Reviving a regulated industry with social media
How Legal & General turned financial secrets into an award-winning brand campaign
Legal & General Group Plc. is an internationally renowned UK financial organization that specializes in insurance, investments, and pensions. “We aim to help people have the confidence to achieve financial security,” says Sarah Daley, the Experience Manager at Legal & General. “As a company, we realize that the world is becoming more digital and we are positioning ourselves to meet our customer’s changing needs—and conversations.”
over target for overall reach of Taboo Tent content
of those exposed to the sponsored content driven channel 'This is How Money Works' would consider purchasing a product with Legal & General
rise in brand awareness around the first #MoneyHangout, 20.4% uplift for target demographic of 34-44 year olds
What they did
Using social media campaigns to revive a regulated industry
Daley and the campaign and partner teams are tasked with increasing brand awareness and positive perception of Legal & General. Their goal is to break down the stigma around the financial industry and encourage people to speak openly about money. Legal & General CEO Nigel Wilson explains that “46% say money is a personal matter that simply should not be talked about. That has to change. The impact of money being a taboo is huge. The same research shows that 41% of people—over 20 million adults—feel stressed about their finances.”
“We want to inform people of the whole financial picture,” says Sarah Daley. This is clear in the team’s 18-month-long digital campaign, ‘Tackling the Great British Money Taboo,’ a finalist in PRWeek UK Awards 2015 for Financial Services Campaign of the Year. But, as a regulated organization, Legal & General has to ensure social campaigns are risk-free and compliant.
How they did it
Digital campaign: ‘Tackling the Great British Money Taboo'
Legal & General has published a lot of research around the fact that people don’t like talking about finances—even with those closest to them. In fact, many people in relationships don’t know their partner’s salaries or savings. “We want to remove the taboo around finances and money by filling the financial guidance gap and providing people with accessible, useful and selfless content to help make informed and confident decisions,” says Anna Doman, Brand Marketing Manager, explaining the goal of the social media campaign.
The digital campaign was threefold:
1. The Taboo Tent
Legal & General setup pop-up tents in shopping centers across the UK and got families, couples, and groups of friends to reveal financial secrets they’ve never shared before—live on video. “We realized that people don’t like talking about money and our first goal was to have those conversations in a safe space,” she explains.
To discover the kind of personal finance content people would be happy to share, the team launched in-person focus groups to gather information. In order to gather similar information from their social media audience, the team used Crimson Hexagon within Hootsuite to listen to social conversations and understand what people really care about when it comes to personal finances.
2. Google Hangouts with financial professionals
The social media research and focus-group findings helped form the campaign content strategy. This process also helped them predict questions and form answers ahead of time for five different Google Hangouts, four of which were hosted live by Legal & General’s CEO, Nigel Wilson—a first for any financial services company. Key discussion topics included family finance, property, retirement, savings, work, and a special on weddings.
During the hangouts, independent financial experts weighed-in on the trending topics and answered questions openly. Part of what made these forums such a success was the fact that Legal & General focused on topics, rather than products they actually offer. For example, they talked about debt, but the organization doesn’t sell debt products.
The team collaborated with their digital agency directly in the Hootsuite platform. They had listening streams monitoring Legal & General’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds. They also followed influential finance professionals and any mentions of campaign-related keywords and hashtags, such as #MoneyHangouts and #MoneyConfident. While they monitored social engagement with Hootsuite, Crimson Hexagon allowed them to measure reach and engagement on Twitter.
“We use Hootsuite to secure our publishing and engagement efforts,” says Daley. “We schedule and have all our messages in a controlled environment to ensure compliance, should any regulations organizations check.”
3. Social media strategy around education
Sharing follow-up reference material helps reaffirm the information customers heard from experts. Daley along with the Brand Activation team collaborated with Rough Guide travel books company to create a series of five eBooks: The Rough Guides to Personal Finance. These focused on the same five themes from the Google+ Hangouts.
Their strategy was to promote the eBooks and keep conversations flowing. They ran social media promotions for the eBooks across several platforms and engaged with selected influential bloggers and partners. To promote the Rough Guide to Property, for example, they worked with lifestyle blogger network BritMums to run a sponsored ‘Twitter Party’ and a competition on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
They used Hootsuite to reply to, retweet and share messages, and engage in campaign-related conversations. All messages are approved ahead-of-time, scheduled, and published through Hootsuite. This allows the team to use the Global Relay app integration in Hootsuite to archive all social conversations and remain secure and compliant.
Removing the financial taboo with social media
“We are creating useful resources that help people understand the issues and navigate the all-too confusing jargon in finance,” shares Daley. “Social listening helps us get closer to our customers and the real issues at hand.”
Over the span of the 18-month campaign, internal perceptions changed and processes were developed as people became more familiar and confident in the campaign—and social media. 44% of those exposed to the sponsored content driven channel 'This is How Money Works' would consider purchasing a product with L&G. Other key results:
- 37% over target for overall reach of Taboo Tent content
- 129% over target for overall reach of Rough Guide content
- 38% over target for overall reach of Money Hangout content
- Brand uplift - 7.2% rise in brand awareness around the first #MoneyHangout, 20.4% uplift for target demographic of 34-44 year olds
The campaign received industry accolades including nominations for both the Financial Services Forum Awards in the Content Marketing category, PRWeek 2015 Awards for best campaign in financial services and winner of best digital-led campaign in CorpComms Magazine.