The modern concept of insurance might have started in the 17th century, but consumers and their decision-making processes have changed drastically over time. Modern-day consumers, with the power of the internet at their fingertips, are more informed now than ever before. Prior to making a purchase decision, they extensively research various plans, read reviews about different providers and ask their peers for recommendations. Insurance companies need to adapt to this changing funnel and target their consumers at every stage of the customer journey. Here’s how digital marketing for insurance companies can help brands widen their audience and revamp their marketing strategies.
Cohesive brand message across channels
Insurance companies in India today largely operate in the offline space, both in terms of marketing and operations. When transitioning to digital, companies need to ensure that their branding is cohesive on all platforms. Having a uniform, strong brand image is crucial to improving recall value among customers. All of your future communications, promotions and other marketing activities will depend upon the brand image that your company creates.
In some cases, companies might need to rebrand themselves to adapt to the digital space. If you do decide to update the look and feel of your brand to make it stand out better on digital platforms, you also need to ensure that your offline branding follows suit. Consistency between your online and offline personas is key to creating a strong brand.
Create a comprehensive & performance driven website
When it comes to digital marketing for insurance companies, a website is more than just a tool for branding. While one of the most important uses of a website is to communicate your brand image to your audience, it should also be a useful resource of information for them. When it comes to making a decision about which insurance provider to partner with, customers do so only after carrying out extensive research. The Customer Behaviour and Loyalty in Insurance report by Bain & Company found that more than half of all insurance holders choose a provider only after conducting research on digital platforms. Does your website provide consumers with all the information they need to make a decision?
When developing a website for your insurance brand, you need to ensure that it isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but is also easy to navigate and user-friendly. Personalisation of home pages is becoming increasingly important for a positive user experience. It’s also important to ensure that the pages are focussed on driving action and driving enquiries or purchases. You can consider creating a login for your customers, which allows them to see details of their plans and customised suggestions based on their needs. It’s also important that you optimise your website with strong SEO techniques to drive organic traffic and gain greater visibility. Apart from supporting your content marketing, local SEO techniques like getting featured on Google Local Listings and Google My Business can help your audience learn more about your company.
Build thought leadership through content marketing
Content marketing is uniquely suited to the marketing needs of insurance brands. Choosing an insurance provider isn’t a quick decision, nor is it a one-time process. Customers need to renew their plans periodically, at which time they can even decide to switch providers. Effective content marketing techniques can help you gain the trust of your audience by establishing your brand as a thought leader in the field. When backed by effective SEO strategies to increase organic traffic and help your content rank higher, content marketing can be one of the most useful ways to reach a wider audience.
Content marketing can take the form of blog posts, informative videos and how-to guides. This can help engage with your customers right from the awareness stage to acquisition and finally the retention phase. When developing a content marketing strategy it’s important that you think from the perspective of your audience and create content that they will actually find useful. The blog by Sundaram Business Services, for example, doesn’t just have information related directly to their services. Instead, it caters to all related queries that their audience might have. In this way, your customers will be able to recall your brand when they need to choose an insurance provider.
Engage consumers actively on social media
Social media isn’t commonly associated with insurance brands, but it is as important for this segment as it is for any other. There are currently around 240 million Indians on Facebook and this number is only going to grow from here. Insurance, on the other hand, hasn’t penetrated as far in India. Currently, only 20 per cent of women and 23 per cent of men in the country are covered by health insurance. Social media is a powerful way to develop your brand identity and consistently engage with your target audience. Through creative posts, digital marketing for insurance can develop awareness of your product, while at the same time, entertaining your audience.
For Star Health Insurance, we posted a series of quirky posts to highlight the importance of being protected with insurance in an unusual way. This is an excellent example of how out-of-the-box thinking can help social media campaigns for insurance companies gain excellent results.
Large insurance companies typically handle huge volumes of customer queries every single day. The Google India 2017 Year In Search Report revealed that there has been a 64 per cent growth in queries related to motor insurance, which has also been a key driver in generating leads. Timely resolution of these queries is crucial to improve a customer’s experience with your brand and to generate leads. But insurance companies might not always have the manpower to do this effectively. To streamline their processes and handle large-scale customer queries, many insurance brands are turning to AI-powered solutions like chatbots.
