All too often marketers only go halfway with their content strategies:
they produce great pieces but then don’t focus on how to reach their intended
That’s not the case with Farmers Insurance. The firm excels in both creation
and distribution: it has found a way to consistently produce fun, engaging content
and to also to turn its 13,000 agents into highly effective content sharers.
Recently we chatted with Dave Savoy, Digital Marketing & Strategy
Director, Farmers Life Insurance, to learn more about how the firm approaches
its content development and distribution.
Check out the full Q&A below:
Q: What is your role
A: I manage the digital team for Farmers life insurance business.
I’m focused on using digital channels to increase our sales within our
existing households also to acquire new customers.
So, we have online marketing materials on our website which facilitate the
relationship between the customer and the agent. We also have off-site
marketing materials for things like display and search. Then there’s a whole back-end
component that matches customers with the right agent in the right area with
the right sorts of skills.
Q: What role does
digital content play for you?
A: It plays a huge role for us.
Our advertising group is focused on the more commoditized products like
auto and home insurance; the products where if you don’t have advertising then you
simply won’t make any sales. So, that’s the focus of the TV ads.
That means digital content is an especially key area for the life
insurance team to focus on, because it’s a cost-effective way to connect with
Q: What types of
content are you creating? What is the process like?
A: There’s a wide variety. We have articles in a section called Inner Circle, which we
are in the process of transitioning into more of a blog. There’s written
content on our product pages and explanatory videos, which we’re trying to do
more of. And we have interactive assets such as calculators.
We also make content available to agents for their social media and
website pages. So, all 13,000 of them have a profile page that we facilitate content
We’re shifting our content to be more interactive and timely. We’re
looking to accelerate the speed-to-market with some of our content. That’s
difficult in our space, since there are a number of regulatory challenges.
Everything we create has to not only be on brand but also legally compliant.
Q: How is the content
being created? Are you doing most of it in house or do you use external
resources as well?
A: It’s a mix. We do have a few different agencies that we work with, and we
also have an in-house content development team.
A: The Hall of Claims is from our property and casualty side of the business. It showcases
how varied types of claims are. Things that people never would think could
happen to them actually do happen. It’s a fun, humorous way to talk about
In terms of the A Day in the Life videos, those are a behind-the-scenes look at our business. It’s not
just about having a claim and getting paid out, we show the people in our
company who make things work.
Q: Once you create
content, how do you ensure that it reaches its intended audiences? Are there certain
distribution methods or channels that work especially well for you?
A: We try to match the content to what consumers want on each channel. So,
we do a lot of testing and use different elements in different places.
An example would be a video we created as part of our “Why Life Insurance?” series that showcased an actual
customer who had to file a claim because her husband passed away. Her husband
was a police officer who died in the line of duty; a week before he died he got
life insurance coverage with Farmers and because he took that step his family
is able to stay in their home.
We distributed that video in multiple formats. So, for example, we
created a shorter version for Facebook which played in-feed and then had a
longer version on our website with more background. It was a case of taking a
story and pulling the aspects of it that are most relevant to different
Q: How do you measure
success? Which metrics do you pay close attention to?
A: Every piece of content and every channel that we’re marketing across
has its own metrics. That lets us measure the health of each channel and the
relative success of what we are publishing.
At the end of the day our overarching goal is to drive consumer
engagement with our agents. On our site that has two elements: the agent
locator and the get-a-quote option. And each of those is trackable, so we can
match content to taking those actions.
Q: Are there any
tools or platforms that you find especially valuable in your job? What has made
your life easier?
A: One that comes to mind is Hearsay. It may not be a fit for all businesses, but for us it is excellent.
Basically, the platform allows us to create a library of content and
then have our agents pull from it for their social accounts.
That helps us on a number of fronts. It allows us to maintain a
consistent corporate voice and it also keeps all our content compliant. Our
industry is highly regulated, so even social posts need to go through a
rigorous review process.
With Hearsay our 13,000 agents can pull from a shared library and then
customize posts to some degree. It’s big benefit for the compliance team and
the company in general.
The other side is that if the agents go through Heresy, then on the
corporate side we get to see the engagement metrics. We get to see which agent
posted what when, who engaged with it, who liked it, and the exact copy that
was posted. It is a treasure trove of metrics that we wouldn’t otherwise get.
Q: Final question: Do
you have a favorite piece, or a couple pieces, of Farmer’s content?
A: One that comes to mind is Life Compass.
No one else has a tool like this. What it does is that it asks you about
your life situation in a really fun and engaging way. So, it doesn’t feel like
a survey. When we ask about dependents we phrase it as: “How many birds do you
have in the nest?” And there’s your little icons of eggs, and you can select the
number to put into the nest.