In the past few years, the generally accepted belief is that people are using the internet more and more to do a majority of their shopping. This would also include shopping for insurance. There is an enormous interest and investment in this marketing channel and it will continue to grow.
Most small producers feel they cannot compete in this channel. The costs of SEO and SEM seem daunting for the small producer. This does not take into account the challenges of managing and understanding the nuts and bolts of online marketing. So what is a small mom and pop insurance agency to do?
They can win the hearts of the community.
Community involvement increases business. People want to do business with someone they know and trust. As a business owner, getting involved with your community allows you to create and develop a relationship with your future customers. According to a study done by Cone Communications and Echo Research, 82 percent of U.S. consumers consider corporate social responsibility when choosing where to shop and who to do business with. For a small insurance agency, having community recognition is important especially when competing against larger national companies or other businesses in the community.
So what is important to your community? Is it homelessness, or is it schools lacking money for books? It will take time to learn what the community considers important. It will also take time to learn the best way to have a presence and get involved in the community. However, as a small business this is critical. Not only are you helping your community but you are building your business.
The use social of social media, your website, and general advertising is an excellent way to let your customers know the contributions you are making, both physically and monetarily to the community. Your time is valuable, therefore use a dollar figure when sharing what you have done within the community.
Allow employees to be involved in selecting the organizations or causes you support. Encourage employees to contribute. They may have excellent ideas and will be more willing to support the effort if they feel they are part of the team. Perhaps you organize an employee volunteer day. You might make a weekly or monthly commitment to this. The loss in productivity can be measured by the good will your business brings to the community. Remember to share your voluntary work through social media, your website, and through your local media.
Giving to the community by means of money, time or manpower can be difficult for the small business owner. There are meaningful and impactful ways to give back to the community that do not involve time away from the office or spending a lot of money. It can be as simple as hanging a poster in your window for a local school event, or hosting a fundraiser on your website to benefit a family that has lost their home through flooding or a fire. Your agency could be the drop off point for the local fire department’s annual toy drive. All of the above are ways to help your community and gain exposure for your business at the same time.
Also, don’t forget to look to your business partners for support and ideas to help your community. Infinity Insurance Company offers the Read Conmigo Bi-lingual (Spanish/English) literacy program that gives FREE bilingual books to children Pre K through 5th grade. This is an excellent way to get involved with little time and at no cost to you. Visit www.ReadConmigo.org and you will be on your way to giving back to your community and showing them you care. Remember, people want to do business with those who care about the community they are part of. Can the national online companies do that?
About the Author:
This article was written & provided by Infinity Insurance Company.