A blog is one of the best and biggest tools in a marketing arsenal; however, do you really need a blog if you are just a small agency?
Shorthand for the now quaint-sounding "weblog," a blog is one of the best and biggest tools in a marketing arsenal. A collection of periodic entries, also called blogs, companies use this format to detail everything from product launches to useful consumer-facing tips and tricks. That said, does your insurance agency need one, considering your products aren't physical or sold in stores?
In short, yes.
Can I Have Your Attention, Please?
When speaking with your customers in person or on the phone, you're limited by time and attention: if your "elevator pitch" gets stuck between floors, you leave the discussion without writing a policy. When you're sending them an email, you're limited by the other emails competing for their attention in the inbox. On social media? The same ongoing march of notifications in their timeline.
Once they're on your blog, however, these distractions are minimized by design. They can read a much longer piece of writing or information without interruption, and take the time to fully understand and digest it. Think of it as playing a commercial on the television they're actively watching as opposed to playing a commercial on a single television within an entire room of televisions. The more of their focus you're able to command, the more likely your message will "make it through."
Beyond the Text
While the word "blog" brings the image of a wall of text to mind, the truth is that it can be much more than that. Inserting images from your agency office, "vlogs" (video blogs) filmed off-the-cuff with insurance tips, and even interactive elements like quizzes can all be incorporated. In fact, this variety is encouraged: it makes your blog a rich, interesting, and consumer-satisfying place to visit, which will resonate in your Google search placement as well.
Coaxing in the Searchers
Speaking of that Google search placement, a blog is an excellent way to attract potential clients looking for a policy. In order to key your blog to searchers like these, simply write about and logically incorporate words and phrases they would be looking for online. Like, "How much car insurance do I need?" or "When should a new car get an oil change?" Both of these concepts are interesting and attractive to someone that just purchased a new car, which offers you an ideal opportunity to add a small pitch for a free quote at the end of the appropriate blog entry.
In a similar vein, you can also approach the process from the "other side" by using questions individuals might search before taking a big step or making a purchase. Family planning questions are a good opportunity to pitch life insurance, for example, and mortgage questions are a good way to introduce home insurance.
A blog can be an excellent way to keep and maintain connections with existing clients, as well. Offer a prominent and easy method for readers to subscribe to your blog and collect their email addresses while doing so; this will give you the ability to reach out directly for further marketing efforts.