Which communication method best suits your insurance agency’s brand-building strategy? Just to be clear, I’m not talking about how you or the people in your agency relate to people socially, as when, psychologists talk about communication styles, using words such as aggressive, passive, assertive, competitive, affiliative and so on. I’m talking about which media you’re most comfortable using to build and reinforce your agency’s brand image.
For many years, most agents relied principally on print, whether newsletters, newspaper advertising or trade magazines. A few agents would also venture into broadcast advertising using radio or TV spots.
In the past 20 years, though, Internet communications in all their manifestations have come to dominate our commercial communications. Now agents have several new formats available and many older media have, thanks to the Internet, lost much of their impact.
People don’t read newspapers as much as they used to. Niche trade magazines might still have some readers, but they’re not the most up-to-date source of information; emails and social media get the word out faster. With thousands of new broadcast channels available, radio and TV don’t dominate as well either, unless you have a certain demographic niche that narrowcasting can help you reach.
One old media channel that hasn’t really lost its luster, surprisingly, is postal mail. Everyone still has a mailbox and everyone looks through their mail every day. Even Millennials get postal mail.
Many agents realize this, which is why as a publisher of client newsletters in print and digital, we still have more customers who use print or print and digital formats than just digital.
Some agents who take an old school approach to building and nurturing their brand by using only print newsletters might just be resisting new media because they’re deterred by the challenges. Using social media and blogging requires a lot of effort. You need content, you have to post regularly and you have to be active in the medium to able to engage your audience and know what they’re posting about.
To take the easy approach to plugged-in communications, you could just send out an email newsletter. But to get the most out of your investment, you should pay attention to your analytics: Who reads your newsletters? Which articles do they read? Which addresses don’t work anymore and need to be updated?
Aside from the additional time you might have to invest in using digital, there are pragmatic reasons to be old school. Email newsletters get opened about 25-35% of the time, whereas print newsletters at least get noticed by someone and so at a minimum they accomplish your branding mission.
All in all, choosing a communication strategy for brand-building boils down to taking one of three different approaches:
Print or Old School: It’s tried and true, dependable and you don’t need to invest a lot time engaging on social media or counting clicks.
Digital or Plugged-in: To be effective, get engaged in the process. After your email newsletters go out, track who reads your newsletter and which articles. Update your contacts regularly. To make the most of your digital content,; use it on your social sites, your blog, in your drip campaigns.
Big Tent: Take the belt and suspenders approach. What one medium doesn’t do for you, the other probably will.
Whichever approach you choose, the goal is to communicate regularly with your clients and to give them quality, actionable information that helps them manage their insurance and risk. SmartsPro Marketing can help you whatever route you take by providing professionally written and designed newsletters in both print and digital formats that will position you as the go-to expert in your niche.