The turbulent times facing insurance agencies are creating great opportunities for inbound lead generation. What do I mean by inbound lead generation? Simply stated, inbound lead generation is the process of generating leads by attracting qualified prospects to your sales and marketing process. Rather than pushing your message out by traditional lead generation methods like telemarketing and unsolicited email, inbound lead generation draws prospects to you by providing relevant content and thought leadership.
As we frequently mention in this blog, buyers complete 57% of their sales process before ever contacting a salesperson, according to the Corporate Executive Board. Inbound lead generation involves getting found by buyers while they are conducting pre-purchase research and providing the right content to them at the right time. Here are 4 inbound lead generation tips for insurance agencies.
1. Use your blog as an inbound lead generation tool
If you're not blogging at least weekly, you should start doing so as soon as possible. Remember, you want your blog to generate leads, so make sure you're using calls-to-action and landing pages to capture contact information for your lead conversions. Blogging is the most effective way to drive traffic to your website - internet marketing provider HubSpot found that companies that blog 15 or more times per month generate 5 times more website traffic than those that don't blog.
By using keywords in your blog titles and articles that your ideal customer uses to search for the problems your company solves, you will generate highly qualified traffic to your website that will convert to leads. With the constant state of flux in both the benefits and P&C arenas, you will have plenty to blog about.
2. Participate in LinkedIn groups
As an insurance broker, I'd venture a guess that 95%+ of your prospects are on LinkedIn. Most of them participate in LinkedIn groups to get information on business issues that are important to them. The first step in generating leads through LinkedIn is to identify the groups where your prospects participate to learn about risk management and/or benefit issues and participating in those groups.
Your goal is to be helpful, not salesy. Answer questions and provide relevant information in your LinkedIn groups. If you try the old hard sell in a LinkedIn group, you'll be viewed as the skunk at the garden party and will probably do more harm than good to your lead generation efforts. By being helpful and promoting your thought leadership, you will create business opportunities that come to you. Be persistent and consistent in your efforts - try to spend 30 minutes per day being helpful in your LinkedIn groups.
3. Expand your reach with social media advertising
So you've started to publish blog articles and create premium content offers like eBooks, whitepapers and videos to generate leads. One good way to affordably get more eyeballs on your content is to advertise on social media networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates provide the opportunity to have your updates appear in your target audiences feeds. You can target your sponsored updates by industry, company size, job title, job function, seniority level and geography. By choosing the right variables for targeting your updates, you can focus your updates on the types of people most likely to buy from you. Make sure that your sponsored updates contains a link to a landing page or a call-to-action so that you can collect contact information from those people that want to engage with your company. By choosing to pay on a pay-per-click basis, you'll only be charged when someone actually clicks through on your post. You can set a budget so that you know your maximum ad spend in advance.
Facebook advertising is similar to LinkedIn Sponsored updates. Many agencies will be able to connect with their target audience on Facebook as well.
4. Make sure your marketing is mobile-friendly.
Why should your marketing be mobile-friendly? Here are 3 reasons:
- In North America, 15.2% of total web traffic is accessed from mobile devices.
- More than 15% of LinkedIn traffic comes from mobile devices.
- The number of Facebook mobile users increased by 60% year-over-year in March 2013.
As the lines between people's personal and professional lives continue to blur, more and more of us are accessing business information with our mobile devices like iPhones, Androids, iPads and tablets. If your website isn't structured to provide a smooth user experience for mobile devices, your turning your back on an increasingly larger slice of the pie.
The insurance industry is in a state of flux - Obamacare seems to change by the hour and the economy is causing CFOs to scrutinize risk management costs closely. Insurance buyers seek information to make sure they're making the best decisions for their companies. Yet many insurance agencies are still relying on traditional lead generation tactics like cold-calling and email spamming. This creates opportunities for those agencies to thrive by adapting their sales process to the new buying process. Those agencies that take advantage of these opportunities will reap the benefits.