Review: Udemy Marketing Class for Insurance Agents

Written by Jackie Tan. Jackie is part of fundMyLife, the platform that connects financial planning questions to the right advisers.

Social media is often described as yelling into a crowd of people. Paying for social media ads is akin to getting a bigger and louder loudspeaker – you’d reach out to more people. However, with proper digital marketing techniques, it turns your loudspeaker into a walkie-talkie that buzzes the right messages to the right crowd.

There’s almost no excuse for a company to maintain a social media presence to get ahead of competitors, and insurance agencies and agents are no exception. However, it was quite surprising that they still do not leverage the power of social media. In our (casual) survey of Facebook pages of insurance agents, we find that the adviser pages surveyed have a median of 125 fans and 1% 7-day engagement rate, implying a low reach compared to the industry average of 5%. Hence, there’s a need for a marketing class for insurance agents.

As such, it was a delight when fundMyLife stumbled across an Udemy course titled “Facebook Marketing for Insurance Agents”.

What is that? A Marketing Class for Insurance Agents?

As the name suggests, it is an online course containing a series of lectures that aims to guide insurance agents market themselves online on Facebook.

It’s taught by a digital marketer named Jay from Malaysia, but we thought that the insurance scene in both countries were similar enough that agents from Singapore would benefit from the course as well. The course is 5 hours long, and is composed of several parts in the syllabus:

  1. Welcome
  2. Building Your Online Presence
  3. Advance [sic] Facebook Strategies
  4. Take Action Now
  5. Buying & Building A WordPress Website
  6. A Real Entrepreneur Journey
  7. Step by Step Guides

So far so good, let’s dive into it.

The Content

The lecture starts with an introduction into what digital marketing is, and how it differs from traditional marketing. In the part on building an online presence, he shares a strategy called the ATOM strategy: Always Think Of Me and to do that, the marketer has to 1) Educate, 2) Share (Case Study, Testimony), 3) Part of Community, 4) Appear Live In Person, 5) Humor.

ATOM Strategy. Consists of Educate, Share, Part of Community, Appear Live In Person, Humor
The ATOM (Always Think Of Me) strategy that helps the insurance agent build his/her online presence. Screengrab from online course.

The points on establishing an online presence are relatively self-explanatory; those are wise words as it helps to engage your audience and doing so establishes yourself as an opinion leader. These actions are simple in theory, but it’s exceedingly challenging to execute.

Creating content is hard. There is a severe shortage of consumer education when it comes to products, case studies that highlight interesting situations that consumers faced, and opinion pieces of agents on their respective speciality.

Next, he proceeded to share some advanced Facebook strategies – he shares some of the common pitfalls that novices do. For example, one mistake that people tend to do is share too much information in the picture. He gives an example of a post with too many words.

A slide titled "Split Testing" is shown, together with two different images. The image on the left is wordy and the image on the right is less wordy.
Split testing helps the marketer discover which image, text, or caption used is more effective in targeting a particular audience. Screengrab from online course.

Another common mistake is pressing the “Boost Post” button to promote a post instead of setting up a proper ad campaign. Indeed, you miss a lot of opportunity for further targeting and experimentation when you merely boost posts.

Moreover, he suggests that advisers set websites up for email collection for the subsequent steps in the lead generation funnel as the email collection helps and that embedding a Facebook pixel aids in tracking and segmenting the Facebook audience further.

A Venn diagram showing the ideal target user is someone who knows about you, who is near you, and is part of the demographic you are targeting
It is important to get people who are not just in your geographical area and are in a certain demographic, but also people who have seen your posts and/or website. Screengrab from online course.

Sound Advice So Far…

Jay also introduces the idea of a marketing funnel, a series of steps designed to convert strangers online into eventual leads and customers.

A picture of a marketing funnel
While this marketing funnel is sound in theory, it can be quite challenging to implement with regards to insurance. Screengrab from online course.

He advises to build a website to offer something in exchange for the website visitor’s contact, such as an e-book or a guide, and let the product be an introduction to the insurance agent. Once the visitor is convinced that the agent’s expertise is sound, and has a taster of his/her advice in the e-book and website, the visitor can then be converted into a lead and eventually a customer.

The course ends off with a step-by-step guide on buying and building a WordPress site (1h 28 mins) and a sharing on his entrepreneurship journey (1h 5 mins). We won’t cover those, but the former is very useful if you don’t know how to create a WordPress site and the latter is inspiring; it is a call to action to put into practise what you learned.

That’s All Folks

Aren’t you glad we spent the $18 so you don’t have to? To summarize, here are the pros and cons of what we found from the course:

Pros:

  1. Covers basic ideas surrounding digital marketing
  2. Inspiring life story of the lecturer at the end of the course
  3. Step-by-step walkthrough on buying a WordPress site
  4. Shares precaution to avoid classic mistakes
  5. Teaches tried and tested digital marketing techniques

Cons:

  1. Has breadth, and less depth
  2. Incomplete case studies

Verdict: Like nasi lemak without sambal, or chicken rice without the fragrant rice, this Udemy course lacks a certain punch that makes it a complete dish. As such, you will have to do more research if you’re an insurance agent looking to modernise your sales channel after this course.

You’ll just have to find an alternative course online to study – preferably free – or hire someone to help you out.

fundMyLife is a platform that aims to empower the average Singaporean to make financial decisions confidently. We also connect consumers to the right financial planners in a private and anonymous manner, based on their financial planning questions. Follow us on our Facebook page to get exciting updates and your dose of finance knowledge! Let us know what you want to know about finances or something that you wish your friends knew! 

Post-script: What is 7-day engagement rate?

The 7-day engagement rate is a high-level metric used to approximate the level of engagement (duh) in a Facebook page.  Engagement is defined as actions that a user takes on your page, e.g., liking, reacting, or sharing. A high 7-day engagement rate demonstrates consistent interaction with the content on the Facebook page, and implies that the followers of the page are high quality.  There are several tools out there to measure this metric – we used Meltwater’s Likealyzer to analyse the pages.