By now, you may be convinced that social media is a powerful tool for your agency.
It’s likely that you’ve already learned how it can help you increase conversions, educate your audience, and build better relationships with your clients. And that’s great!
But now the tough part: What exactly do you put on social media?
Content is perhaps the largest part of your social-based marketing strategy. With so many things to share on social media, and so many insurance-related topics to address, it’s difficult to know what is effective and what is not. Below are a few types of content that insurance agents should focus on.
Content that is human
Of course, as an insurance agent, you want to maintain an air of professionalism. However, too much professionalism can come off as robotic. How will your clients be able to relate to you then?
When you craft your posts, be conversational. Be yourself. Part of the reason your agency is on social media is to form better relationships with clients, which is more likely to happen if they feel like they are talking to a real person. So let a little bit of your original personality creepy into your posts.
But you and the other members of your business aren’t the only ones who make your agency successful! The other piece of that puzzle is the clients themselves. Let your followers hear from some of your current satisfied customers. There are many benefits to sharing customer testimonials on social media. A prospective customer who interacts with a testimonial is 58% more likely to convert. Adding these real human voices as part of your agency’s social media content will have a powerful impact.
Content that inspires emotion
You can give social media users plenty of logical reasons to choose your agency over their other options for insurance providers. Perhaps you have the best rates, superior service, or the easiest-to-use website. However, none of those reasons will matter if users don’t FEEL good about your agency.
Studies have repeatedly shown that consumers make purchasing decisions based more on emotions than information. This is why almost all marketing tries to appeal to customers emotionally.
Think of the advertisements that have really stuck with you.
The animal rescue commercial featuring a sad song and pictures of lost-looking pets.
The Super Bowl commercial that made you laugh out loud.
Or the athletic wear commercial that inspired you to put on your sneakers and go for a jog.
The reasons given for choosing these products over their competitors may have been good, but the emotions that the ads elicited are what stuck with you, and potentially caused you to take action.
The same principles apply to marketing on social media. When you craft a post, what emotions are you inspiring in your followers? Do you make them laugh? Do you make them reflect on how much they love their families, or how much pride they have in their work? Are you inspiring them to become better people? Are you making them think? These are some of the main emotional appeals that you might use in your social media. Because many types of insurance coverage, like life insurance or homeowners insurance, are highly emotional considerations, an emotional appeal is a natural marketing strategy for your social media content.
Content that tells a story
It is one thing to catch the eye of someone who is scrolling through their social media feed. It is another thing entirely to capture their interest and keep it. One way to keep your followers engaged is to tell a story–because everyone loves a good story, and wants to stick around to see how it will end.
So what stories can your agency tell? There are many options. To start with, you can share the story of your agency: How it started, how it grew, and how it developed its goals and values. Within that, you can share stories of the lives you have been able to touch by providing insurance coverage to families, individuals, and businesses in your area. The great thing about this kind of story: It never ends! The story of your agency is ongoing.
An experienced storyteller knows that what keeps listeners engaged in an epic tale are the stories happening within the overall story, or the story arcs. Therefore, it’s smart to craft arcs that progress the story of your agency. Will your agency be represented at an upcoming conference or symposium? Tell the story of your travels. Are you planning a fundraiser to benefit an organization in your community? Share the tale of your preparations and your success. Did a customer recently have a great experience doing business with your agency? Let your followers know about this moving interaction. Together, all these smaller stories weave the overall epic of your business.
But of course, Facebook and Instagram have built-in stories features! Essentially, these let you share short videos of important events in your day. How can your agency use this feature to help tell its story?
Content that invites a response
One purpose of having your agency on social media is to start a conversation with clients and potential clients. However, a conversation is no good if it’s one-sided. You can’t expect to do all the talking–you have to give your followers a say, as well! That’s why open-ended content is an important part of your social-based marketing strategy.
What is open-ended content? Basically, it is any content that invites a response. It can come in the form of surveys, quizzes, contests, and much more–anything that is left open for your followers to participate.
To see how effective open-ended content can be, consider this: In 2013, the New York Times most popular story was not a news article, but a quiz. The quiz asked users to answer questions about how they spoke, seeing if it could guess where in the U.S. they were from based on their regional dialect. Within 11 days, it outranked every other story on the Times’ website! This shows that, while users can get enjoyment out of static content, they particularly enjoy content that allows them to participate.
Some open-ended content that insurance agents may want to try out can include photo or story contests (e.g. ask users to share photos of their cars, or their funniest vacation stories), Q&A sessions with agents, customer satisfaction surveys, or quizzes. Give your followers a chance to interact with you and give their feedback, and they will not disappoint.
Content that takes place in real time
In recent years, live video has become a big deal in social media. Video is already one of the most popular uses for mobile devices–but on top of that, users who watch live video on Facebook tend to watch 3X longer and are 10X more likely to comment than on static video.
There are many ways that insurance agencies can utilize live video content on social media, including hosting live Q&A sessions, streaming talks or how-tos, or broadcasting live events. Live video is a powerful tool that your agency can’t afford to ignore.
Content that is educational and informational
One of the best uses for social media for insurance agents is to educate your audience. You are the insurance expert, and it is your duty to pass your expertise on to your clients and prospects in order to help them make informed decisions about their insurance needs.
The educational content that you post should be informative, relevant, and sometimes entertaining. This can include sharing videos, articles and infographics from outside sources–but as the insurance expert you are, you may also choose to create and distribute your own content via social media. This is a great use for your insurance blog. Combining these strategies makes for a great repertoire of content to keep your user informed.
Posting educational content helps your clients make the right insurance decisions for themselves, know the right questions to ask, and understand the importance of having the right coverage. In short, it makes them a better customer. Overall, customer education is a win-win for everyone involved!
Content that contains compelling visuals
Social media content is nothing without great visuals to accompany it. It’s a critical element that you can’t afford to exclude. Every agency’s social-based marketing strategy should include images, video and graphics that highlight your brand message.
Visuals your agency may want to use can include a wide variety of imagery. These can be photos from your office or local area, relevant stock photos, or in-house designed graphics. Video–both live and static–counts toward your visual elements, as well! You may even wish to take some time to create infographics to explain different types of coverage, or present statistics that are relevant to your clients.
Why are visuals so important? They are eye-catching, making users more likely to stop and read or interact with your post. They also aid in information retention, with users being over 6X more likely to retain information in a post after 72 hours if it is accompanied by an image. The numbers don’t lie–you need great visuals!
Social media content is a large chunk of your agency’s digital strategy–but it is still only a single piece! To read more about creating a successful digital strategy that will benefit your business in terms of conversions, relationships, and revenue, be sure to download our whitepaper: Creating Your Digital Strategy. It contains more info, as well as worksheets to help you plan out a social-based marketing strategy that will work for your agency.
–By Mallory DuPuy