How to Set Your Marketing Budget
(If you're an insurance broker)
Do you want to know the secret to attracting more customers and growing your client base? It's simple - having a marketing budget! Not only will it help you stand out from the competition, but it'll also bring in more revenue for your business.
With a marketing budget, you can invest in various marketing channels and tactics to reach your target audience. From a website and quality content to social media and even print ads and events, the possibilities are endless!
Who knew marketing insurance could be so exciting?
But that's not all - having a marketing budget also allows you to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. By tracking website traffic, leads generated, and conversion rates, you can identify which marketing methods are working best for your business and adjust accordingly. Plus, you'll get to see the tangible results of your marketing efforts and celebrate your successes!
So don't be like the other boring insurance brokers out there - stand out from the crowd with a killer marketing strategy underpinned by a well-thought-out budget. Show your customers that you're the most trusted and reputable provider of insurance products and services out there. With a little creativity and some budgeting know-how, you'll be on your way to long-term success in no time!
What to budget for when planning your marketing activity
Are you looking to take your marketing to the next level? Well, you've come to the right place! Planning your marketing activity can be both exciting and overwhelming, but don't worry - I'm here to help you budget for it all.
First up, let's talk digital marketing. In today's world, having a strong online presence is crucial for any business, and insurance is no exception. Investing in a website that’s up-to-date and easy to navigate supported by a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to improve your website's visibility in search results, with a content strategy to drive traffic to your site, and social media marketing to engage with your target audience.
But don't forget about offline marketing tactics! Traditional methods such as print ads, direct mail, and events can still be effective in reaching potential customers in your local area. Consider sponsoring a local event or hosting your own to generate buzz about your business.
Now, let's talk about the budget itself. It's important to allocate funds to different areas of your marketing activity to ensure a well-rounded approach. Consider breaking it down into categories such as website, content creation, email marketing, social media, events, etc.
Speaking of content creation, it's important to invest in creating quality content that educates and engages your target audience. Consider starting a blog or creating content that addresses common insurance questions and concerns. This not only positions you as an expert in the industry but also helps build trust with potential customers.
Last but not least, make sure to track your marketing efforts and adjust your budget accordingly. Analyse metrics such as website traffic, lead generation, and conversion rates to determine which marketing activities are working best for your business.
By investing in a well-rounded approach that includes both digital presence, creating quality content, and tracking your results, you'll be well on your way to success!
How to kick-start planning for your insurance marketing budget
1. Analysing your current position is a good place to start when it comes to budgeting, have a look at your current website, if you have one, use google analytics to track the volume of visitors to your website this can be a useful indicator of the page's most visited and how much time people are spending on your website. Don’t worry if you don’t have a website, we can add that to the plan and the budget!
If you are using social media to promote the business, see how the different channels are performing both in terms of audience size and engagement. There may be areas you are performing better than others which you can learn from when creating content.
Do you have a blog, are you writing regular content that is added to your website or social media platforms? This is a great way to educate your audience, in a way that introduces you to your audience, building trust and awareness. If you have created this kind of content, how has it performed in terms of views, engagement, and feedback? This will be a good indicator of the sort of content your audience likes.
If you are using e-mail marketing, don’t worry if you aren’t, then your software should be able to tell you how campaigns are performing in terms of how many people have opened your emails and how many have then clicked links or visited the website. If you are paying to subscribe to email marketing platforms, then don't forget to put this in your budget for next year.
If you’ve carried out in-person events or specific campaigns, use the experience to shape your plans for the coming 12 months, are there ones you’d add to the diary and ones you’d rather avoid?
2. Goal setting can feel tricky but it’s a useful exercise to carry out when planning your budget, starting with the result you want and working backward helps me, what is the aim of your marketing? Do you want to raise the profile of the business, do you want to build a cross-sell campaign, or are you launching a scheme or product? Do you want to make 10 new sales a week or bring in £5k in revenue each month? It’s important to know what this is so you can then build the activities that will help you deliver your goals.
3. Who is your target audience? Thinking about who your marketing is targeting is powerful, the more you know about the people you want to sell insurance to the easier it will be to create content that speaks to those people. Now I know this can feel difficult, and you might be shuffling about on your chair at the mere thought of it, but I can promise you that it works and just because you are talking to one set of people now doesn’t mean you are only focusing on them forever more, but it helps, trust me! I know lots of insurance brokers who want to be all things to all people and are worried that they will alienate a possible lead if they don’t accommodate the business but when you do this it makes things difficult, here are three reasons why having a niche can be better than being a generalist:
Increased Expertise: When you specialise in a specific niche, you can focus your efforts on becoming an expert in that area. This can give you an advantage over generalists who spread their efforts across multiple areas. By honing your skills in a specific area, you can offer a higher quality of service to your clients and position yourself as a go-to expert in your field.
