For many different industries, including the many retail, financial and commercial businesses out there, one of the biggest considerations that needs to be made is the approach to branding, and how a brand builds positive customer relationships and long term engagement.
But, how is it going to create good relationships with customers, and keep them coming back for the products and services it offers? For the insurance industry (especially event insurance) this is a consideration that is sometimes left wanting, due to the nature of insurance as a service.
Furthermore, events are not held every day, and are more often than not annual affairs, so the opportunity for direct communication with clients between these events (save for things like renewal notices) and the opportunity to keep customers engaged, may feel like it’s harder to achieve.
This is particularly relevant in the current climate, with events being cancelled and held off for months and months to come due to COVID-19 - how exactly can you keep your insurance brand in touch with customers in challenging times like these, and not just add to the noise for the sake of it?
In this article we will explore some of the different ways that - insurance brokers can keep their local event organiser clients engaged and interested in their business and services throughout the year.
They rely on two core things - good content, and the right distribution network.
At its most simple level, good content will entail news about your insurance products and services. Possibly a deep dive into different policy types, or an update to your service offering. However, every day/week/month your audience will not want to hear solely about these things, so it’s important to have variety - both in breadth and depth.
Content to build your brand
Share information like customer testimonials, award nominations and generally positive news stories about your company to boost your business’s reputation and build a trustworthy brand. Whilst you shouldn’t blow your own trumpet all the time, it’s important that you celebrate the successes, and not feel shy to be proud of the achievements. This is a great morale boost for employees, great reassurance for existing customers (they chose the right broker), and a hook for potential new customers (they want to be part of it).
Also consider giving your brand a face. The world of insurance can often feel faceless, but if you’ve got a great team, and enthusiastic personalities this could do wonders for your brand. The world of events in particular is all about people meeting people and learning from each other, so it’s important that your brand has a face and personality behind it for your audience to meet!
Consider having active brand advocates, leadership teams and key employees on social media showing off the positives of the brand in a more personable and engaging way. Provide them with the content to share, set some boundaries/ground rules to remain compliant, and let them go!
Content to establish credibility and expertise
Presenting your brand as one that has expert knowledge on the topic of insurance is a great way to build brand trust, and also works as a great foundation from which to create interesting content, which you can then share with your audience. Adding industry news, supporting local events and offering your own relevant thought leadership into your mix of content will build your reputation as an industry expert and help to keep your customers engaged as they will value you sharing this expertise.
Great content allows you to position yourself as the local insurance expert to your audience. You need to show them that they can come to you to find the answers to their business insurance questions, whether they need to know the level of employer liability cover they require right down to the niche topics, such as how they can ensure their annual exhibition is appropriately covered as an add-on product to their main policy. Make sure you add authorship details to your blog articles, so that when your audience picks up the phone, they know who to ask for.
Not all content has to originate from you though. Become masters of content curation rather than creation at times, and signpost your audience to the content that has already been created elsewhere (as long as it’s not to a competitor!). What you choose to share for their benefit will say a lot about your organisation, and could demonstrate how well you stay up-to-date with the insurance industry.
Once you’ve got a good library of great content, it’s important you use the right channels to ensure it’s seen, so on to how to get it out there..!
The right distribution network
Social media is one of, if not the biggest tools that businesses have access to, to regularly communicate and build relationships with their customer base - and this applies to event insurance brokers too. Throughout the many different social media channels, including the likes of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and more, you can develop a consistent social media presence through proactive updates and conversations.
You can do this through a variety of methods. Many social media platforms have business manager tools that enable you to create ad campaigns and sponsored posts to share your content at scale (albeit for a fee). Failing that, keeping a steady stream of organic posts that offer value to the audience will give them the best chance of being shared / liked and seen by as many people as possible.
Your social media channels work hand in hand with a blogging strategy. If you are creating great content on your website, you should share this on your social media channels to get your audience’s attention.
Social media is also a great place to get feedback, run surveys and even show some personality. Make sure to have conversations with your audience, rather than just bombarding them with information. Make a statement and ask for opinions and your engagement should soar.
In order to add some structure to your social media campaigns, it’s worth setting up social media content calendars where you can plan the type of content/posts you will be producing and the audience you are targeting - don’t under-estimate the power of being organised here. By planning out your week / month you can see the variety of content you’re sharing and assess whether it’s the right combination for your audience/s.
Here’s an example:
Share latest news post on insurance from a external publication and add your opinion to it (suitable for all audiences
Post a case study on a recent festival insurance claim (to inspire local festival organisers)
Create poll on the future of insurance post COVID:19 (welcome involvement from all audiences)
Share your article on the ins and outs of insuring a manufacturing business (relevant to manufacturing industry)
Share and analyse results of Wednesday’s poll, asking for audience feedback in the comments (all audiences)
Post a light-hearted, industry relevant image and ask the audience to caption the image. Possibly prize offered for best caption, winner revealed next Friday (all audiences) - make it a regular feature and your audience will tune in more proactively in the future.
Planning your social media strategy in this way makes it much easier to stick to and helps you to discover which audience types are most responsive and should therefore be targeted more heavily through specific platforms.
Another method to keeping customers engaged, is to use email. Similar to social media, email marketing allows you to communicate with your audience easily and more directly, and is a way to give your company more of a positive brand identity that both draws in recent customers and keeps long-standing ones engaged throughout the year.
Emails can be solus (one-off) or regular, like a monthly newsletter. The frequency of distribution is up to you and how much you have to say, but consider whether a single message fits all your customers, or whether you need to segment into types of customers, types of insurance etc, to maximise engagement. Test and learn to review open rates and engagement rates to determine whether the effort to implement is worth the impact.
Examples of email marketing tools to use include SendInBlue, MailChimp and Omnisend but there are so many so do your research to find the right platform for your needs. You will also need to adhere to GDPR guidelines should you wish to communicate with your database in this way. Ensure you have suitable opt-in permissions to contact someone via a non-transactional email (like a newsletter) and always ensure there is an unsubscribe link should they choose not to receive further emails of this nature. Keeping your database up to date, and compliant with GDPR is essential if you choose to use email marketing.
If you choose to run a monthly newsletter, try and keep a consistent structure so that 1) it’s easy to implement each month and 2) it becomes familiar with the audience and they know what to expect each time it lands in their inbox (and they stay subscribed).
Think about what you want to lead with, what features you might include that will keep the audience interested and how you can drive them to your website for further action. Don’t be afraid to include articles from third party websites if they are authoritative and not a competitor of yours, as you want your newsletter to be the one stop resource for information.
At the moment at Event Insurance Services we don’t have a designated monthly newsletter per se, however we do try and send out a couple of emails each month to our brokers and wedding introducers with topical content (like this article), or product updates that we feel may benefit them. A little ‘keeping in touch’ approach to stay connected, and offer value to our audience whether it’s directly about our products or services or the wider event insurance industry in general.
In becoming known as an expert in your field, we also recommend that you don't just limit your expertise to your own website. You should be reaching out to industry leading publications or local news sites and offering to provide articles, quotes and other contributions in order to get in front of your audience on the publications they love most.
That way, while your audience may not be actively seeking your business out, or following your next social post, they’ll be interacting with it on other publications and platforms nonetheless.
Event insurance, particularly in the current climate of uncertainty, is an industry that may feel less and less engaging to customers, given the almost complete shutdown of events being held in a post COVID-19 world. However, with these tips and suggestions, you can keep your insurance business more relevant and engaging than ever, and fresh in the mind of customers who will need insurance (especially for their events) in, hopefully the not too distant, future.