Listen into A Digital Marketing Tool for Insurance Agents. Iroquois’ Digital Marketing Director joins the podcast today to give all of our members a new idea. Content creation can be overwhelming. Adding a visual aspect to your content can significantly improve retention rates. That being said, independent insurance agents don’t typically have room for a graphic designer on staff. Canva.com does the designing for you and allows you to easily edit the template to make it your own. There is no right or wrong answer about outsourcing your graphic design needs or keeping them in house but canva.com is a great place to start.
Edwin K. Morris (4s):
Welcome to the trusted advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois Group. Iroquois is your trusted advisor in all things insurance. I am Edwin K. Morris. Kelsey Branch is the digital marketing director at the Iroquois Group. She is joining us with a behind the scenes look at marketing graphics. That’s graphics that are for marketing. Kelsey graduated from Mercyhurst University and started her career in the insurance industry at Travelers Insurance. We’re in a data age where social media brings us the opportunities of having more visual stimulus than ever before. So with people becoming more and more visually motivated, how can an insurance agency stand?
Kelsey Branch (46s):
So, as we all know, it’s not unusual for an independent insurance agency to not have a graphic designer on staff. So you are starting to want to be out on a social media, or maybe you’re just trying to amp up your digital marketing. So email or something like that, but you don’t know how to include visuals. We can all write a blog about how the housing market is different than it was, you know, a year ago or something like that. But if you want to catch someone’s eye quickly and just have it be a one off, a good hit to kinda bring them in to start that conversation with you, you need a good graphic.
Kelsey Branch (1m 28s):
I wanted to just point out software that we use. It’s actually just a website that is really, really easy to jump into and get a really great product out.
Edwin K. Morris (1m 38s):
Let me just back up before we get to the product, what exactly is the one. to know you said about eye catching, but it’s more than that, right? It’s, it’s actually transferring data into something else. Correct?
Kelsey Branch (1m 51s):
Great question. And there are few things that graphically we can put out pretty easily, whether you want to share a testimonial, but you don’t want to just type out the testimonial as a status. You want it to have some feel to it, bring some sort of emotion to the table, or just to have it connected to your brand. So maybe you’re an insurance agency and your brand is very typically burgundy associated to your brand colors. You want to be able to put something out that when people are looking at that they’re seeing back, oh, I know that this is X insurance agency without even seeing your name attached to it.
Kelsey Branch (2m 33s):
So that brand awareness is awesome, and insurance can be… boring. We’ve, you know, that has been said many a times on this podcast, but it doesn’t have to be. And so if you’re an agent trying to relay maybe why somebody needs to get an umbrella policy or why somebody needs to have boater’s insurance for that new toy they bought last summer, you can design something that is visually appealing, but also conveying some sort of information to them.
Edwin K. Morris (3m 5s):
Yeah, the infographic or what you’re basically getting down to the root of is a transfer of knowledge, the telling of a story in a very short, concise, easy to consume way. Yeah.
Kelsey Branch (3m 14s):
And insurance needs to be easy to consume because it is not the thing that people are most excited about going out to purchase. So if you can get it out in front of people in a way that is easy for them to digest and common, a common way that people are digesting information now is visually or graphically.
Edwin K. Morris (3m 34s):
Do you have to be a graphic designer to do this?
Kelsey Branch (3m 37s):
Thankfully no. That’s the, you know, that’s the number one appeal of this. I’m by no means a graphic designer. I would maybe say that I have a creative bone or two in my body. So for me, it’s really fun because this platform has thousands of templates that already look good. So it’s going to be an infographic and their infographic on the website might be about how to get dressed for work or something like that. But all of the proportions of the visual are already visually appealing and how they should be proportioned to represent the appropriate information.
Kelsey Branch (4m 21s):
So you just kind of get to plug and play, but instead of how to get dressed in the morning, it’s steps to insure you’re home and you can get to, you know, delete step one “put on socks” and replace it with step one “reach out to an independent agent”.
Edwin K. Morris (4m 36s):
So these are all templates that already exist in the system that, that you can kind of modify to fit what you need?
Kelsey Branch (4m 42s):
Yep, exactly. Yep. And so one of the cool things about is through the website, Canva, canva.com. It already has licensed all of the media that is being provided to you through this website. So you don’t have to worry about getting into a copyright issue, or if you have permission to use a photo or purchasing stock pictures to put at the top of your blog page or something like that, which can get really tricky and is also something that is a barrier for people. “Oh, I’m not even going to attempt to create something visual, because what if the random place on Google that I found this from actually does come and try to sue me.”
Kelsey Branch (5m 26s):
All of that is taken care of and it’s stock imagery, different fonts or different little icons. You know business icons and even some video if you wanted to dive into that portion as well.
