Combining analog and digital marketing is a prudent move for agents looking to grow their businesses. The industry trends more digital each day. From social media to search engine optimization (SEO) to webinars. Insurance agents can turn to many different areas of digital marketing to efficiently reach prospects and current customers.
Yet that doesn’t mean that analog means of marketing — like in-person networking or direct mail — need to go out the window entirely. Instead, combining analog and digital marketing efforts can often strengthen overall marketing success.
“It’s all about striking the right balance between analogue and digital channels; and using them together in an impactful way,” notes the Data & Marketing Association. “For example, analogue channels allow for more personal interactions,” while digital tools can help achieve personalization at scale.
But how can insurance agents go about combining analog and digital marketing when these seem to be different areas? In this article, we’ll explore seven ways to do so.
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1) Add a QR Code to Your Business Cards
One simple method for combining analog and digital marketing is adding a QR code to your business cards. Many people still like the physical look and feel of business cards. Sometimes that can still be limiting. If you have a big pile of business cards tucked away in a drawer that you never look at, you’re not the only one.
Adding a QR code could help encourage another step in terms of building relationships and growing your network. Recipients can scan your QR code to then visit your website, your LinkedIn page, or whatever site you link the QR code to. That’s more interaction than looking at your card and tucking it away to be forgotten.
Sites like Vistaprint make it easy to design your own business cards, which can include adding QR codes. You simply enter the URL where you want the QR code to lead. Then pick where on your card you want to place the QR code. The platform will work its magic from there.
2) Connect on Social Media When Networking Offline
Here’s a simple combination of analog and digital marketing. You should aim to connect on social media when you are networking offline. If you meet someone at an event and just exchange business cards, you might never see or hear from them again. But if you both decide to follow each other on social media, you can keep the relationship going online.
If your QR code connects to one of your social media channels, that could be one way to forge an online connection. But you could also simply ask. If you have a good conversation with someone at a conference, end the chat by saying something along the lines of “I’d love to keep in touch. Should we connect on LinkedIn?”, or “What’s the best way to keep in touch? Do you use Twitter?”
Imagine having that type of interaction 10 times at 10 different events. That’s 100 organic followers you can add. This can help your digital marketing success, as you’ll have a larger audience that can potentially engage with your content.
3) Create Digital Content About In-Person Events
If you’re attending an in-person event, you can mine that for content. If there’s a conference, you can share photos on social media. It can help your digital marketing audience get a better sense of what you’re up to in real life. Conference attendees might see and engage with your social media content. Especially if you’re using a conference hashtag.
You can create blog posts about an event like a conference. Especially if it’s an annual event. That way, even if you don’t have a huge audience initially reading a blog post about, say, “5 Things I Learned from Conference X”, you might get traffic from attendees of the following year’s event who are doing some research about the conference. So, even if you don’t attend in future years, your initial offline actions (attending the event) can lead to online success (getting website traffic) down the road.
4) Segment Email Lists Based on Offline Interactions
You might not have the time to individually email everyone on your email list, but you also don’t have to send the same messages to everyone. Instead, you can segment your audience into different groups based on what you learned about them through offline interactions and then send more targeted messages to these different groups.
That’s not to say that other filters like industry and customer journey stage shouldn’t be used as well, but you might be able to create some unique, relevant groups by combining analog and digital marketing this way. For example, suppose you meet a business owner at an event, and they explain to you how they’re trying to hire more employees. Then, you connect on social media, and a few days later they sign up for your email list via your social media channel.
Using what you know about them from your offline interaction, you might filter them into a segment that receives email newsletters about topics like employee experience and recruitment that ultimately try to promote your workers’ comp coverage. Then, perhaps another business owner you met at a tech-focused conference, who’s expanding their use of various technologies, would be segmented into a newsletter that’s geared toward you ultimately selling cyber coverage.
5) Add a Custom URL Within Direct Mail Materials
Sending out direct mail may seem a bit old-fashioned, but research shows that it often still works. For example, direct mail has 13X the response rate that email does, according to Lob, which provides direct mail technology that can help link online and offline activities.
But one of the problems with analog marketing like direct mail is that it can be hard to measure what works, compared with digital marketing areas like social media advertising. So, to get more out of direct mail, you can take steps like adding a custom URL to your physical mail materials.
For example, instead of just putting your homepage address on direct mail materials, you could put a URL for a custom landing page that’s only used for that direct mail campaign. That way you can get a better sense of how many direct mail recipients start engaging with you online.
6) Get Active in Your Community While Focusing on Local SEO
Combining analog and digital marketing can also mean working on two different areas that go hand-in-hand. For example, if you want to find local customers, you can engage in digital marketing efforts like improving your local SEO, so that you rank for keywords like “insurance agency in Cleveland” or whatever area you’re located in. Doing so can involve actions like blogging about local topics. To go further, you might want to link those efforts to analog marketing, like attending local events, sponsoring local charitable causes, joining local networking groups, etc.
By getting active in your community while focusing on local SEO, you might improve in both areas. For example, someone who heard about your insurance agency based on seeing your name around town might be more inclined to then engage with you online if they come across your website based on your local SEO strategy. Plus, being active locally can help your local SEO, such as if other organizations in your community share content about local events on their own websites and then link to your website, thereby giving you backlinks that help with SEO.
7) Ask Customers for Online Reviews
Lastly, keep in mind that combining analog and digital marketing can also apply to how you interact with current customers. If you provide great service when meeting with current clients to discuss how their onboarding went or have check-ins to see how their businesses are changing and figure out if they need to make any coverage adjustments, that can lead to more referrals. And you can also directly ask these clients for online reviews.
If you gain more positive reviews on sites like Yelp and Google, that can help when it comes to pulling in clients online. If prospects search for your agency online and come across these reviews, they might be more inclined to start working with you.
See How Else You Can Combine Analog and Digital Marketing
These seven ways of combining analog and digital marketing can help you grow your insurance business, but they’re not the only ways to do so. Think about what types of online and offline marketing activities you like to engage in and see if there are any other ways you can link them to get more out of both areas. Of course, there will still be times when something falls more onto one side than the other, but in general, there are often opportunities to combine analog and digital marketing.