Here’s something we frequently hear from independent insurance agents: “Does insurance agency blogging matter anymore? We post on Facebook instead. ”
We answered this a few years ago with reasons why insurance agency blogging does indeed matter, even in this age of pervasive social media channels. We’re updating those reasons today because we think agency blogging is a great marketing tool to bolster your business and your brand.
We’re big fans of social media, so it’s great if you post on Facebook or LinkedIn: you get high marks for that. When you’re on social media channels, however, you’re in someone else’s sandbox, following their rules which could change at any time.
Your blog, on the other hand, is your own proprietary content – and we think it should be the cornerstone of your social media efforts. Here are a few reasons why:
First, it’s part of your web site, so every post you make is a Google cookie trail back to your site. Make 2-3 posts a week and you are expanding your site content by 100 to 150 pages a year. That’s 100 or 150 items of topical, expert content with insurance keywords leading users back to your site. (See: Could Blogging Boost Your Ecommerce SEO?)
Second, your blog content can be your cornerstone content that you can and should deploy to your social media accounts. You can even set up your blog with widgets that make it easy to share posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms. You can also use blog post excerpts in e-mails or newsletters, with links that will direct people back to your website. You can re-link and repurpose the content you create for years.
Third, you can highlight your agency’s expertise and knowledge. We think of blogging as the modern-day PR: It’s a platform to showcase your expertise and to put your agency’s public face (aka “brand”) forward. Sales efforts are for making the phone ring and getting forms submitted; PR initiatives are for long-term brand building.
Fourth, it’s a discipline that can get you and your agency staff thinking creatively about how to tell your agency’s story in fresh and different ways, particularly to younger audiences. The more you blog, the more you will spot topics and ideas for how to do that.
Don’t take it just from us: see Benefits of Blogging for Your Small Business
You’ve got challenges: We’ve got answers. Here’s how to solve your agency’s 5 biggest challenges.
Here are a few post ideas for insurance agency blogging to get you started:
- Your agency’s Q&A. What are the questions you answer for clients over and over again? Create a post about those issues so that the next time you’re asked, you can reply, but also follow up by sending a copy of your post.
- Myths and misconceptions. Think of all the mistaken notions you’ve heard about insurance. Tackle those in blog posts, too: “5 crazy reasons people don’t get renter’s insurance” or “The need-to-know basics about protecting your valuable collections.”
- What’s happening in your town? How better to demonstrate the local difference that a local agent brings to customers than to focus on local events? Show you’re involved in the community by promoting community services and events. “8 fantastic things we bought this week at Shrewsbury’s Farmer’s Market.” “Best places for hayrides in Connecticut.” “Why you should support the Lowell Arts Center fundraiser.”
- Be a good citizen. Show that you care by occasionally blogging about important local initiatives. Share information about local voting times and locations, public project, local social services and community and local arts.
- Have a neighboring business you’d like to insure? Visit the business and make a blog post about your experience, which you can then post on Twitter and Facebook, too. Drop them a note to make them aware that you gave them a plug. “We had an amazing meal at Pete’s Grill in Springfield last night.” “Joe’s hardware helps solve your trickiest home repair riddles.” Even if you don’t get the business, you made a friend and deepened community ties.
- What’s in the news? Sometimes a popular or quirky news story has an insurance angle that would add another interesting dimension. Look for an interesting insurance angle on popular or viral news stories.
- Introduce members of your team. A personal write-up about your staff humanizes and gives personality to your agency. Tell a little about them & their experience, and what they like about doing their jobs.
- Share the insider angle. After a big local weather event, talk about some of the common claims and challenges you handled, and what customers could do to prevent such claims. “Three things we learned about basement flooding after tropical storm Henry.” “Post-hurricane restoration tips from the pros.”
- Feature your best customer reviews. Get permission, of course, but if your customer is singing your praise, the blog is a good place to amplify their voice, thank them, and talk about why service matters.
- Focus on fun. Remember the old adage of all work and no play. We all know the true, secret purpose of the web is to share pictures of funny or cute cats and dogs. Think of occasionally sharing posts about staff pets. Or staff recipes.