As a majority of insurance-related queries are related to broadly similar topics like the price, duration and terms of various insurance plans, chatbots can resolve them much faster than human representatives. But the advantages of chatbots aren’t just for the companies themselves; they go both ways. According to the 2018 State of Chatbots Report, 69% of consumers prefer interacting with chatbots over human customer service representatives.
Leverage digital advertising to acquire leads
Paid advertising can be a fast and effective lead generation tool in digital marketing for insurance companies. There are over 25 platforms available today for insurance companies to advertise their services and gain customers. Some of these include Google Search and Display, LinkedIn, Times Internet, Native and Affiliate ad networks. When coupled with high-performing landing pages, these tools can turn your insurance marketing strategy into a lead generation machine. The advanced targeting options available in digital advertising platforms make it easy for insurance companies to find their target audience online. Companies can target audiences by age, locality and intent, which can help them generate high-quality leads. Since insurance companies are also interested in finding younger audiences to build a relationship with them from the start, advertising on Facebook through video ads, carousel ads and more can help them engage with this segment.
Bijlipay was able to capitalise on the power of Google ads to achieve an unprecedented number of leads in a cost-effective way. They used A/B testing to run different landing pages and altered the copies to communicate with different segments of their audience in a targeted manner. This strategy helped Bijlipay achieve 3,569 conversions at a cost-per-conversion of just Rs. 285. Here are some tips on improving the quality of your leads via digital advertising.
Nurture leads through digital media
Digital platforms have helped to improve the quality of audience targeting and retention in a way traditional media hasn’t been able to. The variety of lead targeting and nurturing methods available today makes it possible to engage with your customers at various touchpoints. In the insurance segment, this is very important to gain new policyholders and to retain existing ones even after their plan expires.
One of the most effective lead nurturing strategies for insurance companies is drip email marketing. With this technique, you can create targeted communications for your customers in every phase of their purchase decision process.
A drip email marketing campaign can be broadly categorised into three phases:
Welcome emails: This is an automated email sent out as soon as a consumer expresses interest in your brand by signing up on your website or filling out a form. A consumer in this stage is usually evaluating various insurance providers and hasn’t made a decision about which one to choose. A welcome email can provide them with details of your company and your USPs, to give them a clearer idea of your brand.
Nurturing emails: The second stage goes deeper to provide consumers with more specific details about your various services, details of your plans and your value propositions. Each of these emails should provide consumers with a clear reason as to why they should convert. The exact number of nurturing emails can vary.
Activation emails: If you have effectively used strong lead nurturing emails, your audience should be ready to convert into actual customers. Activation emails can include a link to sign up for an insurance plan or to get in touch with a representative from your company. These emails include a clear call-to-action which gives your audience the final push to convert.
Apart from email marketing, the introduction of WhatsApp for Business offers insurance companies another medium for lead nurturing. However, since WhatsApp is still largely a personal inbox, companies need to ensure that they keep their communications through this app concise. Sending too many messages to consumers can be seen as spam.
Digital marketing has a number of clear advantages for insurance companies. While this segment has traditionally not been active on digital platforms, it’s clear that making the shift will help insurance companies widen their audience and gain more visibility.
As the saying goes, “Everything old becomes new again”.2018 has witnessed a definite shift in design, setting precedence for the years to come. Graphic design trends from the past are taking centre stage with a new, fresh and modern twist added to them. Few of the major trends include exploring the 3-dimensional realm, rich photography and vibrant colour palettes. We are now at a fascinating turn-point for design, and we are looking forward to experimenting more in this space. Here are the top 7 design trends you can incorporate in your marketing strategy and engage with India’s next billion Internet users.
Gradient or Colour Transitions
Gradient or colour transitions, which were already a rage till late 2007, made a huge comeback when Instagram upgraded its logo with a gradient background. This trend has been on the rise ever since. Colour transitions have diverse and modern applications that are vibrant, smooth and flexible to flat design aesthetics. This trend will continue to diversify in its own innovative avatar, with the usage of bright and vivid colours in a combination of textures – like the ones featured below.
