The Connected Business of Insurance
October 15, 2013
Previously, insurance agencies had more control over how and when they interacted with customers. However, in today’s increasingly digitalized and connected world, most consumers expect anytime virtual access to the companies they deal with via laptops, tablets or smartphones.
Agencies that work to stay ahead of the curve and better serve today’s consumers must offer them on-demand solutions that provide anytime, anywhere communications. Whether customers are requesting a policy change or need to obtain an insurance certificate, an online portal that provides self-service functionality can provide the 24/7 access they demand.
In addition to benefiting customers, agencies that deploy on-demand solutions experience higher levels of customer satisfaction, better sales and greater operational efficiency. Furthermore, these innovative technologies offer many similar advantages including insights on customer demographics, which are essential for deploying effective marketing. By integrating digital marketing tools into an insurance agency, a two-way dialogue with customers and prospects within their preferred communication channel will drive business growth.
Essential Digital Marketing Tools
As emphasized in the book “The Open Brand,” brands today must become O.P.E.N.:
At Southern States Insurance, we have successfully leveraged several digital marketing strategies to achieve this goal.
Here are five tools that can assist your agency in becoming O.P.E.N.:
- LinkedIn and Facebook: A presence on popular social networks allows you to create an on-going conversation with customers and prospects, and is a natural channel for providing timely content and information.
- SEO: Customers can search to identify which agencies to conduct business with. Ensure your website is optimized with different search engines like Google and Bing to drive prospective customers (and current ones) to your site.
- Webinars: Online seminars, or “webinars,” presented by an engaging speaker that covers timely and interesting topics is an effective way to offer customers valuable content. Webinar topic ideas can often be gleaned from comments in conversations on LinkedIn or Facebook.
- Email: Emails can be highly segmented and personal, acting as an effective method for offering useful tips or showcasing achievements. Also, with regular dissemination, it is a useful tool for relationship building and staying top-of-mind.
- Video: Short videos can simplify a complicated topic and reinforce your brand’s message. Consider recruiting employees to provide industry perspectives or engage existing policyholders for compelling testimonials.
How is your business engaging with customers in the digital age? Which tools have been most effective for your agency?
Jim Schubert is president of Southern States Insurance, one of Georgia’s largest independent insurance agencies. Southern States is a full-service insurance agency with seven offices in Georgia and Florida. Find out more about Southern States Insurance at www.southernstatesinsurance.com.