Health insurer HBF moves into content marketing with focus on ‘the other parent’

Content marketing agency Mahlab Media had created a digital hub for WA-based health insurer HBF as it looks to build a stronger connection with soon-to-be-dads and those already grappling with the issues of fatherhood.

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The portal, Direct Advice for Dads,  features content designed to provide practical information and help for ‘the other parent’.

It is HBF’s first foray into content marketing and has been a year in the planning.

Manager of media and communications, Andrew Walton, said the insurer wanted to build an audience with a group of people – new dads – who are currently under-represented and at a stage of life when they may consider buying health insurance.


Walton: “Content will be real and authentic and speak to dads in their own language”

“We know that starting a family is a key trigger point to begin thinking about health insurance,” he said.

But Walton said the initial aim will be on developing a loyal membership base, and stressed there will be very little by way of a hard sell. Product information would only appear in the event of a story on health insurance, he said.

“Even our branding on the site is discreet,” he said. “The content will be written by dads who have had experience so it will be real and authentic and speak to them in their own language.”

Walton said HBF avoided the temptation to create health-related content in a bid to escape the “noise” and to differentiate itself from other insurers.

HBF logo - new 2016

He added that while new and expectant mums are flooded with information, men can often be left scratching their head when a baby first arrives on the scene.

“We wanted to recognise that men are not just bystanders, they are equal partners,” Walton said. “It may be women who read the books five months before the arrival of a baby but that doesn’t mean men are not interested. The stereotype of a bungling dad should be banned from the marketing playbook.”

Walton said the content could be expanded to include fatherhood advice during different stages of a child’s life, should it be successful.

HBF will measure the success of the content marketing push by traffic, repeat visits and subscriptions.

Unlike traditional insurance campaigns, which are expected to generate immediate sales, Direct Advice for Dads will aim to build a community and awareness of HBF in both its home state of WA and, increasingly, other states where the brand currently has limited presence.

Content will be produced by Mahlab’s in-house team of journalists, with influencers and bloggers also contributing.

“The vast majority of information about pregnancy and early parenting is aimed squarely at mothers, leaving a huge gap in the market for someone willing to talk directly to the other parent,” Mahlab Media said.
“If you’re planning to become a dad, have a baby on the way, or have just become a dad, you’ll have questions that only men who have been there before can answer.”

Mahlab Media managing director Bobbi Mahlab added: “The Dad platform helps us to give dads confidence through one of their most significant life changes.

‘We’ve designed an easy-to-navigate, humorous site which feels like chatting to a mate who has gone through the same experience.”


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