I had been hearing about “content” for a long time. To me, it was a vague term that had something to do with writing articles for the internet. My interest grew when I read an article by Joe Lasauskas of Contently, a leading content marketing platform. It turns out he’s a big believer in the power of storytelling in content marketing: “As human beings we are programmed to respond to stories,” he says. “Stories make us remember and they make us care.”
That encouraged me to investigate, and I found many more references to storytelling. It seems this all comes into play when you need to target your audience’s informational needs instead of your company’s promotional ones. That’s when storytelling becomes a valuable component.
Well, now… I’ve been creating stories my entire career, first as a journalist, later as a copywriter, and finally as an author of novels. I decided to look even deeper into this content thing. Here what I found:
When you write “content” you focus on your customers and prospects and what’s important to them–mainly themselves. But it’s not content marketing unless it drives action. You write to inform, engage and entertain in order to build loyalty and trust, but it isn’t content marketing, unless it drives action—for example, customer retention, lead generation, or conversion.
Content marketing fits perfectly into the digital world, and it fits perfectly with my talent, experience, and mindset. There’s nothing wrong with traditional marketing. There’s certainly a place for it, but intrusive marketing is only effective when a prospect is ready to buy. The other 99% of the time, marketers have come to rely on content marketing to lead them in that direction.
So now maybe you understand why I’ve added content marketing as a new phase in my profession. Here are some of the main types of content that I can help your agency with:
- Articles (print and web)
- White Papers
- Case Studies
The last four should be part of your arsenal and can provide great value when the need arises. The heavy hitters, though, are blogs and newsletters. If used together on a regular basis, that combo can produce all the advantages of having a strong relationship with a loyal and educated customer base.
My Vision for the Big Payoff
If you really want to build strong relationships and experience its many rewards, it makes sense to engage your customers and be sincere about it. If you’re not making a real effort, if you’re just sending them canned material, they’ll know. It’s probably not a big deal, but you’ve lost the chance to show your true colors and fully connect on a personal level.
When you send your newsletter, ideally once a month, make sure it contains mostly original material, not canned stories. Show them that you think they’re worth the effort. Base the stories heavily on things you and your employees know from experience that your customers are concerned about or interested in.
Those kinds of topics should be the focus of your main articles, which can be used in both the newsletter and the blog. It would help, of course, if you could get your employees involved and motivated.
Case studies can be powerful, especially in commercial lines, but also in poorly understood personal lines like flood insurance. Keep employees alert for stories where insurance was especially helpful in certain situations and policyholders were grateful.
But you don’t need to spend all your time educating, answering questions and trying to head off problems. Sometimes it would be nice to tell your readers things they wouldn’t think to ask or have a need to know…things they might simply find interesting or entertaining.
And not everything needs to come from your office. There’s room for informative and thought-provoking articles curated from insurance industry sources, as long as they’re identified as such.
It can be on your website. Make the effort to publish an article once a week if possible, because Google rewards quality (in this case, original work) and consistency more than keywords these days.
If you want to do it, I can help you, and it will be good. To find out more details about the plan I have in mind, go here: https://davidreichart.com/formula