With the increase in the number of users accessing the Internet through their mobile phones, designing your web assets with a mobile-first approach is more of a necessity than a luxury. Responsive design is one which adapts to all screen sizes. However, since the logo of a company is one of the smallest elements on the screen, creating a mobile-responsive logo without losing the visibility of all its elements is one of the main challenges faced by designers. The ingenious solution to this lies in making versions of logos for different screens. Logos have become adaptive, with different versions for mobiles, tablets and desktop devices. Featured below are few logos and their mobile-first versions.
Retro modern illustrations
Retro modern illustrations have made a huge comeback in 2018 with generous usage of the 80’s and 90’s colour palette. From pretty pastels to electric hues, age-old visuals have taken a modern route with a semi-flat design. Today, a lot of brand leaders and influential personalities belong to the generation of the 80’s and the 90’s. Additionally, these generations also form a large pool of key target audiences, making this trend an easy way to trigger nostalgia and create engaging posts that boost social engagement.
These illustrations combine modern, sleek lines with throwback colour palettes. The characteristic feature of this style lies in its fluid yet crystal clear messaging. It is truly the best of both worlds. Few designs with retro modern illustrations are displayed below:
Typography for the digital space is more than often an extension of its print counterpart. This trend has just gotten bigger, bolder and better! The only limitation to your typography style is your imagination. Contrary to popular belief, typography is never seen as a minuscule part of the design, but a form of design itself, coupled with an artistic twist. While usual sans serifs fonts remain as fashionable as ever, you can also get creative with designer, artistic and hand-made fonts.
We are also likely to see the comeback of the serif fonts since Google has such an impressive collection for web design. In a quest to stay in sync with design elements across all media, designers usually stay away from serifs as a thumb rule. However, as the acceptability of this font is increasing online, it is only a matter of time for the font to make a complete comeback. Scroll down for interesting ways in which typography is used as an element of design.
3 Dimensional posts
A very interesting trend that marks the beginning of the next era in design is 3 Dimensional styles – from 3D still photography to 3D typography. Seeing that there is no limit to innovation and imagination, you can also experiment with a mixture of 3D and 2D.3D capabilities have grown to such an extent that the intersection between virtual and reality have been blurred out and indistinguishable.
Another growing trend is isometric projection which is an interesting method to visually project a 3-dimensional object in a 2-dimensional space. It is safe to say that this type of projection is one of the leading design trends of 2018, used in all kinds of visual mediums including photography, 3D design and illustration, to name a few. Additionally, this trend helps in creating great visual posts on social media. Few of them are showcased below:
PaperCut Crafts and Clay Animation
An interesting design style for those with nimble fingers and an eye for detail is using paper cut illustrations. This trend uses actual paper cutting, stuck using double sided tape to give it depth and a semi-flat finish. The illustrations end up looking very surreal and can help in telling brand stories through various layers. Featured below is a brilliant amalgamation of hand-made crafts made with the help of our design tools.
Claymation – a process of using clay modelling in animation – is one of the leading trends in stop-motion design. From the main character to the background, claymation gives the advantage of making each aspect of design deformable because of its malleability. This creative and innovative trend is used extensively for gaming animation and in Hollywood productions. As you can see below, though it is a little tedious and time consuming the output is generally worth the effort
Cinemagraphs, or animated photographs, are an evergreen trend in both social media and websites. The best part aspect of cinematography is that they can elevate any kind of page to another level and you do not need to be a leading fashion brand or a design studio to use them.
Cinemagraphs can grab the user’s attention and keep them hooked to your page for a longer time, thus increasing engagement for your page. These animated images work best on product pages where the important aspects of the product can be highlighted from a different angle. They also load faster than videos, making them the perfect fit for light websites.
The rapid adoption of personal assistants – Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and Cortana – is changing the way consumers search the internet. Voice search is fast becoming the preferred mode for people to interact with their connected devices. The Mary Meeker 2018 Global Internet Report also noted the advancements made in voice technology and its growing adoption.
So how do we as marketers adapt to this change? Well, that’s what this article is all about!
We’ll talk about the growth of voice search, what it means for you as marketers and how you can use it to drive awareness, engagement and sales for your brand.
Well, to start with…
Why is voice search so important?
