Content Marketing in Insurance – The Solution or Part of the Problem

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Social media promised a direct and less formal route to customers, but it has created mixed results. The are many issues to address, but one specific problem is the significant increase in the demand for content.

Content marketing and road signs in Boston - both creating confusion?

Content marketing and road signs in Boston – both creating confusion?

Content which is less product focused, but more conversational or educational is far more likely to be shared between customers and this is generally labeled content marketing.

Content marketing is not without its own problems,

  1. It is very resource intensive and many insurers have no option but to recruit internal subject matter experts or employ third parties. Frankly, most employees are not trained journalists and there is a lot of mediocre content. Outside organizations can be very expensive.
  2. The proliferation of content is bloating web properties at the same time as evidence suggests that people want simpler, easier to navigate sites especially on mobile devices.

 

According to Gerry McGovern, a leading web expert, “for brands where the more you learn about the product, the more likely you are to buy it, we don’t need content marketing. But we do need quality content. If there has been a constant in my 20+ years of consulting with websites it is that most websites produce far too much low quality ego content. This is true for both commercial, government and non-profit websites.”

In our own testing, new content is invariably added without any regard to removing outdated versions. This is in part driven by internal silos, the claims department creates its own content, as does customer service and marketing. Social media groups add new blogs, often leaving in place “legacy” equivalents.

In one example, a major P&C insurer offers advice to its customers about what to do in an auto accident in seven separate online places and while the advice is on the whole reasonably consistent, there are discrepancies and the overall experience is confusing.

McGovern offers some intriguing examples that demonstrate the need to cull content is just as important as the need to create.

  • Telenor (Telecommunications) of Norway deleted almost 90% of their webpages. Conversions went up by 100% and support requests went down by 35%.
  • The Norwegian Cancer Society removed almost 90% of their content and saw extremely positive results.
  • The US Department of Health deleted 150,000 of their 200,000 pages. Nobody noticed.
  • Columbia University of Chicago deleted 97% of their pages. Student application inquiries went up by 80%
  • The Liverpool (UK) municipal website went from 4,000 to 700 pages. Support requests went down and online reporting went up.

There has never been more need within the insurance industry for content that is helpful and succinct that allows the customer to self-educate and control the process. Gone are the days that confusing content was actually seen by some in the industry as a good thing in that it created a need to call an agent. But instead of creating new layers of content, insurers need to understand more precisely what people want to know, what tasks they want to perform and how they ask their questions. A content strategy must be devised to reach across all of the internal silos, including the social media group buried away somewhere in the organization.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Terry Golesworthy
As the president of The Customer Respect Group for 7 years, I focus on the online experience of consumers. Online experience has always been bigger than the company website, from the response to email to integration to other offline channels. It has now grown to include social media.

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