Edwin K. Morris (5m 38s):
Any last thoughts about how this adds value to anyone out there that is trying to reach a customer or client in a visual way?
Kelsey Branch (5m 48s):
I think in the independent insurance agency sphere, there’s this decision about whether or not you want to step into the digital world. If you want to start sending out digital marketing campaign emails, if you want to step into the social media area, but this big sense of like, how would I present myself on social media? I know how to present myself in a meeting, but I don’t know how to present myself on social media. And this helps you have a professional visual appeal and it helps you have a consistent image across your social media. So instead of that one random post that you found three years ago, you can kind of bulk create.
Kelsey Branch (6m 28s):
So you have five testimonials that you want to put out. You can find a specific template and you can plug and play, and they’re all going to be consistent and look beautiful and catch the eye of the audience that you’re trying to appeal to.
Edwin K. Morris (6m 44s):
Well and you brought up a good fact is that once you build over time, you can go back to modify pieces you’ve already created and update them just like you’re an example. Exactly.
Kelsey Branch (6m 54s):
It’s nice to be able to kind of build a library, I guess, of information, of data, of infographics, et cetera, that you can alter slightly. And it’s going to have a whole new life brought to them.
Edwin K. Morris (7m 6s):
Would you suggest that you have someone other than yourself proofread everything that you create just to make sure you catch a few things?
Kelsey Branch (7m 14s):
It’s really good idea. So I know sometimes when you’re, you know, you’re like does orange look better or does red, and you keep clicking back and forth orange red, orange red, orange red, orange red. And by the time that you think you’re done, your eyes are crossed just because we have been looking at it for too long, just as one person. And that’s actually a kind of cool thing about Canva. If you do upgrade to the paid version, which is a very minimal fee per month, you can invite team members. Say that you have three people in the agency that you trust with a visual eye, that have some sort of inclination towards what would be attractive to your audience. All three of those people can have access to this document. So they’re all going to be able to say, okay, you know, we needed to move those letters over to the left so that we can actually see them all.
Edwin K. Morris (8m 0s):
That’s a team effort. It kind of takes the weight off of one person trying to design something that may not have the confidence or skillset that they soon we’ll have.
Kelsey Branch (8m 10s):
Right. And that’s it,that’s, that is the point as an independent agency, you are having this decision about whether or not you want to step into the space, you’ve decided you want to, and then you have to decide, do I outsource this or do I attempt it in house? This is the “you’ve decided to attempt it in-house and you want a low cost situation that you can invest a little bit of time into, or you can really dive deep”. That’s that’s the whole gist of this.
Edwin K. Morris (8m 37s):
And, and it gives them an opportunity to experiment and just see if they like it, right? Because they may, you may find a closet type person that just loves creating graphic design items like this for their own hours. Yeah,
Kelsey Branch (8m 50s):
Absolutely. And they can have an hour on Tuesday’s to buff up your social media with this graphic design section. They can write some testimonials or they can do an infographic on the new products that you’re trying to sell cyber insurance, and then they can do a campaign of employee anniversaries. And all of it is in this one space with a pre-made template if you’d like, or you can make your own.
Edwin K. Morris (9m 15s):
The comment I’ll make is that I think that once you start thinking of how this content will be visually, once you go through those hurdles a couple of times, you’ll, I think you’ll find that it becomes easier to think of how this could be translated into a visual.
Kelsey Branch (9m 31s):
It’s like getting rid of creative writer’s block or something like that. Yes, you oil the machine in a little bit. This website Canva helps you oil that machine because it gives you some ideas, that gives you a skeleton to build off of, you know, before you know it you’re churning out social media, infographics,
Edwin K. Morris (9m 50s):
And then you’re just like looking “Oh! that would be a cool infographic”. Yeah.
Kelsey Branch (9m 54s):
Oh my gosh. My friend brought their dog to work today. Let’s highlight it as a pet spotlight and I can make a cute little thing for it.
Edwin K. Morris (10m 1s):
Any last thoughts, Kelsey?
Kelsey Branch (10m 3s):
If you’re a small business looking to start or upgrade your marketing program, this can be a useful tool. It can be a useful solution. And if you have any questions on it, please feel free to reach out to me.
Edwin K. Morris (10m 17s):
And I’m sure that you’d like to hear any stories of anybody getting some bang for the buck out of that!
Kelsey Branch (10m 22s):
I’ll be watching, I’ll be looking for the Canva-style posts.
Edwin K. Morris (10m 27s):
All right. Thanks, Kelsey.
Kelsey Branch (10m 29s):
Edwin K. Morris (10m 30s):
Thanks for listening to this edition of the Trusted Advisor Podcast brought to you by Iroquois Group. Iroquois is your trusted advisor for all things, insurance, and remember to get out of the office and sell. I am Edwin K Morris, and I invite you to join me for the next edition of the Trusted Advisor podcast.