The biggest marketing mistake in the energy industry

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If your target market includes asset owners, utilities or any big business, then the last thing you want to do is pay for household consumers searching for a better electricity deal to click your online ad. But this is something that happens all the time to uninitiated marketers.

We often tell the story of a client who came to us after spending tens of thousands of dollars on unsuccessful Google Ads. They gave us access to their account and it didn’t take long to see the issue. One of their products, that they bid heavily on, shared a name with a popular American television show aimed at teenagers. This Australian company, who only served the local market, were spending a fortune to show their trade ad to teenage Americans searching for the latest gossip about their celebrity crush. Whoops!

This was a relatively easy fix to tweak the search settings and narrow down the audience. Not all marketing mistakes are as easy to fix, especially if your operating in a niche industry in the energy space.

Finding your audience

The above example, while a comedy of errors, demonstrates the difficulties in relying on one form of marketing; paid search results. While this is a valid weapon to have in your marketing arsenal, there are many other ways to also reach your market – some of which are necessary in the energy industry. 

It’s almost unavoidable to exclude all irrelevant searchers online, but the search results can be improved by excluding terms such as “best price” or “best deal” or “cheapest”, because these are more likely to be terms used by retail consumers. You also need to consider excluding terms related to health, because there are actually a number of people looking for ways to increase energy in their everyday life who have zero interest in your business. Don’t waste your money marketing to them!

Once you’ve got your search terms under control, you’ll probably realise that decision-makers aren’t always online searching for your solution. There’s often a long buying cycle in the energy industry, so you need to be patient. This also gives you a great chance to be systematic with your marketing and deliver material to people when it will actually resonate with them.

Increasing exposure

If you rely on Google Ads alone for your marketing then you’re selling yourself short. Your potential customers are in so many more places than just searching online. Decision-makers are often reading magazines, looking at other news sites, scrolling on social media or attending industry events. You want to give them a chance to see your message wherever they are looking.

By taking the time to learn where your potential customers are spending their time you can customise your message to resonate with them most. If you’re likely to be exposed to Project Managers, you’d share how working with you or buying your products would make their work easier. But if it was the CFO most likely to see your message, you’d attack it from the angle of how you can help reduce costs or save lost time. On a side note, this message works best when your product isn’t actually the cheapest on the market, so taking the time to explain quality or other benefits helps get your point across. 

You also need to consider where and how your particular prospect is consuming their information, then package your message in a way that is most likely to resonate with them in that circumstance. 

One way to do this is to share the same message and share it via a content suite. This involves taking a message about your business and presenting it in a range of different ways – such as videos, infographics, articles and social media posts – to increase the chance of this message being seen, understood, and shifting the market perception of what you can do.

Spread the word

In our marketing agency (staffed by the same people who put together Energy magazine), we’ve seen great success creating content suites for our ongoing clients. They love that by briefing us on a single topic we can create professional content to be shared widely in the market.  

Until 1 December you have the chance to win a content suite for your business, created by our team to be used however you see fit in your marketing. There’s no catch, you don’t need to sign up for ongoing marketing and you don’t need to pay us for the work (usually priced at $6,500). We just want some more examples of this package to show other businesses, so we’re giving one away.

To enter, just fill in a few details on this form and we’ll contact the winner by the end of the year.

Enter Now

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