Internationally, the United States has the Big-Three cornered, in terms of energy: we consume, produce, and supply it in bulk. Due to the country’s world-class innovations and growing consumer demands, it’s no wonder other countries consider the US as the leading player in the $6 trillion global energy market.
Statistics show the US’ heavy dependence on the oil and gas industry: In 2015 alone, consumption reached 19.4 million barrels per day. With each barrel being made up of 42 gallons, that means consumers use 814,800,000 gallons every 24 hours.
In light of these figures, it's obvious that surviving without petroleum products does not seem like a conceivable option in the United States anytime soon.
All Things Tech and All Things Oil-Related
Due to the persistent and ever-growing demand within the industry, experts and market onlookers once wondered if the need for digital technology would ever breach the field’s shores. In 2015, Microsoft and Accenture conducted a survey, which involved 229 professionals, to better understand the oil and gas industry’s take on digital and technology trends.
The numbers painted a better picture. Results showed that 91% of oil and gas companies saw the value of investing in digital technologies. The inconsistency of crude oil prices did not stop companies from looking into digital marketing and its benefits for their business.
And while the oil and gas industry is leading the way in digital technology in areas where well-control and hydrocarbon production are concerned, our industry lags behind most others in terms of using or creating digital technology that improves our numerous business processes.
Digital Marketing in the Oil Patch
Initially, the idea of combining oil and gas with digital marketing seems like a strange mix, especially for old hands who have been working in the oilfield for some time. How can search engine optimization (SEO) or lead generation make sense in a field dominated by heavy equipment and old-school sales tactics? But industry players are beginning to realize that these marketing tactics, in fact, make perfect sense.
One of the biggest benefits that the industry stands to gain from tapping into all things digital is better operational efficiency.
Oil and gas companies depend on technology to improve infrastructure, mobility, and collaboration. Aside from the need to take their tools to the next level, these businesses also realize the need for better marketing.
After all, customers matter – and with the help of a good marketing strategy, boosting sales should be easier to do.
Some oilfield companies have expressed plans to incorporate digital marketing tools into their strategies over the next three to five years. But, amidst the thousands of digital marketing trends out there, finding the right one is a challenge.
If you're thinking about implementing digital marketing to your existing strategy, here are some digital marketing trends the gas and oilfield companies should consider:
One of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is the amount of data concerning your customers. Digital channels provide a goldmine of insight on the following: How customers find your site, how they get there, as well as the type of social media posts they share and emails they read.
Combining this information with previous customer purchase information and demographics results in refined marketing campaigns via audience marketing—a strategy which focuses on customizing marketing efforts according to the target market’s characteristics.
Turning data into audiences requires a hefty amount of analytics. For example:
- Website analytics reveal the search terms people use to visit your site, as well as the amount of time they spend on each page. Google Analytics provides on-demand reports and can help you refine your message.
- Email service providers can also offer data, which reveals which users are most likely to open your messages, the offers they respond to, and the links they click.
- Most clients live on social media right now. The platforms offer better insight into their preferences, locations, as well as most popular posts. Monitoring platforms (e.g. TweetReach and Hootsuite) helps to analyze audience trends, as well.
Most online users are fascinated with videos, which are easily accessible on social platforms. A video also serves as a powerful tool that is capable of changing the audience’s perception of energy.
Since the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (also known as the BP Oil Spill or the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill), the field of oil and gas has garnered negative connotations. Informative and educational videos play a vital role in changing customer perception.
Videos can paint the industry in a bright and positive light while distributing information across communities.
The anti-oil and gas movement does a very good job of using video marketing to pain our industry as dangerous, dirty and uncaring about the environment or our communities, but we can do our part to show all of the advances and improvements the oil and gas industry provides for almost every person on the planet.
Despite the presence of search engine marketing and social media, email remains one of the most important marketing tools gas and oil companies invest in. Valuable and relevant content regularly delivered through email is one of the most effective ways for B2B businesses to care for customers, as well as inviting newer ones to the fold.
Today’s customers are don't like to be sold to; instead, they are after information, entertaining content, and plenty of choices. For companies to reel in more clients, creating good content linked to a “call to action” is their best bet. Email marketing encourages potential customers to learn and interact more with the business.
Digital social collaboration between partners in a venture is a big perk for oil and gas businesses. Apart from sharing risks and expertise with others, it also offers a competitive marketing advantage. Social collaboration marketing re-aligns the company from within, which serves to amplify its message — and this is one of the biggest secrets to marketing success.
Also, social collaboration solutions focus on managing client expectations, in terms of a project’s progress. Through a private and shared space between the client and the business, the latter keeps the former informed with pertinent details, specifications, and other issues.
It Make Sense to Invest
Digital marketing is not just advantageous for big businesses; small to medium oilfield companies can benefit greatly from the analytics, data, and social media statistics. Investing in understanding and organizing information with digital marketing techniques helps businesses reach audiences whenever, wherever. Not only do these marketing strategies attract and invite more people, they also enable businesses to make better and more informed decisions.
Lead generation, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing add value to businesses while improving workforce productivity at reduced costs.
Not all oilfield companies are on board the digital bandwagon, but as the public’s dependence on the internet grows, it will be a necessary move, in order to not just survive, but to stand out in a highly-competitive market. Don’t miss out on this opportunity, and don’t allow your marketing efforts to dry up – let digital marketing work for you!
Here at Lean Oilfield, we help companies dedicated to the oil and gas industry improve their online presence with our lead generating marketing solutions. Patrick Pistor, our marketing expert, together with the Lean Oilfield team, focuses on using tactics that will effectively obtain for your company the leads it deserves.