Information is everywhere. Smartphones give us the ability to instantly communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, anytime. And, with this new access comes new expectations. Current research indicates that 55 percent of millennials prefer to learn about new products by looking them up in a search engine, and another 27 percent will head straight to a company website. Clearly, the Internet is a major source of information for many consumers and business professionals.
Content Engages Prospects
Imagine an increasingly common scenario: a young man has a question – let’s say it’s about auto insurance requirements in his state. He goes online to find the answer and ends up at the website of an auto insurance company. The site has a page that gives him all the information he needs. After getting his answer, he clicks a link for the quote. It’s a good deal, so buys his coverage.
Today’s consumers are so inundated with advertisements that they hardly notice them anymore. Banner ads on a website? Ignored. Pop up ads? Annoying. Commercials before a video? Skipped. Many people – around 200 million worldwide and 45 million in the United States, according to the New York Times – have even gone so far as to install ad blockers.
People don’t want advertisements. They want information. If your business provides that, the customers will come to you.
Content Nurtures Customer Relationships
Want to improve retention rates? Don’t count on customer loyalty. Modern consumers are hungry for good deals and good service, and they’re willing to shop around for it. According to Forbes, a study found that 79 percent of customers would switch brands if they became unhappy with their current service, and they’d do so within a week.
Companies have to give their customers a reason to return. Up-to-date insurance content is a great way to bolster satisfaction levels. Think about it. Customers want information, and they go online to get it. If you provide the online content they need, they’ll be satisfied with your company. If you don’t provide it, they’ll go somewhere else.
Content is Only Effective IF it Is High Quality
There’s no doubt that your business needs good content, but how do you make sure that content is high quality and on track with what prospects want? Below are three good rules of thumb:
- It must be original. There are plenty of canned content companies that will provide pre-written content for their insurance agency subscribers. The problem with this is that the content is very generic and can be found everywhere else. If you’re not saying anything unique, there’s no differentiating value. What’s the point? Then there’s the other issue: Too much duplicate content is also bad for SEO.
- It should answer the questions your prospects are asking. Talk to your sales team and get a list of prospects’ most frequently asked questions. Some examples might include: How do I take control of insurance costs? Why are slip and fall injuries increasing my work comp premiums? How does self-insurance or a captive program compare to traditional insurance? Am I using Certificates of Insurance effectively?
- Avoid self-promotion. Focus on solving your clients’ greatest headaches and avoid the sales pitch. By walking your talk and demonstrating value, you will attract new clients.
You already know that attracting and closing new business is hard work. There’s no silver bullet, and in most cases, we agree that the motto “If you build it, they will come” is BS, as purported by a recent article in Entrepreneur.com. However, we believe that quality content is the exception. If your website is full of quality insurance content, you significantly increase the odds that THEY WILL COME. Without quality content, you really don’t have a chance.