Video Advertising for Insurance Agents: Using Videos to Grow Your Brand

Fran
Fran Majidi
January 22, 2019

Video is king on the Internet and it will be vital for acquiring leads for car insurance, life insurance and more. As important as blogging is, 15-, 30- or 60-second video ads have the ability to capture viewers who didn’t think they were interested in you -- until their eyes got the best of them. And look here, it turns out that the insurance lead who watched your online video advertising also pays far too much in car insurance premiums each month and is now asking for an insurance quote. Yes, it really can happen that way!


To be fair, though, most likely, it happens this way: the hypothetical insurance prospect gets pulled into the video and meets your brand for the first, maybe second, time. She/he may watch the video to the end and learn a bit more about your agency. If it seems that you are selling the same kind of insurance she/he already has, an important impression is made. When she/he decides six months down the line to compare insurance rates and sees your paid-search ad, chances are quite high that she/he will call for a quote. Remember: There’s no such thing as free advertising--no, no free online advertising either.


While we are not saying that video is magic, it has the potential to work some magic if you create video ads that resonate with people. Video can quickly introduce everything you have to offer to prospective leads while entertaining them at the same time.


It is very hard to unsee what you’ve seen, which is truly what happens as people scroll through their social media newsfeed and hit upon a video. How many times have you gotten swept away by something you had no idea you had an interest in? Too many times, right? Want a primer on how to do it right? It’s simple: just Google YouTube ads and you’ll call up a ton. Watch enough of them and you’ll get an idea of what works and what does not.


Hiring an Ad Agency

Even if you have an ad agency in mind that you’re considering hiring, you’ll need to do some work. We suggest that you bullet point what you’d like the video to message to viewers, at the very least. It’s best if you also communicate what you’d like the video to look like and possibly write down what you’d like to get across and how long you want it to be. You never want to give an agency free reign to conceptualize, write and direct an advertisement with 100% creative control. If you do, you will be blown away by how different their vision is from yours. You didn’t hire them to be mind readers, after all. So, make sure to hand over notes, sketches and anything else that may bring your vision to life. If you feel capable of writing your own script and only need the agency for the use of a camera, lighting and that sort of thing -- even better! The more involved you are in the preparation phase before the video shoot, the happier you are likely to be with the end product.


If you are using animation, make sure you like the artist’s sketches before they begin working on the entirety of the ad. If you are hiring actors to read from a script, make sure you are happy with the picks before you film the video.


Read the script before scheduling the shoot. Make sure it’s exactly what you want it to be.


Most importantly, make sure you have a contract listing all the deliverables you expect from the agency so you’re both on the same page before you shoot it. This piece of paper will also protect you from any unexpected turns that the project may take. Make sure that the contract itemizes each and every cost so that you’re not in for a horrifying surprise when it comes time to pay.


Making Your Own Video

Buying advertising time costs money, but it’s how to get leads. Even though you can make a video on the cheap, you don’t want to waste time and money by submitting a less-than-professional product. Make sure you hire an ad creator with a portfolio as the project lead. It doesn’t matter if your ad maker is a top-of-the-line cinematographer shooting your video or a talented student from the local art college who knows how to use an ad maker app. Just make sure you see evidence that they’ve done an amazing job in the past. After you find the right director/cinematographer, put together a skeleton crew for lighting, casting, audio and everything else you’ll need to get the job done (food for the crew and cast, maybe?). Ideally, your cinematographer also has digital editing experience so that you don’t have to become a pro at iMovie overnight. Consider using Premier, a professional editing program, which comes with a month-free trial membership.


Television: Local, Regional or National?

As you sift through the ways you can find leads for insurance, also think about how far and wide you want your commercial to appear. As you can imagine, the farther you branch out the more expensive screening it will be. Stay local with affiliate stations and it won’t cost very much at all. Television ads in general are the costliest type of advertising, with cable being the most expensive (due to a more targeted, affluent viewership). With that said, TV commercials have the highest rate of return if done properly and if they appear at prime times. Local advertising rates vary according to location but typically cost anywhere from $200 to $1500+ for a 30-second spot. The way you are charged for a television ad is by a measure called CPM (cost per thousand). For instance, the CPM for Los Angeles is about $35. What that means is that for every 1,000 impressions you pay $35. So, a show that will be seen by 10,000 people will cost you $35,000.


How to Make Ads on YouTube and Facebook

While YouTube has lost some of its steam, it’s still a vital channel to explore for affordable ad placement after you create your commercial. With Youtube ads, rates are very fair, and you can expect to pay less than a $1 per view, with averages costing about 10 to 30 cents per view. You also have 6 options for how your ad will appear and if viewers can skip the ad or not. If you’re looking to target a younger demographic (20s-30s), this is a much better contender than, say, cable advertising. If you have a digital advertising budget, you can’t forget YouTube. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Every 5 seconds you get 25 hours of video uploaded. Every minute, 400 hours of video are uploaded. Your commercial can be set to appear locally too, which would saturate the neighborhood you’re targeting.


Don’t forget about Facebook ads, which also feature short commercials, which average out to about 27 cents per click and $7 CPM. You can also feature your ads in other content makers’ Facebook videos. What a great way to get noticed!


Social Media Newsfeeds

While articles on insurance news and trends are going to grab some great prospects after appearing in newsfeeds on Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram, videos will grab many more. People just can’t help but watch movie pictures. And if it looks inviting, with bright colors and visually captivating action, you’ll certainly get people to stop what they are doing to hear what you have to say.


Other Marketing Platforms

Generating leads takes time and hard work. If you have a limited staff or are an agency onto yourself and want nothing to do with a huge and complicated project like a video commercial, there are other ways to market yourself. At the very minimum, you should have a proper website, accounts on social media channels and a blog. If you need to, you can always build upon this minimal setup.


Buy leads if you’re not spending much on video advertising and commercials. Insurance technology companies like SmartFinancial already do the marketing and advertising for you so that the leads you buy have that built-in cost.


In short, video will dominate the digital realm for years to come. It will also be one of the most important tools in nurturing viewers who are unfamiliar with your brand. Whether you’re making videos in-house or hiring an agency, we hope our tips have given you a great overview of the process.