Aug 22, 2010
Table of contents:
The insurance industry has dramatically changed over that last few years due to the rise of the Internet. New comparison services have opened and all the large insurance organisations have embraced the Internet in order to compete. This guide is aimed at smaller insurance brokers or independent insurance organisations wishing to compete with the big players in digital strategy.
Here is a brief overview of what we will be covered in this guide.
Emphasizing the importance of establishing a brand is beyond the scope of this guide so I won’t go into every detail. I’m sure you are capable of finding a wealth of great resources from Google. I will, however, give an overview of what I think is important when branding your insurance company for the online world.
Be original - One of the most important qualities of any company that wishes to be successful online is originality. Why should a potential client chose you out of all the competition? You must be unique and original and offer greater value to the customer in order to gain competitive advantage. I can’t emphasize this enough. In order to be successful online creating value must be your bottom line.
Be transparent - One of the great aspects of the Internet is the great wealth of information that is only a search away. As your company integrates more online and as your clients become more accustomed to using Internet services you should ensure you monitor and react in an appropriate manner.
Be open and honest - Linking with being transparent, honesty and an open policy will be a great way of creating value for your clients and potential clients as the web becomes more open and more semantic. Ensuring you go the extra mile in providing great customer service or the finest quality product will be a huge advantage over other less open and less honest companies.
Brokersdirect.net is a great example of a beautiful designed website (designed by Sam Brown - Massive Blue, owned by Ashley Baxter) that establishes the company as a unique brand within the industry. The majority of the better designed corporate insurance websites are very much the same and tend not to differ much from static offline design and marketing. You should aim to be a leader in online strategy in terms of design and execution of your online presence rather than following the pack.
When creating your web presence I would highly recommend hiring a branding designer in order to maximise the appeal of your company. It may be time to completely rebrand your company in terms of logo design, typography and colour scheme, this is the perfect opportunity to do just that before embarking on your online presence. When researching your agency or freelance web designer always ensure that your explore their portfolio and previous websites in detail to establish who you will be best suited with.
The blog has truly revolutionised Internet strategy to the point where every company who wants to be successful online in lead generation MUST blog. However, if you are not going to fully commit to blogging, forget it! There is nothing worse than pumping out poor quality blog posts that have been knocked up in half an hour, that have mistakes or have been ripped off from another source. Equally the blog must be an integral aspect of your website rather than just a section that you attach at a later date. Blogging is the best way for potential consumers to discover you and if done right, the best way to show that you are a though leader within your industry.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the deal with Twitter. If you are actually reading this article I’ll assume you know how twitter is the game changer and you must be part of the game. Google some Twitter tips on etiquette and usage in order to get the most out of the platform.
How many people are dominating this space? Go on click the link and have a look….Yeah that’s right ZERO! If you have a member of staff that is great in front of the camera then you should be aggressively attacking this space. There is no better way of explaining a complicated process of system then through a video blog. You also build a rapport with the potential customer that has the majority of the benefits of face-to-face interaction but that is hugely scalable.
Creating a successful business online is dependant on a number of factors. You will live and die by your customer service, usability of your website or services, design, marketing and reputation. In order to attract new clients you must offer value. Value can be broken down into a number of areas. Knowledge about the industry, be it blog posts, help files and explanations of technical terms. Creating this content enables the long tail of online search and retrieval of precise information. As search continues to grow and the semantic understanding of content and information online develop the content you are creating now will become invaluable. Remember though, you must commit to creating content 100%. Ripping off content or making half-arsed attempts will do more damage then good.
Another area of value is creating a brand that people desire to be a part off. This could be broken down further through areas of reputation, design, ethos and usability of the website or a great customer service policy. You must strive to be the best in these areas if you wish to compete online. Usability is a particular important quality in terms of online business. Why would a customer want to start a relationship with your company if changing providers is a hard and complicated task? Answer is they won’t. You need to ensure your user experience is perfect. A lot of larger insurance companies are still to realise that their user experience sucks. This can be your competitive edge. Seize the day and create a beautiful, usable, honest and valuable digital brand and you will attract customers that love you and evangelise your business. There are no better customers than those.