Creating Content: Where Do I Begin?
May I share a secret with you?
I love the art of putting words together. Words create interest. Words convey emotion. Words compel action.
They educate. They elevate. They electrify.
And sometimes, they are elusive.
As an insurance agent, offering valuable written content and articles can strategically put your agency ahead of the competition as well as aid in building trust with prospects. Only 42% of marketing professionals believe that the content they’re creating is effective. There’s no doubt that the percentage is even lower for insurance agents. Proving you’re knowledgeable about insurance as well as willing to provide that knowledge for free, ensures you’ll likely attract and maintain stronger client relationships.
Like any skill, creating content is something that develops through practice. However, if you tend to have barriers or writer’s block when it comes to creating strong and engaging content, there are a few tips you can utilize to get you past those inhibitors and begin communicating effectively with your audience.
- When you’re having difficulty pinpointing what ideas you want to discuss, have a word dump. Literally bring up an empty document or piece of paper and begin typing whatever comes to mind. Answer the questions: What value do you want to provide to your current clients? What do you want potential clients to know about your agency? What is your goal? Even writing down frequently asked questions can begin to open your mind to some creative ideas. As an insurance agent, you can answer common questions such as “How do I choose a home insurance policy that’s right for my home?”
- Build an outline. There are so many content writers who believe that they don’t need to build an outline – that they can finish their blog posts or social media copy faster without it. The outline is a skeleton what you’re writing. Without it, attempting to pile your skin and muscle (the actual weight of your words) on, they’ll just fall off as weak and unstructured. A simple outline that includes a tentative subject line, hook, problem, and the solution and conclusion is all you need. Once you’re finished, you can also create a call to action (CTA) or question to boost engagement. You’ll be surprised at how much faster it is to build your content once you have that outline in place.
- Find Authoritatively Sourced Quotes and Statistics. One of the biggest secrets to creating optimized content is to include sourced facts and statistics that will “wow” your readers as well as support the key takeaways you’re trying to communicate. You’ll know if a source is reputable by its name and its association. They’re also the ones more likely to show up at the top of search results. Gallup, Harvard Business Review, Inc.com, and even Medium are full of useful facts, etc. that you can utilize and link back to. They’re also huge in building SEO because if you’re using those same terms, your agency is more likely to be bumped up as well. Once you have a few stats or quotes, you can build the rest of your content around them. Just don’t go overboard.
- Focus on Storytelling. The most engaging content is the stuff that tells a story and entertains the reader while also offering them informative and valuable information. No one wants to read a blog post that’s dry and text-book like. This isn’t a college essay, it’s content! You’re building relationships with your audience – so make sure you’re conversational and aligning your tone with your chosen reader-base.
- Always, always, always proofread. Twice. It doesn’t matter if your word processor doesn’t give you any red error lines or edits, it’s important to always proofread your writing at least twice before publishing. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to make a mistake, not fix it, and then lose out on leads and engagement because your readers were compelled to another site. If you have the resources, ask someone else in your office to give your content a read through; a fresh pair of eyes can pick up on things or offer other ideas you may not have seen or thought about.
- If you’re doubting your work, walk away and then come back. If you’re struggling with creating today’s content piece, finish the first two steps and then come back to it when you’re ready. You’ll only frustrate yourself more if you try and force yourself through an article – and your readers will pick up on it. Quality should be much more important than timelines.
Interested in learning more about the content creation process or need a little more guidance, let’s chat. Word dumps and idea webs are my jam. Is your content creation process different? Drop me a line. I love to learn how other agents are managing content for their blogs, newsletters, and social media. (This is my CTA – ensure that the content you create has one too!)
Dshanya Reese, CIC
How does a country girl from East Texas become a brand marketing manager with an insurance agent twist? Endless curiosity and a willingness to fail…spectacularly!
After spending a decade working for an insurance carrier, Dshanya joined Watkins Insurance Group in 2009 as a Personal Lines Account Manager. Since 2014, she has been the resident expert of the agency’s brand voice and architecture, ensuring that consistent and high-quality communication and community engagement advance the agency’s mission of being here to help.
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