Let’s face it – insurance isn’t always seen as the most exciting of industries, but that doesn’t mean insurance content can’t be engaging and highly relevant to people’s lives.
As a sector, you might think there’s not a lot that distinguishes one brand from another (especially on the comparison sites). But research indicates that it’s the small interactions that make all the difference. Insurance brands need to be there for their customers at every stage of the consumer journey.
So, does this mean content marketing is a solution for insurance companies? We think so.
The Content Marketing Process
Content marketing is a way to sell more products by being useful and relevant to prospective customers via blogs, video, social media and pretty much any other type of online content. We use the word “sell” advisedly because this is not a hard sales approach. Instead, it’s about being there as a guiding hand through the decision making process with good advice and clear information.
Neil Patel, one of the world’s top content marketers said a content marketing strategy can increase traffic by 142%. That’s impressive, but how?
In general content marketing for insurance companies can be great for:
- Developing your brand through blog content and user guides
- Answering common questions customers have (and are searching for)
- Sharing your values through 3rd party content curation
- Staying connected to your existing customers
- Reaching new customers
- Enhancing SEO and attracting more traffic
And this can be via:
- Your website/blog
- 3rd party guest blogs
- Social media channels
- Email marketing
- Video content
It’s about knowing your customers and understanding what they want at each stage of their journey
Knowing what kinds of content will be useful to your customers is the bedrock of your content marketing strategy. Think carefully about what types of content or facilitation your customers need, at each stage of their journey with you.
Google have done extensive research into what it refers to as “micro-moments”. Breaking the customer journey down into 4 stages, Google found that consumers are looking for different types of content or functionality – depending on where they are on that journey and what environment they happen to be in online.
- “I want to know” moments – consumers are just beginning to contemplate a product or service
- “I want to go” moments – the second stage happens when they are actively researching and comparing products
- “I want to do” moments – the third stage is about getting things done, solving problems
- “I want to buy” moments – these occur when they are actually purchasing
Understanding micro-moments lies at the heart of understanding your customers. With today’s consumer now able to access a device at all times of the day – being there in each “moment” will make the biggest difference to your sales, reviews, reputation and bottom line. Ultimately that comes down to consistency and frequency – and the truth is most businesses probably aren’t engaging often enough.
This also means being there on all channels, whether that be a guest blog, content on your own site, social media post, Youtube video or via a review site. In a recent study by Ipsos and Google, 69% of online consumers agreed that the quality, timing, or direct relevance of a marketing message affects how they see a brand.
So, what can this mean specifically for insurance companies?
You might ask well, that’s all good advice for general marketing purposes, what about the insurance sector specifically? Is there any research that shows efficacy?
Google also looked at how car insurance brands were often absent from consumers during crucial phases within the customer journey (here’s the report). Poorly performing insurance brands were absent in category relevant searches up to 92.7% of the time.
Even the best performing brand was absent 24.8% of the time – showing the obvious gap between consumer behaviour and actual branded content or functionality.
The pattern, Google stated, was cross-industry – thus revealing a huge opportunity for insurance brands willing to do more (or in some cases make a start) in terms of their content marketing.
Can content marketing help insurance companies find their niche?
As you might expect, competition is extremely fierce for all insurance related keywords. However, in our own case study, Bristol based Park Insurance were able to increase their traffic significantly by publishing the kinds of blogs customers were already seeking answers too.
This increased their sales by 20%. It was achieved through gaining an understanding of their customers and researching their most likely keywords (including long tail). It was then possible to create the kind of content most likely to make Park Insurance visible at the right moment.
What about overcoming the power of comparison sites? Can content marketing help?
Overcoming the power of comparison sites is a huge challenge for independents, and even the bigger players. While it’s not possible for me to offer any kind of master plan here, it seems logical to assume that good content will always help a brand – no matter how small. Park Insurance is a case in point, but one of the big players, Aviva did execute quite a neat way to do this – using well-constructed landing page content.
Using optimised blog content (in the case of Park) and an intelligent approach to landing pages and PPC it’s certainly possible to overcome some of the challenges aggregator sites represent. Add to the mix a robust social media strategy and the use of segmented email lists, then there’s even more reason to be optimistic.
Google’s advice, as highlighted in the “micro-moments” research came down to:
- Be there: make sure you are visible to consumers
- Be useful: create highly useful content at the right time within the right environment
- Be quick: offer a great UX, respond to consumer needs and keep listening
In today’s world where your customers have their smartphones with them pretty much all the time (and check them abut 150 times a day), you need to respond with more content, more of the time. SEO, blogs, social, apps, UX and great customer service all help to create the right conditions for customers to easily buy and use your products.
Here’s a list to get you started
It takes impeccable intelligence, research and creativity for insurers to compete in the market. And having outstanding content marketing must now be seen as vital. Essentially, what this means is you need to at least show-up. Let me suggest the following:
- Start talking about content with your sales and marketing teams or hire an agency to help you
- Produce customer-centric blogs once or twice a week
- Publish these via social media
- Email your blogs to your list
- Consider some social media advertising to boost your content
- Do some keyword research – what are your keywords? Find out
- Get started with a guest blog/backlinks strategy
Whatever you do, remember the customer journey is at the heart of content marketing. If you bear that basic principle in mind you’ll naturally want to be there for them – wherever they hang out online.
Need help with this? Leave a comment or call us on 01803 865 025.