I first wrote this article for Forbes, but decided it was too good not to include for our own readers here at Redbird. I hope you enjoy!
If we asked 50 insurance agency owners the one key to success in their business, we would likely get 50 thoughtful, but different answers. If we asked those same owners about the key to success on the internet, we might get 50 blank stares.
How can we be so seemingly smart about our business on the one hand, and on the other hand be so potentially clueless about a critical component for our future?
Sounds like an opportunity for someone.
Two Critical Reasons You Should Generate Insurance Leads Online
- The insurance industry is considered a laggard by almost any measure when it comes to adopting the strategies and technology offered by the internet.
- Customers are begging for an easier way to do business with you.
We know how this story is going to end (can you say “retail?”).
This article is one in a series to help you get on the right side of what’s coming.
Shopping online for insurance is a full-time effort. Shouldn’t insurance lead generation be?
My goal is to help quell your concerns (and possibly fears) about committing to a new approach to lead generation for your agency. Honestly, you really don’t have much of a choice — the only question is when you do it.
Redbird has been generating insurance leads online for roughly 5 years and have learned some great things along the way.
Six Rules for Online Insurance Lead Generation
Rule #1: Nothing’s really changed regarding consumer needs.
The older you are, the more likely you’re uncomfortable with the internet in general (I know, that was a blinding glimpse of the obvious).
Remember this: We are in business to help customers secure and/or protect their family’s future, in part, through insurance.
Customers buy insurance today for the exact same reasons they did 50 years ago and 100 years ago. The internet does not impact what they need: It only impacts how they buy.
Nothing’s really changed
Rule #2: Content is king
Poor quality writing (or video) is bad and everybody recognizes it for what it is: a waste of their time.
The internet does not improve content. That’s like expecting a Titleist Pro-V1 golf ball to make you a better golfer.
The brands committed to the internet are winning because they live and breathe great content and take advantage of the many wonderful tools and techniques available to get a customer’s attention using that content. It’s the ultimate twofer.
Nothing’s really changed, again.
Rule #3: Search engines are your friends
Like any other seemingly impossible war to win, internet search engines like Google are waging war against those looking for shortcuts to “game” the SEO system.
They reward thoughtful content with higher rankings and punish those that try to fool them. And, they are doing this at a much more granular, in-depth level that is starting to benefit small- to medium-sized businesses.
Yes, while the big boys like State Farm and others still hog Google’s real estate, the rest of us now have a fighting chance.
Rule #4: It won’t be easy
With all due respect to rule No. 1, the internet is a complex beast with rapidly expanding capabilities. And, it is ruled by people who don’t all speak the same language.
To share in the benefits, you will have to become familiar with the big buckets of capabilities and tools that make searching the internet where consumers and businesses go first to shop.
You won’t have to learn to write code, but you must get your hands around what makes search engines tick. Don’t expect easy.
Rule #5: It won’t happen overnight
If you run ads in newspapers and are then upset when no one calls the next day, then you’re in for a rude awakening on this journey. Search engines like Google love those that consistently provide high-value information over a long period of time, but they don’t necessarily tell you every day that they love you.
Think of it like your credit score: If you mess up, your score takes a hit.
But, a great credit score builds in small increments from good behavior over a long period of time.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Rule #6: Yes, it will work
The line: “Ray, people will come… people will most definitely come,” from the character Terence Mann in Field of Dreams typifies what we are seeing with our clients who make the commitment to lead generation through the internet.
The journey we are urging you to consider isn’t about dreams. The internet is a taskmaster that must be constantly fed and groomed.
Choosing to take the leap now can help put you ahead of the vast majority of your competitors.
Will it be easy?
Rewarding? Heck Yeah! 😉