This post will be talking about 2 topics that ordinarily would not be expected to be in a sentence together. Not just discussing Digital marketing and the Oil and Gas industry but we will also be discussing the relationship between the two and how the latter can benefit from the former. Digital marketing is advertising delivered through digital channels such as social media, mobile applications, email, web applications, search engines, websites, or any new digital channel. It can also simply be defined as any form of marketing products or services that involves electronic devices both online and off.
Most Marketing professionals out tend to hire a digital agency that does not know the industry dynamics of the energy sector. So, before you do the same, perhaps look into hiring a marketing professional who can guide the marketing department. As soon as you hire a marketing professional, then the Oil & Gas marketing team will learn and understand the dynamics of content, engagement and digital infrastructure. Once that is achieved, you can then start the agency-hiring process. During the selection process, ensure that they know the difference between downstream, upstream and midstream, offshore and onshore, refining, process, and petrochemicals. The agency should talk and understand the language of oil & gas.
There are 4 key factors to consider and always keep in mind when creating a digital marketing strategy for an Oil and Gas company. Fortunately, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about digital marketing, social media, and their current – and future – place in the oil & gas industry.
- Customer Acquisition and Retention: With this new age, oil & gas companies need to be up to speed when it comes to being present with relevant content, and executing on value-added marketing activities. This means in this new age, it’s important to have a step up on competition from a digital marketing standpoint as both large and small scale customers are making decisions to buy a product or use a service, not based on sales people or consultants but now they trust brands on social media than those that are not. This means that by having a digital “leg-up” against the competition, service providers can gain an early edge when facilitating the initial phases of the buying process through their online presence. The importance of strong storytelling, SEO, and providing content in the appropriate context of channels like Twitter, Facebook, and traditional media are now consistently echoed and cannot be overemphasized. And the fact that this tool is more than cost effective makes you wonder why more oil and gas companies still have not joined the band wagon. Specifically, content, SEO, and customer experience were named as 3 “no-budget” activities that companies can focus on when the marketing budget is stretched – or not there at all – to continue to grow in challenging times.
- Good Online Strategy Leads to Positive ROI: With the right metrics and tools in place, marketing efforts can and should be linked to measurable financial gains. It’s very easy for your In-house digital marketing team to be confused about the right metrics to focus on, things such as “likes” and “tweets” are great but they are not what to focus on as primary digital marketing metrics, unless your online activities will just be viewed as an expense. Having a digital strategy, including strong content, in the right context, with metrics linked back to the business’ KPIs can and should be a core aspect of that plan to continue to drive growth and differentiation in the increasingly competitive energy sector.
- Using Your Social media platforms to take advantage of the B2B nature of the Oil and Gas industry: Top company executives and decision makers are all online and on social media, and it is your job to ensure that your company’s target market, whether CEO’s of multinationals, Directors or Government official, get to see your brand in the right perspective. By using social media in the right context, oil and gas companies can form connections with an online community they might otherwise not reach, while engaging their own employees who define their culture and are ambassadors for the brand.
- Bid for Pay Per Click (PPC): Pay-per-click (PPC) represents an effective shift in the way B2B companies handle advertising. Instead of pumping tons of money into print advertising, you can now compete for who sees your ads once they’ve searched for terms that are relevant to your industry. This represents a more efficient model to conserve your budget, potentially, since you only pay for the interest you’ve generated from your ads, i.e., the number of people who click your ad. For example, if someone searches for “remote monitoring for oil and gas”, you can present an ad that highlights your company’s SCADA solutions for integrating dispersed assets across the oilfield. Once clicked, you can direct the visitor directly to the landing page on your website to lead them further into the funnel.
Benefits of Digital Marketing for Oil and Gas Companies
- Wider reach: The promotion of oil and gas industry is not restricted by location. Your product has a universal demand. Even if you have a small oil and gas business, you will still have some overseas clients. Now to build a relationship with offshore clients, you need to build a global awareness. Now promoting your products in another country can be a little expensive and you may have certain restrictions. This is where social media steps in. With the help of social media, you are able to reach out to a global audience without much constraints as social media has no boundaries. And not just global connections but also local connections can be built with the help of social media marketing.
- Helps in Recruitment: Recruiting for any industry used to initially depend on other means such as job referrals and portals. Today, the younger generation are not afraid to go after what they want. They are also very vocal about their views, especially on social media. This makes social media a great platform for headhunting and recruiting young talent. In fact, social media platforms like LinkedIn are designed purely for the purpose of professional socializing. This platform not only enables you to build connections among people within the same industry but also allows you to post job posting on your industry page to attract potential candidates.
- Convenient Educational Medium: Oil and gas industry is not a mainstream business. As the oil and gas industry is not as glamorous as fashion and retail brand, people may not have sufficient knowledge about your products and services. Only the people directly connected to the industry are aware of the happenings within the oil and gas industry. So lack of mass awareness leads to misinformation regarding what actually happens at an oil and gas company. Social media, therefore, beneficial in educating people. How? You could use social media to promote the blogs and whitepapers you publish to grab their attention. Also, the microblogging platform of Twitter can also be used to provide quick news snippets to the audience. The smaller the message, the higher the chances of the audience reading it.
- Builds the Brand Name: With everyone glued to their phone, tabs and laptops screen these days, the digital space has become a great place to build brand awareness for your oil and gas company. Social media platforms are varied, Facebook allows you to engage with your audience with multiple features, LinkedIn allows you to build professional connections, while Instagram enables you to post images about your business and products. Apart from your project images and product images, you can upload images of the people who work for you, the work life of your employees and the different events that take place in your organization, place strategic adverts, the possibilities are simply endless.