Your prospects and customers are bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands, of advertising messages every day. It wasn’t that long ago that you had to watch TV commercials because there was no other option. Today, Karen and I complain about having to watch “live” TV because we aren’t able to skip through the commercials.
The connected consumer is able to ignore your marketing messages better than any consumer in the past. Getting attention—whether online, using direct mail, or meeting someone at a networking event—is harder today than it ever has been.
I am convinced that the way to grow your agency and market the products and services you offer in this new environment is to do less selling. People continue to want information. They just will not put up with being “sold.”
In this new environment, it is becoming apparent that people who educate and inform their prospects and clients are more successful. They highlight their expertise with videos, content-rich websites, social streams, blogs, ebooks, special reports, and images. This is called content marketing.
Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
While copywriting techniques are often applied to content created for marketing purposes, we’re not talking about advertising in the traditional sense. In contrast to “interruption” marketing such as television commercials or direct mail, content marketing involves delivering requested information with independent value that creates trust, credibility, and authority for the business that provides that value.
Insurance agents play a key role in protecting a client’s financial future. Trust is a key factor in their buying decision. You have the power to elevate yourself on the Web to a position of trust and authority. You can interact and participate in conversations that other people begin on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, chat rooms, and forums.
The primary goal is to obtain their permission to deliver content via email or other media over time. Repeated and regular exposure builds a relevant relationship that provides multiple opportunities for conversion, rather than a “one-shot” all-or-nothing sales approach.
The key is to focus on buyers’ needs, not your own ego. Stop trying to sell your products and services. Don’t rely on interruption techniques. Instead, you should seek to deliver the right information to the right buyers at the right time when they are most receptive.
Content drives the Internet, and consumers are looking for information that solves a problem, not for immediate sales pitches. The trust, credibility, and authority that content marketing creates knocks down sales resistance, while providing a baseline introduction to the benefits of a particular product or service. Agencies can gain credibility and loyalty with consumers through content, and smart marketers think and act like publishers in order to create and deliver content targeted directly at their audiences.
Don’t simply push product or low price. Teach people something. Share your expertise. It is counter-intuitive: You sell more when you stop selling.