Niche Programs Growing and How Your Agency Can Take Advantage
I just came across this article from PropertyCasualty360 that discussed the growth of “program business” in the insurance industry. In fact, the Target Markets Program Administrators Association (TMPAA) shows the industry grew 9 percent from 2010 to 2011.
With consumers increasingly turning to the internet to research agencies, coverage, and pricing, it shouldn’t be any surprise to see such growth for program business. It’s a trend that I feel will only continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
How can your agency take advantage of the growth in target programs?
In my previous life as an insurance agent, I found I had by far the most success when I targeted niche industries. The trick, though, was to prove myself as an expert in an industry that I may have only been targeting for a few months. After much trial and error, I found there were a few marketing tools that really set me apart and brought in new accounts.
Here are just some of the tools I used and how they helped me:
Websites helped me stand out more than any other marketing tool listed here. By designing a niche-specific website, you can immediately establish yourself as an industry expert. According to Marketing Sherpa, almost 60% of consumers base their decision on whether they like and trust your company based upon what they find on your website.
A well-designed website will drive a consistent flow of new leads to your agency. To ensure that happens, here are a few things to keep in mind on your website:
- A Clear Call-to-Action. Your consumer should know exactly what the next step is you want them to take.
- Clean, Simple Layout. Make it easy for your visitor to navigate through the site.
- What’s In It For Me? Focus your website’s content on how you can solve your consumers’ problems, make their lives’ easier, and the benefits they receive. Most websites focus on how great your company rather what you can do for your clients.
- Pay Attention to Colors. The colors you use on the site are very important. I won’t spend a ton of time on color theory here, but just know that you can influence your customer with just the types of colors you use on the site.
- Mobile Friendly. Almost 40% of web searches are being conducted on mobile devices like smartphones. So it’s very important that people can easily find your information on a mobile device.
To show just how important websites can be when it comes to focusing on a particular niches, I have put two websites that show two agencies targeting the exact same niche side by side.
As a consumer if you just glanced at each page, which one would you think is more professional? More reputable? Which one would you want to work with?
Email is a great way to keep in touch with prospects especially when you are targeting specific industries. As long as you send educational, engaging content, then you can effectively stay top of mind with prospects. (This is great for prospects who may not have a renewal coming up for 8,9,10 months.)
When we assist agencies with their commercial email efforts, we like to focus on sending content that is beneficial to the recipient and specific to their niche. For example, if we’re working with an agency that specializes in restaurants, then the email campaigns might include topics on Groupon or hiring the right employees.
A blog is a great way to increase revenue in a particular niche for a number of reasons.
- Blogs allow you to keep your site’s main pages simple while still providing more in depth information on certain topics.
- Blogs add more pages to your website, which helps your agency rank higher on search engines. (As long as your content is relevant to the search terms.)
- Blogs allow you to provide niche-specific information and industry updates.
In addition to the 3 marketing tools listed above, we also recommend the following to help dominate a particular industry:
- Video. We truly believe video is the step in the digital marketing revolution. The agencies using it correctly are going to dominate their niches.
- Networking. Tried and true.
- Print Material. Done correctly and you will see some definite results come from it.
- Pay-per-click advertising. This can also be a great way to generate leads.