The topic of digital marketing is vast because it can involve many different mediums. Think about all the ways you interact with the world digitally: browsing social media, reading blogs, sending and receiving emails, searching websites, downloading apps, etc.
For each one of these digital channels, there are multiple ways to use it to advertise and market your services. For instance, you could buy Facebook ads to promote your insurance agency, create a blog series to position yourself as an insurance expert, develop an email campaign directed at warm prospects, purchase banner ads on websites and so on.
If you’re like most people, having so many options can be overwhelming and cause a feeling of paralysis: Where do I even begin? As with any large task, it helps to start by breaking things down into smaller pieces first.
Step One: Define Your Goals
You may have a vague feeling that digital marketing would probably be a good idea for your agency, but how clear are you on what you hope to achieve with it? Putting your goals in writing will help you define what you want.
It’s fine to start by listing a larger goal such as “more customers,” but then you’ll want to get specific. Would you prefer more homeowners insurance customers or more customers with high-priced policies? Do you want more customers on auto-pay or more customers that refer their friends?
Specific answers will help to point you toward certain types of marketing and away from others.
Step Two: Identify Your Audience – Current and Ideal
Who currently buys insurance from you? Who do you wish bought insurance from you?
For each of these groups, create a representative demographic profile that describes them: age, education level, where they live, number of children, etc. Then move toward the specific and answer questions like:
- How engaged is Current Client/Ideal Client in social media? Which site do they probably use most?
- What kinds of traditional media does Current Client/Ideal Client consume? (TV, magazines, newspapers, etc.)
- Is Current Client/Ideal Client likely to read email regularly?
As you start to figure out each of these audiences—Current Client and Ideal Client—dig in further and look for areas of overlap and difference. Maybe Current Client is big on Instagram, while Ideal Client is more the LinkedIn type, but maybe both use Facebook. That’s good information to have and can help you flesh out your digital marketing plan and guide your spending decisions.
Step Three: Budget Your Time
Before you get to those spending decisions, though, you should do a realistic appraisal of how much time you or your agency staff have to devote to digital marketing and whether you have the skillsets you’ll need to do it. It takes time to look up ad rates, writing ability to create content, and creative talent to design marketing pieces.
You may need to outsource some of these tasks. Knowing how much help you’ll need will be an important factor you as you consider your budget.
Step Four: Budget Your Cash – Current and Ideal
Before you think about how much money you’d like to spend, look at how much you can easily afford each month. That figure can become the low-end of your digital marketing budget.
Next, price out how much it’s likely to cost to do whatever form(s) of marketing you think are right for you each month. Create separate line items for each component: ad cost, designer’s fee, printing costs, etc. Don’t put too many constraints on yourself yet, just list everything you’d like to do and how much it would cost.
Now take a look at the difference between your initial budget and your dream budget. Where is the middle ground? Maybe it’s possible to close the gap by decreasing the amount you spend on some other area of your agency, or perhaps you can do more in-house than you initially planned on. You can always scale back your plans for now and work on saving more to augment your budget in the future.
Step Five: Flesh Out Your Plan
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what kind of customer you want to attract and how much time and money you can commit to doing so. Use this information to pick and choose from your many options (ads, email campaigns, blogging, etc.) and make the best possible use of your digital marketing resources. You may not be able to do everything you want to do right away, but having clear goals will give your marketing plan a direction going forward.
Hometown Quotes provides fresh, prequalified leads to insurance agents in real-time. Give us a call at 800.820.2981 or visit hometownquotes.com to learn more.