The open enrollment period of the calendar year is limited to six weeks each year in which Americans have the opportunity to sign up for health insurance or change existing plans under the Affordable Care Act. Health insurance providers need to have an effective marketing strategy in place come November 1st to increase business during this shopping period. There are numerous steps businesses should take to ensure better visibility for the brand and engagement with consumers.
Read More: Case Study: The Call for Open Enrollment Campaigns Continues to Grow
Define Your Audience
Defining your audience is an important first step in creating a marketing plan for open enrollment. You need to know who your audience is and what pain points they face in order to build a broader marketing approach for the open enrollment period. There are multiple ways to define your audience. Though not all of these factors will apply to every health insurance company, it is still important to understand each one:
Geographic: your marketing strategies need to take into account the fact that consumers could live in different states and regions. Not all states have the same availability of plans under ACA and even within the same state, the number of available plans can vary.
Demographic: Americans from all age groups shop for health insurance during open enrollment. It would be impossible to address the issues of all age groups in your marketing plan, so seek to find common pain points that cross demographic divides such as limited policy options in certain areas or high costs in other states.
Behavioral: you should also consider the different buying patterns of consumers during open enrollment. Have you encountered more first-time policy buyers in the past or existing consumers looking to switch plans?
Select Channels and Topics
Knowing your audience is only half the battle. To create an effective marketing plan for open enrollment, you need to use your audience insight to figure out which channels you can connect with those consumers on. You may find that your audience is reachable on a number of different platforms, from social media to your own blog. Healthcare plans are something that consumers shop for, but they won’t be going to a store to pull it off the shelf and checkout.
For example, blog posts offer consumers with the in-depth insight needed to help make a decision. Social media can be used to promote blog posts and keep shoppers informed on available policies from your company or even the steps they can take to make shopping easier. Finally, the topics you choose to focus on during open enrollment are important as well. Dive into the pain points that your consumers are facing and put together digital content that answers those pain points and provides users with relevant information.
Customize Your Messaging
When the time comes to “put pen to paper” on your content, make sure to follow a few important tips to ensure it connects with consumers:
Make the brand approachable with down-to-earth, friendly content
Incorporate more visuals and consider using infographics
Use bullet points in content to deliver concise messaging with fewer words
Be candid with information and creative in your approach
Read More: Understanding the Power of Content Marketing
Audit Existing Content
Remember that your open enrollment marketing strategy doesn’t entirely have to built from the ground-up. Take the time to go through existing content on your site and social media accounts to see what can be repurposed for the open enrollment period. Some of the information, even though not 100% specific to open enrollment, could still be useful for consumers shopping for plans during the ACA open enrollment period.
Webinar Replay: Marketing Plan: 2020 Open Enrollment