Chapter 5

Content Marketing

Introduction:

Use Content to Stimulate Interest in Your Insurance Business

The way people consume media has changed. A huge increase in digital consumption has resulted in an inbound marketing revolution, with content becoming an increasingly significant part of any B2B marketing strategy.

Through an intimate understanding of your customer’s buying journey, you can create quality content that engages them at each stage of the buyer journey.

Tip 23: Content Marketing in the Insurance Industry

Content Marketing is a proven Lead Generation tool that is particularly relevant in the insurance space, as companies typically have to educate customers about their products before they will commit to purchase.

Content Marketing can be instrumental in informing your customers about your business, and it also contributes to Search Engine Optimisation (the process of improving your website’s visibility on Search Engines).

How to Stand Out with Your Content Marketing

For your content marketing to be effective, it has to cut through the noise and resound with the target audience. It is important to deliver quality content that addresses the specific problems and pain points at each stage of the buying journey to encourage prospects through the sales funnel to purchase.

In order to do this, your content should follow these three key concepts:

1. Make It Valuable

When a customer loves your marketing, they’ll love your company. It’s important to create content that truly engages and deliver content that your customers and prospects not only want to read but want to share and act on. The customer should be at the centre of the marketing strategy.

2. Speak to Buyer Personas

Your company has a variety of different prospects and it is important to communicate in a relevant way to each group. Before delivering
a content marketing strategy, you should segment your target audience and consider the specifics of each group by asking:

  • Where do they do their research? Online? Print? Audio?
  • What do they read? Articles? White Papers? Reports?
  • What knowledge do they have of your industry?
  • How can you enhance their business?

3. Establish Thought Leadership

The ability to communicate high-quality content is vital in establishing thought leadership. Content should be informative, detailed, innovative, and contribute to the industry that it discusses.

The most essential part of creating content, however, is to address the needs and wants of the target audience, as ultimately their confidence in your business is what will position you as a thought leader in the industry.

Being viewed as a leader in your space will not only attract more customers, but will also get prospective clients and stakeholders talking and make them more likely to consider your proposals.

Bonus

Make the Most Out of Your Printed Marketing Material

Another way to get your brand message out to your target market is to give away printed marketing material. Flyer printing may seem like an old tactic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get results. Go the extra mile and innovate beyond the standard template. There are a lot of creative ways you can get your target market’s attention using flyers and pamphlets, so make sure yours are practical for reading, keeping, and saving.

Quick tips to make flyers and pamphlets worth keeping:

  • Print out informative infographics and turn those into flyers.
  • Add discount coupons at the bottom of your flyers.
Tip 24: Three Ways to Create More Visually Appealing Content

With 93% of marketers implementing content marketing as part of their strategy [Australian Content Marketing Research, King Content 2014], it’s becoming more and more difficult to get your brand noticed.

Most research around the topics has focused on the written aspects of content marketing, so making your content more visually appealing can be what your brand needs to stand out in today’s insurance marketing crowd.

Visuals break through the clutter of online content. As visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text, the information you want to convey can be communicated quicker and with more value by using images.

Any visual used by your brand should be strong and consistent with your brand image. It’s vital that your visuals do not come across like an ad and interrupt the user experience; instead, they should reinforce and enhance your written content.

1. Use Visuals to Inspire

“Posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without” [Wishpond, 2014].

Choosing the right photographs and graphics can tell your consumer a story and enhance their experience with your brand. Consumers often don’t know exactly what they want and are instead looking for brands to provide inspiration and ideas. Marketers should use graphics to show off product or service features in a unique and memorable way.

2. Use Visuals to Help

As they communicate helpful information in a visually appealing format, infographics are inherently shareable across digital platforms. Businesses using infographics have been found to grow traffic at an average of 12% more than those who don’t [Wishpond 2014].

The use of infographics positions your brand as a knowledgeable resource in the eyes of the customer and when shared can increase brand awareness. Consider creating an infographic from a popular piece of written content already on your website. This will draw fresh attention to your existing content in a format your audience can easily digest and put to use.

3. Use Visuals to Humanise

Compelling visual content can personify an otherwise faceless company and give people a reason to interact with it. Instead of relying on stock photographs, using original images better illustrates your brand story and brings it to life.

This can also give consumers new ways to relate to your business and create trust and credibility. If your brand does this effectively, you can build a more sincere relationship with the customer, providing a foundation
for long-term advocacy, loyalty, and a sustainable bottom line.

In an environment dominated by content, your customers and prospects are unlikely to stay engaged with words alone. Try to add some of these more visually appealing aspects to your content to keep customers interested, involved and inspired by what you have to say.

Tip 25: Upcycle Your Content

Upcycling content can help to add value and boost visibility to old information. Continuously generating large amounts of ineffective content is not as practical as creating less, but more useful material. Content upcycling is not about republishing, but rather transforming former content and providing it with additional value. Repackaging allows your business to find alternative purposes for content, explore new avenues for distribution and push your message to the forefront.

