Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG) is the largest general insurance company in Australia and New Zealand. The group underwrites over $12.6 billion of insurance premiums annually.
IAG’s brands work with a network of over 18,000 insurance brokers across Australia and New Zealand. These brokers act as intermediaries, delivering IAG’s insurance solutions to a range of consumer and business verticals.
Using traditional organic and paid social media strategies to reach this broker audience was inefficient—and expensive. And since IAG’s representatives were already connected with brokers on LinkedIn and other social media platforms, the brand team saw an opportunity to launch an official employee advocacy program.
IAG adopted Hootsuite’s employee advocacy platform Amplify and UpContent’s content curation capabilities to provide representatives with the tools they need to deliver engaging content to brokers, while also ensuring brand consistency.
IAG launched a pilot campaign within CGU, its consumer car, home, travel, and business insurance brand. The program proved to be a massive success and was replicated in WFI, IAG’s farm and strata insurance brand.
CGU’s broker representatives were already very active on social media but had no brand or content support.
As part of its initial pilot program, CGU onboarded 20 representatives on Hootsuite Amplify and UpContent. The pilot helped CGU gain initial feedback, work out kinks in the process, and create benchmarks on which to measure future performance.
When broker representatives saw their peers sharing great content on social media, enquiries about the program started pouring in. “We had people knocking on our door saying they wanted to participate,” says Avalos. “So we were able to grow our program to 200 participants pretty quickly.”
IAG expanded the program to WFI representatives who live in rural communities. These employees have personal and professional relationships with their clients, and the advocacy program helped them better connect online with the people in their communities in an efficient, authentic, and engaging way.
IAG brands have access to an experienced content team through the company’s in-house studio of copywriters, designers, videographers, animators, and producers.
The brand team coordinates weekly editorial meetings with the content team and broker representatives. During these meetings, they discuss upcoming content and distribution schedules to ensure the consistency and cadence of content is optimized for the advocacy program.
This approach ensures that IAG’s advocacy content strikes a balance between what the advocates want to share and what their audience wants to see. It typically includes a blend of brand-owned content and third-party thought leadership content curated via UpContent and made available directly within the Amplify dashboard.
For IAG, engagement (such as likes, shares, and click-throughs) is an important indicator of content relevancy. “People will only engage if your content is good quality,” explains Avalos.
The brand team ran a test to compare the performance of content shared through the advocacy program against content shared through boosted posts on LinkedIn. “We had much higher engagement from the advocacy program than we did from the paid posts, which confirmed our hypothesis that brokers respond better to our people than to our brand,” says Avalos. “They want to hear from their peers.”
We had much higher engagement from the advocacy program than we did from the paid posts, which confirmed our hypothesis that brokers respond better to our people than to our brand. They want to hear from their peers."
To protect brand messaging without stifling employee creativity, the IAG team uses Hootsuite’s governance features to create rules about what people can edit.
The team generally ensures product posts that have been reviewed by legal teams are locked down. However, third-party and informal brand content can be tailored by employees to give it a personal touch.
The team uses Hootsuite’s built-in tracking to measure content performance and monitors Amplify analytics for usage and adoption statistics. It proactively reaches out to people who are inactive for a while and, in the rare event that a user decides to opt out of the program, the team can easily reassign the Amplify license to someone else.
Since launch, IAG’s advocacy program has been a great success, with 95% of participants sharing content weekly. The team’s main goal is to increase engagement and build trust with its broker network.
“We’re not keen to put a monetary value on this engagement,” explains Avalos. “We’re mature enough in our organization to understand the value without doing that. We absolutely know that our employee advocacy program is working for us in all the ways that matter.”.
With additional process and content improvements—and the implementation of Hootsuite, Amplify, and UpContent—IAG’s brands have seen a positive impact on net promoter scores (NPS) and likelihood-to-recommend metrics from its broker audience.
The advocacy program also gained a lot of positive attention from IAG executives and encouraged even those who were new to social media to get involved.
What’s next for IAG? The team plans to continue on its path—empowering employees to build and maintain strong relationships with their broker networks—and is considering extending its advocacy program to other B2B brands in the future.
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