Whether you’re a solo agent who has direct control over all marketing decisions or you’re part of a larger team but still responsible for your insurance marketing, it’s natural to wonder how to spend your marketing budget optimally. The good and bad news is that there’s not necessarily a universal answer.
For some insurers, putting more budget into social media might work, whereas others might benefit from spending more on promotional activities related to in-person events, for example. And what works one year may not be how you want to spend your marketing budget the next year, such as if your sales priorities shift or new economic trends affect how you budget for marketing expenses.
That said, it’s good to have several ideas on how to spend your marketing budget so that you can test out what works well for your agency. And if internal or external changes affect your goals and strategy, it’s good to know some other options you can turn to.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this guide that consists of 12 top-notch ways regarding how to spend your marketing budget.
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#1 Search Ads
Putting money into search ads, such as Google Ads, can help you draw more website traffic in a direct, measurable way. With search ads, you can move to the top of the listing when a prospect searches for a keyword related to your insurance offerings, like “professional liability insurance in Ohio” or “general liability policies in Nevada.” As you learn what keywords and ad copy help you draw in the most website traffic and ultimately get more customers, you can move budget away from lower-performing ads and more toward the ones with a better return on investment (ROI).
#2 Social Media Ads
Similar to search ads, social media ads can give you a direct way to get in front of potential customers, and you can easily analyze the effectiveness of this spend. For example, if you create Facebook ads to get more posts in front of new business owners in your area, you can measure how that spend translates into click-throughs to your website or new leads. If you’re not getting many results with one ad, you could try shifting spend toward another type of ad with different copy and/or images to see if you can improve your ROI. Or, you might move to another platform entirely, like switching spend from Facebook to LinkedIn.
#3 Direct Mail
While digital advertising certainly has its place, don’t underestimate the power of marketing your insurance business through good old-fashioned mail. At first glance, the results might not seem quite as easily measurable as digital marketing, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. In fact, a study by Lob (a direct mail automation company) finds direct mail has 13 times the response rate compared with email. And there are tactics you can use to better analyze if this spend is effective for you.
“Add tracking methods to your direct mail campaigns—such as QR codes, unique URLs, phone numbers, and discount codes—to monitor their response rates,” notes Lob.
#4 Event Sponsorship
Another way to spend your marketing budget either online or offline is to sponsor events, such as professional networking meetings or small business webinars. By sponsoring events, you can get your insurance agency’s name out there while also potentially gaining benefits like the ability to speak at these events to further enhance your brand credibility. Plus, attending these events as a sponsor can give you opportunities to meet other professionals who may become customers or who you may be able to partner with to grow your brand.
#5 Promotional Products
If you’re sponsoring events or have people coming into your office, it’s often useful to give out promotional products, such as pens, tote bags, portable chargers, or anything else that you think might be useful to recipients and get your brand exposure. When thinking about how to budget marketing expenses, you may want to leave a little extra room to go beyond the norm. For example, investing a little more in a high-quality promotional pen that prospects will continue to use, as opposed to a cheap pen that gets buried in a drawer, can help you stay top of mind with both potential and current customers.
#6 SEO Software
Figuring out how to spend your marketing budget can also mean investing in software solutions that help you get more out of your marketing efforts. SEO software platforms like Ahrefs or Moz can help insurers determine what blog posts to write about, how to optimize their website copy, understand their backlinks, and more. That way, you can get more organic traffic from search.
#7 Social Media Marketing Software
Another useful type of software to invest in is social media marketing platforms, such as Buffer or Hootsuite. These tools can help you optimize your social media marketing in several ways, ranging from building out a social media calendar to keeping up with social media conversations, to analyzing your social media activity so you can figure out what’s working and what’s not.
#8 Email Marketing Software
Insurers may also want to invest in email marketing software as part of their overall marketing budgets. As you improve in areas like website SEO and social media, you may start to collect more email addresses from leads. So, having email marketing software in place, like Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, can make it easier to create and manage email marketing newsletters. You can also leverage email marketing tools for automating areas like sending out renewal notices.
#9 CRM Software
To help tie all your marketing activity together, you may want to invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software too, such as from Hubspot or Zoho. While CRM software certainly tends to have a sales component to it, these tools can also be critical for optimizing your marketing, as you can organize all your leads and understand how they’re moving through the customer journey. That way, you can take more proactive action to convert leads into customers, like identifying if a lead is going stale because they haven’t been contacted in a while.
#10 Content Writers
In addition to software tools, you may also want to invest in professionals like content writers to help you get more out of your insurance marketing. For example, if you’re investing in search ads, you want to make that ad copy as effective as possible, so you might hire a freelance copywriter to work with you on that copy. You also may want to use a content writer to ensure that when a prospect does click on your ad that they end up on a high-quality, well-written landing page.
#11 Graphic Designers
Similar to working with content writers, investing in graphic designers can also help take your marketing to the next level. In addition to helping you create assets like logos or website images, you also may be able to find graphic designers who can help you create more unique content to draw in leads, like infographics or well-designed whitepapers full of digestible charts and graphics.
Lastly, if you’re in charge of your marketing budget, you can benefit from investing in Wheelhouse. This InsurTech platform is designed to help insurance agents easily provide bindable quotes to prospective clients, while also helping with insurance marketing, such as by enabling agents to create targeted landing pages that can be used as destinations for ads, social media copy, and more.
See What Works for Your Insurance Agency
By investing in these types of tools and services, insurance agents can often improve their marketing. And you don’t have to break the bank. Many of these areas include low-cost options, and you may be able to ease into some of these activities to see how they work for your firm, such as if you spend, say, $100 on social media advertising to gauge your success before ramping up.
Overall, insurance agents have many options when it comes to figuring out how to spend your marketing budget, so you may want to test out several of these suggestions to see what works best for you.