Do you ever feel like your marketing strategy is in need of a refresh?
Our company works with numerous brands in the oil and gas industry, and we commonly find these companies in one of these situations:
- Stuck: There are so many things we should be doing, and we’re not quite sure where to start; we just need one actionable idea that we could implement this quarter.
- In A Rut: We have been running the same program for so many years, and it’s time to try something new; we just don’t know what to do.
- Trying to Do Too Much: Our team is running multiple marketing campaigns, we actively publish to our blog, run an automated drip email campaign, attend three trade shows per year, run print ads, and regularly produce case studies. We wonder if this is all worth it, and we’re not sure how to track results.
Rather than trying to completely reinvent your marketing strategy, maybe you just need to test one simple strategy that can help pull your brand out of your current position — ultimately reinvigorating engagement with your prospects.
Below is a list of three marketing strategies — certainly not a comprehensive list — that are frequently underutilized in the oil and gas industry.
1. Google AdWords (and Facebook) Retargeting Ads
If you get a decent amount of traffic to your website each month, but your business development team does not have a lot of engagement with those visitors, Google retargeting ads could be a good strategy.
Let’s start by defining retargeting ads.
Most of us have seen a retargeting ad. We view a product on Amazon.com, then we go to Facebook and see an ad for that product on our Facebook feed. Or, we read a blog on a vendor’s website, and then we go to read an article in the Houston Business Journal, and we see an ad from that same vendor.
So to clarify, retargeting ads start with a visit to your website. A cookie is set on the visitor’s computer/laptop/smart device, and now you can target that person with an ad from your company on other sites they are visiting. What makes this so appealing is that the ads are served through third party networks like the Google display network (which emcompasses over two million websites and over 650,000 apps) or Facebook (over 2.2 billion monthly active users worldwide according to Facebook MAUs).
Because there may not be a strong case for companies with a B2B offering to advertise on Facebook (we could argue this point, but I won’t spend time doing that in this blog post), I’m going to focus on the Google display network.
As I mentioned above, the Google display network is massive. The advantage is the targeting capabilities available using the Google AdWords management tools. You can specifically target people based on the visit to your website PLUS you can expand that audience by targeting specific demographic data, interests, and filter your audience by demographics, and even interests.
Let’s say that you sell a software solution that targets people who manage the accounts payable process at an oil and gas company.
You can set up a series of Google retargeting ads that are served to:
- People who have visited your website
- People who work for an oil and gas company in an accounting role
- People who are between the ages of 35-55
- People who are visiting websites with content about oil and gas and accounting topics
Pretty targeted! Just take note that the more you target, the more expensive the ads will cost. As we always advise, it’s much better to have a high quality and targeted audience as opposed to a high volume of unlikely prospects.
2. LinkedIn for Prospecting
There are a variety of ways to market your business using LinkedIn. You can set up a company page and publish updates, share blog posts, and preview upcoming trade shows. Your individual employees can also share content using their personal profile pages, as well as comment and like content that they view in their personal feed.
Did you also know that you can use the LinkedIn messaging tool to directly connect with prospects?
To really maximize this effort, LinkedIn offers a specialized prospecting tool called LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Sales Navigator is a subscription service that allows you to create a custom audience based on a series of filtering criteria (examples: Job Title, Company Name, Revenue, Number of Employees). You can then save people as Contacts from this filtered list and use the LinkedIn InMail tool to send direct messages to these Contacts.
We recommend starting by identifying target personas, setting up filtered lists, and then adding contacts that meet your criteria.
You can then write a multi-part message campaign that provides value to the recipient. It’s important to be honest and let contacts know that you are trying to build your network and identify prospects for your service. But, you should do that by delivering content and information that would be helpful to the contact.
You can start by piloting this process with one member of your business development team. Try is for a few months and see if you end up with any new additional connections or opportunities.
3. Video Marketing
What is your company known for? Do you have a specific competency, or competitive differentiator that helps you stand with your audience?
Is your market aware? Do you have a strategy for communicating that information?
Video is a great way to communicate this message.
Some recommendations to direct the execution:
- Identify your main message and three main points that support this message
- Write an outline or video script
- Practice your delivery
- Target a time under 2 minutes (you can also create 10-15 second clips from the full video that you use on LinkedIn to entice your audience to watch the full video)
- Work with a professional to shoot, edit, and finalize your video
- The quality of the video and audio matters
- They can advise on the best location for the shoot
- They can integrate interesting and engaging editing techniques that add value for the viewer
- They can optimize the file size and recommend a professional platform for publishing
You can share the video link with your existing prospects through LinkedIn posts, an email campaign, and by posting with an accompanying blog to your website.
People do business with people. Video marketing provides you with a great platform to communicate your message AND help people experience the culture and personality of your brand.
Ready for a Refresh?
We hope these ideas help refresh your thinking, and ultimately improve your brand’s engagement with your prospects.
If you’re interested in talking to us for some additional support, we invite you to apply for our free website audit. The seeds for reinvigorating your marketing strategy often hidden in your website. Our team will assess your brand messaging, design, functionality, and overall performance and create a report with ideas to help improve your website AND overall marketing strategy.
Submit your website for an audit today!