Social media has created the most significant growth opportunityinsurance agencies have ever been afforded. In the past, effectivemarketing campaigns were largely the realm of “big boys” with bigbudgets. Now, every business with a social media account is free tojoin the world of marketing.

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Not only are big budgets no longer necessary, but in many ways,they get in the way. We can all thank and curse social media fordelivering that reality.

Making marketing meaningful

Marketing is no longer telling your audience their life isincomplete unless they buy what you are selling.

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Today's marketing is much more meaningful. It's about educatingyour audience, helping them understand their challenges andoffering paths to improved results.

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Today's most effective marketers are more than willing to givebefore ever asking for anything in return. Don't get me wrong,marketing is still about creating sales opportunities, but it'smore about creating the right sales opportunities.

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Yes, marketing still requires a financial budget, but it is nowaffordable for any reasonably successful business. However,effective, educational marketing also requires a timeinvestment:

  • Time to study the your audience.

  • Time to develop solutions.

  • Time to create content to educate your audience.

Beware the Barkers

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Some marketers want the best of both worlds. With the big-budgetbarrier removed, too many are standing on the social media cornerbarking their self-promotional messages at every passer-by.

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For all the noise, rarely do they offer insights their audienceneeds to address the challenges they're facing.

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When marketers bark their message, it's tempting to listen or,at the very least, difficult to ignore. But look deeper beforeentering that circus tent. If the message is all wrapper and nocandy, run.

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If a marketer spends more time talking about themselves(product, service, accomplishments) than they do about theiraudience (challenges, struggles, solutions), walk on by.

Don't be that guy

We all know businesses that market themselves like this. Whileit may be tempting to go that route because it's splashy, it willnot build the brand you want. Don't let the vocal minority'sengagement with this marketing fool you. The vast majority ofpeople see through self-promotional marketing and want nothing todo with such a brand. It will not attract the quality clients youwant for your business.

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Here's a litmus test for your own marketing efforts and internalbuying decisions:

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If you aren't regularly getting feedback that your audience haschanged their business behaviors based on your marketing advice,then you aren't effectively speaking to the needs of your audience.You have work to do.

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Before you commit to your next business partner, ask:Have I changed the way I work because of what I learned from thispartner's marketing content?

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If the answer is no, don't expect to learn much from them duringan actual engagement. And you can expect your prospects arethinking this same about you.

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Game on, my friend!

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