Insurance companies face a stiff challenge when it comes to communicating with their audience: how to create engaging, valuable content on a subject that some people find, at best, to be a little dry and, at worst, extremely boring.
In fact, recent research carried out by the University of Nottingham and law firm Browne Jacobson revealed that eight out of 10 in the UK find insurance policies too complicated to understand. The goal for businesses in this field is to summarise their policies in the form of informative and interesting content across their platforms, but it’s tricky to achieve.
Google’s core algorithm update in 2018 had a significant impact on the ranking performances of some Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) sites and insurance firms certainly fall into that category. They offer products across a range of different sectors including automotive, travel, construction and housing – all of which have the potential to affect YMYL. The content in this space needs to be balanced, accurate and of sufficient depth to satisfy a user’s search intent.
But how do you do meet those standards without churning out dry, tedious content? Neil Patel, co-founder of Quick Sprout and other marketing technology companies, believes there’s no excuse for hiding behind the ‘boring’ tag:
“There isn’t such a thing as a ‘boring’ industry, so you should be able to use content marketing for any business. It’s not a hard thing to do. You just have to be willing to invest the time and energy.”
So, let’s assume you have both the time and the energy. Here are just a handful of tips on creating valuable content in the insurance industry.
Invest more time into understanding the product
The above may sound like an obvious statement, but the marketing of insurance policies is entirely different to promoting less complex products such as cars, holidays, or DIY tools. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure you’re familiar with the subject matter. Plus, in those sectors, there’s more room for artistic licence, so the challenge is twofold.
Before you start, some of the key considerations are:
- Why would somebody need this insurance? It’s a fundamental component of content marketing, but before you can express the value of a product, you need to be able to understand it. There are people who see some forms of insurance as an unnecessary expense but outlining what may happen without it can be a more effective tool, as imagining the worst-case scenario can have greater persuasive powers.
- Are there different levels of cover? Insurance policies are not always sold as a one-size-fits-all solution. In the automotive sector, for example, there are different levels of cover which offer varying degrees of protection and being able to communicate those distinctions clearly is vital, especially when it comes to meeting compliance requirements.
- What is not covered? Businesses are hesitant to include content on their landing pages that makes reference to things they can’t do, but full transparency – especially for YMYL sites – is of great importance. Exclusions are likely to be a key consideration for any user and providing information to that effect will help build a sense of trust.
Be meticulous in your research
It takes time, but carrying out detailed research has a couple of major benefits: it makes the writing process much easier and it can lift the quality of your content enormously. For example, your preparation and planning should include the following:
- Competitor analysis: What are your rivals producing? Have they covered areas that you haven’t, or come up with innovative ideas that could be adapted? You don’t have to bang your head against the wall trying to dream up something wholly original – don’t be afraid to take inspiration from others.
- Keyword research: The likes of SEMrush can give you an idea as to which terms are generating the greatest search volume, and which questions are being asked most regularly. Armed with that information, you can begin to structure your content accordingly (more on that later).
- Target audience: You need to know who you’re writing your content for, and if they fall into a certain demographic. For example, gap insurance tends to be most suitable for those who have purchased a new vehicle and are looking to protect against its depreciation, so including references to rusty old bangers with little value is unlikely to prove effective.
- Internal data: Are there any statistics you can include that tell a reader they’re in good hands? For example, if a certain policy has paid out on 99% of claims over the course of a year, make a big song and dance about it! Your audience wants to know it can rely upon you to protect them in their hour of need.
- External links: Google’s 2018 core update centred around the virtues of E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trust) and linking to relevant and respected pages can boost the quality of your content in Google’s eyes. The Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme are important regulatory bodies in this sector, while the likes of the Department for Transport and the Health and Safety Executive are excellent sources of studies and statistics that can add weight to your content.
Create a logical structure
This is where looking through the eyes of a prospective customer can really pay off. If you were thinking about taking out this form of insurance, what would you want to know? As a general rule, these are some of the key questions a user will want answers to, and should therefore be positioned prominently:
- What is it?
- What does it cover?
- What doesn’t it cover?
- Why do you need it?
- What happens if you don’t have it?
- How much does it cost?
- How do you get a quote?
- What is the claims process?
This question and answer format naturally breaks the content up into smaller, more digestible chunks to improve the user experience, while also offering the chance to include some of the longtail keywords you identified from earlier research. Placing these key considerations towards the top of the page shows your audience that you understand their pain points and you’ve attempted to address those in a simple, straightforward manner. Which brings us nicely onto…
Use clear, concise language
As already discussed, insurance products can be complex, and the research shows that the majority of us struggle to understand some policies. With that in mind, using simple, everyday language can help your content appeal to a wider audience. Ryan Hanley, founder of Rogue Risk and author of Content Warfare, emphasises this point:
“I would become a Wiki for every insurance product I sell. Not boring corporate insurance barf-speak information… but real-life human beings talking about insurance products the way real people talk about things. I would pick apart every single concept no matter how big or small and explain its impacts on customers.”
As Hanley says, try to avoid the ‘barf-speak’. Too much technical jargon is likely to confuse a reader and you’ll soon lose their attention. Similarly, an economy of words can prove a powerful tool, and this is where your re-drafting and editing process is crucial. Be ruthless, and try not to use 20 words where seven or eight will do.
There are also compliance considerations to take into account. For example, when writing for a broker, you’ll need to be careful about including mentions of “our insurance”, as they are not direct providers of the policies and suggesting otherwise could be classed as misleading.
According to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, one of the key characteristics of a high quality page is a “positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the MC [Main Content] on the page.” Any inaccuracies or false statements within your content could see ranking performance degraded, so it pays to be meticulous in your proofing.
There’s no denying that writing informative, engaging insurance content is a tough task, but there’s no need to shy away from the ‘boring’ subject matter. By investing time and effort into the process outlined above, you might find that the outcome offers rich reward.
Our brilliant content marketing writers are experienced in creating engaging, valuable content for a range of industries and clients, including one of the world’s largest insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting firms, Gallagher. If you want to find out more about how our content marketing services could help you, contact us today.