Cold calling is an extremely popular method for agencies like yours looking to grow their book of business. In this blog, we’ve shared several other strategies that are effective in generating leads and finding new customers. This week’s post ties together different strategies we’ve covered in our previous posts, each an agency alternative to cold calling.

Strategy 1: Create And Share Interesting Content

Having an effective content strategy is an essential part of marketing your agency. Content marketing involves developing and sharing content that is relevant to your clients’ concerns. It’s important that your content strategy aligns with the stage of the sales funnel your audience is in. An excellent approach is the See Think Do content marketing strategy, which identifies three stages of audience intent:

  • See: The See stage is the largest possible audience you can reach. For insurance brokers, the See stage includes American companies with less than 500 employees.
  • Think: The Think stage is about people who are interested in a service that you can offer. For you, this covers employers who need employee benefits services and are considering working with an insurance agent.
  • Do: The Do stage targets people ready to make a purchase, such as employers who need benefits services and are actively seeking an insurance agent.

For effective content marketing, your agency should create content for each of these stages. Many agency websites focus on the Do stage by encouraging all visitors to buy their services, which alienates prospects in the See and Think stages. Developing content geared to each phase is far more likely to bring in leads and increase your conversion rate.

A particularly valuable piece of content for B2B buyers in the Think stage is a guide. A guide is accessible and explores a topic that is relevant to your audience in greater depth than a blog post. Some topics that insurance brokers might cover in a guide are: selecting the right benefits for a business, the value of using technology for benefits administration, or why telemedicine increases employee happiness.

Strategy 2: Be An Expert In Your Industry – Offer Expertise

Establishing your expertise in the benefits industry and sharing that knowledge is an agency alternative to cold calling. Thought leadership can save your agency money while generating  3 times as many leads as other forms of marketing. But how do you go about positioning your agency as a thought leader?

As an insurance broker, you should look for ways to better assist your customers. The insurance market evolves rapidly, yet many agencies struggle to keep up with the most recent trends. This is especially true when it comes to providing innovative solutions like ben admin technology or telemedicine to your clients. Staying up-to-date on trends and communicating that information to your groups gives you a major edge over your competitors, and helps establish your agency as a thought leader.

Another important practice is keeping up with the latest industry news and what it means for your customers. Being able to effectively provide commentary and advise your customers on how to navigate industry trends is another way to promote your expertise.

Finally, distribute your content and knowledge over mediums that you know your audience is consuming. Baby Boomers are best reached through guides and other written content, while millennials prefer videos and images. Using the forms of media that appeal to your clients enhances your credibility as a thought leader.

Strategy 3: Start A Blog

Blogging can increase your reputation as an industry leader and attract new prospects and leads. But in order for blogging to benefit your agency, you need to have a strategy behind it.

To develop your agency’s blogging strategy, you have to determine exactly who you will be targeting. Do you want the blog to focus on issues relevant to your current customers, prospects, or both? And what are the topics they want to read about?

Also consider where most of your clients and prospects are located. It’ll be easier to stand out if you post at 8 a.m. PST (or 11 a.m. EST), as fewer English language blogs post then. In addition, publishing at this time will help you reach people on both the East Coast and West Coast who read blogs in the morning. Finally, decide how frequently you will add new posts. Publishing 10 new posts or more per month has been shown to generate more leads.

If your agency doesn’t have a blog, now’s the time to start one. It’s a great agency alternative to cold calling and one of the most effective ways you can demonstrate your expertise in the insurance industry.

Strategy 4: Share Videos On Social Media

Did you know that nearly 50% of internet users look for videos profiling a product or service before deciding whether to purchase it? Having video content is important to many customers, and can help you convert more leads.

Insurance agencies can develop a wide variety of video content, including customer testimonials, video blogging, and welcome kit videos. You might feature an interview from a long-term customer about why they work with your agency. You could also create a video showcasing the unique benefits your agency offers, or a tutorial on how to use your favorite benefits administration software.

Be sure to share your videos on all social media platforms where you have a presence. A particularly useful tool for insurance agencies is LinkedIn Native Video, which can greatly enhance your company’s LinkedIn page. Most importantly, it helps you to promote your video content directly to your ideal customers.

Strategy 5: Seek Out Referrals

Believe it or not, referrals from satisfied customers remain a very powerful way to find potential clients. In fact, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from family and friends are the most trustworthy form of advertising. This is a compelling reason why seeking out referrals is a great agency alternative to cold calling.

Studies have shown that most satisfied customers are willing to give referrals. But at the same time, you need to broach the topic in the right way. To begin, your agency needs to develop an engaging referral campaign. The first step is to identify long-term customers who have had excellent results from working with your agency and would recommend your services.

As you start reaching out to these customers, be transparent about the referral process. Let them know how the process will work, how their information will be used, and explain the type of prospect you are looking for. You also want to make the referral process as easy as possible for your participants. You might create a landing page on your website where they can submit the names of their referrals, or add a referral field to your sign-up form.

Once your campaign is ready, publicize it on your blog, email newsletter, and social media channels, and consider using a reward to incentivize your customers to participate. For example, you might offer an Amazon or Starbucks gift card. In addition, decide how to track the results of your referral campaign so you can evaluate its effectiveness.

Recommendations from satisfied customers are extremely powerful, and the payoff can be tremendous. Securing referrals from loyal, long-term customers is by far the best way your agency can generate quality prospects and leads.

An Agency Alternative To Cold Calling: Final Thoughts

There are plenty of alternatives to cold call, though combining these strategies would calling will likely provide the best outcome. Marketing has changed a great deal in recent years, with content marketing, video, and social media marketing taking center stage.

You should consider incorporating some of the methods we’ve profiled here into your prospecting strategy. By having a more well-rounded strategy, you can better establish your authority and locate quality leads who are more likely to convert to long-term customers.