Digital marketing by providers needs greater focus: expert

MediaAlpha CEO Steve Yi explains how insurers can better reach millennials

Digital marketing by providers needs greater focus: expert
Finding the best way to engage with millennials is a constant challenge for life and health insurers. Marketing to this demographic can be difficult, and in the opinion of MediaAlpha CEO Steve Yi, providers have been slow to adopt modern methods of advertising. 

“In my experience working with life and health insurance carriers on advertising campaigns, they are behind on customer engagement compared to auto insurers, who have had direct models for quite some time,” he says. 

MediaAlpha is a platform for vertical search media and counts a number of major health and life insurers across North America as clients. It is Yi’s role therefore to create effective marketing strategy in order to engage with consumers, including millennials.

“I think the (carriers) attempts to engage with consumers haven’t been very good,” he says. “With millennials they need to focus on content marketing and where people are actually searching for insurance. Millennials use ad-blockers at a very high rate, so they are largely immune to that kind of advertising and branding.”

Providers therefore need to be savvier with how they advertise, and in Yi’s opinion, the best way to do that is through content marketing.
“It’s about creating good, useful content that answers a lot of questions about health and life insurance,” he says. “It is providing objective recommendations and advice. Great content marketing is written in an objective manner and engages with consumers and gives them the information that they need.”

Just as important as the quality of the content, is where you distribute it. In targeting younger consumers that do much of their shopping online, price comparison sites are the perfect place to place such content, explains Yi.

“When someone is on a price comparison site and they search for a quote, there are opportunities to advertise with those results. It is integrated advertising that delivers the information they are looking for, an ad with a rate for example.”

While he is critical of the inertia of many health and life insurers in adapting to the digital age, Yi believes attitudes are changing and many firms are now embracing this kind of marketing and increasing budget allocations to reflect that. Another strategy is the provision of educational content like research papers, which is becoming commonplace in the industry.

“Advertisers are increasingly engaging in content marketing like white papers. They are not advertorials that overtly promote a specific offering. It is giving consumers the information they need to engage with them.”

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