Raising the profile of protection through video content

Meredith Illman, Marketing Manager at British Friendly gives us some great tips on producing video to promote protection.


Using video as a key element of your business’ content marketing strategy is not a new or ground-breaking concept, but it’s one not all firms choose to utilise. Video is one of the top types of content that consumers want to see from brands(1).  90% of consumers say that videos are an important influence in their decision to buy products and services (2). It’s also predicted that by 2021 global consumer internet video traffic will account for over 80% of all consumer internet traffic (3).

Did you know that 80% of people easily recall a video they’ve viewed in the last 30 days and only 20% of people are likely to read text on a page? Video content brings personal stories, information and brands to life by making them more accessible, less time consuming, easier to understand and more memorable. It also helps to inspire trust in brands. In fact, 64% of people are more likely to buy a product online after viewing a brand’s video content (4).

Research conducted by the CII in 2018 showed that only 7% of consumers had confidence that insurers would deliver on their promises when buying protection (5). By contrast, individuals who already had protection insurance in place and particularly those who had claimed were much more trusting of insurers. We should therefore provide an environment which allows these people to be our advocates by sharing their real-life stories. Afterall, consumers are far more likely to listen to other consumers than trust what an insurer says.

A great example of how video case studies can help raise consumer awareness of the need for Income Protection insurance was the 7 Families campaign. A poll during the campaign states that 31% of advisers felt 7 Families had helped raise the profile of Income Protection and over a third of advisers who participated in the poll said they were using the content when speaking to consumers (6).

Nearly five years after the launch of 7 Families, it’s positive to see that Income Protection sales are continuing to rise year on year – increasing by 29.2%% in 2018 according to Iress (7)/ That said, in our industry, we’re still not making the most of video content to help simplify our messages. We can’t always rely on big budget initiatives to put protection insurance in the minds of the consumer, but big budgets aren’t needed to showcase real-life case studies, which help to make the importance of Income Protection more meaningful and real for consumers and advisers. That is what we have been doing at British Friendly.

In our most recent case study video, one of our members, Neil, admits he never thought he’d be facing serious illness or injury until he was forced to claim on his Income Protection policy after being diagnosed with Bowel Cancer and contracting sepsis following his cancer operation. This “it’s never going to happen to me” attitude is one of the big challenges our market faces when trying to persuade consumers of the value of protection insurance. We could have chosen to share Neil’s story as a written testimonial, which certainly would get the point across, but sharing his message through video takes his experience that step further and truly brings it to life. You can take a look at the video here which we produced in conjunction with Drewberry.

Video isn’t the only way to get a powerful message across. A sound recording can be just as effective. In November, we launched a case study about one of our members, Gavin, who claimed his Income Protection benefit after being signed off work for stress while his wife was battling breast cancer. After his wife sadly passed away, leaving behind Gavin and their two children, we paid Gavin an additional Bereavement Benefit payment which helped cover funeral costs for his wife. Gavin lives in Northern Ireland, which meant the logistics of filming a video on a limited budget wasn’t possible. Instead, we recorded an interview with Gavin over the phone and used the recording to produce a kinetic typography style video. Kinetic typography is normally used in music videos and possibly an unusual choice for a protection case study, but the combination of Gavin’s voice and the words on the screen is extremely moving. If we were unable to produce a kinetic typography video, the recording certainly could have stood on its own. Sometimes your limitations, like budget and logistics in this case, can be a catalyst for producing even more powerful storytelling by forcing you to think a bit more creatively about getting a message across in a different way. Take a look at the video here.

Live or recorded video is often considered to be the most powerful way of sharing a story or presenting information, but we have found that animated videos can also be very effective too. Animations are particularly good for breaking down complex topics making them a bit more palatable or interesting. We use animations to explain our products and services as well as tackle topics like tips for advisers on handling client objections to taking out protection insurance. It’s fairly easy to get a message across in a short and simple animation and there’s so many tools available to help marketers do this without having to exhaust your budget. Here’s an example of one of our objection handling videos.

As a smaller mutual insurer with limited budget and resources, the idea of developing professional looking video content as part of our content marketing strategy was quite daunting. Here are a few simple tips for anyone looking to create video content:

Tips for creating quality videos on a limited budget

Use creative bidding marketplaces like UpWork, Creative Tenders or Video Brewery to post your project specs and get proposals tailored to your budget and timescales.

Another option for sourcing production teams on a budget is looking for local production companies which may save you on paying costly travel expenses or even getting in touch with local universities to see if any film students are looking for professional projects to boost their portfolio.

For animated content, do-it-yourself with cloud-based platforms like Biteable, Powtoon and RawShorts which offer flexible free, pay monthly or annually subscriptions (more comprehensive annual plans ranging from £15-£80 per month).

Film video content yourself. Modern smartphone cameras produce great quality videos and with the help of a few accessories like smartphone video rigs that include studio lights, microphones and tripod mount kits can streamline the look and feel of your DIY videos (video rigs pricing can range anywhere from £15 to £200 depending on the quality).

If you choose to film video content yourself and don’t have experience using video editing software like Premiere Pro, you can use YouTube’s video editor to make basic edits to videos and add music to your videos with their free audio library.
Lastly, if you’re filming videos yourself, choose a quiet, well-lit, white-walled room.

Once you’ve decided the best way to create your video content, you will face the hurdle of how you’ll actually get people in front of the camera. This may be particularly challenging when it comes to filming case study videos since your subjects are unlikely to have had previous experience being filmed and they’ll be asked to share sensitive information about their experience. The key to success is planning carefully and building a close relationship with your video subject.

Tips for overcoming fear of the camera

Make sure the person being filmed knows exactly what’s expected of them by planning in calls or meetings prior to filming to talk through the process in detail.

Create a detailed storyboard, script and/or question set with open questions so the person being filmed doesn’t just give ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers.

Share the storyboard, script or questions with the person being filmed well in advance of the filming to give them time to prepare their answers, ask questions or raise any concerns over topics they’re uncomfortable answering in front of the camera.

Only invite individuals who are absolutely necessary for filming so you don’t overcrowd or overwhelm the person being filmed.

On the day of filming, build in some time for a ‘run through’ first and go through the script or questions with the subject so it’s fresh in their minds. You can also use this time to remind them to repeat the question in their answer, avoid just ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers and to get to know them a bit better so they feel comfortable and relaxed.

During filming, remind the person being filmed that they can have as many takes as they need until they’re comfortable with the response they’ve given.

Lastly, don’t forget to thank them and make sure they know they’ve done a great job!

Most of these tips are pretty obvious, but hopefully they’ll give anyone looking to kick-start their video content marketing a bit more confidence.

We work in an industry centred around social good where there are still so many untold stories about how we’ve made an impact on individuals and families in times of need. Don’t let budgetary constraints, lack of skill or resource prevent you from bringing these stories to life. Make it your mission to share more protection stories through the medium of video to help more people wake up to the reality that putting some sort of protection insurance in place is an absolute must.


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