« Content Marketing: Powerful Tool for Insurance Companies » content marketing this photo shows a laptop computer with newspaper flying out of it to represent content marketingI’ve had a number of insurance industry clients ask me in recent months to explain exactly what is “content marketing.” In these instances, I use a definition I adapted from

Content Marketing: Definition

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of information that is relevant and valuable to a clearly defined target audience. The goal of the content is to communicate information without selling. Instead, you deliver content that engages your target audience on subjects that interest them. When you do this consistently, members of the target audience will reward you with their business and loyalty.

FYI... Some other names for content marketing include inbound marketing and social media marketing. 

Useful Marketing Tool for Insurance Companies

The next question I am asked by insurance industry marketers is usually something like, “So do corporations like us engage in content marketing?” The answer to that is, of course, an emphatic “yes.” I tell them we all have been doing content marketing over the years, it’s just that now the content is delivered differently. While printed materials are still important, new online delivery channels are fueling the growth in content marketing. Social media (i.e., blogs, Twitter, Facebook), article posting, eNewsletters, downloadable case studies and white papers lead the distribution trends.

The stumbling point for insurers is that their industry is highly regulated. So, while they are comfortable and efficient at producing and distributing traditional printed content, digital distribution is not an area in which there is a comfort level. A report by and titled B2B Content Marketing: 2010 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends states:

Even highly regulated industries, such as banking and financial services, have high rates of content marketing adoption (93%); however, their focus is on traditional forms, such as articles (82%). These industries use social media significantly less often than other industries (62% adoption rate vs. 79% average).

Allianz Knowledge Is a Great Content Marketing Example for Insurance Companies

There are, of course, some large insurance companies that are using online content marketing to great effect. One of the very best I’ve seen is Allianz Knowledge. What is commendable about this site is how well-defined it is. It sticks to its message while providing deep and vastly rich content.

THE TARGET AUDIENCE: The Allianz Knowledge site targets individuals who recognize and support the need to improve social, economic, and environmental living conditions worldwide. This target audience is likely to be influenced by the insurer’s well-documented alignment of its business activities with sustainability criteria. To fulfill its mission to deliver compelling content to its readers Allianz Knowledge focuses on five key concepts: Climate Change; Energy; Microfinance; Demographic Change; and Safety & Health. The site clearly states that these topics “are vital to our business – and to our world.” This is a message that resonates with the target audience.  Some of the key content delivery channels on Allianz Knowledge include:

  1. Blog (the posts are really like mini whitepapers)
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Newsletter
  5. eCards and other unique digital media
  6. YouTube channel

Why Allianz Knowledge Is a Site Worth Checking Out

If you are considering content marketing for your insurance company (or any corporate entity for that matter), I recommend you take a look at the Allianz Knowledge site. It is a personal favorite of mine because it executes its content marketing strategy more effectively than I have seen elsewhere within the insurance industry. The success of this site can be attributed to five key content characteristics:

  1. Timely Content. I'm not sure how the site curator manages it, but blog posts read like a page out of a daily international news publication.
  2. Compelling Content. The issues are covered from a variety of angles. This approach keeps the content fresh and infinitely readable.
  3. Deep Content. The site uses a variety of content delivery channels -- from long-form blog posts, tweets and YouTube channel to an eNewsletter, lovely eCards and other unique digital media to reinforce its key social responsibility messages. 
  4. Well-Organized Content. For a site as deep and content-rich as Allianz Knowledge, it is surprisingly easy to navigate.
  5. Sales-Neutral Content. When visiting Allianz Knowledge, you never get the sense that the insurer is selling to you. The only place I noticed content specifically branded to the company was on some of the white papers (but not all of them).

What Do You Think?

Have you explored the Allianz Knowledge site? What are your thoughts? Do you know of other outstanding examples of insurance company content marketing sites? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. 

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