The traditional screen interface is losing out to voice
Over the last decade, laptop and mobile screens have been the primary ways users have interacted with the internet. However, with the advent and growth of voice assistants, particularly smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo, this is changing.. and changing fast!
The interaction has now started happening through voice, with smart speakers, without using a screen in most cases.
As marketers, we have spent years optimizing for screen User Interfaces and screen User Experiences but when there is no screen anymore, then these aspects become obsolete. The focus is now shifting to building conversational User Interfaces and screen User Experiences, which we will talk about later in this article.
For new internet audiences, voice is the preferred mode of input
The second thing which makes voice so important is the ability to reach new audiences.
Think about it – the next wave of India’s Internet growth – the next billion or so internet users – are going to be largely from smaller cities and towns. For most of them, voice is a much easier and effortless way to interact as compared to typing on a small screen device. While there are indic keyboards to help these new users, voice is also a natural way to ask a question or query. Google is seeing a 270% year-on-year growth in voice queries in India. As a marketer, voice is your gateway to reach them.
Great, so now that we’ve seen why voice is important, how do we leverage it?
How you can make voice a part of your marketing strategy:
1. Relook at your keyword strategy:
Almost all the keyword research that we do today is based on keywords that are typed into a search box.
However, the queries that people type in are drastically different from queries that people ask a personal assistant.
Think about it – let’s say you wanted to know who the CEO of Google is. If you’re using a laptop, you would just head to Google and type “Microsoft CEO”.
If you’re using a personal assistant like Siri or Alexa, you would ask “Who is the CEO of Microsoft”.
The first query was two worlds long while the second one was 6 words long!
Voice queries are almost always conversational, tend to contain questions and tend to be much longer. The average query length on desktop is 1 to 3 words, while voice is 7 to 8 words.
In fact, Moz pulled out data for query length for Cortana searches and compared that with the query length for general text searches. This is what they found:
This changes the way we as marketers should approach our keyword strategy. Brands will need to start optimizing for longer voice-based queries, as compared to shorter keywords that are more used with traditional typed search.
2. Optimise for the Answer Box:
For those of you who use voice assistants frequently, where do you think the assistant pulls up most of its answers from? Well, most of it comes from something called an answer box.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you ask – “Hey Google, what are the top marketing blogs in India?”
Google gives you this answer:
Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio
You can see that the assistant credited the brand site here, from which it pulled out the answer.
Now, type in the same query into a Google search box and you will find that the assistant actually read out the answer from the first search result:
This is the answer box, also called a featured snippet or “position zero”. To ensure your brand gets featured in answers to relevant voice queries, start building and optimizing content for the answer box.
Here’s a great guide from Moz on how to optimize for featured snippets.
3. Prioritize Local SEO:
A good percentage of voice searches are for local queries. For example, “What are the best Chinese restaurants around me” or “Where is the nearest coffee shop?”
Owing to this, optimizing for voice search becomes all the more imperative for businesses with a local physical presence. Ensure your local SEO strategy takes into account location-specific conversational based queries.
Currently, there’s no way to run sponsored ads on Amazon Echo or Google Home, though I personally feel this will roll out at some point in the near future. However, as marketers, you can use Alexa Skills and Google Home Actions to drive audience engagement, product use and even a new point-of-sale.
Quite a few brands have already started doing this. Just search for Alexa skills in India and you will find all the skills that are currently available.
Brands like ClearTrip, UrbanClap, Byju’s and FreshMenu have been early movers here and are already using this to engage their audiences in different ways:
Another example of a brand using Alexa Skills really well is Nestle Purina, which helps you find the best canine companion for you, based on your lifestyle.
5. Build a conversational UI and UX
As the interface to interact with the internet moves from screen to voice, brands must start focusing on building more conversational user interfaces and experiences, modelled on natural human conversation. To start with, this could be as simple as adding voice functionality to the search bar on your website, which can now be done fairly easily by using the Google Web Speech API. Chatbots are another example of a conversational user interface
Voice is here to stay
Voice is one of the biggest trends in digital marketing in India at the moment. As marketers, the faster you begin adapting to it the better.
