What is Content Marketing and Will it Work for My Insurance Agency?
Until the internet disrupted everything, the insurance agency marketer was able to find success using a mix of traditional outbound marketing techniques, and referral marketing to develop new leads. But this is no longer the case.
The traditional forms of marketing just don’t seem to be producing results, and the days of the yellow page ad is long gone.
Seriously, when was the last time you placed a yellow page ad?
The rules for marketing have changed, but too many insurance agents don’t fully understand the nature of this change, or they don’t believe it’s impacting them.
Worse yet, they simply don’t know how to market their business using the new rules of marketing, or their intimidated by the new forms of media.
If this is you, but you still remain interested in marketing your insurance agency well into the future, you need to be asking a lot of questions, like “what are the new rules of marketing?” and “how can I better market my business online?”, or more importantly “what is content marketing?”
It’s time to embrace change
It’s time for insurance agents to learn the new rules of marketing, understand how to use the new media, and to embrace content marketing.
The internet and technology have created a new paradigm
The internet, with it’s the vast amounts of free information, has largely changed everything.
Traditional marketing isn’t as effective because it is flawed, it’s because it was created for a different time … a different era, and it can’t function as well in with the connected generation.
Technology, the internet, and new forms of media have changed the consumer’s world view, and this includes how they want to shop for services and consumer goods.
Today consumers just bypass the old forms of interruption marketing, they use their DVR’s to avoid television commercials, ignore magazine advertisement, and can surf the web with nary a compulsion to click a banner ad.
You can no longer yell from the mountain tops, “buy my stuff,” and get anyone’s attention.
This is true for all categories of business, not just your insurance agency.
But what is going to replace it?
Internet marketing, of course. But specifically, content marketing. Content marketing is quickly becoming the best alternative to conventional marketing.
Even boring brands are finding success using content marketing.
I know you’re interested, but you still don’t have the answer to the key question, “what is content marketing?”
In the simplest definition content marketing is:
A technique for curating and distributing relevant and valuable content in a clear and consistent manner to attract and gain as followers a clearly defined audience, the objective of which is to convert the audience toward profitable customers.
But that may still not answer your question, “what is content marketing?”
So, let’s go just a bit deeper.
A successful content marketing strategy allows you to attract and retain customers by providing your audience valuable content that has the chance of changing or enhancing customer motivation or behavior.
When you add content marketing to your marketing mix, you are committed to an ongoing process that integrates into your overall marketing strategy.
The media or content that is published should be owned and not rented, or provided from a content aggregator.
The purveyor of the media or content has to be seen as authentic, knowledgeable and unique.
Content marketers are masters of the art of communication, and they are open to a two-way dialogue with their prospects and customers, without the hard selling of conventional marketing. This is very different from the old forms of marketing that were based on interruption.
Content marketing makes media available when the consumer is ready, and it engages them with value that provides insights, education, and information. The objective is to continue to engage the consumer or prospect, developing loyalty with the ambition of being rewarded with their business.
If done correctly, a consistent content marketing strategy will deliver sales without having to continually pitch your products or services.
Content marketing is the now and the tomorrow of internet marketing
Most of your large companies are already embracing content marketing, but for some reason the insurance agent segment is very slow to embrace a content strategy.
That’s because so many insurance agents are either unfamiliar with content marketing or still asking the question: “what is content marketing.”
Content marketing is the current and future of marketing for insurance agents
Conventional marketing is about consistently and constantly promoting your products and services, it’s a one-way conversation: company-to-consumer. But content marketing is about promoting valuable content or media for the benefit of your audience, and allowing a two-way conversation.
Consumers are bombarded with content, but much of it lacks the “value” or “relevance” that is required to truly engage the contemporary consumer. Content marketing is intriguing, it makes the consumer read, view, listen and think … and ultimately behave in a different manner.
Leading marketers agree, content marketing is the future of marketing … and with so many embracing content as strategy, now is the best opportunity for you or insurance agency to take that step, and start to develop a content marketing strategy.
Conventional marketing is not totally dead
Despite our sincere belief in the benefits of content marketing, we also believe that the conventional marketing techniques are still valuable.
Content, good content, makes all of your marketing campaigns better. Simply put, quality content should be part of your entire marketing mix.
But content can apply to other forms of marketing, and, when considered in conjunction with all of these other forms of marketing, you begin to create what Michael Hyatt calls “Platform.”
- Social Media Marketing – Content marketing comes before you social media marketing by curating a good content strategy, with quality content, you can cascade content through or social media channels.
- Email Marketing – Without quality content, you cannot have a successful email marketing program.
- Inbound Marketing – High quality content drives traffic.
- SEO – Google loves good content.
- SEM – To make your investment in search marketing, you need quality content.
- Press Releases – Good press releases address the consumer’s issues.
Content marketing will work for your insurance agency, just like it works for other business categories. There is absolutely no reason to believe otherwise. If you’re going to make content marketing work for you and your business, however, it requires you to do your research, invest time to understand how to develop a strategy, learn the tactics, and the skills required.
You also need to understand which media is best used for you and your insurance agency. The most important thing though, is to get started!