Should small and medium size insurance agencies invest in press releases? The inference here is that larger agencies are already investing in this important marketing activity – which is an accurate depiction. Do the large brokers know something smaller agencies do not? Press releases, which today are often referred to as news releases, provide agencies with many insurance agency marketing benefits. There are two types of distribution services, fee based releases and free releases. Small agencies with modest budgets and some extra time can consider many of the free distribution services. Some of these include:
- Newswire Today
- Free Press Release
There are dozens of free distribution services, some of which also offer premium fee based release services. Agents and brokers which can allocate budget for more comprehensive distribution should consider fee based or subscription providers. Some the better known fee based services are:
- PR Newswire
Why should insurance agents use press releases to augment their insurance agency marketing initiatives?
- Expand market presence – deliver a refined message to a broad target market.
- Reach new markets – alert new target markets, especially verticals, of products and services.
- Create name recognition – helps target prospects “know” your agency when contacting them or quoting.
- Define expertise – alerts prospects of deep industry knowledge (compliance and group benefits, trucking insurance, risk retention groups, restaurant insurance, etc.).
- Improve insurance agency search engine optimization – though search engines argue to the contrary, search engine optimization specialists have proven that press releases positively influence insurance agency SEO (SERPs).
- Attract media attention – Properly executed, insurance agency press releases can be distributed to hundreds of thousands of news subscribers and tens of thousands journalists and bloggers.
- Increase website traffic – press releases engages readers and directs them to visit your website.
- Boost social media traffic – most press release services allow readers to share the release via social media.
What should agents include in their releases? Here are some of the common components which should be included in every release:
- Headline – make it short, relevant and pithy.
- Summary – a quick description of the release, with greater granularity than the headline, enough to whet the appetite of a perspective reader.
- Dateline – usually includes the release date and originating city of issuer.
- Introduction – first paragraph in a press release, that generally gives basic answers to the questions of who, what, when, where and why.
- Body – the content of the release including background, details, quotations, metrics, etc.
- About – most include a brief “about” section, providing information about the organization issuing the release, website link and other information important to the issuer.
- Media contact information – name, phone number, email address, mailing address, or other contact information for the release contact person.
Most services offer guidelines, release examples and FAQs to help agents and brokers with press release basics. Finding worthy topics is probably easier than agents might think. New insurance agency webinars or webinar programs, new lines of business, new employees, new offices, new carrier relationships, innovative products and service announcements, new website resources, upcoming speaking engagements or trade show exhibitions, and content/video libraries are all topics which can benefit from a release. Agencies can either staff this work internally, or outsource the initiative to a proficient insurance agency marketing and PR organization.