Utilization of your Marketing Budget in 2016

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Insurance Agency Marketing Options in 2016Marketing Budget

Not much has changed from 2015 to 2016 so far. But that doesn’t mean that figuring out where to spend your marketing budget is any easier this year. How much do you spend on each item and area? How do you compete? How long will it take to recoup your investment? It really all depends on what you want to accomplish and in what time you’d like to see results.

Responsive Website Design

Last year, mobile responsive website design became a big deal. If your site wasn’t mobile friendly, the search engines decided it wasn’t as relevant for mobile users (currently about 35% of all searches) and penalized your organic rankings by not displaying your agency website on mobile devices. If your site is mobile friendly, great! If you’re not sure, utilize this great tool from Google themselves to see if your website is mobile friendly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Sure, we’ve all heard about how important search engine optimization (SEO) is for your insurance agency. But my goodness it can be expensive. We often times tell agent to break up their insurance agency marketing budget into categories at the beginning of the year and determine how much of it goes to each area. Our recommendation should be to spend no more than 30% of your budget on SEO specific activities. Search engine optimization has both on-page and off-page activities to complete. Make sure that your SEO vendor can provide you with specific examples of work they’ve done in the insurance industry. All SEO providers are not the same. Find one that specializes in insurance and understands the complexity of our industry.

Great Web Hosting

Believe it or not, how your website is hosted can make a difference for your search rankings. If your website provider is slow and response times limited, it can impact your customers patience and willingness to stay on your site. Additionally, providing a secure connection (even if you don’t transmit sensitive information) can help! Ask about an SSL certificate and dedicated IP address.

Content Marketing

Adding regular, up-to-date content to your website is critically important. Consider writing a blog a few times a month and publishing it to your site. This will show the search engines that you have an active site that is growing! Sites that are active and growing appear to be more relevant versus a static website that hasn’t changed in months. Having trouble thinking of things to write about? Look to your customers! Customers ask questions all the time. Write those questions down for your blog ideas. If they’re asking, others are asking search engines the same questions. You can become an expert by answering questions about insurance and writing them to your blog. Next, post your blog to social media for others to share.

Retention Efforts – Newsletters & Social Media

I am yet to hear of many insurance agents that have been really successful marketing their businesses to new customers on social media. Social media at this time remains a good tool for retention purposes and to showcase the good, local involvement you have in your communities. Charity work, donations, events and other things are great ways to showcase your business. Utilize these marketing pieces in your newsletters and social media. Should newsletters be mailed or emailed? Mailing newsletters has a substantial cost. We’ve seen agents with great results by doing a mix of mail and email. Want a 3rd party vendor to manage this for you? Consider using them as supplemental only as they can’t know what you’re doing in your business all the time.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click, also known as AdWords for Google or Bing Ads for Bing, can be really expensive if not setup properly. When you setup your PPC campaign, be sure to utilize the location target. This will ensure your ad only shows up where you actually want it to! Also, select your keywords carefully and use negative keywords for products you don’t want to target. PPC rarely has an immediate return on investment, but over the policy life expectancy (PLE) you can build a great return on your investment!

Eliminate Losses

Are you investing in marketing programs that simply don’t return your money? You should closely look at your marketing output to determine if it is worthwhile. Use this simple calculation to figure out your ROI.  (number of policies written) * (average policy premium) * (commission) * (average PLE) = TOTAL LIFETIME COMMISION – (Cost of program) . For instance if you  have a campaign that costs $5,000  and you write 10 policies with an average value of $1,000 per year, at 12.5% commisison and your PLE is 3.5 years it looks like:

(10 policies) * ($1,000 commission) * (12.5%) * (3.5 years) = $4,375 lifetime commission – $5,000 marketing cost = $-625. Now, subtract your yearly spend. If it is greater than the lifetime commission, consider eliminating the venture.

 

If you’d like help running a marketing campaign for your independent insurance agency, we’d love to win you over. We offer programs that fit almost every budget. Our team is excited about marketing and we love working with our customers to develop strong online marketing programs for you. Click the contact us now button on the right and get started today!