Canadian Underwriter

Time to socialize

May 4, 2019   by Norah Black, Director, Marketing and Communications, Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO)

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In my five years with the IBAO, I’ve witnessed incredible growth and developments by insurance brokers online. When I started, only a handful of leaders in the digital space were realizing the benefits of a thoughtful digital strategy. The numbers were in the single or early double digits and many brokerages didn’t have a website, let alone a strategy.

Today’s landscape is very different. Brokerages across Ontario are marketing their brands online in a variety of ways, including on social media. The number of digital leaders has grown significantly — approximately one-third of IBAO members have a social media presence; around half that number are both active and extremely successful.

It’s been remarkable to watch this growth, and there’s a huge opportunity to expand this presence significantly as the need to communicate with consumers increases. The list of potential topics for brokers to discuss with their clients is endless, but explaining why auto rates are increasing is a large knowledge gap that brokers can help fill. For those who may find creating original content daunting or overwhelming, plenty of relevant news articles and resources can easily be shared with your network.

Norah Black, Director, Marketing and Communications, Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO)

A great opportunity exists to share broker involvement within the communities they serve. Every broker I know makes a difference in their community, whether by financial contribution, volunteering, or in some other way. Sharing stories on social media allows your network to learn about your contributions and your passion to give back.

Think about leveraging social platforms as an investment in your client base. With brokers, it’s about relationships. They’re what’s truly valued by consumers (those who use brokers and those who don’t). Social media is an extension of these relationships; it’s a strategy that can simultaneously improve retention and attract new business.

Brokers who aren’t on social media often say they don’t have the resources to implement a social media strategy successfully. Or they might believe they’re too late in the game to start now. But if you start now, it won’t be long until you see the benefit. Further developing client relationships can be as personally rewarding as it is advantageous.

As with anything new, getting started is often the biggest hurdle. For those without dedicated resources, start slowly. Create a basic strategy, dedicate a small amount of time each week to build your audience, share content that will either help or be of interest to your client base and interact in a personal way. Starting slowly will allow you to check out the landscape and ease into a routine that works for you.

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