When you think about successful digital marketing, you may think about thriving social communities. Viral videos. Clever copy and punchy product descriptions.

You probably aren’t thinking about insurance companies.

Insurance companies may get an undeserved reputation for being stuffy or outdated, but we’ve been working with some smart insurance companies and brokers recently who are seizing the opportunity digital marketing creates to put an engaging public face on their brands.

Want to know why insurance companies are investing in digital marketing? Or how they’re using it to get ahead? Read on for tips from tech-savvy insurance companies and the marketers behind them.

Building trust

A new Forrester report predicts that 2018 will be a “year of reckoning,” forcing brands to come to terms with the fact that consumers don’t love them as much as they’d hoped.

The solution, according to some surveys, may be increased transparency. In a 2016 study of 1,500 consumers, Label Insights found that:

  • Nearly all respondents (94 percent) say it is important to them that the brands and manufacturers they buy from are transparent
  • More than two-thirds (83 percent) say they would find value in having access to more in-depth product information
  • More than a third of those surveyed (37 percent) said they would be willing to switch brands if another brand shared more detailed product information

The key, it seems, to attracting and retaining customers is the kind of openness that isn’t possible with print advertisements. Take the example of RAC, shared by the Our Social Times website. RAC, the UK-based break-down cover and insurance company, invested heavily in creating useful content to be delivered for free to consumers through its website.

The result? As of the article’s publishing, RAC had racked up 24,000 members and over 115,000 posts on its self-hosted forums – the kind of engagement most companies only dream about.

Whether you drive engagement through content, through forums or through any other mechanism, the lesson is clear: transparency works when it comes to building trust with insurance companies.

Forming human connections

The immediate, real-time nature of digital interactions makes it possible for insurance companies to put an appealing human face on their companies. That’s especially important when you consider, as Agency Nation founder Ryan Hanley notes, that insurance has been increasingly commoditised:

“The seeds of a decade of GEICO commercials commoditizing insurance products has taken root deep within the brains of American insurance consumers. Families (think home and auto insurance) are shopping their insurance more frequently, often based solely on price, with little to no regard for the value an independent insurance agent delivers.”

If you’re struggling to get individual consumers to see your company as more than another nameless, faceless retailer, digital marketing can help align your brand with your company’s desired personality and positioning.

Take the update below from the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency, which uses stylised imagery and a leading question to prompt engagement amongst its target demographics:

While simple, the post earned the agency more than 1,600 “likes,” nearly 130 shares and hundreds of comments.

Think about the brand you’ve built (or are hoping to build). Then, use this understanding to determine how to best connect with consumers with different digital assets and strategies, across various digital channels.

Engaging a younger audience

Finally, consider that digital marketing may not be a “nice to have.” Given how extensively tied into the online world younger consumers are, earning their loyalty from the start of their insurance-buying lifespans may require a digital presence.

Matt Johnson, State Farm’s former head of digital marketing, acknowledges that this challenge isn’t easy to overcome. “Let’s face it,” he states in an interview with Contently. “Insurance is not a high-interest category for someone aged 18 to 35. They want to spend as little time as possible thinking about insurance.”

Johnson’s solution was to double-down on content marketing and other digital strategies, eventually landing coverage for State Farm on youth-oriented publications like Gawker and BuzzFeed.

“The goal is to create engagement,” Johnson continued. “You are battling for share of the mind of this human being. For something like insurance, these people don’t know that they’re going to [need it]. So when that happens, they’re going to research two or three companies. We need to be top of mind.”

Do the same by making digital marketing one of the top priorities for your insurance company. Or, if you need a helping hand to get started, give the team at Windsorborn a shout for some expert advice.

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