What Content Should You Upcycle?

The goal of upcycling is to add value to previous content and gain maximum mileage from each piece of content created. Aside from minimising the need to create new and original content, upcycling previous material assists in enhancing SEO.

Begin the process with any kind of content; blog posts, articles, videos. It is important, however, to decide what content is worth repurposing and selecting content that has growth potential.

When republishing material, you’ll need to add fresh insights and
new knowledge to the original publication. Otherwise, you run the risk of the upcycled content lacking appeal. Some content is ageless and can remain relevant months after its first publication, making it a suitable option to include in your repurposing strategy.

How-to Upcycle Material

Adopt different platforms in order to repurpose your content. Some consumers may prefer to read the material, however, others might find themselves listening to podcasts. Upcycling provides marketers with the chance to adapt old materials to new platforms, extending the visibility of content among its audience.

Customising information for different consumers or industries is another effective way to extend the lifespan of content. This strategy encourages new audiences to view material, as it is better catered to their particular needs.

Upcycling is one of the most useful techniques for enhancing the visibility of your content. By rearranging and refreshing it, you have the opportunity to revive its appearance and present it as content that is of value to your audience.

Tip 26: Use Humour

There’s no denying it, insurance isn’t the sexiest industry to be in. Operating in such a professional industry, we all too often convince ourselves that our marketing communications should be as serious as the products, timelines, and decision-making processes we deal with. We can forget that a touch of humour can add that much-needed splash of personality and character to our brand.

A genuinely funny one-liner, a play on words or visual humour in the form of a picture or a video can be exactly what your brand needs to stand out from the crowd, and grab (and keep) your prospect’s attention.

In the words of Tim Washer [Social Media Manager at Cisco],

“Comedy can cut through all the noise, it makes the point in a very clever way, and it connects with people so they listen.”

People respond well to humour for a number of reasons:

It Humanises Your Brand

Insurance marketing tends to come down to relationships and the individual people you are dealing with. Most often your prospects will make their decisions based on human traits and characteristics such as warmth, trust, and likeability. Brands that use humour are more relatable, and therefore, more approachable in the eyes of the customer, which makes them seem more “human”.

It’s Attention Grabbing

In the insurance industry, marketing materials written in dry corporate speak
or overly promotional language are used all too often. A brochure, email blast
or advert with a touch of humour can break the norm and brighten up your prospect’s day a little. Humour is unexpected and offbeat in insurance advertising so it really catches the attention of the viewer who is more likely to remember it amongst the abundance of other communications they get that day.

It Creates Connection

When used correctly, humour should speak to a problem that the consumer has in a light-hearted way. By addressing their pain point, you indicate to the prospect that you understand where they are coming from and you are there to help, which will assist in forging a stronger connection between customer and brand.

But…

Humour is subjective, and sense of humour varies wildly between people of different race, age, demographic, education and cultural background. So before sending out that hilarious marketing blast, be sure to fully consider the following:

  • What is the message you are trying to get across and does the humour enhance or distract from this message?
  • Will it alienate those who don’t understand the humour reference?
  • Is the humour used likely to offend anyone in the target market?

As long as you don’t answer ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, your communication should be a hit with the intended audience. If you can make someone laugh, you’ve gone a long way to breaking down their pre-conceptions and they are more open to your argument.

Tip 27: Find Influencers

Influencer marketing places the focus on influential people, rather than your target market as a whole. This type of online marketing can be beneficial to increasing brand awareness, improving SEO and expanding your overall reach. But how do you find and contact the right influencers to target them?

There are many excellent resources for identifying influencers who can share your content with their followers. In the insurance industry, the two which you should be looking to first are LinkedIn and Buzzstream.

LinkedIn’s Advanced Search Tool

LinkedIn is an excellent resource for uncovering influencers in specific companies. When researching influencers you should quickly see which companies or publications are regularly referenced. Through LinkedIn’s advanced search tool, you can search a company for their top professionals.

Once you’ve found the right people to connect with, throw out
a line. Read their content and express your opinions in a private message. Offer them up one of your blogs and gauge their opinions. If done right, these networking opportunities are invaluable.

Buzzstream’s Discovery Tool

Buzzstream is specifically designed to help brands connect with influencers. Their discovery tool is a great way to uncover key influencers in your industry (https://idb.buzzstream.com/).

Simply type in keywords or phrases relevant to your industry to find relevant influencers. The more targeted your search terms, the more relevant the influencers you will find. The advanced filtering options are great for targeting different types of influencers.

If you are looking to target influencers on social media you can sort your queries by the number of followers. If you are looking for guest bloggers, Buzzstream allows you to sort out those influencers with a higher domain authority.