Better Targeting: With a niche, you can more easily identify your target audience and tailor your marketing efforts to appeal to them. This can lead to more effective marketing campaigns and better conversion rates. By focusing on a specific niche, you can also differentiate yourself from competitors and position yourself as the go-to provider in that area.
Higher Margins: By specialising in a niche in another industry you may be able to command higher prices for your service, however, we know that the fee and commission model may not allow this. By focusing on a specific niche, you can streamline your operations and become more efficient, which can lead to higher profit margins.
Having a niche can help you become an expert in your field, better target your ideal audience, and potentially earn higher profits. For example, one of my clients has identified that their ideal client is a mid to corporate-size business, they are not looking for an SME business as they know they cannot offer them the service they need, their expertise and skills are better suited to larger clients. This makes writing their marketing material much easier as you can write it for these people.
4. Now every marketer worth their salt will tell you that you need to be aware of your competition, and I agree to a degree, but I also think that while it's good to know what they are up to there is a danger that comparisonitis will set in and stifle your own marketing efforts. There are lots of large broking groups with big budgets when it comes to marketing and this can feel daunting, but I think there is a huge opportunity for smaller and independent brokers to shine a light on their businesses, the service, and expertise that they provide that large brokers cannot, especially when it comes to claims, advice, and service.
5. Similar to the previous point there is also value in looking at what the industry is doing in terms of marketing and if there are good examples of marketing that can be used as inspiration, however, I also think that to really stand out and harness the power of marketing insurance brokers can and should look to other industries for ideas on how to market themselves, always with an eye on the environment of regulation that we operate in.
6. Review marketing performance, looking at how different activities have performed is a good indicator of what will continue to work well for you.
7. Inhouse vs. Outsourcing is also a useful exercise for planning your marketing budget, a lot of my clients are time-poor, they have all the information but no time to create the content on their own, so they outsource the content creation, social media management, and email marketing to me. Some of my clients have someone in-house that splits their time between insurance and marketing, however, this comes with a risk that the insurance work takes precedence and the marketing falls by the wayside! With these clients my role is more of a coaching and teaching role, supporting them and helping them deliver the business marketing plan for a monthly fee.
Have a think about what you can do in-house and what you think you need outside support with and be realistic about what you can do yourself! If you want to be able to consistently produce quality content, then outsourcing your marketing might be a better option to deliver the results you want.
8. What is your available budget? Yes, finally we come to the numbers! How much have you got to spend on marketing in the next 12 months? Again, to be realistic, there is no point in planning activities that will cost £50k if your budget is £5k, and while there are some activities that are low cost, and we will cover those later, there is always a cost. Even if you are going to do the marketing yourself, there is a cost for your time!
It can help to create a budget for different activities such as website, content, email marketing, and social media, and we will come onto how to do that in the next section, and you can use the budget spreadsheet to help you create the budget for your business.
Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Marketing Budget
Here are some steps to help you establish a marketing budget for your business:
When it comes to what to include in your marketing budget, here are some key items to consider:
Website development: Your website is your primary marketing asset, so make sure to invest in its development and maintenance. If you want a new website, the cost will be higher than the cost of refreshing the current site, but you need to build in the cost of hosting your website, security, ongoing maintenance, and a copywriter if you’re not writing the content yourself.
Content creation: This includes the creation of blog posts, social media posts, videos, and other types of content that will help you reach your target audience and establish your brand as an authority in the insurance industry. As a guide, an insurance copywriter will cost between £300 and £450 a day and on average it takes 4.5 hours to write a 1500-word blog. A social media manager can cost upwards of £200 per month per social media account for creation and posting services.
Email Marketing: If you want to use email marketing, and I would say this is a must for insurance brokers then you’ll need to factor in the cost of an email marketing provider like MailChimp, Active Campaign, or Campaigner, as well as the cost of setting up email templates, writing the emails and sending them. You should also consider creating an email sign-up form on your website to gather leads which will incur a cost for the design and implementation work.
Advertising: Consider paid advertising on platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn to increase visibility and reach new customers.
Events and sponsorships: Attend industry events and consider sponsoring events that are relevant to your target audience to increase brand awareness.
On the other hand, some items that insurance brokers may want to avoid including in their marketing budget are:
Overcomplicated campaigns: Keep your campaigns simple and focused to avoid wasting resources on unnecessary or overly complicated efforts.
Unnecessary software or tools: Don't invest in expensive software or tools that you don't need, or that won't help you achieve your marketing goals.
Generic or irrelevant content: Make sure that all your marketing efforts are tailored to your target audience and that your content is relevant to their needs and interests. Avoid using off-the-shelf content, that is used by lots of insurance brokers, Google will not reward you for churning out the same content as another broker down the road.
Social Media: Don’t panic, I haven't gone mad! I love social media but I’m not on every platform, it’s just not possible to be brilliant on every platform so pick one that works for you and become brilliant at it, then if it fits your strategy try another one. Going all in, could be expensive and resource hungry!
