Founded in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1880, Securian Financial is a financial services organization that provides insurance, investment, retirement, and trust products and services to more than 19 million clients in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
As individuals and families coped with the changes and hardships caused by the pandemic, many brands, including Securian knew it was more important than ever to connect with audiences in meaningful ways.
Recognizing that user-generated content (UGC) is a powerful way to unite brands, employees, and consumers around authentic conversations, Securian Financial built a campaign focused on the shared experience each of its key audiences were facing – reimagining life and work during a pandemic.
Using app integrations with Brandwatch and TINT, Securian Financial used Hootsuite to execute its UGC campaign and achieved impressive results over a short period of time.
Using a blend of social listening, UGC, and social engagement, Securian Financial was able to humanize its marketing, connect with audiences in a relatable way, leading to increased brand awareness and trust.
The team at Securian Financial used Brandwatch for social listening. By creating custom queries, searching multiple digital channels, and distilling information into consumable insights, the team was able to gain a high-level understanding of the conversations people were having online during the pandemic— crafting a relevant and relatable content strategy that would resonate with its target audience.
The team homed in on a popular search query with positive sentiment (about 75%) related to life balance. Realizing that we were all seeking a new life balance as our collective society tried to adjust to remote work, Securian Financial landed on a new campaign called Life Balance Remix.
A user-generated content strategy was already on Securian Financial’s social marketing roadmap. And with traditional marketing campaigns paused out of respect for what our community’s and customers were currently experiencing, the pandemic presented a new opportunity to test a new tactic that has proved (via other brands) to engage in a more authentic way.The campaign encouraged users across a variety of social channels to share content that highlighted their “new normal” with the hashtag #LifeBalanceRemix.Securian Financial launched the campaign internally to generate excitement and community among employees and included a charitable component to encourage participation externally—for every post, the Securian Financial Foundation donated $10 to Feeding America. The giving component was in alignment with the brand’s community involvement initiatives, which encouraged some local professional athletes and celebrities to participate, further expanding the reach of the campaign.
Launching a UGC campaign in a heavily regulated financial services company takes a lot of preparation. Firstly, the social team educated company executives on the value and opportunities UGC can provide. The team worked closely with key stakeholders, including the social governance committee who evaluated the risk, developed appropriate policies and procedures, as well as the terms and conditions required for deploying a UGC campaign.
The campaign was made possible using Hootsuite Enterprise and TINT’s capabilities to gain approval from the content creators and the ability to audit those approvals.
“We were able to track workflow all the way through, having a record that a user participated in our campaign and signed off on our terms and conditions for use. That was a crucial component for our legal and compliance team,” said DJ Hamm, Head of Social Media at Securian Financial.
We never expected our small organic UGC pilot to garner so much attention. We know that UGC helps foster brand trust and engagement, allowing customers to see themselves in our photos and videos. People like it when brands uplift their content.
For an organic initiative, the campaign was a roaring success. With over a thousand participants, it generated more than 2.5 million unique campaign impressions across Twitter and Instagram. The result? An estimated ROI of $35,000 in brand value.
“We never expected our small pilot to garner so much attention,” said Hamm. “UGC helps us create brand trust and drive engagement, as it allows the customer to see themselves in our photos and videos. People like it when brands uplift their content.”
After a highly successful campaign, it’s clear that user-generated content will continue to play a role in Securian Financial’s social media strategy moving forward.