Content Marketing All-Stars Q&A: John Lytell of Progressive Insurance

By NativeAI / March 17, 2017

We’re big fans of the Life Lanes content hub from Progressive. 

In part because of the content itself: The pieces from the insurance firm are fun, useful, and compelling; they cover everything from when not to take your pet on vacation to how to stay sane during traffic.

However, it’s not just the pieces that make the offering shine; it’s also the presentation. Life Lanes is beautifully delivered – with lush design and imagery – and smartly organized into three areas (work, home, play) that reflect both audience behavior and the range of the company’s products.

Recently we chatted with John Lytell, Editor and Content Marketing Strategist, Progressive Insurance, to learn more about how Life Lanes came about and to find out where it’s headed.

Q: What is your role at Progressive Insurance?

A: I am a brand content strategist and editor within our internal agency, 96 Octane, and responsible for the creative direction of Progressive’s content hub Life Lanes and other content marketing and influencer marketing campaign components. 

Q: Starting broadly, what do you believe is the difference between good content and bad content? 

A: Typically, people engage with a brand to either solve a problem or because it makes them feel good. Relevant brands, especially in the digital space, need to be where their audiences are in those moments of need.

So, whether it’s for entertainment or utility, good content isn’t just about crafting well-structured paragraphs or developing discoverable pieces. It’s about crafting content with the audiences’ needs in mind and then presenting it in a way that genuinely shows how the  organization meets those needs.

Bad content is self-serving, doesn’t tell an authentic story and fails to connect with people. 


Q: We’re big fans of Life Lanes. How did that area come about? What are the goals?

A: Life Lanes aims to generate brand awareness and build confidence in Progressive.

The hub itself has only been in existence for the past year. It was created as way to reach and connect with people who may not know about all the ways Progressive can protect what they have, love or want.  It also serves to educate people who may be at a point in their lives when they’re just learning about their various insurance needs.

No matter the topic, we adopt the consumers’ vantage point and consider their needs and how our content will benefit them. We’ve been successful in doing this because we have a range of digital influencers, Progressive employees and partner experts who each lend a unique, personal perspective to a given topic.

Showing our products as they exist in the real world and providing people expert advice on insurance related topics that can help improve their lives serves as the basis for what we want to achieve with Life Lanes.


Q: How do you ensure that the content reaches its intended audiences?

A:  We use fundamental content marketing practices to create and distribute consistent,  relevant content and build our following.  Our audience primarily comes from search, organic social traffic, support from paid display and our influencers’ networks. 

Q: How do you measure the success of the content?

A: We use a variety of metrics to gauge success, both on-site and off-site. We’ve been really pleased with how our audience has grown since we launched and how much of that growth has come from search and referral traffic. 

Q: Finally, what’s a content trend that you’re watching closely?

A: I’m very interested to see where influencer marketing is going. We’re watching both large  digital influencers and micro-influencers to see how each drives engagement. 

I’m proud of the success the influencers we work with have had finding common ground with our audience.  We’ve created a platform that allows them to maintain their authentic voices while also delivering practical advice about insurance and how our products provide value to

Written by NativeAI / March 17, 2017