- Kevin Davenport
- Mar 16, 2013
Let’s face it: the Internet has drastically changed how companies advertise their products or services and has empowered consumers. Today, people want to be engaged. They want to feel as if companies care about them individually. They want to be "attracted" to what a company can offer them and feel as if their time and money wasn’t wasted. And with the Internet right at their fingertips, they can afford to feel this way.
Why you need it
Insurance agents looking to generate new business cannot afford to ignore the change. If you want someone to choose you as their agent, you need to show them why, but simply showing them an advertisement won’t cut it. You have to market to them and their interests. You have to take the time to pull them in and show them you have more than thirty seconds to spend on gaining their business.
These days, they best way to market to consumers and still get your message across effectively and timely is through content marketing. This type of marketing creates and shares media (like press releases or articles) or other publishing content to draw in customers. Advertising pushes customers to a product or service, but content media draws them in and engages them. Content media can be done with video, news pieces, eBooks, how-to’s, photos, and more, so your options are much larger than with advertising.
How you use it
Content marketing is a basic concept: consumers read something they’re interested in; the brand or service you’re trying to market is mentioned in the content in a way that it doesn’t stand out as awkward, forced, or advertised; the consumer remembers you and/or your brand later because they remember the article that held their interest and you are now linked with that; they buy your brand or service based on that memory. The content is created by a publishing or marketing company for you and published on various sites, helping you to reach more people. This type of marketing is simply an alternative to traditional advertising, which you need because consumers are fed up with old-fashioned ads.
Why you can’t afford to ignore it
Content marketing is rising in popularity because it’s what the consumer wants. A recent survey showed that 8 in 10 people in the largest consumer group (making up almost 2 billion people) expect to be entertained by brands and companies, and 31 percent of them expect companies to have online content. Another study found that 61 percent of consumers find online ads "distracting" and "annoying," causing them to ignore the ads altogether. Another issue with online ads is that people fear clicking the ads will lead them to spam or computer viruses. Again, this causes them to overlook the ads.
Content marketing is different, though, as it draws the consumer in through content they want to read, and content marketing has become so popular with consumers most marketers are using it to reach people. According to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, more than 90 percent of Business-to-Business (B2B) and 86 percent of Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketers use content marketing.