In-Depth: How insurers can help brokers maximise marketing impact without breaking the bank

Money

When operating in a hard market, it makes sense for brokers to turn to marketing to differentiate themselves and demonstrate value over price. But when brokers are busy being brokers, Maria Ketteringham, broker marketing support manager at Aviva, asks how can they deliver great marketing content while not taking up too much time or money?

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Many brokers are unaware how much support is available from insurers. Good marketing can help brokers increase client sentiment, improve retention rates, and attract interest from prospects who may be finding their broker only shows up when it’s time to renew. 

In Aviva’s 2022 Broker Barometer report, 31% of brokers said they were planning new marketing initiatives in 2023, yet what we’ve seen is that a lack of time, budget and expertise have stopped brokers from putting a proper marketing plan in place.

Fail to plan, plan to fail

If a broker could do one thing to ensure their marketing activity delivers the return they’re looking for, it would be to create a marketing plan. Too often, brokers will jump straight into tactical activity like setting up an Instagram account, without really knowing what they’re looking to achieve, or how. Then, when the new business fails to arrive, they dismiss marketing as being ‘a waste of time’. 

Simply speaking, a marketing plan is there to help deliver against business objectives. It doesn’t have to be complex; it’s about focusing marketing efforts in the right place at the right time and being clear on what you’re looking to achieve. 

Analyse where the business is now, what your goals and objectives are and who your target audience is before you start thinking about the next steps. Numerous marketing plan templates are available online for brokers, including on Broker Mentor, Aviva’s online marketing support hub. Broker Mentor provides a two-page marketing plan template full of helpful questions to guide brokers in creating a focused and effective marketing plan. 

Content is king

At a time when ChatGPT is being hailed as the go-to for quick content creation, it doesn’t remove the work needed to ensure the content is legal, compliant and in the right tone for an insurance client. 

Free advice and educational materials are a fantastic way to show your clients and prospects you’re interested in helping their business succeed and are not just there to transact their insurance. Creating positive sentiments can make a big difference to client retention and driving growth. The more a customer sees your expertise, the more likely they are to recommend you, or come to you when they’re considering their next insurance product.

Free advice and educational materials are a fantastic way to show your clients and prospects you’re interested in helping their business succeed and are not just there to transact their insurance.

Ready-made insights from insurers can therefore be an invaluable source of content but brokers often overlook this option. In most cases, insurers’ content is written professionally, put through the rigour of approvals and should therefore offer a fantastic source of information that, with just a little bit of tailoring, can be shared with clients. 

Resources such as Aviva’s Broker Create tool on Broker Mentor enable firms to create personalised, co-branded, professionally curated content, making it easier to share information with clients. For example, brokers can quickly distribute cyber, underinsurance, and risk management information to their clients without having to hire a designer, copywriter, or spend any money.

Polish up your digital profile

While sharing useful content on email, social media and in person is great for staying front of mind, a broker's website plays a critical role in how clients and prospects feel about them. Even job applicants are likely to decide whether to apply for a role based on what they see online. However, Aviva’s annual review of over 180 brokerages’ digital profiles showed that 88% had either a low or mid-performing online presence.

Your website, news content, client reviews, LinkedIn profiles, social media activity, video content and images can all be drawn on to build a picture of your service. So if you say you pride yourself on attention to detail, but your website is out of date, or you say you offer excellent customer service but still have one-star ratings on Google, you can instantly lose credibility and trust.

What we’ve seen is that brokers are often guilty of leaving their websites and social media accounts unattended, forgetting the negative impression this can have on prospects and potential recruits. That’s why we launched our Digital Aptitude reports, helping brokers to see how they’re performing against defined benchmarks, as well as against their peers. 

Regularly reviewing your website, quickly responding to positive and negative reviews, and having up-to-date LinkedIn profiles and social media accounts are the bare minimum. Once you have the fundamentals in place, that’s when you can explore how you can leverage your positive online presence. 

See marketing as an enabler

While many might believe marketing is a buzzword or just another thing on a long to-do list, when properly considered, it provides a real opportunity for growth. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming and there’s a wealth of free resources available from insurers to help brokers get started.

Visit Broker Mentor or contact marketingsupport@aviva.com.

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