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The Impact of Paid Ads on Insurance Agency Marketing

Person using laptop to discover the impact of paid ads on insurance agency marketing

In the grand scheme of digital insurance agency marketing, paid advertisements might seem like a no-brainer. You commit to investing a certain dollar amount, publish your ad copy, and (hopefully) start fielding calls from highly motivated buyers looking to purchase insurance. 

On the other hand, if it were that simple, everyone would be doing it. 

The truth is, paid ads can be an excellent way to drive new business to your insurance agency. Your road to success may have very different twists and turns compared to someone else’s parallel journey, and you might need to adjust course a few times along the way—especially if you go the DIY route. But if you’re persistent and savvy, you’ll get to your destination: A steady stream of promising leads hitting your inbox. 

For quicker (and more dramatic) results, you can partner with a digital marketing agency that caters to insurance agents. Industry specialists can put together targeted ad copy that will attract your ideal customer; they can also handle the tedious work like tracking performance metrics and testing keyword variations. 

But before you make your choice about whether to put together a paid ad campaign yourself or hire a professional team, brush up on the basics of paid ads below. 

Want to start driving warm leads right away? Contact EverQuote and ask about our real-time lead and call offerings. We’ll handle the hard part, so you can immediately start connecting with new customers.


How To Make Paid Ads Work As Part Of Your Insurance Agency Marketing Strategy

What are paid advertisements?

Technically, a paid advertisement is any ad that you’ve paid to display. Even before the days of the internet, businesses were using paid ads in the form of TV and radio commercials, billboards, and newspaper ads. 

In the digital marketing world, however, paid ads appear exclusively online. Anytime you load a YouTube video that begins with a commercial or see a “Promoted” link after doing a Google search, understand that someone somewhere has paid to have their message placed there for you to find. 

If you want your business details to appear where customers can see it, you’ll have to pay a vendor (usually Google, but we’ll get to this in a moment) to run your ad copy where interested people will see it and be able to click for more information. 

You might encounter various payment structures for ad campaigns on different platforms. Most commonly, you’ll run into pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, where you’ll pay a certain amount—anywhere from a few cents to a couple of dollars—every time someone clicks on your ad and arrives on your landing page. 

You’ll pay that amount up front for each click, but the idea is that the customer should be motivated enough by your ad to take further actions like calling your agency or submitting a request for a quote. 

The costs for all those clicks can add up quickly, which can make paid ads a pricey pursuit if you don’t go into it with a solid strategy to make your money back. You can, however, set up a maximum amount you want to spend, and once your ads have generated enough clicks to equal that amount, your ads will no longer be displayed. 

Once you’ve purchased paid ads, where will they appear?

This depends on where you want your ads to show up. You can purchase ads on a number of different platforms—Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc. —so you can tailor your strategy based on your top priorities. 

With that said, if you’re working with a digital marketing agency, they’ll typically suggest you lean heavily on Google and Google-related platforms. An agency can help you get your ads on Microsoft Bing, Facebook, and other platforms if you’d like, but Google is such a heavy-hitter in the search algorithm space that we encourage you to focus the majority of your efforts there. 

One benefit of a Google-focused ppc marketing strategy is that your insurance agency’s advertisement will wind up in front of people who are actually searching for insurance. 

Google search for home insurance in ponte vedra fl

Unlike a Facebook or YouTube ad—which can be related to a user’s search history but isn’t a real-time search engine result—a Google search is an instant answer to the user’s question. If someone types “Auto insurance policies for good drivers,” for example, they’ll be much more likely to click on your promoted link than if your agency simply appeared in a pop-up or a banner that can be easily ignored while the user focuses on something else. 

A second benefit of prioritizing Google paid ads is that your listing will show up as text at the top of the user’s search page. Most people are used to clicking “skip” on video ads or minimizing image pop-ups, but they’ll typically take the time to read promoted links. For one thing, it takes only a second or two to skim through the text in your listing; for another, your promoted link will appear exactly like the other search results they’re seeking out. This gives you a prime opportunity to pack your ad listing with all the relevant information you want to provide to attract people to click on through to your website. 

What should you say in your paid ads?

For Google to understand what your ad is saying and match your listing with interested viewers, you’ll need to include specific keywords. 

As for the keywords themselves, what works for one insurance agency might not work for another. Your services and your target demographics are unique to your business. Bob’s agency down the road may have great luck advertising comprehensive home insurance for first-time buyers, whereas you could find success with keywords related to your specialty knowledge in low-premium life insurance for folks over fifty. 

As with many other aspects of digital marketing, you’ll need to experiment a little bit to find the best PPC marketing approach in terms of keywords and where to place them. Your results may change, for instance, if you move a keyword from your ad’s description to its title or vice versa. 

If you go into a paid ad campaign with an open mind and a willingness to tweak and adapt your ads as your results begin to roll in, you’ll more than likely find success. 

Why hire a professional digital marketing team instead of running a paid ad campaign by yourself?

Not everyone has the time, patience, motivation, and digital skills to experiment with ads and see what works. 

If you want to skip much of the trial and error and follow a more tried-and-true formula, you can always opt to partner with an expert team of digital marketers. Professional digital marketers know what works and what doesn’t within your industry; this is especially true if you partner with a team that is experienced with digital marketing for insurance agents. 

You’ll still be able to fine-tune your ad campaigns for even better results over time, but you can bypass the initial growing pains by hiring a professional team off the bat. 

Professional digital marketers research keyword phrases to find the best matches for your business. Interestingly, they can also identify negative keywords—phrases that aren’t getting the results you want and should be avoided in the future. They’ll monitor your progress over time and keep you on track when you might otherwise have gotten frustrated and overwhelmed going it alone.

What will your ROI look like?

This also depends on whether you’ve put together a DIY campaign or hired an expert team. If you’re going it alone, you’ll have a lower up-front investment because you’re not paying to outsource the work. 

However, most agents are unaware that they could actually get a better ROI by letting a professional team bid on ad space. 

Since most digital marketing firms likely have higher ad budgets than your agency, they can bid more competitively and get better ad placement than you could get on your own. This means you’ll receive more motivated, higher-quality leads you might not have otherwise been able to access. 

How long will it take to see a return on your investment?

A good digital marketing strategy takes time to pay off. You aren’t going to strike gold overnight and have thousands of new clients on your books by next week. Digital marketing is more like a snowball that starts off tiny as it begins to roll down the mountain, but eventually expands into a huge beneficial force for your business once you’ve built up enough momentum. 

The good news is that if there is a portion of digital marketing that could be considered a “sprint” in comparison to the overall marathon journey, it’s paid ads. Since your advertisements appear in front of eyeballs as soon as you complete your purchase and hit “publish,” you could theoretically start picking up new business right away.

At EverQuote, we can help you supplement your digital marketing efforts with high quality warm leads - connecting you with insurance shoppers in real time.

If you’re looking to boost your digital marketing journey with high converting leads and calls, feel free to contact us and learn about our offerings! We’ll start putting together a free business consultation as soon as you’re ready. 

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Topics: Featured, Insurance Marketing, Insurance Agency Growth

About the Author Jeni Woolf, Agency Business Consultant, EverQuote

Picture of Jeni Woolf, Agency Business Consultant, EverQuote

Prior to joining the EverQuote team in July of 2023, I worked in account management for a consulting organization. Currently I live in Fort Worth, Texas, and outside of work I absolutely love seeing live music in the area. I am a proud UW-Madison Alumni and Wisconsin native, so of course a few of my favorite things have to be the Memorial Union Terrace in the summer, a Friday Fish Fry, and the Green Bay Packers!

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