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A Benefits Broker's Guide to Marketing Strategies

A Benefits Broker's Guide to Marketing Strategies

Benefits brokers are the architects of peace of mind, the champions of comprehensive coverage, and the guardians of financial wellness. But in a world filled with options, how can you stand out? The use of marketing strategies will elevate your game and cement your status as a benefits guru. Growing your business now reaches further than just cold calling prospective clients. For brokers, having an effective marketing plan is crucial for building leads, developing trust, and becoming more competitive in the market.


Adding a Competitive Edge with Marketing Tactics

The ongoing reach out from producers is an important and effective strategy when trying to close a deal, but having additional tools is crucial to staying in the game with competitors. Adding marketing to these efforts is a great way to create more trust before giving them a call. Insurance is generally a confusing and intricate concept for most people, making it very important to set your agency apart. Before diving into marketing efforts, take the time to understand your audience inside out. What are their pain points? What keeps them up at night? Tailor your message to resonate with their needs, whether it's affordable healthcare options for startups or robust retirement plans for seasoned professionals. Let’s walk through key marketing strategies that can help you stand out. 



1.) Trade Shows and Conferences

Networking is the name of the game when it comes to benefits. Trade shows are full of industry peers, potential clients, and strategic partners waiting to be discovered. Don't be shy—strike up conversations, exchange contact information, and seize every networking opportunity. One thing to remember is that it's not just about collecting contacts; it's about building meaningful relationships that could translate into future business opportunities.

United Benefit Advisors (UBA) is a well-known organization that many brokers partner with because of their culture of collaboration that empowers independent benefit advisors to lead today's employee benefits market. If you are a UBA partner, you have access to conferences to connect and network with other benefits advisors, carriers, tech partners, and more. 

Another great opportunity for networking is attending SHRM conferences. While the target audience for SHRM partners is HR professionals, there are hundreds of brokers that attend these conferences as well. This is a great way to establish relationships with prospective clients as well as learn what’s important to HR people and their development. After all, their success is success for you too.

Trade shows are not just about selling – they're also about learning and staying ahead of the curve. Attend seminars, panel discussions, and keynote speeches for insights from industry experts and thought leaders. Be sure to keep your finger on the pulse of emerging trends, technologies, and regulatory changes that could impact your clients' needs.


2.) Event Sponsorships

Consider sponsoring key events or sessions within the trade show to enhance your visibility and credibility. From coffee breaks to networking receptions, sponsoring allows you to align your brand with the event's theme and gain exposure to a captive audience. At the last UBA conference, there was a sponsored Top Golf event. This was a great sponsorship opportunity because it was interactive, and let’s face it—brokers love golf. 

Your booth is your stage, so make it count. Design an eye-catching display that reflects your brand identity and highlights your unique value proposition. Engage with attendees with interactive demos, informative one-pagers, and branded swag that leave a lasting impression.

The more you get your name out there, the more it will stick in people’s memories. Brand awareness is a huge aspect of marketing, and sponsoring an event that aligns with your brand can be great exposure. 


3.) SEO

Since it’s 2024, let’s take a safe bet that your brokerage has a website. Just having a website is not quite enough, so the next step is ensuring that the website is not only high quality, but ranks high in SERPs (search engine results pages).

Start by identifying relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching for benefits solutions. This could include terms like "employee health insurance”, "retirement planning services”, or "voluntary benefits packages”. Tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush can help you uncover high-volume keywords with manageable competition.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another marketing priority to ensure prospects are seeing your website. To give a little perspective on ROI for SEO, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, 60% of marketers say that SEO content is their best source of high-quality leads, and leads from SEO have a 14.6% close rate. 

The rules of SEO are forever changing with the nature of Google and the algorithm. Scratching the surface of the intricacies of SEO is a great start and although it’s complex, learning the basics is a great first step.


4.) Email Marketing/Newsletters

Communicating with clients is a part of the job, but it does ebb and flow. Implementing a newsletter in addition to the traditional conversations you’re having with your clients is a great way to maintain that relationship by keeping them in the loop with any industry updates, updates with your brokerage, and by providing them with additional resources.

This marketing style doesn’t need to stop at current clients. Sending marketing emails or newsletters to prospective clients is a great way to establish trust by showing open communication and the value you could add. 

Share educational resources, industry insights, and actionable tips that address your audience's pain points and position you as a trusted advisor. Don't forget to incorporate eye-catching visuals, concise copy, and clear calls-to-action to drive engagement.


5.) Content Marketing

Speaking of providing additional resources, gone are the days of hard-selling. Today's consumers crave information, transparency, and authenticity. Position yourself as a trusted advisor by providing valuable educational content through blogs, podcasts, and webinars. Maybe even make a few YouTube videos to highlight your industry knowledge. This is a great way to show your authenticity and personality.

As a benefits broker, you possess a wealth of knowledge that your audience craves. Leverage this expertise to create high-quality, relevant content that not only educates but also ranks well in search results. Consistent, valuable content not only positions you as a trusted authority but also signals to search engines that your website is worth ranking.


6.) Testimonials

Highlighting positive client experiences gives a level of comfort to prospective clients. They want to know you have done a good job with other clients previously. Having a few testimonials on your website can be really helpful if a prospective client wants to learn more or if they’re on the fence about their decision. Here are a few forms of testimonials that could be effective:

  • Video/Interview of clients speaking on success stories
  • NPS survey scores
  • Positive written client feedback  

Behind every benefits package lies a compelling narrative waiting to be told. Share success stories of how your solutions transformed the lives of real people. Whether it's a family protected by comprehensive health insurance or a retiree living their golden years to the fullest, let these stories weave the fabric of your brand identity.


Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is a stellar marketing strategy. It takes time, dedication, and a willingness to embrace change. But by staying true to your values, understanding your audience, and leveraging the power of storytelling, you'll carve out your niche in the competitive world of benefits brokerage. 


Additional Resources: 

  • Brokers’ Corner Podcast—watch and subscribe to the Brokers’ Corner podcast, which dives into the topics that affect your agency and industry and identifies strategies so you can protect and grow your book of business 
  • BerniePortal Brokers’ Council—a council of benefits brokers from across the country that advises BerniePortal on industry concerns, trends, and the ways technology can best support their agency and employer groups 
  • BerniePortal for Brokers—leveraging technology to increase your agency valuation and support your employer groups is easier than ever with BerniePortal’s software solution, built for brokers by brokers

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