If you are trying figure out the ROI of paid SEO, CPC vs. CPM, or have no idea where to even start? Don’t worry. You are not alone. In fact, many agencies don’t have it figured out, but may be paying lots of money monthly on marketing campaigns that don’t work.
Before all the marketing jargon overwhelms you, it’s important to know and understand the 7 basic principles of marketing. Essentially, this is the sole purpose of any marketing strategy or campaign. It doesn’t matter if you are looking at online or offline tactics, the same principles apply.
As discussed in prior blogs, marketing serves one purpose, to help you make more sales. In order to help you do so, your overall marketing strategy must help you respond to each of the seven basic principles.
Principle one: Your prospects need to know who you are. Essentially, your prospects need to know who you are and that you exist. They need to know your name and what you do.
Sounds simple right? However, as basic as this point is, there are times when marketing campaigns completely miss this point. Have you ever seen a commercial and thought “that was pretty cool,” but you have no idea what it’s for, what they did or remembered what the company’s name was?
Principle two: Your prospects need to know about you. So now that your prospects know that you exist and what you do, they need to know about you. Similar to the about us page on your website, your overall marketing strategy needs to let your prospects know more about you. Actually, they need to know more about how you can help them.
In a previous blog, “Why the About Us Page Is Not About you,” we dived into the mistakes of most about us pages and how to make them better. Marketing strategies also need to be treated the same way. Not only do your prospects need to know more about you and your agency, they more importantly need to learn about how you can help them in relation to their needs. It’s not really about how you are a “20 year P&C insurance vet”, but more about how you’ve helped small business owners “just like them” protect their most valued assets.
Principle three: Your prospects need to be able to find you. Have you ever seen a store that’s located in the back corner of a strip mall and wondered how they get business? The truth is that most of them don’t. They don’t get the visibility and foot traffic that’s needed to survive. You don’t want to be that store in the back corner.
The same principle applies to your marketing strategy. Your prospects need to find you. They need to find you often. They need to find you everywhere. You need to “be found” where your prospects are. Have you seen those creepy retargeting ads? Remember the time when you Googled a product or company, and then it suddenly appears on your Facebook feed, and the online news story you are reading? These retargeting ads are designed to follow you where you are online.
You don’t need to spend the money it takes to develop retargeting online ads. You do need to develop tactics that help you to be found often by your prospects.
Principle four: Your prospects need to hear from you. Don’t get principle three and four confused as the same point. Principle three is about your prospect finding you. Principle four is about them “hearing” from you or understanding your voice. Just because your prospects have found you and know you specialize in what they need, that still doesn’t mean they will buy from you.
Your prospects need to “get to know you” and learn how you will act as their agent. Are you friendly and responsive? Are you an advocate for them? Besides what you think about how great you are, it’s crucial to understand what your clients like about you. Have you ever asked a client what they like about working with you, or asked one of their referrals what your client said about you? Knowing this allows you to create marketing tactics that helps deliver this message to your prospects before they even work with you.
This is also why video marketing and images on social media are effective, especially if they are ones of you or your firm.
Principle Five: Your prospects need to trust you. Principle five is closely tied to principle four. As your clients hear from you, they also need to trust you. Are you another insurance agent that’s just trying to sell them on switching or adding another policy?
Trust is the main reason why referrals from clients are the best source of business. A prospect already knows her friend is being taken care of and is happy with your services. But how do you deliver that trust to a cold prospect?
This is often times where testimonials come in. Written testimonials from happy clients is a tactic to increase the trust levels with prospects. They can be used on your website, Google Plus, and really anything your prospects sees.
Content marketing is another strategy to increase the trust level of prospects. Whether it’s your blog, an article in a trade journal, or a social media post, creating valuable content that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise, or a relevant story of how you’ve helped a client helps increase the trust level with the prospect.
Principle Six: Your prospects need to respect you. Principle six is the top block that sits on top of all of the other principles we’ve discussed. In these days of self-proclaimed experts, it’s often difficult to discern the real from the hype. Even in the insurance industry where agents are licensed, how do you develop respect from prospects that barely know who you are?
Respect happens when all of the other principles are executed properly. When prospects know who you are, that you can help them with their needs, are finding you easily and consistently, hear from you and understand who you are as an agent, learn that you’ve helped others like them, and are an expert or thought leader in the industry, then they will begin to respect you.
Respect is the difference between a vendor vs. an advisor. Are you just someone they bought insurance from, and they will go somewhere else when they want a cheaper quote? Or are you an advisor they trust and seek out advice from? Do they reach out you to prior or during a life or business event to get your guidance?
When you manage to deliver consistent marketing tactics that demonstrate your history, your expertise, your story and character, and your success at helping clients, your respect level will increase with your target prospects.
Principle seven: See Principles one through six and understand your prospects needs them, BEFORE they buy from you. Occasionally, we all get clients that came out of nowhere that accidently found us. However, is this a strategy you can count on to consistently generate results? The likelihood of attracting and closing the right prospects for your agency increases when these marketing principles are followed.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what lines of insurance you sell, or even what marketing tactics you employ, the seven basic marketing principles must be followed to generate consistent results.
Don’t get distracted by the latest social media craze, or automated marketing tool. Work on your overall marketing strategies first and ensure these basics principles are the foundation of anything you choose. Only then will the marketing tactics you choose be successful and help you achieve your goals.