Communicating Your Competitive Advantage in a Hard Insurance Market
4 Tips for customer communication amid rising risks
In a hard insurance market, price is no longer the key differentiator when it comes to purchasing insurance coverage.
Instead, brokers, insurance software developers, risk managers and carriers all have to find another way to claim a competitive advantage in this tight insurance marketplace. Smart marketing teams are doing this by highlighting their business’ consultative approach. This includes offering free risk management best practices, educating your audience on potential policy exclusions, providing industry-specific advisories and more.
What’s the best way to do this? Content marketing and thought leadership.
As many as half of B2B decision makers engage with three to five pieces of content--think: online, print, video, and social media — before ever reaching out to a salesperson or producer (1). That means prospects are already sitting silently in your audience, whether you know it or not, deciding if your business is a worthwhile partner.
All the information buyers could possibly need is online for their consumption. Blogs, social media posts, magazine articles, advertisements, and eBooks are now the chief factor in determining purchase intent.
In fact, 89% of buyers say vendor content makes it easier to show ROI and build a case for their purchase (2).
Showcasing your competitive advantage with content in today’s hard market isn’t just a great idea, it’s key to surviving.
Here are four ways to communicate your competitive advantage in today’s hard market.
- Take a deep dive. Do a head-to-toe analysis illustrating knowledge of a specific market. Think: eBook, white paper, or guide on cannabis, real estate, or D&O coverage, for example. Long-form content is typically 1,500 to 3,000 words. Start with a general narrative on the topic. If there’s a current event or news angle you can leverage, start with that. Include statistics and market analysis from your internal leaders, aka your competitive advantage. Pepper in case studies, best practices, and, most important, a list of tips or tricks on surviving the hard market (another competitive advantage). Check out an example here.
TIP: Long-form content is preferred by the Google search engine. The average article on the first page of a Google search is 1,447 words (3).
- Be relatable. Make your subject matter experts the voice of your business and write in a casual tone to make them relatable to your target audience. Consider writing blog posts in first person to achieve that real one-on-one connection. Include a real byline on every piece of content, preferably the name of your internal expert on that topic.
TIP: A POV blog is a great way to earn visibility for your business leaders and push your thought leadership out into the world. Check out this Point of View (POV) example.
- Segment content by market. Fully 52% of customers say they move on when content isn’t personalized to their risks and concerns (4). Showcase your business’ expertise in each market—independently of one another. Most businesses already do this on their website with a different landing page for each industry they service. Replicate this in your newsletters and anywhere else customers can find your content. Determine who your key experts are in each internal business segment and help them author dedicated content for each business vertical.
TIP: Reduce costs while segmenting your content. Develop an eBook or list of best practices/tips on a specific risk or safety topic that applies across your markets. Then, write a different intro for each market that includes stats or risks unique to each. Think of it like a 2-for-1, reducing costs and production time. Here’s a great example of an eBook on repurposing real estate, with related blogs written for different segments: entertainment, cannabis, hospitality and warehousing.
- Build internal brand ambassadors. Once you’ve created content, leverage key employees, internal experts and notable leadership to spread your message. First, ask them to provide their unique expertise on specific market segments by authoring blogs and articles and serving as your subject matter experts in media interviews. The difference between the two is that your business controls the exact language and message of the former, while the news media controls the latter-end product. Next, encourage your leaders to post the content you’ve created to their personal social media accounts, or at the very least forward your business’ post to their contacts. When it comes to LinkedIn, people follow people, and your executives have a wide net. Let them cast it for the company. Here’s a great example.
If your businesspeople are experts and you don’t let your prospective customers know, the expertise lives in a vacuum.
In today’s content craze, another business will take the customers you’re leaving on the table. Get communicating today!
Mindi Zissman is a ghostwriter specializing in risk, insurance and compliance. Her business, Zissman Media, has been helping businesses write blog posts, eBooks, white papers and annual reports for over 16 years. For more tips like these, join Mindi’s bi-monthly newsletter community, The Marketing Insider here.
1 DemandGen 2020 Content Preferences Study.
2 DemandGen 2017 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report
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