So, which of the points that we have just talked about are you going to act immediately? Are you going to relook at your keyword strategy? Are you going to optimize for position “0”? Or are you going to try building Alexa skills? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!
Following the success of lead forms across multiple platforms, Google has decided to introduce Lead form extension for search ads (see the full Google for India video for more info). This form extension, which is still in beta, gives an option of a form directly on the search ad itself, similar to the lead ads on Facebook and LinkedIn. The new initiative will appear in the mobile search results page and will be a game changer for both marketers and consumers. According to Google search report, 80% of traffic comes from mobile devices, which means this update will help brands reach the next billion internet users.
It eliminates the need to click on the ad and go to the landing page to fill the form, providing the twin benefit of speed and convenience. Moreover, brands that don’t have a landing page yet, this can be an ideal way to generate enquiries.
With 80% of searches coming from mobile, the mobile-optimised design of the form ads is a win-win for both the consumers and the marketers.
The forms can be optimised without the hassle of coordinating with the technology team.
Finally, it allows campaigns to go live instantly with limited technology/CRM integrations. Though CRM integrations might not be available at launch it is likely to happen as the product is enhanced.
How does it benefit consumers?
Since the ads are targeted to the user based on their previous content consumption pattern, the forms are more relevant.
The forms are usually pre-filled with the information of the user, reducing the friction of filling and making it even easier to hit “Submit”. The quality of leads is something that needs to be tested once the extension is launched.
You can also check out our all you need to know video on lead forms on Google.
Information generated in lead reports:
Marketers can get the following fields filled by potential consumers:
Name of the lead
Email ID of the lead
Ad group ID
Form ads also provide the time stamp of lead submission. In the initial phase, the leads will be sent to a Google spreadsheet which can be created during the setup process.
No matter how great your business idea is or how efficiently your e-commerce store may look and function, achieving your ROI goals depends on the ease of transaction experienced by a customer. A payment gateway or a mobile wallet is a powerful way to ensure hassle-free payments and to reassure the visitors of your e-commerce store about your trustworthiness.
In short, a payment gateway is an e-commerce element that allows a customer or merchant to use internet transactions via credit or debit cards, securely. A bad payment gateway results in bad payment options, ultimately leading to a decline in the total sales. Your server can also pose a challenge in having a smooth payment gateway. To counter this, we usually use Bluehost or Amazon Web Services.
Here are the best payment gateways in India which can aid your e-commerce business.
Instamojo powers more than over 2,20,000 small businesses in India is one of the largest multi payments networks in India. One thing that sets them apart is the 2 mins set up and it is completely free. Set up Instamojo for free today!
Here are some key highlight and features about Instamojo:
No Setup Fees
No Annual Maintenance cost
Start collecting payments instantaneously.
Collect Payments using links via Whatsapp/Facebook/Twitter/SMS
Free Online store to sell items
On-Demand Payments App for Android phones to collect & track your payments
Launched in 2001, CC Avenue is one of the oldest as well as one of the biggest payment gateway providers in India. CC Avenue offers 200+ payment options including major credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, Amex, DIner’s CLub, etc. It also includes other payment options like Multiple Currency Processing, Retry Availability & Customization, Audit, Analytics and a large window for active users. If your website is already live, you can integrate the CC Avenue payment gateway for free.
Incepted by Satyen Kothari and Jitendra Gupta, Citrus makes online payment quick and effective. We have signed up with Citrus Pay for our product, Influencer, but were quite disappointed with the onboarding process. Citrus Pay has a long list of documents and they first need a scanned copy of the documents and then a hard copy, all of them attested. This is actually more cumbersome than CCAVenue, which would send a hard copy of the documents. While it would be fine for an SBI to have such a bureaucratic process, one would have expected a company like Citrus Pay to have simplified the process.
Direcpay is an arm of the Times Group. It is essentially the safest payment gateway in India. The PCI DSS certified and Norton Secure gateway offers easy integration to e-commerce business, a simple registration and a flexible payment process, besides providing EMI options. However, Direcpay requires 5 days for account activation, after the documents are verified by concerned authorities.
