What should agents be doing today to reach the clients of tomorrow? Here are three tips to reach the next generation of insurance consumers.
As every parent of a stubborn teenager has likely noticed, the ways we communicate can vary wildly between generations. Twenty years ago, there was no social media, and most news was still commonly read in the newspaper or watched on nightly television. Times have changed and the ways in which content is consumed have developed dramatically, driven primarily by the next generation of consumers.
So how can insurance agents reach the next generation? What should agents be doing today to reach the clients of tomorrow? Here are three principles to remember:
1) Content is king. This recognizable phrase was made prominent in a 1996 essay by Bill Gates. At the time, he was speaking about how most money will be made online, likening it to the growth of broadcast television. Without attractive content, very little would happen online and social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter would not be the success stories they are now.
However, content is more than a social media post or meme. Effective content is consistent, relevant material that is anticipated by the audience. Quality blogs, images and articles designed with search engine optimization (SEO) can offer broad reach.
2) Sources matter. The validity of information from traditional media sources has been a point of debate for years. Recently, the topic took on a new life as the “fake news" flag was raised for every controversial issue. Many of today's online readers are increasingly wary of content from unknown, unproven or questionable sources.
Many aspiring thought leaders wish to be featured in renowned publications like The Wall Street Journal; however, some broad outlets carry perceived biases that call the coverage they provide into question, even in the insurance industry. While these publications are a good fit for general market news, they don't hold a candle to the insurance trade publications when it comes to day-to-day insurance headlines and commentary.
By sharing content from trade publications and adding commentary, agents can deliver regular, relevant insights to the next generation of insurance professionals. In addition, search engines prefer to point to sources that post regularly and share content from other reputable sources. Further, prospective clients appreciate an agent who is keeping a finger on the pulse of industry trends to serve them better and save them money.
LinkedIn is another great platform for agents who want to respond to trade news in a longer form while still cultivating sharable content. Users can create and publish articles directly to the LinkedIn platform and share those articles with their entire professional network quickly and easily. Consider building a social media calendar of posts and short articles to ensure the best use of and connection with your network.
3) Meet your audience where they are. Gen Z and millennials are digital natives and how content is delivered to these generations is just as important as the content itself. Content must be mobile-friendly. Nobody wants to read a wall of text. A short post offering insightful commentary will go further than an essay that goes into excessive detail. Audiences prefer information packets that are easily digestible as they go about their day. Graphics and videos are ideal.
Communication channels are always changing and the only thing that remains the same is that things will change again—and probably soon.
James McKinsey is a public relations manager at Kimball Hughes Public Relations with nearly a decade of media relations, crisis communications and communications experience.