Insurance is a very confusing industry. Specific terms, like deductibles and coinsurance, leave consumers unsure of what they’re paying for. In fact research shows that 96% of Americans can’t correctly define the top 4 health insurance terms (deductibles, co-insurance, co-pay, and out-of-pocket maximum). This leaves many Americans doubtful in their ability to select the right insurance plan to meet their needs.
Enter the broker; the specialist who can guide consumers and small businesses through the labyrinth of insurance. The crucial element is convincing prospects that you’re the expert of the industry in comparison to your competitors. The most effective way to accomplish this is by implementing a strong insurance thought leadership strategy.
As an agent, you are an expert. Leveraging that knowledge is an effective strategy for increasing lead generation while separating your agency from the competition. In fact, studies show that thought leadership content generates 3 times as many leads and costs 62% less than regular marketing methods.
So how can you establish your agency as a thought leader in the insurance industry?
FORECAST THE FUTURE NEEDS OF YOUR CLIENTS
A key factor of how Steve Jobs rose to prominence was his ability to conceptualize the future of tech. He met the future head on, and beat his competition to the finish line. No one’s saying you have to innovate on the level of Steve Jobs though.
For a broker, feedback is crucial for optimizing how you service your clients. That feedback provides you with key insights into customer needs that aren’t being met or that can be improved.
Providing your clients with new and innovative services like Telemedicine, for example, is an effective approach to staying ahead of the competition while establishing thought leadership. The insurance industry is changing, but many agencies are still slow to adapt. Getting ahead of the competition by providing technology solutions for your clients is a powerful way to position your agency as a thought leader in the industry.
According to a Deloitte report regulations over the insurance industry are no longer between state and federal entities. They are becoming a hybrid of U.S. and state government regulation to ensure efficiency and adherence to state and federal standard procedures. This results in a need for insurance agents to optimize their workflow by going digital in order to meet the requirements of these new regulations.
As a leader it’s your responsibility to constantly source ways to improve the lives of your clients in the midst of an ever changing and evolving market. That consistent reliability is a key attribute to insurance thought leadership.
KEEP UP WITH THE FACTS!
You already have most of them. After all, you are the expert. However, in this digital era, trending topics and the latest news come and go before the weekend hits. Fortunately we live in the era of Google. Take advantage of having knowledge at your fingertips!
Google provides a service called Google Alerts that emails you when it finds new content for topics or industries you specify. Set up a Google Alert for insurance, and any other industry related topics, to keep a pulse on what’s trending in your industry. Then, join the conversation with relevant, informative, and beneficial insights. Thought leaders stay on the cutting edge of the latest trends or changes that may impact their customers. Interpret the information and repackage it as wisdom; a unique, knowledgeable perspective created from years of experience and expertise.
Our earlier statistic of 96% of Americans not understanding the top 4 insurance terms shows there’s a gap in the insurance industry. With open enrollment season on the way, this type of data goes from interesting trivia to a strategic insight. Create educational content for open enrollment season, and you have a winning combination of the right content at the right time. This is what it means to keep a pulse on data and trends in your industry.
According to Forbes, millennials are becoming business owners at twice the rate as their predecessors. More and more millennials are in need of insurance, and they don’t consume content through the same methods as baby boomers. As a thought leader in the insurance industry, it’s crucial to engage your audience through channels that are relevant to them. So many insurance agencies lose their website domain, or leave their social media pages as barren as The Sahara. The agencies that do maintain their website largely provide copy heavy, product centric content.
While statistics from Adweek show that Baby Boomers are more likely to prefer written content and a focus on product, a whopping 75% of millennials prefer imagery and video. If you’re not leveraging channels relevant to millennials then they will never perceive you as a thought leader. Providing content through a diverse portfolio of media ensures you will not alienate relevant demographics of your target audience.
When creating insurance thought leadership content for your agency consider how it can be strategically customized to be distributed through different forms of media. The adoption of digital marketing and social media have broken down the barriers that were once roadblocks between you and your audience. Audio, video, and print, are no longer solely accessible through networks and publishing houses. They are immediately available in the digital world. Leverage those tools to engage your audience in a way that demonstrates authenticity, creativity, and leadership.
CONTROL YOUR SPACE
Modern insurance thought leadership requires modern tools that grant instant and complete control over your thought leadership content. Yet most agencies rely on outdated web platforms and third party vendors that don’t support client control. Many agents approach digital marketing with a checklist mindset:
- Social Media
Effectively executing digital marketing through emerging technology is supposed to
- Provide complete control over your own website.
- Create campaign focused landing pages
- Design and modify pages
- Track metrics
- Send video and html email and track metrics
You can’t establish insurance thought leadership if you put no thought behind your strategy. Consumer behavior and communication has changed drastically in a few short years. These changes affect the way a prospect shops, researches, and purchases insurance. By positioning your agency as a thought leader in, what statistics show to be, a confusing industry is a beneficial method for increasing leads.