Who says insurance can’t be fun? Figaro Digital spoke to Nick Joy, Social Media Manager at LV=, about how the company is winning the hearts and minds of its consumers through relevant, valuable content. So just how has the insurer gone about creating engaging and useful content for its customers, and what tactics should marketers be avoiding when considering their role within the consumer’s social media feed?
Know Where You’re Wanted
“We’ve been on social media for about eight years, so we see ourselves as quite mature within that world,” explains Joy. “We now have a presence on all the obvious main channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We’re recognising that we need to be where our customers want us to be, rather than taking that decision ourselves.” Social media is a noisy, vibrant and accessible space, and previously brands have felt an urgency to be as visible across platforms as possible. Now however, that school of thought has been replaced with one far more strategic, as brands cut down their channel mix in order to better dedicate themselves to producing engaging, far-reaching content.
“Primarily we were using social media for customer service, but as time went on we recognised that there was great value in using social media as a direct sales channel,” continues Joy. “Targeting on Facebook is so precise now, you’d be foolish not to. With our industry, for example, people are only in a place to buy insurance when it’s coming up for renewal or they’re starting to enter the renewal cycle. If you had just renewed your car insurance and saw something that said ‘great deal, 20 percent off your car insurance’, you’d forget about it immediately, there would be no interest because you’re not in the buying pattern at that time.” Across the content marketing industry, the production of unique, eye-catching and on-brand content has arguably begun to distract marketers from the consistency of their brand messaging.
Joy argues that the powerful tools available to marketers today leave no room for excuses when it comes to relevant communication. With the ability to segment consumers based on age, gender, driving ability, and their previous interactions and purchases with LV=, Facebook’s targeting parameters has enabled the insurer to get right to the crux of its marketable consumer base, targeting the user at the most appropriate point to ensure a great ROI. “It means the actual target audience is getting smaller and smaller, but it’s getting far more relevant every time.” Once marketers have defined these lucrative segments, serving up the most relevant and appropriate content is a must. These are your best prospects, and the content served to them should be reflective of their needs.
Getting The Big Guns on Your Side
Facebook is in fact going out of its way to make sure that content is useful, and not disruptive. “One of the determining factors on how much you pay Facebook per advertisement is called a relevance sheet score,” says Joy. “Facebook decides what to charge per click based on how much it actually looks like an advert. Because Facebook is all about sharing conversations, it wants your advert content to look more casual, the sort of thing that might be shared with friends or family. The way you keep the cost down is by having something that looks relevant, and isn’t too sales-based.”
So how did these strict criteria affect LV=? While insurance might appear to be a less glamourous consumer need, the brand understood that the way to increase engagement across its network of Facebook and Twitter followers, was to add value to the customer journey. “We have a microsite within LV.com which is called @heart, where we upload relevant content that we think people would want to share. These articles, covering topics from pet care, to driver safety, to holiday travel tips, bring together insights from across the industry to inform and inspire LV=’s potential customers, and gently guide them towards making that purchase decision.”
If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit…
Once again though, relevance is the key here. LV=’s content distribution strategy is centred on the need for creative executions that still fit in with its brand values. ‘Brand-jacking’ is one tactic that you won’t find at LV=. “Consumers don’t want to speak to their insurance company about their favourite pancake topping. I certainly don’t. Because all you’re doing is jumping on the bandwagon, and getting in on what everyone else is talking about.” But while it might be tedious to witness brands making tenuous links to #NationalCupcakeWeek or the last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, there is sometimes opportunity for brands to take advantage of a trending topic. LV= had the chance to do just that for ‘Back to the Future Day’: “One of our customers actually has a DeLorean insured with us, so we asked if we could interview them and take some photos. We were able to join the wider conversation, but still make it very specific to us. Every time we do a new piece, we have to be able to link it back to why has this got anything for LV=. Even if it’s a really popular hot topic, if it’s not relevant to us, we just walk away.”
While being valuable to the customer is a priority, LV=’s dedication to the integrity of its content is a refreshing tactic within the industry. Joy recognises that customers today want to feel equally part of the brands they use, but also retain control over the kinds of content they are served. “They’re looking for that greater engagement, for that association with the company,” he says. And LV= continues to do this by targeting its customers as human beings. By taking advantage of that personable connection, the insurer ensures that its consumers are doing more than just purchasing – they are becoming ambassadors for the brand.