Guest blog post by Kasey Connors, Director of Trusted Choice Marketing Operations, Big “I” National
The consumer marketing landscape is changing rapidly, not only from how people interact with brands but how they seek information in an increasingly digital world.
Digital marketing can embody a wide range of concepts, but the definition can be paired down to the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, via the internet, mobile, display or other digital platforms.
Some common components of digital marketing include:
Search engine marketing (SEM)
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Social media marketing (including paid advertising, display ads or geotargeting)
What’s right for independent agents?
How do you know what is right for you and how to remain competitive in the digital marketplace as an independent insurance agent or agency?
Start with identifying and understanding your goals.
Trying to reach a new market segment previously unacquainted with your agency? Publishing niche-specific content and using targeted display ads may be a good option.
Looking to drive awareness and increase word-of-mouth exposure around your agency? Developing a social media campaign around your brand may be the way to go.
Looking for a wide-ranging selection that will capture new prospects who may not even be familiar with your brand? Search engine marketing could provide that outcome.
Where do I start?
You can certainly start small and don’t need to jump all in at once.
One of the best things about the digital marketplace is the ability for ongoing testing – you can test different tactics and even different audiences.
Some of this may feel intimidating and out of your comfort zone. That’s ok, do it any way.
For some extra words of encouragement, here is one of my favorite quotes from businessman and futurist Alvin Toffler:
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
I find this quote fitting as the consumer landscape continues to evolve and businesses need to adapt and grow with the changes by doing things differently than they always have.
As the digital marketplace evolves, the path to identifying leads and nurturing them will also change.
Here are three ways to get started with digital.
Diversify your marketing strategy by reallocating some of your existing budget to digital marketing. Unlike traditional marketing outlets, digital marketing budgets can be fluid. If one tactic is not working, readjust where your efforts are focused.
Finding the right mix for you will involve testing. If digital marketing is new to your agency, it’s good to start small. Try implementing one social campaign or leverage a digital tool that helps you connect with your community on a personal level (email, video, etc.).
Identify Your Target Audience
It is so important in marketing that you connect with your prospective and current clients where they are and how they like to interact along their decision-making journey.
You won't be able to position what you're selling to meet your current and potential customers' needs without knowing who they are, and in turn, aligning your services with those needs.
How well do you know your customers' backgrounds, goals and challenges? How well do you understand their interests and needs? Where can you identify new and possible parallel segments to target?
If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, you will need to get in front of that group where they are and through the channels they like best — not necessarily where or how you have done so in the past.
Implement and Quantify
Once you’ve set your goals, determined your budget and identified your target audience, it’s time to execute your digital marketing initiative.
Digital marketing can consist of a wide range of tactics set at different points of the customer journey and in conjunction with other forms of traditional marketing.
Developing the different parts of your campaign is only a piece of the strategy. Some tactics may be better aligned for an awareness phase and may not directly end up as leads.
When considering the success of one tactic over another, you need to keep in mind what each of tactic was intended to do to compare your outcomes equally and then readjust as needed.
Final words of wisdom
The most important piece of the journey is to get started, no matter how small that may be at first.
Also, don’t be afraid to try something new.
With digital marketing, readjusting along the way is part of the process and provides information that can build the foundation of what works for your business and clients.
Data and analytics are crucial elements in your road to digital success. Having a digital footprint provides data and insights to be able to optimize what is working and eliminate what is not or even may help you to identify a new audience.
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