From the Top Down: Demand Gen vs. Lead Gen
Quality leads bring in sales. That is a well-known fact of marketing and sales. What is a little more difficult to determine, however, is the variety of marketing strategies that can be utilized to get these leads. The two main strategies, demand-generating tactics and lead-capturing tactics, each introduce and convert prospects to your insurance brand a little differently.
This article will help you decide which method to use for the various levels of the insurance sales funnel and how to best capitalize on each.
What Is Demand Gen?
Demand generation is the process of creating awareness and desire for your products or services. This is done by focusing on the challenges faced by consumers and educating them about how your products or services can provide solutions to those challenges. Alongside education is the need to provide value to consumers, creating the sense that they couldn’t live without you. By utilizing data-driven strategies and analytics, marketers are able to better create awareness and interest in their brand.
What Is Lead Gen?
Lead generation describes the process of turning prospects into actual customers. Lead generation is the direct result of your demand generation marketing efforts, although you probably won’t see results the day after you launch your demand generation campaign. You got their attention through demand generation, but lead generation will finalize the conversion. The lead generation world has a nearly endless supply of lead generation strategies. Choosing the best type of message depends on your overall campaign goal.
Using Each Tactic in Your Insurance Marketing
The insurance sales cycle is typically longer than those of other industries, leaving most customers in the sales pipeline for a year or longer before committing to a product. Introducing someone to the insurance sales process is straightforward, but moving them down the funnel to generate leads is tougher.
Insurance Demand Generation Methods
One demand generation method is buyer persona mapping, which is straightforward and helps an insurance agency find its intended audience right away. This method involves mapping out the buyer personas and organizing a customer journey to track and reach the intended audience as early in the process as possible. Generate leads through proactivity, and create positive association between potential buyers’ experiences and your insurance solutions.
Not only will you find your insurance leads earlier in the process using this method, but you’ll set your marketing team or insurance agents up with an easier transition into lead generation. They’ll have a solid understanding of whom you are marketing to and how to approach this audience as they move towards the bottom of the sales funnel.
Another popular form of demand generation is thought leadership. Thought leadership is defined as the expression of ideas that demonstrates you have an expertise in a particular field, area, or topic. Executive and brand thought leadership are simple, yet effective, ways to connect with a prospective customer on a deeper level. It humanizes your C-suite and your brand by giving an inside look at how you view the industry, your work, and your clients. The right topics help prospects feel natural when using your services or solutions in relation to that topic.
Moving Clients Through Insurance Lead Generation
Once you have a prospect’s interest, you can get more targeted with your tactics to move them through the marketing process and ultimately generate a lead.
One of the best methods in the insurance industry to generate high-quality leads is personalized mailing, which for the longest time was done exclusively through direct mail but has recently been growing in popularity through email. Once a customer has interacted with a touchpoint, whether that is through direct mail or email, you can use the same tactic with various other forms of messaging and creative assets to lead into a sale. Although direct mail is traditionally a more expensive marketing option, data-driven strategies bring down that marketing cost by increasing your ROI and converting more leads.
Your prospects are also on social media, making this another viable option to connect with them. While pursuing prospects, you can create social media content to complement your messaging, retarget based on website traffic, or set up SEO-optimized educational content. When you have the right data to back up your marketing campaigns, you can ensure your omnichannel strategies of direct mail, email, and social media work with one another to follow up and reach your customers where they are.
Another method to boost your insurance lead gen is customer service chatbots to educate cold leads. Chatbots are a form of software that automates conversation and interaction with clients through direct messaging. Chatbots can identify a user’s intent and extract data accordingly based on responses the customer gives. They’re available 24/7 and can handle multiple conversations at the same time, delivering your valuable, real-time insights into customers mindsets and inquiries.
Furthermore, if you feel that a chatbot may be invasive or if you want something to complement its services, you could use online insurance web forms to convert more leads. Online web forms capture inquiries about your policy quotes or insurance claim information. An insurance agency takes pride in their personalized insurance advice, so this is a way to understand how clients view and appreciate your advice.
Depending on the type of form or insurance lead application, clients can get an answer immediately through redirecting them to the appropriate page, an email alert when an insurance agent can meet with them, or a direct connection to an insurance agent to answer any inquiries.
How to Combine the Two to Generate Insurance Leads
Most insurance companies are using traditional media, social media, and long-form educational content as their demand generation while using direct mail, email, social programmatic display, and other display networks as their lead generation. However, it’s important to use what fits your brand—and budget—not what the insurance industry determines as the “best” option.
Use all the tools at your disposal to your advantage. Map personas to find the right type of client for your services and customize your messaging to fit their needs. Create thought leadership content and post it on your website and social media to show your expertise in the industry and dedication to customer service.
Set up personalized mailing based on the persona mapping to reel in prospects with messaging that resonates more closely with their values. Set up chatbots on your website and other digital mediums to engage with clients and answer any questions they have faster than manual responses. Set up web forms on your digital assets and web pages to drive more conversions and turn prospects into clients.
A full-funnel marketing strategy requires both demand and lead generation to be successful. Once the new leads start coming in, you can focus on your insurance business sales. Your data is the most useful tool to your success, so by optimizing your demand and lead generation strategies early, you can start generating leads and information that yields faster conversions.
Insurance Lead Experts
FM Engage helps insurance agencies reach their full potential through effective insurance marketing methods. If you’re looking for quality leads for insurance clients that fit your brand, we have the marketing solutions to help move qualified leads through the sales process smoothly. Contact FM Engage today and let us help you connect with your most promising prospects.