Word of mouth is no longer enough. You need a digital oil and gas marketing strategy.
The oil and gas industry is far more traditional than other industries like tech, healthcare, and retail, for example. For the most part, a lot of marketing for oil and gas is done in person, with face-to-face meetings and one-on-one phone calls between prospects and service providers. The industry is largely referral-based, where prospects are slow to trust those they have not heard about before.
However, all of this is quickly changing.
More and more, oil and gas companies are realizing that the traditional marketing methods they had relied upon for decades are no longer bringing them the quality and quantity of leads they require to ensure their sales pipelines are always full.
In order to stay competitive and relevant, it’s vital to look into digital marketing efforts to ensure your oil and gas organization can bring in the kind of leads your business is missing.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s time to focus on more than just word-of-mouth marketing.
1. Your customers are already online
Regardless of who your customers are in oil and gas, it’s highly likely that they are already online. Whether they are online for business or personal reasons, prospects visit social media and websites on a daily basis. During this time, they always have their eye out for interesting content that appeals to problems they are facing.
In fact, according to CMO Council, 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say that online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions.
If 90% of your audience pays attention to online content and uses it in their decision-making process, you’re losing out if you don’t have a substantial online presence. You have to go where your audience is, and this means having social media pages and groups with helpful content, publishing frequent blogs to showcase your thought leadership, and using email marketing to build relationships and trust.
Digital marketing in the oil and gas industry can also include attending virtual events and conferences and publishing authority articles in trade and industry publications.
2. Your competitors may be outranking you
When it comes to digital transformation in oil and gas, you have to keep an eye out for
your competitors, because timing is everything. The entire industry is moving more and more online each day. However, if your competitors establish an online presence before you do, they will have a head start on ranking for important keywords in search engines.
This means that if a potential customer (who we know is researching online) searches for something relevant for your business, your competition may be higher up in the search results than your business because they are putting more effort into digital marketing.
While it may not seem like a big deal whether you rank first or fourth, it can actually have a significant impact on the amount of website visitors you get.
The first ranked position on search results typically receives 42.25% of all traffic, while the fourth ranked position receives only 6.05%. That’s a massive difference when you think of how many prospects you are losing out simply because your competitors have a better online presence than you do.
3. Online marketing provides you with two-way communication at scale
One of the greatest aspects of in-person or referral marketing efforts is that you have an opportunity to speak to your prospects. Whether you’re at tradeshows, conferences, or customer meetings, being able to really connect and hear what your prospects need helps to convince them that you can provide the solution.
The trouble with this method is that it is not easy to scale. The number of prospects that you can meet with is directly connected to the number of people on your sales and marketing team. If your business faces an issue and has to cut back on staff, you’ll end up cutting back on your lead generation as well.
An online oil and gas marketing strategy helps you build a two-way communication system at scale. This means that you can talk to dozens or even hundreds of people at the same time, make meaningful connections, share personalized content, and do it with a small employee footprint.
Instead of a marketing or sales person building a relationship with a prospect in person, they can do so online with multiple prospects at a time — via email marketing campaigns, social media posts, exploratory videos, insightful blogs, and much more.
4. An oil and gas digital marketing strategy brings the right kind of traffic
A common objection that we hear when talking to oil and gas companies who do not yet have a solid online presence is that they are worried they will not attract the right kind of prospects. They believe that Joe Shmo who can’t afford their services will take up their team’s precious time because he saw the website and wants to learn more.
The thing is, online marketing is an incredibly effective way to highly target your audience. You can attract the right type of prospects through the design and conversion copy you use on your oil and gas website.
In addition, your paid ad campaigns in search engines and social media can be targeted by demographics and user patterns — so you can filter out people who are not your target customer.
As a result, you can funnel the right kind of prospects to your website. This makes them more likely to convert into leads, which makes it easier for your team to convert them into paying customers. The people you can bring to your website connect with your message, and fit the demographic and psychographic criteria of your customer.
5. You can — and should — combine your digital marketing efforts with in-person marketing
When developing an online oil and gas marketing strategy, many organizations wonder whether they have to completely give up their in-person word-of-mouth marketing tactics. That’s simple not the case. You can combine both online marketing and in-person marketing in oil and gas for a well-rounded and highly effective strategy.
Your online marketing efforts reinforce your word-of-mouth marketing activities, speed up the sales cycle, and help prospects make the buying decision sooner. Did you know that 70% of B2B buyers fully define their own needs before reaching out to a company representative?
This means that your online content — such as blogs, authority articles, website copy, social media posts, and more — can help your prospects understand and define their own needs. Once they make a decision to buy, they will reach out to your team, who can close the sale in person or online.
The work of building trust, showcasing expertise, and providing proof is all already done by the time you have an in-person meeting. Imagine how productive your sales and marketing organization can be if this were the case today.
Lead your industry with a digital oil and gas marketing strategy
With how quickly digital transformation in the oil and gas industry is taking place, you don’t want to get left behind your competitors. It’s time to expand your business’ marketing activities to include digital marketing so you can more effectively connect with your customers and convert more leads into sales.
Get in touch with Definity Web today to learn more about how we can help you reach your marketing goals — so you don’t have to depend on word-of-mouth marketing alone.