Google pay (formerly Google Wallet) is an online payment and system and digital wallet platform. It allows in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on all mobile devices. As of May 218, Google Pay also supports boarding passes and event tickets. Google Pay work on NFC or Near Field Communication to initiate transactions and transfer funds to the retailer. All you need to do is download the Google Pay app, take a picture of your debit or credit card or enter the information manually. As most of the digital audience has gone mobile, Google Pay is a prudent gateway for an e-commerce business.
Juspay was founded in 2012 with an aim to redefine online payments by providing 1-click payments for the web and mobile. However, like the other mentions on this list, Juspay is not a payment gateway, although it does work with any gateway or aggregator with no interference in Merchant-PG relations. Juspay processes more than 4 million transactions monthly for a number of notable merchants like MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Amazon, Snapdeal, BookMyShow, MobiKwik, Freecharge, etc.
Billdesk was incepted in 2000 in Mumbai and provides payment gateway solutions to customers and merchants in e-commerce, retail, financial services, etc. While the setup is free, merchants have to pay a commission charge on each transaction and the amount differs across modes of payment.
Processing close to 8 million payments every day, PayPal is one of the most widely used payment gateways in the world. Request and transfer of payments are very easy, as the platform has over 200 million active accounts across 200 markets, compatible with 100 currencies around the world. PayPal also offers perks like uploading cheques through your smartphone’s camera and completion of transactions without having to exit the website. PayPal is a natural choice for Indian e-commerce businesses that have a large number of international customers.
Marking an impressive conversion rate of 12% and worldwide presence, PayU is one of the biggest payment gateways in India. With noteworthy customer service, PayU has roped in e-commerce biggies like Jabong and Snapdeal into their clientele. The platform offers four pricing packages that vary in covering aspects like Risk Management System, Multi-Currency Gateway, Mobile optimised payment page, IVR Payment, Store Card Feature and Payment Analytics.
PayUBiz is a part of Naspers and is a $25 billion media and internet company that is listed in the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. This payment gateway is used by over 70 e-commerce companies including Jabong, Snapdeal, Ola, Bookmyshow, Cleartrip, Zomato, etc.
MobiKwik is another popular payment gateway in India and it offers services for online debit and credit cards and other internet baking processing transactions. It takes only two days to set up an account with MobiKwik and they are compatible with Android, iOS and Windows platforms. In addition, MobiKwik is also a mobile phone and digital wallet. You can check out our blog on the top 10 mobile wallets in India.
PayTM currently holds the top position for India’s most popular payment gateway. It is a semi-closed wallet, approved by the RBI and offer payment solutions to over 7 million merchants. PayTM is available for download across all major platforms and allows its customers to make payments from debit and credit cards, bank accounts and digital credit. PayTM Cash is India’s largest digital wallet with over 15 million active users.
Razorpay is a relatively new member to the payments ecosystem in India and is backed by notable Silicon Valley investors and mentors. Founded by an IIT Roorkee alumni, Razorpay aims to revolutionize the online payments process through secure and easy-to-integrate APIs, which makes it easy for businesses to integrate and process transactions. It is an India-focused company that offers 24*7 customer support and a simplified experience to the customers.
Incepted in 2015, Cashfree is the country’s only bulk payouts and payment company. With Cashfree, businesses and merchants can collect and disburse payments. This is done through an extensive range of payment options including debit and credit cards, net banking as well as through popular mobile wallets like PayTM, Airtel, MobiKwik, etc. Cashfree also supports PayPal, IMPS, UPI and NEFT transactions. The payment gateway also boasts the lowest transaction charges in the country – 1.95%
Here’s a quick glance at the pricing:
Setup Fee (INR)
Commission Per Transaction
Popularity (In India)
2% + Rs.3
Free – 40,000
2% + Rs.3
Credit fee – 2.9%, Debit, bank transfer – Free
2.2% – 2.9% + $0.30
4,900 – 29,900
0.75% – 2.90%
2.95% – 3.70%
1.99% + taxes
1.90% (+GST) – 2.90%
2% – 3%
1.95% – 3.5% +Rs.7
Your choice between the above-mentioned payment gateways may vary depending on your e-commerce business field, size, and location. Though all of them have the capacity to adapt to various requirements, we would like you to share your personal experiences with payment gateway providers in India. Let us know if we have missed out anything, or which one is the best according to you.