Lead generation for the insurance industry; the best channels to utilise
Generating leads for an insurance broker or specialist scheme can be tricky.
The ideal is to create a consistent stream of sales leads dropping into the sale pipeline every day.
It is possible! Trust us, we help businesses to do just this week in, week out. Below, we’ve gone through just a few of the channels we’ve seen to be the most important and consistent.
Working with a number of insurance firms, brokers and schemes, we normally find that, when we are first engaged, the existing lead generation cycle ebbs and flows.
It’s the normal big dipper sales cycle; you get started with lots of activity and leads start to come in, but then you get busy working the sales and lead generation activity drops.
Along with the big dipper effect, we see a lot of businesses in the sector spend time and money testing different marketing channels. However, many businesses do not effectively utilise the channels due to either not understanding how long some of them might take to work, the intricacies that come with certain platforms and generally not having a strategy in place to create consistent, targeted marketing efforts.
Online lead generation channels
With so many marketing channels available today, it can be very difficult to define what the right or wrong lead generation channels are for your insurance broker or specialist insurance scheme.
Although offline and more traditional marketing still has an impact on sales leads, we all know the reach of the online world has changed the way people and businesses look for new products and service providers.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the channels that work really well for our Insurance clients.
We’ll only focus on the main ones in this article but hopefully you’ll take some good ideas away to implement in your brokerage. But, of course, if you’re stuck for time please reach out.
To keep the number of different platforms manageable we’ll group them into channels.
Organic Search Acquisition (or SEO)
Generating leads using search engine optimisation can be one of the best investments you’ll make.
Although the time to see real results can feel like a long time, when you do finally start to see the leads coming through you’ll keep seeing the number increase.
There are 3 very important pillars of organic search; technical, content and offsite. If you get all three right you’ll no doubt start to gain a steady stream of visitors and over time gain more therefore more sales leads.
We’ll not go too much into SEO here but we’ve a plethora of information on our blog.
Paid search traffic
Otherwise known as pay per click, with this channel, you pay to show at the top of the search engine results. The main benefit of this is the fact searchers are looking for your insurance services or even better your specific scheme specialism. They have intent as we term it.
By paying to be at the top of the results, you’ll be well placed to entice the click to your website or landing page.
Paid search can be expensive if done wrong. However, when done right, the benefits will outweigh the costs and generate a nice positive ROI. To do paid search correctly, you must keep learning and testing all the time as Google is constantly updating its platform.
Organic Social Media
Using social media to drive new insurance leads can seem like uncharted territory for some businesses. It can take time but with a consistent approach, the results can be amazing. Good things come to those who wait, don’t you just love a Guinness advert!
Understanding the target audience becomes really key here, you need to be speaking to your target audience, in a language they understand.
We see it a lot, businesses will spend lots of time building beautiful social media posts that don’t resonate with anyone and end up getting no likes or shares. Organic social media can be a great way to shape your brand perception and portray an image of your business that resonates with your audience.
Paid Social Media
Just like paid search, on social media, you can also pay to get in front of people! Many people get excited by this and think “Great, I’ll put £5 on boosting my post on Facebook ads.” Slow down for a second, while yes it’s easy to get the impressions and visibility but are the people seeing your ad the right people for you? Are they going to take the action you want them to?
We keep harping on about it but your marketing strategy and defining your target audience is so important. You’ve worked hard for that marketing budget, let’s not waste it on getting 100 likes from random people across the world. If you use your paid social media spend wisely, you’ll be in front of prospective clients and put a message in front of them that encourages action.
Email marketing and Marketing Automation
Email is one of the areas you own. Along with your website, it’s the only platform that you have complete control over. It’s what we call your “owned media”.
By building a highly engaged and relevant email database, you can communicate with your target audience easily. You can do this without having to pay for the privilege or worry about the latest algorithm update from Google, stopping you from reaching them.
With the addition of automation in this channel, you can keep constant contact with your existing clients and your prospects at different points along the user journey.
As the name suggests, you create content and get it in front of as many people as you can.
Content marketing is a broad term and could include blogs, videos, press releases, case studies etc. the list goes on.
The main thing here is to create content that resonates with your target and then publish it on the platforms that will be frequently used by them.
Quickest ways to generate sales leads
We’ve always found that, when looking to generate leads quickly, paid marketing is the route to go. It’s logical really; Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. have all spent the hard years building their traffic, as such you have the ability to get in front of their users quickly but only by paying for the privilege.
The platforms we utilise will always depend on the size of the brokers we work with.
Google Ads; get your business and brand in front of people who are actively looking for what you offer. Let’s be honest, can marketing get much better than capturing your audience at the moment they are thinking about your services?
With Google ads, we can bid on one or a number of keywords/phrases that your target market enters into Google. As an example “nursery insurance”; there is a good chance the person searching this term is looking to get a quote or looking for information about nursery insurance and the policies available etc.
There’s a few things that are really important when using a paid ads platform. It can get very expensive if not implemented correctly.
Our process would start with a landing page; a landing page is designed to get as many people as possible who land on that page to convert. A conversion normally being, completing a quote request form, phoning a company or even, depending on digital capabilities, performing a quote on the page itself.
The main reason behind a landing page is that you can end up paying a lot of money to get a site visitor, some clicks for insurance can be £50+! If you’ve paid anywhere near this amount to get someone to your website you better make it easy for them to get in touch with you.
The problem with directing paid visitors to your home page is that they will very easily get distracted, click through to pages that have no relevance to what they arrived for then leave without doing anything! And you paid for them to do it!
We see over and over again the way website visitors can get blinded by the myriad of options they have on a standard website.
Paid social media is another great tool for targeting exactly the right audience.
With the amount of data social media platforms have about their users, it is entirely possible to put an advert in front of the 250 people you know need your service of specialised insurance cover.
Although expensive, LinkedIn provides a great platform on which to target. Let’s say you were providing specialist cover for Telecoms companies, you could build an audience of the Directors of Telecoms companies in the UK. The message can be completely tailored to problems that your scheme solves.
Another very important thing to remember when using paid ads is the fact you won’t get it 100% right straight away. You’ll need to make sure you keep a very keen eye on what is happening when a user lands on your page. Are they seeing the important information? Do they click on the buttons you want them to? Are they getting stuck in places you never even considered?
We use a tool called Lucky Orange to create heat maps and anonymously record the website visitors, using this tool we can quickly get an understanding of what needs changing.
Long term lead generation
Generating a sustainable source of sales leads is one of the biggest hurdles nearly all businesses go through. Even more so within the insurance industry as it’s normally a service only looked at once per year.
But, having a regular supply of new business opportunities will lead to a solid business and steady growth.
For the long term, we’re big believers in making sure the platforms from which we derive the majority of sales leads from are owned by the company or client.
What we mean by this are the platforms which can be directly influenced by you. So, your website, your content marketing and your email database. Other platforms such as social media are not owned by you and are subject to change at any point. You could build a massive following on LinkedIn for example and then an algorithm change could wipe this out requiring you to pay to reach this audience in the future.
If, however, you have built a database of 20,000 company directors email addresses and they are opted in, you can get straight to the inbox of these people never having to worry about an algorithm update again.
Marketing strategy is critical to long term growth
So, with all the channels we’ve described above, the most important part of it all is that you have a clear defined strategy of how you get your message in front of the people you want to be in front of.
Without a clear strategy, you’ll continue to find yourself “testing channels” and believe us, we see this all the time. When we first started Tao Digital Marketing, we were predominantly an organic search optimisation specialist, we ended up becoming part of this testing cycle for a number of smaller clients as they tried to understand which channel worked for them.
The real problem became very clear; a lack of any resemblance to a marketing strategy. There was no consistent message, no defined target audience, services were confused and a general lack of direction.
Having a marketing strategy not only helps you generate the right type of leads and clients but can also save you money in the long run, you’ll not be trapped in the cycle of “continuous testing”.
Marketing strategy can sound very grand, in reality it can be a very simple document right through to a university thesis style document where everything is dictated. Whatever your preference, make sure you have at least something to direct your marketing spend.