Insurance brands which invest in thought leadership content will gain competitive advantage by positioning themselves as experts in their field. James Teideman of Editions Financial explains how.
As the insurance industry moves forward from an unprecedented period of disruption, with rapid evolutions in technology and consumer behaviour, it is imperative that industry players lead from the front to maintain competitive advantage. Not only in your products, business models and culture, but also in your marketing.
In this climate of constant change, brokers and intermediaries must be abreast of industry trends, to show that they’re the smartest broker in the room. Here’s your opportunity to arm them with future-focused insights.
But how do you say something new when your competitors are all covering the same topics? Risk, disruption, the threat from insurtech. How do you create truly thought-leading thought leadership?
B2B buyers are also becoming more like B2C customers, consuming many pieces of content to inform their decisions. You have to engage and earn respect before you even think about a sales call.
And just as for B2C, B2B prospects expect personalised service. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work. They expect your content to be relevant to their particular needs and interests.
And even if you have created that truly thought-leading piece of content, how do you get it in front of your desired targets? Trying to reach B2B decision-makers – at the world’s largest insurance companies, brokers, intermediaries etc – is no easy task. They are like all of us, time poor and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content they receive. Audiences are becoming ever more selective about the content they consume. How do you cut through the saturation of information?
58% of B2B decision-makers say thought leadership influences their final purchase decision.
- Show you know your audience
If you don’t know anything about your audience, you can’t give them what they want. And if you don’t demonstrate that you understand them, they won’t trust you. Differentiate your insights around the specific issues they face with precision. Get audience insight from stakeholder interviews, speak to your frontline sales team or use your social listening and data analytics capabilities. Then serve them up interesting, relevant content that will resonate.
- Tell them something they don’t know
Produce content that not only shows your strategic thinking but that is also derived from new primary insights and data, perhaps that benchmark their performance in their sector.
- Offer actionable insights
Like the most effective presentations, your content should not only inform and inspire, but provide actionable insights/takeaways: this is interesting, and this is what you can do with it.
- Stop the thumb
Get their attention by leading with a revealing insight or statistic. Hook them with a must-click headline or a perfectly-composed, 30-second motion graphic video that will stand out in a LinkedIn feed.
- Choose the best format
Use an innovative format, such as a motion graphic to visualise data, or a dynamic, interactive report.
- Marry the macro and the micro
Relate topical big-picture issues to specific sector or local challenges. Find the angle – take a broad, tangential theme (cybercrime, AI…) – and translate it through the B2B insurance lens.
- Think different
Offer new ways of thinking; a fresh angle on a familiar topic. Be intelligent, be bold, be contrarian, but do not be provocative for its own sake if that’s the only way you’re going to get attention. That carries risk. This is not about grabbing attention; it’s about driving demand.
- Show some personality
Rethink the traditional B2B brand: incorporate bold personality into your brand. Make personalities of your personalities – dial up your internal voices to make them thought leaders themselves.
- Get joined-up
Join up your online and offline marketing: whitepapers, blog posts, guest posts, press mentions, speaking engagements – into a consistent, holistic cross-channel strategy. All your pieces of content should work
together to bring you closer to your thought leadership goal.
- Right content, right time
Figure out which messages and types of content will be most useful to your personas at each stage of the funnel. Use the most audience-appropriate channels to reach your audience where they are.
- Influence the influencers
Give your thought leadership third-party validation and amplify your message by working with industry influencers. Encourage advocacy by using employee networks.
- Impress in-person
Add value with events such as a VIP dinner with an established company thought leader or an invite-only networking opportunity with high-level people in your industry.
- Impress those who matter most
Prioritise and customise your marketing for the most promising potential customers. Make yourself a part of their world – get their attention, earn their respect.
Bringing all together
You’ve created a data-driven report that informs your target audiences with groundbreaking, relevant insights that will make them the smartest people in the room at the next industry event. You’ve promoted the content in eye-catching, thumb-stopping formats on the right channels, from LinkedIn to email. Now you will have earned your audience’s attention. You will now be front-of-mind when your target comes to make a purchasing decision. Because they now know that you’re a B2B insurance thought leader.