As an insurance agent, procuring new business is often time-consuming and expensive. This is especially true after exhausting your immediate contacts. With the explosion of internet marketing over the past decade, taking your marketing efforts online is an excellent way to expand your reach and find more business prospects. However, the options can be overwhelming.

Below we will discuss the three main elements of a successful digital marketing strategy for insurance agents, including paid media, earned media, and owned media. All three can be worked independently, or leveraged together to maximize your marketing results.

3 Elements of Digital Marketing graphic

Owned Media

Owned media consists of anything that your insurance agency owns online. Examples of owned media include extensions of your brand such as business websites, blogs, and social media accounts. The more owned media you have, the more exposure your insurance agency receives to online browsers and insurance shoppers, and the more likely your media will appear in online search results. Think more content = more exposure.

You can promote owned media by using both paid and earned media. Paid media tools allow you to elevate exposure to articles on your platforms through services like Facebook or Google AdWords, and if your content is original and enticing, you can gain earned media when consumers share your website postings and blog articles.

Paid Media

Paid media, or paid internet marketing, is any internet advertising that involves a fee. This marketing avenue is the most competitive and expensive space for the modern insurance agent to compete, but despite these caveats, paid media can bring fruitful results if executed properly. Examples of paid media include promoting content from your website via Facebook Ads, paying influencers to promote your insurance services to potential customers, or utilizing SEO campaigns.

Below are some examples of the more popular media platforms that offer paid advertising programs:

Each platform has unique benefits. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of the three most common advertising platforms.

Pros and Cons of Common Advertising Platforms

  Pros Cons
Facebook (Social) Allows you to narrowly target people with a breadth of options. For example, you can target “users in Washington State” who are “25–40 years old” and “recently bought a car”. Additionally, Facebook ads are typically cheaper than other advertising platforms. Facebook’s advertising platform might overwhelm new users. The program has many different features, campaign types, and filtering options. Getting started can be intimidating, but it’s well worth the effort to get in front of valuable online customers.
AdWords (PPC) AdWords allows insurance agents to target potential customers directly on Google’s search engine site. You can use keywords and phrases ranging from high-intent (“buy affordable auto insurance in Columbus, Ohio”) to low-intent (“compare auto insurance”). Google AdWords is significantly more expensive than other forms of paid media. Many insurance agents can’t justify the costs of advertise directly, paying upwards of $10 per click. This is where lead generation companies, like QuoteWizard, excel. Our company spends millions every month on Google SEO advertising to generate the highest- intent leads that are available to you for a fraction of the cost.
Taboola (Native) Taboola allows insurance agents to reach numerous people for a reasonable price. It's best used to market content on your website such as blog posts and infographics. Once you’ve chosen the material you’d like to promote, Taboola recommends your content to the most relevant and receptive audiences across top publisher sites, using a targeted algorithm that drives up clicks, traffic, and conversions. Taboola does not allow targeting on an individual level. While you can reach a variety of people, not all of them may want an insurance policy.

Earned Media

Earned media is any mentions, shares, re-posts, or reviews of your agency from online sources and consumers. It's essentially online “word of mouth”. This media is typically generated by creating original content on your website or ranking highly on search engines to make your content more visible to consumers.

To ‘earn’ media attention using original content, the topics must be interesting and informative. It can come in a variety of forms such as a blog, video, press release or e-book.

If you want to earn media, be ready to dedicate some time and resources to creating content (or hire an intern!). Examples of relevant content that may entice potential insurance shoppers include:

  • 5 Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Rates
  • 3 Reasons to Switch Your Auto Insurance Policy Right Now
  • 5 Facts Every Driver Should Know About Auto Insurance

Once you have created your content, you can promote it by using paid sources to reach potential customers or by sending an email to a list of ex/potential clients you have not yet closed.

Leveraging Owned Media with Paid Media

Each piece of the online marketing strategy works better when leveraged together. Whatever your goal may be, it is important to always monitor what kinds of titles, content, graphics, etc. get the most attention. For this to be effective, only one variable should be tested or changed at one time.

For example, if you are promoting a blog post on Facebook, you could try playing around with different headlines to gauge its performance in getting higher shares, likes, impressions, etc.

Leveraging Owned Media with Earned Media

Leveraging owned media using earned media requires PR and outreach. For your owned media (blog posts, website, etc.) to be shared by other insurance industry leaders, you need original and enticing content.

Once you create this content, reach out to insurance blogs, Facebook pages, or industry influencers on social media. If the content is valuable, you should be able to get an industry authority to promote your content. You can also use insurance forums and share your expertise and insight on posted insurance questions, including a link to a self-published article or your website.

Leveraging Earned Media with Paid Media

Earned media often stems from paid promotions. This can be done in a variety of ways, the most common being people sharing or interacting with your promoted Facebook posts.

Remember that when there's a lot of engagement on a post, paid or not, people are more likely to comment or react. More comments and reactions mean that post is more likely to be seen and your personal brand is more likely to make an impact. For help enhancing your online presence and business brand, check out our friends at YPC Media.