As the world moves rapidly toward internet- and mobile-based means of advertising and lead generation, the insurance industry is following suit, but perhaps more slowly than other major business categories.
See also: The power of technology in insurance
Today, only one-third of independent insurance agents in the U.S. have structured programs in-place for online lead generation, according to Quote Wizard, a digital insurance marketplace that works with more than 8,000 insurance agents nationwide.
Given the quickly changing digital business landscape, it’s hard for many agents to tell up from down in the world of internet marketing. But there is a sense of urgency to get involved.
Consider this: Most millennials, or the demographic of people roughly aged 18 to 34 years old, don’t prefer like to talk on the phone or even in person. But they do like to do their own online research and product comparisons.
Insurance agents today are at the mercy of political, economic, and/or technological challenges that have only added pressure. We’re talking direct insurance growth, new claim-processing apps, industry consolidation, Google Compare, mergers and acquisitions, the Affordable Care Act, state and private insurance exchanges, floods, fires, and everything in between.
At the recent 2016 Medicare Supplement Insurance Conference, agents compared notes on how the current business landscape has reinforced the fact that agents today must be be online to stay in business.
First and foremost, a basic website is essential. It must articulate an agent’s location, the types of insurance offered, and contact information. Not only does this help consumers, updating your website often also insures that you’ll show up in online search and rate comparison results, which can lead to clicks and calls from prospects.
Second, agents must understand that social media is as a necessary evil. Your agency should be on Facebook and LinkedIn, because your current and prospective customers are there, as are your competitors. Instagram and Twitter? Not as important for today’s digital consumer.
Third, how strategic is your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system? As agents generate leads online and elsewhere, it is becoming more important to track which leads results in sales and how quickly. An up-to-date CRM also can enable agents to determine which channels may not be as effective.
Keep reading for details about the online tastes of today’s insurance consumers.