should include lines like HSA’s, telemedicine, and pet insurance or if financial wellness benefits would be more suitable. When putting together a benefits package for any client, you research and factor in the preferences of your audience. The same concept applies to inbound marketing for insurance agencies.
Knowing your audience gives you insights that allow you to tailor your content to their preferences. Marketing research software like Google Analytics and SurveyMonkey are affordable tools that can help you see what content works or what channels your audience prefers to receive information. The same way tailored benefits have become the new standard to increase engagement, tailored content is an effective way to increase inbound traffic.
Check out my previous blog Top Picks: Insurance Agency Market Research Tools for a list of some of my favorite marketing research platforms.
For the average employee, their benefit options only become relevant during open enrollment. In order to get employees engaged, it’s not enough to only hear about their benefits once a year. Consistent communication is essential. Similarly, with inbound marketing for insurance agencies, you can’t rely on one channel and expect to generate leads. Simply having a website isn’t enough.
Even though many brokers have a social media page, they fail to actively communicate and engage with their audience. Whether you have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn, communicate consistently with your audience. Share content, comment on other posts, start conversations, etc. The same way the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ concept plays a role in low benefits engagement, a lack of an active online presence can have the same impact on your inbound marketing KPI’s.
Technology Helps Streamline Processes
As a broker, you’re well aware of how much HR technology has impacted the benefits industry. Automated processes makes the experience more efficient for everyone involved. Whether it’s online enrollment, payroll, or ACA compliance, technology has helped simplify enrollment, provided valuable insight through data tracking, and increased engagement by providing easier access to information through online portals.
Marketing automation software provides similar benefits for your inbound marketing efforts. Such platforms provide businesses with an all-in-one platform for all their digital marketing needs. These sorts of tools allow you to create your own website, landing pages, forms, content, email campaigns, and give you the ability to distribute content on various channels. They also allow you to track data every step of the way, giving you insights to see how you can optimize your digital marketing strategy.
Check out my previous blog, Top Picks: Insurance Agency Automation Software to learn more about what tools can help streamline your inbound marketing strategy.
Final Thoughts About Insurance Inbound Marketing
Many brokers hesitate to invest time and effort into inbound marketing because they think they’re not tech-savvy enough or don’t understand online marketing. The points I listed today are meant to help you look at inbound marketing from a perspective you’re used to, benefits engagement.
Insurance inbound marketing at its core is meant to get your audience engaged with your content and brand. Maintaining the same principles you apply when working with groups to increase benefits engagement will help you understand how to begin developing your inbound marketing strategy.
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