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Influencer marketing isn’t just for promoting fashion, food, and other consumer-focused areas. It can also be used within the insurance industry, including for commercial insurance. Agents who can creatively and strategically find ways to partner with influencers can expand their reach, boost their overall marketing effectiveness and ideally find new clients.
However, influencer marketing isn’t a surefire path to success. Even if insurance agents can find influencers to amplify their messages, that doesn’t mean that they’ll be adding policy signups left and right. Insurance agents still need to put in the work to identify quality, relevant influencers and then create marketing content that appeals to the influencer’s audience.
In this guide to influencer marketing for insurance, we’ll explore:
- What Is Influencer Marketing?
- How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
- How Much Does Influencer Marketing Cost?
- How Can Insurance Agents Use Influencer Marketing?
- How to Get Started With Influencer Marketing for Insurance
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What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing may be a trendy area of marketing, but it’s not entirely new. “At its most basic, influencer marketing is the classic celebrity endorsement, but placed into a contemporary, content-driven marketing campaign,” explains Fractl, a marketing agency.
In other words, influencer marketing involves working with so-called influencers to promote your brand, typically through content, such as a social media post or blog post. Who are these influencers?
“In short, influencers are people with refined personal brands who have trusted, enthusiastic audiences,” notes Fractl.
Some influencers are celebrities like movie stars, models, and athletes. But it’s not just about traditional fame. People can influence within certain communities such as being a marketing thought leader, a sales expert, a motivational entrepreneur, etc. Some top influencers might have millions of followers on social media, but influencer marketing could also involve creating content with a micro-influencer – someone who has, say, 10,000 highly engaged followers.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
Influencer marketing often has the reputation for just being about paying an influencer to share content about your brand, such as putting up an Instagram post with the influencer using the product. However, influencer marketing isn’t necessarily that straightforward. Especially as influencer marketing has grown, audiences are wary of inauthentic content. They want the influencers they follow to share genuine recommendations.
So, influencer marketing in insurance could still involve somewhat of a paid advertisement, but it often requires building real relationships with influencers who see the value in what you offer and want to share it with their audience. For example, you might work with a customer of yours who’s an influencer in their industry, and they could share content with their audience about how your policy helped them out in a time of need, similar to how you would create a case study together.
Influencer marketing is “the same kind of slow-and-steady approach as Social Media and Content Marketing, where your campaign isn’t about directly selling your wares. Instead, it’s about demonstrating your authority, credibility, and thought leadership within your industry,” says the publication Influencer Marketing Hub.
Also, keep in mind that influencer marketing doesn’t have to be just paid ads. You might find an influencer who’s willing to work with you organically. For example, if you’re hosting a webinar, you might ask an influencer to be a guest. The influencer might be willing to do so if they see value in reaching your audience and/or sharing what you have to offer with their audience.
“The bulk of the hard work in influencer marketing is building these lasting relationships with sometimes hard-to-reach people and offering value to the larger community via your high-quality content, unique insights, and meaningful interactions,” explains SEO platform Moz.
How Much Does Influencer Marketing Cost?
If you can build organic relationships with influencers, in theory, there doesn’t have to be a direct cost. Or the costs might be relatively low, such as if an insurance agent gets a business influencer to agree to attend an event they’re hosting in exchange for covering their travel costs. But for more of the influencer advertising model, where you pay for an influencer to share content about your brand, the average cost depends on factors like the platform, the size of the influencer’s following, and the influencer’s engagement rate.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, for example, the average rate for a mid-tier influencer on Twitter is $100-$1,000 per post.
How Can Insurance Agents Use Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing can be useful for insurance agents when trying to reach relevant audiences and create authentic content. Putting all of your marketing budget into getting the biggest celebrity you can find to create a social media post about you might not be as effective as, say, partnering with a few smaller influencers who genuinely see the value in your insurance offerings.
Some ways insurance agents can use influencer marketing include:
- Working with influential clients to create video case studies to share on social media
- Asking an influencer to guest post on your blog
- Hosting an influencer as the keynote speaker at an event
Influencers relevant to insurance may be a bit different than those marketing consumer goods, but plenty exist. Look to thought leaders on LinkedIn who may influence within a business community, bloggers who are relevant to your audience (e.g., startup experts who could appeal to an audience of first-time business owners who may need commercial insurance), or even well-known local individuals who can help you grow brand awareness in your community.
How to Get Started With Influencer Marketing for Insurance
To get started with influencer marketing for insurance, agents should first try to determine who their audience would likely be influenced by.
“For instance, if you sell to mainly 30-something, work-from-home mothers, research who these mothers follow, where they read reviews, what social platforms they spend the most time on, where they consume news, and so on,” explains Wordstream, an online advertising solution provider.
From there, insurance agents can try one of the following methods to find influencers that make sense for your brand:
- Work with an influencer marketing agency: Nowadays some media agencies specialize in influencer marketing. Much as you might work with a media agency or PR agency to get the word out in traditional media, you might work with an influencer marketing agency to expand your social media reach through influencers.
- Use influencer marketing software: Similar to working with agencies, insurance agents can use influencer marketing to find influencers and create relevant content. For example, platforms like Izea and Linqia can be used by insurance agents who want to find influencers to work with.
- Contact influencers directly: Insurance agents can also directly reach out to influencers. Someone might not even necessarily consider themselves an influencer, but if you think they have a sizeable audience that you would like to appeal to, reach out and see how you can partner with them.
Keep in mind that while the options for working with influencers are fairly broad, there may be certain compliance considerations to keep in mind, whether that’s related to the rules around insurance sales in your state or general advertising disclosure laws. So be sure to check with relevant authorities or legal experts before jumping into influencer marketing.
Once you do get started, the possibilities to expand your reach, find new prospects, and ultimately close more insurance deals are vast.