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Sharat Dhall

Influencer marketing hasn’t been a major disruptor in the insurance category like in other industries such as fashion or beauty. For long, the industry stayed away from exploring this strategy as it doesn’t really allow its consumers to make impulsive decisions about whether to purchase a certain insurance plan based on a social media post.

However, of late, insurance brands are now waking up to it.

Sharat Dhall, Chief Operating Officer of PolicyBazaar, told how the brand has been effectively utilising the influencer marketing strategy in building awareness around its insurance products and plans.

He agreed that influencers have been used more effectively in other categories like fashion, beauty, retail, etc., unlike in insurance.

“In fashion, beauty and retail, there is a large base of people who are influencers. However, in insurance, the number of influencers is much less. It is because one needs to have the education and understanding first to educate others and build that credibility around the products. In that perspective, it is not as well developed as in other categories,” he added.

This being one of the most effective strategies for the brand, Dhall said the brand is trying to create a 360-degree kind of effect on consumers via its overall content marketing efforts.

The brand utilises three formats of content. Other than influencer marketing, it puts videos on its YouTube channels and contributes to various columns.

“We do a lot of work with videos to talk about various kinds of insurance, benefits, myths, etc. We ourselves put out a lot of videos and then we have our own blog as well. We associate with people who are influencers in the space and are known for credibility, which helps us educate consumers. There is a lot of awareness-building and myth-busting content we speak about. Apart from this, we also work with some publications in terms of columns where we answer queries of consumers, talking about best plans, putting out facts and simplifying insurance,” he added.

The brand believes content marketing plays a huge role in educating consumers around insurance.

Being one of the highly involved categories, people are scared of buying insurance-related products, and that is where content marketing kicks in.

Having experienced a good growth this year, especially amid the crisis, the brand has increased its digital spends by 15% within the first half of this calendar year.

“We have increased our intensity as far as content marketing is concerned amid Covid-19. We upped our efforts in video, influencer marketing and on social media,” he said.

Dhall believes that the Covid-19 pandemic will be a learning experience for a lot of marketers who otherwise ignore this space.

“For many categories and industries, the pandemic has created a situation where marketing spends have reduced to a minimum and marketers had to look at different avenues with almost zero budget. In that sense, it will be great learning for marketers in terms of how they utilise content marketing, social media or influencer marketing, which basically they tend to ignore while having large budgets,” he added.

With the growing rural and vernacular consumption, the brand is trying to be very active on this front as well.

“I don’t think the scale that is there in English is there in any other vernacular languages. But definitely, these are areas of growth and areas that are relatively unexplored. We are looking at how we can improve our market share in the south, where we are looking at vernacular content and regional advertising on local TV channels while trying to reach vernacular audiences in smaller cities in those states,” he said.