Driving new leads remains a top priority for every insurance agent. You need new clients, which means you have to diversify the channels you market through. With three billion users worldwide, Facebook remains one of the most direct channels, and Facebook advertising offers an effective way for insurance agents to harness the social media platform’s enormous reach and its ability to focus advertising on particular user demographics at a designated cost.
Facebook advertising is paid messaging you put in your targets’ Facebook News Feed. News Feed is Facebook’s main feature, the bottomless vertical that users scroll through to see their friends’ content, and through which brands present paid content in the hopes of making conversions.
Facebook advertising has proven to be a relatively low-cost way to engage both existing and prospective customers, in a format that offers businesses a high degree of customization, segmentation, and reach. Insurance agencies can customize their messages, making it broadly about, say, life insurance, or highly specific around particular life events that Facebook users experience at a particular age. Insurance agencies determine the total amount they want to spend on each campaign. Inside Facebook’s Ads Manager platform, the agency sets the age, location, and other demographic parameters of their target audience, and they can further optimize by targeting people who recently liked a Facebook insurance page, or users who have mentioned home ownership or a family loss in their feed or on a sales call.
By drawing attention to the services that insurance agencies offer, agents can get users to visit your website where they’ll make a call for more details, and where software can gather additional insights to create more targeted Facebook ads.
Facebook Marketing involves creating posts that show up in your followers’ News Feed and building an audience on social media through sharing engaging content. Posts create brand awareness and give your audience a chance to engage with your brand online, and simply posting through your brand’s Facebook account is free. Facebook Advertising offers more advanced customization of your message and is intended to drive direct sales or website visits. This is a paid tactic. Both are valuable parts of a local marketing strategy.
The first benefit of Facebook advertising for insurance agents is the size of the prospect pool: Remember, Facebook has three billion users! Approximately 300 million Facebook users live in the United States alone, and the U.S. population is currently 333 million. How many of those 300 million need your insurance? Those are good odds.
One of the main reasons Facebook advertising is so effective for insurance agencies is the platform’s ability to both target a new audience and retarget existing ones.
Agents can upload your own contact lists to help define existing audience demographics. You can select specific criteria, including location, age, and employment status, to create your ad’s core target customer. And for retargeting, you can identify what Facebook calls “lookalike audiences” to find customers who resemble an existing group, including people who have previously contacted you. Then you can use conversation intelligence software to determine which Facebook ads are driving the most calls, and also use artificial intelligence to capture insights from these phone conversations and retarget those callers with specific Facebook advertisements. If a customer purchases auto insurance over the phone and also mentions that they’re shopping for a home, or recently closed on one, the agent can target them with ads promoting a specially bundled auto and homeowners insurance. If a caller mentions their dissatisfaction with their life insurance, AI captures those keywords and can let the agent retarget the caller with a Facebook ad offering life insurance.
The third benefit of advertising on Facebook is location-based targeting. Approximately half of smartphone users expect their insurance agents to work within five miles of their location. That means agents should use geo-targeting to reach the prospects near you or your local branch office, and agents should create hyper-localized ad content that includes a local phone number and a local address.
The fourth benefit of insurance agents advertising on Facebook is immediacy. Although most insurance customers research insurance options online, only a quarter buy their insurance online. Whether it’s car insurance or life insurance, insurance can be complicated and intimidating, so most prospects want to speak with agents offline. Facebook is largely accessed on smartphones, so targeted Facebook advertising can easily drive leads from Facebook to your agents, converting advertising to phone calls. Desktop users can call you, too, of course, but their path to purchase involves one extra step — going from their desktop computer to their phone — where a smartphone user can call you immediately after seeing your Facebook ad.
Recently, an agent at a leading insurance agency came to BrandMuscle with the goal of driving new leads. She’d invested in SEO and digital marketing services with another company for several years and wanted a different approach to expand her reach. Along with targeting relevant Google keyword searches, BrandMuscle’s digital marketing program offered Facebook and Instagram Lead Generation Ads that targeted potential customers in their specific market. After the program’s success, the insurance agent said, “I’ve been pleased with the results that I have seen from our digital add-on package. After switching to this program, I have seen increased contacts from our online marketing.”
As the saying goes, never put all your eggs in one basket.
To succeed with Facebook advertising, agents must remember that, no matter how productive it is, social media cannot solve all of your marketing challenges. And to protect yourself from social media’s pitfalls, never focus your entire digital strategy on one platform. Diversify your approach with an omni-channel strategy. If Facebook suddenly goes offline, as it briefly did in late-2021, you will have alternate means of communication and outreach. Diversifying is not only about emergency planning in case of problems. It’s about reaching more prospects where they are by utilizing a broader approach.