The insurance and financial services industry, as we all know, is very competitive, different and quirky when it comes to the nuances of each organization and advisor.
However, that being said, there are two things that connect us all together as advisors and agents from a marketing, advertising, branding and business standpoint. It is my belief that both of those can be realized by the customer through different social media platforms, but most effectively with Snapchat.
The first point would be attention.
What I mean by that is, when marketing for your business, it makes sense that you would advertise where there is an abundance of attention.
Let’s say you were going to buy a billboard, and you had two options to choose from, one that was on a busy intersection and the other that was on a rural country road that is never traveled. Let’s assume – for all intents and purposes – both spots are the exact same price. You would obviously choose the billboard on the busy intersection. I firmly believe there is no advisor that would intentionally advertise where there is no attention.
The second would be the importance of separating yourself from your competition. That being said, the primary focus for my business and most of my counterparts would be differentiating my agency from the online companies. We accomplish this not only by outstanding customer service, but also by doing the one thing a computer cannot do: we act like human beings.
With these two points in mind, the number one marketing tool to accomplish both of these objectives in 2016 is Snapchat. The number one objection I get when I bring up this point is always some version of: “That’s just a bunch of young kids sending stupid videos.”
I’m sure these same people said the same thing about Facebook, and you know how vital that platform is to your business today. Do a small amount of research and you will discover that not only does Snapchat have all of the attention, but many technology experts predict that this platform will be named the app of the year for business and personal use of 2016.
Most advisors are still worried about the age demographic on Snapchat. However, that demographic is considerably younger – but are young clients that bad for your business? Remember that a few years ago, before Facebook paid a billion dollars for Instagram, the platform was in the same situation, with 98 percent of its audience under 25 years old.
Fast forward to just a few years later and just last year, in 2015, Instagram was the most popular and fastest growing platform amongst 45- to 60-year-olds. Snapchat is next, and the key is moving fast and getting in early, before the platform is over saturated with marketers. The “selfie” culture is here, and it is not going anywhere, anytime soon.
How do you get started?
Easy, do precisely what you think you should do to market yourself as a human being, not a corporation and certainly not a robot. Personally, I believe that social media marketing is all about marketing to people without them knowing you are doing so.
This process is known by many, thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk as “jabbing,” which means providing valuable content separate from solicitations. This content can sometimes even be irrelevant to your business.
I like to record my day-to-day activities on Snapchat and send them out to my followers, and within that, I like to include pictures or videos of myself doing those small things that make a big difference to my clients. Some examples are: working a late appointment, visiting a client who is in the hospital, or simply taking someone to lunch.
This sounds silly, but in doing all of these things I am getting between 20 and 50 people watching each “snap” and when most of these people are needing insurance, they will think of me.
I would like to also add that the closest I get to a solicitation is taking a photo with a new client whom I have saved a large amount of money on their premiums. The most interesting thing I have done is coincidentally one of the most irrelevant posts thus far. I like to wear wacky socks, it is part of my personality, and therefore, every day, I take a Snapchat of my socks for the day with the tag line “sock game strong.”
This started as a joke and has unintentionally turned me into “The insurance agent with the crazy socks,” This has actually driven some business my way. I even had a person approach me in a restaurant, on a day that I did not do a “sock game strong” post, and ask me what socks I was wearing. The person then told me that he loved logging in to see my crazy socks for the day and wanted to know if he could get an insurance quote.
Marketing in the social age is all about going where the attention is, getting there quick, and portraying your personality as someone real and human. But, at the same time, you are different and unique from your competition.
I am 100 percent sold that Snapchat accomplishes all of these objectives and I have the results to prove it. Don’t wait until it is too late, start snapping.