The moment young millennials get a Facebook request from their parents, they’re stuck in amusement and a sudden urge to run away. A single comment on a picture reduces that comfortable distance they maintained - “Nice, who’s that person standing next to you? Invite them home.”
It’s the same perceived distance that insurance companies may deal with when they reach out to young millennials on channels like Instagram. Aged between 25-35 years, what young millennials think of insurance is clearly not the same as older millennials, the industry’s primary audience. How do you then transform such perceptions on this aesthetic medium?
We’ve been seeing insurance companies innovate in products catered to the young millennial crowd like travel insurance, it’s time for them to look at upping the content game as well. Social media at the moment is being used to put out updates about products and deal with customer grievances. Some companies use memes and customer stories, not unlike the inspirational ones you’d find on a Humans of New York page. While these are great for engagement, they don’t address a key concern among customers. According to PwC India’s Insurance Technology Adoption Survey 2019, a large number of customers have problems in understanding policy terms. The complicated world of insurance doesn’t look any simpler with the odd educational definition or fact-sharing post. Explanations of policies are either crisp but incomprehensive, or become rather wordy.
To help customers piece it all together, educational content needs to be more than a content bucket, but a part of ongoing conversation too. This dialogue could be held with a micro-community of everyday influencers, Instagram live sessions with experts, for example - folks who’d be more likely to use casual language as they interact with potential customers.
While young millennials may see the value of insurance, they may not be convinced of the specific need for it. So far, awareness generating campaigns have generally targeted the broader need for insurance, as well as a different audience altogether. They’re emotionally driven content for the family audience, who are already motivated to take care of financial planning for their kids. Looking at another industry, ‘Mutual Fund Sahi Hai’ was able to strike a chord with folks in the 25-35 age group through the web-series ‘Yeh Meri Family Hai’. A tie-up with popular content creators The Viral Fever, they used 90s nostalgia and relatable situations to answer queries like ‘When is the right time to invest?’. It was both educational and spoke about the need to invest even if the customer didn’t have a family of their own yet.
How can insurance companies use a space and language that younger millennials are more comfortable with? It’s a classic answer - understanding the concerns of this group, without being condescending or trying to force-fit a language with the brand, which can happen when resorting to too many trending meme formats.
Younger millennials do have financial concerns, contrary to popular belief. They save more than their older counterparts*. However, they tend to end up borrowing money for short-term purposes like medical emergencies and consumer durables.** We also know they’re quite aspirational about travel, dining and luxury spends.*** Curating content around these experiential concerns to emphasise what insurance can do for them is therefore key. The insurance Instagram equivalent of ‘Yeh Meri Family Hai’ would be talking about such experiences through a blend of video stories (think IGTV) and static posts that tie in with other platforms. Simple interactive features on Instastories (sliders, polls and all!) can go a long way in making the brand more accessible, without taking away from the seriousness of insurance itself. The language too needs to be one that’s more simple and direct. At the same time, sensory language could be explored to capture how much richer an experience could be made by insurance.
Selling experiences with an experience
Buying insurance is clearly a process, and that can be made easier on Instagram too. For example, young millennials are not so likely to be motivated to purchase with offline strategies such as agents. However, 41% of customers across ages still prefer human interaction when planning a purchase, according to the PwC survey. So what we’re looking at is a need for insurance companies to make sure they integrate online and offline options for customers. The survey also mentions online self-service, digital processes for claims and other requests as being basic customer expectations. To account for this on Instagram, companies can create more actionable content with clear CTAs, and encourage young customers to take control of their financial assets by themselves. To ensure the complete experience, customers need to be given post-sales content apart from content that just pushes sales.
It can be possible for insurance companies to own their presence on Instagram, and young millennials to acknowledge they’ve owned it. A good way to start is to explain clearly the importance of their services and to be specific about them in a millennial context, while also creating content that helps shape the entire experience. Doing this can take away from the jarring experience young folks might associate with their parents on Facebook, and add purpose to engaging with the company’s social media.
Data sourced from: