Over the last few weeks I’ve discussed new trends in digital marketing, new technologies, and changes being implemented by Facebook and Google. It’s apparent that marketing as we know it is changing, but what is the overall shift in marketing exactly and how does it impact your insurance marketing efforts? This week I’ll discuss what insurance marketing for the modern broker entails.
WHAT IS MODERN INSURANCE MARKETING?
Simply put, modern marketing is about the customer. In the case of benefits brokers, this means your insurance marketing efforts must revolve around employers. This requires completely changing how you approach your marketing strategy.
So many companies, and brokers, make the mistake of deciding how they want to engage with their customers. It’s a poor experience if you’re, directly or indirectly, forcing your prospects and customers to adhere to your preferred modes of communication rather than giving them the experience they want. This is what modern insurance marketing is about.
Don’t take my word for it, consider these statistics based on research from Salesforce:
- 70% of consumers say technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.
- 75% of consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage (e.g., website, social media, mobile, in person).
- 52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them.
These are the forces steering modern marketing towards optimizing the customer experience. But, the main reason this shift requires you to completely change how you approach marketing is that each demographic has their own preferences.
DIFFERENT CHANNELS FOR DIFFERENT GENERATIONS
The chart above is data from the Global Contact Centre. It shows the massive gaps in preferred modes of communication by generation. This is why it’s important to expand the modes of communication your agency provides.
For example looking at the chart above it’s clear to see that Generation Y/Millennials value webchat as a form of communication when researching a service. So if your agency’s website doesn’t have a live chat feature, you can possibly lose millennial B2B decision makers to a competitor that provides this type of communication.
On the other side of the coin, if you focus all of your efforts on digital marketing without picking up the phone to call leads, you risk alienating Baby Boomers. The differences don’t stop at communication; it applies to content and messaging as well.
DIFFERENT CONTENT FOR DIFFERENT GENERATIONS
Millennials value video when researching a new product or service for their company. In a recent survey, 29% of millennials say video is what they prefer most when looking for B2B vendor information. As for what exactly they want to learn from video content; 39% want product walkthroughs and demo content.
Generation X (38 – 52)
They prefer readable content. According to research, they mainly consume blogs, case studies, infographics, and guides. This generation cares most about pricing and ease of doing business; they care about facts. Readable content like guides and case studies revolve around ROI, time saving, and the overall value of a product or service.
Baby Boomers (53 – 71)
According to data from Forbes, Baby Boomers spend 60% of their time reading content, like blogs, when researching a new product or service. But, like millennials, they also value video content as roughly 70% stated they also like to watch videos when learning about a company. Their motivations behind making a purchase are price (62%), and product variety (21%).
Marketing for the Customer Experience
Creating a high quality customer experience means looking at the complete buyer’s journey for your target audience, and tailoring the journey to their needs and preferences. From the first point of contact, to sale, to post-transaction contact and follow-up.
- Create tailored content that is in their preferred method of consumption. Content that answers the most common questions employers have about the benefits space, explained in a way that the average person can fully understand.
- Ensure your content is easily accessible across all employer relevant channels.
I touched on what type of content different demographics view as valuable. Now I’ll take a deeper dive into what modern marketing content looks like.
As I mentioned earlier, Generation X prefers to consume readable content like guides. This type of content is popular with B2B buyers, in fact research from ImpactBND found that a whopping 80% of B2B consumers are willing to provide their email address for an ebook.
Considering that 28.3% of Generation X prefer to communicate through email, a guide is a great piece of content to create an email campaign for as part of your insurance marketing plan for 2018. But, before attempting to create your own guide you need to understand the pros and cons of this type of content.
- They help you establish thought leadership. By demonstrating your industry knowledge, you’re also establishing your brand as a trusted source for employers.
- It gives employers valuable information in exchange for their contacts, which are of value to you. It’s a win-win situation.
- Subtle selling – weave in your own success stories to validify your insights.
- It’s easy for both the consumer and you to send, share, and download.
- Guides mainly appeal to an older audience, millennials prefer to watch video when learning about a business or service.
- Lengthier content that takes time to create.
We made a few employer guides to help you get started. Download them here:
A webinar is a live seminar conducted over the internet. You can host webinars that educate prospects about your benefits administration software, teach training strategies, etc. Research shows that webinars are another popular medium for B2B decision makers.
As I mentioned earlier, millennial B2B decision makers value video/demo content when researching a supplier. Given that 23.9% of millennials turn to social media for information when researching a supplier, promoting your webinar on social media is one potential method to provide this demographic with an ideal customer experience. Here are the pros and cons of hosting your own webinar.
- Everyone learns better when information is presented multiple ways. Webinars use live and/or recorded video for visual learners (inclusive of millennials), voice recordings for audio learners, and provides an interactive experience for kinesthetic learners.
- Easy access for consumers.
- Ability to record your webinar and make accessible for those who couldn’t attend.
- Webinars can stick in the memory of a consumer longer than other types of content, which means the stakes are higher for creating a positive experience.
- Having an engaging speaker is essential to ensuring a positive experience. Research found on average, 32% of webinar attendees say they feel the most engaged when the webinar host was passionate and energetic.
Of course, I’m a huge supporter of blogging. But, more importantly this form of content is popular with both Generation X and Baby Boomer B2B decision makers. Also, a recent report found that blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.
Given that both of these generations value email as a preferred mode of communication, getting them to subscribe is a great way to capture leads and provide them with their ideal customer experience.
- It’s an easy way to educate your target audience on a wide array of topics.
- Provides an additional forum to share informative content (guides, videos, infographics, etc.).
- A blog showcases your talent and authority, giving readers the confidence to believe that you can provide the solutions they’re seeking.
- Fresh blogs can help get you on Page One of search engine results for your chosen keywords.
- B2B blogs aren’t as popular with Millennials over other forms of media.
- Blogging requires commitment. Starting a blog is easy, but the difficult part is being disciplined enough to stay on top of it with consistent quality content.
- With ever-changing algorithms and updates from Google, keeping up with SEO changes can be daunting.
Video is the most popular method of learning among employers of any generation. Here are a few eye opening statistics from Hubspot;
- almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before making a purchasing decision.
- 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
- In EaseCentral’s own survey, 40% of employers stated they prefer to learn about new HR technology through video.
Given the popularity of video, this is a must have addition to a modern insurance marketing strategy in 2018. Here are the pros and cons so you know what it takes to leverage this form of media.
- Diverse use cases – testimonials, informative, tutorials, etc.
- Video boasts incredibly strong engagement. Audiences are roughly 10X more likely to engage with and share video content than any other content type.
- It can be easily repurposed. Virtually every aspect (b-roll, audio, animations, etc.) of an individual video can be easily reused in future projects.
- Adding video to specific pages can be incredibly effective at increasing conversion rates – particularly landing pages.
- Popular with all age groups.
- Difficult to produce. It takes a lot of time and resources to produce high quality videos.
- Technology limitations – People with unreliable or poor-quality internet connections, lower-end mobile devices or computers.
- Consider that, as recently as three years ago, more than 2 million Americans still accessed the web primarily through AOL dial-up (yes, really).
MODERN INSURANCE MARKETING
Benefits administration in itself is a complicated experience for any employer – that’s why they turn to brokers. But, in today’s digital world of empowered consumers, you must update your marketing strategy to stay competitive and meet the needs of employers. Understanding your audience is key to meeting those needs as it allows you to provide them with the experience they prefer.
The data and content I shared with you today will help you get started. Over the next few weeks I’ll expand on the key points I detailed today, so subscribe to the Broker Tool Belt to be alerted when I release next week’s blog.