By following these steps, you can establish a clear marketing budget that aligns with your business goals, are achievable, and contribute to the overall success of your marketing efforts.
Tips for Maximizing Your Marketing Budget
Maximizing your marketing budget is essential for insurance brokers who want to reach their target audience and grow their client base without overspending. Here are some tips for maximizing your marketing budget as an insurance broker:
Set clear goals: Before you start spending money on marketing, make sure you have clear goals in mind. This will help you prioritize your spending and ensure that you are focusing on activities that will help you achieve your desired outcomes.
Focus on your target audience: To get the most bang for your buck, make sure you are targeting the right audience. This means knowing who your ideal customer is and tailoring your marketing efforts to reach them. Your customer might be on LinkedIn but not on Facebook for example.
Research: Use data to inform your marketing decisions, including which channels and tactics to use and how much to spend on each. This will help ensure that you are making data-driven decisions and maximizing your return on investment. Always research the cost of marketing initiatives, this will help you shape your budget and work out what you can and cannot afford to do, for example, a new website might cost £3,000 but a refresh of your current site might be cheaper, a copywriter is going to cost between £300 and £450 a day so make sure you know how much things cost before you sign off your budget. Working with an insurance copywriter on a package basis might be a cost-effective solution instead of employing a marketing manager.
Leverage social media: social media is a powerful tool for reaching your target audience without breaking the bank. Consider using social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter to promote your brand and engage with potential customers. You could do this yourself if you have time but there are benefits to employing a trained social media manager. Here are the thoughts of expert Lucy Mowatt DipCIM, Director at Method Marketing; "Social media is a fantastic resource for businesses looking to grow their audience, build trust and increase sales. However, given the large number of different platforms available, it's important to be selective about where you're active. Go back to your marketing strategy and consider which platforms are most suited to your goals and objectives before signing up and creating content. For instance, if you're a commercial broker looking to reach senior leaders at prospects' businesses, LinkedIn is likely to be more suitable than TikTok. Once you know what you're trying to achieve – and with which platforms – you can start to build a social media marketing plan, which will guide how often you want to post and how much support you might need. For instance, you may want someone to create content for one post per week, which is likely to be much less expensive than an agency providing a full social media management service, which could include planning and content creation to publishing, community management and reporting."
Invest in content marketing: Content marketing is a cost-effective way to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Consider investing in creating high-quality content such as blog posts, infographics, and videos that are tailored to your target audience. There is no escaping the need for a good quality copy that speaks to your ideal client, whether it's on your website, in your social media presence, how you write your emails, or physical marketing collateral it is vital that you get an expert to help you write your content. You could be wasting time and money if you try and save money here!
Don’t forget e-mail marketing: e-mail is by far the best marketing tool you have, you can land right into clients' and prospects' inboxes and deliver useful, informative updates. Setting up an e-mail capture form on your website and creating a lead magnet to grow your list of leads are all low-cost and effective marketing tools you should be taking advantage of. The return on investment (ROI) is impressive - £30 for every 80p spent or ($36 for every $1). 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers. (Campaign Monitor, 2021)
Measure your results: Finally, make sure you are tracking your results and adjusting your marketing efforts accordingly. Use analytics tools to track website traffic, lead generation, and other key metrics to ensure that you are getting the most out of your marketing budget.
Are you an insurance broker looking to spice up your marketing game? This post is bursting with tips and tricks to help you attract more customers and generate more revenue.
With a clear and strategic marketing budget, you can invest in measurable strategies that reach your target audience, from a fresh and easy-to-use website, quality content, and social media engagement, to print ads and events. Who knew marketing insurance could be so exciting?
To make sure your marketing strategy is well-rounded, I suggest breaking down your budget into categories like website, content creation, email marketing, social media, and events. Investing in creating quality content that educates and engages your target audience is a must! Not only does this make you an expert in the industry, but it also builds trust with potential customers.
But that's not all - the post highlights the importance of tracking your marketing efforts and analysing metrics like website traffic, lead generation, and conversion rates. This way, you can see which tactics are working best for your business and adjust your budget accordingly.
With a little creativity and some budgeting know-how, you can take your marketing to the next level and show your customers that you're the most trusted and reputable provider of insurance products and services out there. Get ready to see the results of your hard work and celebrate your success!
Why Do I need a marketing budget (for my insurance business)?
Setting a marketing budget may seem like a daunting task, but it is a crucial step toward growing your business as a UK insurance broker. By investing in marketing, you can increase your visibility, establish your brand as an authority in the industry, and generate more leads and sales. It's important to remember that setting a budget doesn't have to be an exact science - it's okay to start small and adjust as you go. Remember that every pound you invest in marketing is an investment in the future of your business. So, take the leap and create a marketing budget that aligns with your business goals - you've got this!
I've created a marketing budget spreadsheet that you can use to build your budget. If you haven’t got one, just send me a message and I’ll email it to you.