The use of ‘New Media’ in the insurance industry: an interview with You-talk Insurance Managing Director Paul Handleigh.

The use of ‘New Media’ (social and video) in the insurance industry has grown exponentially. The marketing tactics they represent, that were previously thought to be rather avant-garde, risky and left of field are increasingly been seen as core parts of the industry’s marketing mix. Many of the leading well thought out exponents, in the use of Social Media and video, in the insurance arena are now starting to enjoy a myriad of benefits. In some cases it easy to see how they have stolen a march over their competitors who are yet to pick up with New Media cudgel.

Against this backdrop, there are still some quarters of the insurance sector that are still reluctant to explore what Social Media and Video have to offer. In this brief video Paul Handleigh, Managing Director of YouTalk-insurance shares some useful thoughts.

Paul started his insurance career in the mid 80’s working as a casualty insurance broker for a City based firm. A few years later he then jumped over the fence to work for an insurer, The Independent Insurance Company PLC, where he was responsible for the broker development of their London Market operations. Following that Paul Joined Aon where he headed up FTSE business development for several key strategic areas of Aon’s UK business. In 2006 Paul started providing sales and marketing consulting services to brokers in the London insurance marketplace. In 2008 he joined as their Director of Marketing. In 2011 Paul set up a video and insurance multi-media news aggregation website dedicated to providing members of the UK insurance broking community with a reliable place for them to access insurance company information, free from press interpretation.

Video transcript:

Why should insurance businesses use video?

Video has come a long way since the days of the clunky VHS. Alongside with video itself is the seemingly endless human desire to network and share. YouTube today boasts that it has over one billion unique visitors a month, which begs the question, surely some of them must be interested in insurance? At the same time its somewhat bewildering, that generally business has been fairly slow to understand video or indeed use it. The good news is that things are changing and some businesses are increasingly using video to compliment their existing communications activity, and what’s more they’re getting results.

Is there a place for video in the insurance industry?

The answer is an unequivocal yes, and here are four big reasons why. Viewers engage with image, they are powerful and add personality to your business. You can tell a story, you can show and explain, and that means you can differentiate. What could be better? It’s incredibly efficient. You can tell a compliant and consistent story over and over again to lots of customers who can share it; and the good news is you don’t even have to be there. Video sells; people watch and use video, they click more often and buy more often. That’s because they understand what they are buying because you’ve taken time to explain it. What a great way of reaching that much talked about position of thought leadership with your prospects and clients. Video can work wonders also for your website search engine optimisation, helping customers to find you more easily, which could lead to more sales. If further evidence were needed you only need to look at the increasing popularity of my business website, youtalk-insurance, which is a multimedia website that shares video and content on behalf on leading insurers for insurance brokers.

Why should insurance businesses use social marketing?

Well first of all I think its important to park the myth that social media is somehow left to field. Believe it or not this is still an attitude that exists in certain quarters of the insurance market today. Its another marketing tactic and that’s all, and as such its comes with its own set of risks and opportunities. As part of your social media planning, you should understand why you are using it and then set some clearly definable objectives. This will enable you to deploy some suitable tactics that will help you to meet your business objectives. The fact is that the discussions about whether to use social media or not are now largely redundant. Even if as a business you decide not to use social media, the clear fact is clients are using it today, probably as we speak. We live in a social media world and to a lesser or greater extent you are already in the game. The chances are people are talking about your brand right now, and at the very minimum you should be monitoring what is said about your company so that you are aware and can take action. There are several off the shelves tools out there that can enable you to do this.

How can insurance businesses benefit from social marketing?

Well whenever we see a chief executive stand up in the insurance industry describing their business and talking about their business, one of the things they invariable always say very early on, is that their people are their most important asset. Now, picking up on that point and how blogging can help, is if people are their most important asset what a great way of getting their individuals to flex around their personality and their cleverness, and to share that information with a very very wide audience in a broadcasted way.

Can you give an example of an insurance business that successfully uses social marketing?

There are several good examples, but the one that probably stands out best at the moment is Bennetts, the motorbike insurance specialists. Initially they created a Facebook community for bikers aimed at adding value back to this community. It’s a place where members can go and share information about biking issues and Bennetts use this community to galvanise support for biking road safety issues amongst other things. They have also taken their social community concept much further by creating a social media stand-alone platform for the biking community, which now can boast that over 40% of people who own motorbikes in the UK have interacted with it since its launch. This has seen them receive much praise and a grade accolade from Google. The corollary of their activity is that the Bennetts brand is centre stage with this community, which is having a very good effect on sales.



Paul Handleigh You-talk insurance

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