One of the key elements to success in today’s market for any agent is staying on top of the newest trends in insurance content marketing. If you fail to create engaging content your brand will be left behind, that’s the simple truth.

To assist in getting your 2018 started on the right foot, this week on the Broker Tool Belt I’ll list insurance content marketing trends brokers should pay attention to and consider implementing in 2018.

What is Content Marketing Exactly?

Before we get into what the immediate future holds, it’s important for you to understand how content marketing is defined in 2018. According to Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

One specific sentence of that definition is crucial to understanding what content marketing looks like in the immediate future – “to attract and retain a clearly defined audience”. This brings us to the first insurance content marketing trend brokers need to pay attention to going into 2018.

Original Content That Doesn’t Try to Sell

Branded content is a staple of insurance content marketing; self promotional videos, brochures, case studies, the list can go on. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, marketing has evolved to revolve around the buyer journey rather than your agency’s sales pitch.

In 2018, content marketing is about creating content for your audience. Rather than revolving content around your sales pitch, craft content that speaks to the needs and wants of your audience. This is how you successfully get your content in front of qualified leads in today’s market. B2B buyers are looking to work with salespeople that can help them run their business and teach them new things. Your insurance content marketing strategy can be used to showcase this trait that your audience is looking for.

Understanding that will help you establish what direction your content needs to go in. Instead of speaking about your great customer service, show how great your agency’s customer experience is by having educational content easily available through your digital channels. Create a video that outlines ACA updates, craft an infographic on workflow tips for open enrollment, provide a glossary for insurance terms, etc.

Now you may be thinking at this point “How can a small brokerage with an equally small budget create a full library of original content?”.

Before you let doubt creep into your content marketing strategy, keep in mind there are a number of affordable, easy to use, content creation tools available online that allow you to craft professional-looking content. Here are a few suggestions:

Prezi – This app allows you to create incredibly intuitive presentations that breaks the confines of the traditional slideshow format. This is an ideal tool for you to create refreshingly modern sales decks that will make you stand out of the pack.

Snappa – This tool provides a variety of templates for various digital ads already fitted to the dimensions of specific channels like social media or email. It also makes it easy to save templates so you can create images quickly. The “team save” function makes collaborating easy.

Promo by Slidely – This video creation tool is ideal for a small agency and makes it simple to create professional-looking videos. It includes stock music and video clips. The platform also provides access to music and footage editing tools.

Video is the MVP of Content Marketing

Video was a major player in 2017, and that trend is not slowing down. Considering that 43% of consumers want to see more video content, it’s safe to say your video efforts won’t be in vain. If you weren’t leveraging the power of video content before, 2018 is definitely the time to start.

With that said, you no longer need a professional grade camera or high-tech editing software to produce high quality videos. All you need is a smartphone and a tripod. If you really want to get efficient use a tool like Magisto, which uses AI to help edit and market videos in mere minutes.

Another modern video marketing strategy that brokers have yet to truly adopt is Facebook Live. Research from Search Engine Journal found that average Facebook Live engagement was 178% higher than average post engagement. Additionally, the average reach of posts more than doubled for live videos. Live video is an interesting, unique way for brokers to engage with your audience. You can use Facebook Live as part of your thought leadership strategy, by sharing your views on industry specific topics.

Go Beyond Social Media

Facebook recently saw a decline in organic reach. The reality is, any time you depend on a third-party platform to distribute your content, you’re essentially at the mercy of that supplier changing their rules.

As they say, don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Many brokers tend to solely depend on Facebook or LinkedIn rather than having or maintaining a website. In today’s market, B2B buyers of different demographics engage with content through multiple channels. Rather than only maintaining presence and/or activity on one digital channel, work towards building direct connections with your audience through email campaigns and subscription sites.

One of the best tools to help you automate your email marketing campaign is Hubspot, which allows you to easily create marketing campaigns and keep customers engaged.

No matter which tools you choose to use, always remember to keep growing your email list. Remember that your marketing efforts are a lead generation strategy. While content marketing is a great way to capture and nurture leads, it’s up to you to consistently keep adding leads to the top of the funnel.

Insurance Content Marketing for 2018

Content marketing are the key ingredients for your insurance marketing strategy. Your content defines your agency’s brand and, more importantly, defines the experience of the buyer’s journey. 2018 is the best time to invest in changing up your approach to content marketing.

As multiple industries shift away from branded content that revolve around the sales pitch, to utilizing content as a vehicle, there lies an opportunity for brokers to set the trend of shifting away from the traditional taglines.

It’s time for brokers to stop asking how your content marketing can drive sales and start asking what your content can do for your audience.