Oil and Gas Credibility: You Talk the Talk. Do You Walk the Walk?
In today’s oil and gas industry, when it comes to services and safety, it’s not enough to talk the talk; a company must show its potential clients, vendors and independent investors, as well as the communities where it builds and operates its rigs, that it walks the walk.
Credibility should go hand in hand with a company’s visibility, especially online, where too many companies neglect to provide the kind of information that supports their end-goals and explains how they achieve results. Just like any other brand, oil and gas companies need to back up what they say they can do with credible, relevant collateral, and then make that collateral accessible to the world.
Your Oil and Gas Collateral is Content
Technological breakthroughs over the past decade have allowed smaller, independent oil producers to dominate over major companies, such as Exxon Mobil and Shell Oil, in the onshore shale drilling business. The challenge for a smaller oil and gas company is not to position itself as being superior to a more familiar, big name brand like Shell, but to instead leverage its accomplishments in the industry with credible collateral presented across all marketing channels.
Your company’s “collateral” includes white papers, case studies and blogs, as well as press and awards news. If you consistently create and make available high-quality content, consumers and industry peers will associate your company with expertise. Unlike traditional advertising, which talks the talk, credible content proves that you walk the walk.
White papers are a type of business-to-business marketing, and are typically written to position a brand’s product, service or technology as the solution to a specific industry challenge. White papers may also address larger industry-related topics, and are available via a company’s website, as well as various online hubs such as Oil and Gas IQ.
A well-written case study describes an actual project where a client presented a specific need and, as a result of your company’s services and products, saw positive, quantifiable results. Case studies provide potential clients with an unbiased look at your company’s services and products. A timely, industry-related blog will show your company is aware of the latest developments in your space and reinforce your position as a leader in your industry.
Along with press releases, articles and news of industry-related awards, all of the above should be easily accessible as shareable content from your company’s website.
Oil and Gas Social Media
A growing number of oil and gas companies understand the value of social media and shareable content. According to the marketing agency TwinEngine, among the top 100 exploration and production, refining and marketing, integrated, and service and supply organizations in the oil and gas industry who are on social media, 65 are active on LinkedIn. (95 have pages on the site.) YouTube and Twitter are in second and third place respectively as channels where these companies are active. When it comes to collateral in the digital space, social media is a more temporal, yet crucial component to maintaining a company’s brand credibility.
You see this on BP America’s Facebook page, where the company attempts to address every comment that undermines its credibility, such as, “Would you kindly clean up that mess you made in the Gulf already?” BP replied to the comment about “that mess” in the Gulf by providing the month and year the wells in question were capped and plugged. This willingness to engage a sometimes hostile audience in real time is helping BP’s image; in March 2014, the federal government ruled BP could begin bidding again for oil and gas leases on the gulf. BP’s defense is ready, as it attempts to settle hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic damage claims, many of which, the company contends, have no connection at all to the 2010 spill. Under such public scrutiny, BP will need to maintain as open and as transparent a dialogue as possible with its customers for the foreseeable future.
Oil and Gas Marketing in the 21st Century
Going back to the era before the Spindletop discovery in 1901, the oil and gas industry has always been extremely traditional when it comes to marketing and networking. However, in the 21st century, especially if you are a relatively new and/or smaller company, who you know is less important than whether or not your clients, vendors, and investors see you as credible and relevant. Utilize the digital space to back up (or re-address!) your company’s reputation with well-written, creatively realized and shareable content across platforms that include a well-designed, streamlined website and all of the major social media channels.
Contact Signet Interactive to learn how your oil and gas company can remain visible and credible in a fast changing, still growing and evolving market.