With mainstream media coverage of the energy transition at an all-time high, more eyes are focused on the energy industry, sustainability solutions, and reaching net zero. It’s prime time to drive industry progress and improve public understanding and awareness. But only if you can break through the noise. The competition to earn media coverage is fierce, and your audiences are receiving an influx of information in the news, their inboxes, and their social media timelines.
As you look to tell your company’s energy transition story, investing in content marketing can help focus your communications, differentiate you from competitors, and elevate your reputation. Here are six tips for leveraging content as a power source for your communications program.
1. Anchor Campaigns with Marquee Content
Owned content can be the backbone of your integrated communications strategy. Going this route helps your team stay aligned around a compelling story and ensures that story comes through consistently across channels.
Consider a robust anchor piece of content – like a report featuring original data and unique thought leadership perspectives. That piece can go on to fuel paid, earned, and shared activations. And you can turn the same report into more owned content that dives deeper into subtopics.
Plan your next communications campaign around a marquee content piece, such as:
- Research Report
- Quick Poll
- White Paper
That content can power activities like:
- Media pitching
- Speaker submissions
- Social media campaigns
- Digital advertising
- Sponsored articles
2. Fill Earned Media Gaps Between Announcements
Pull out relevant and timely insights from your content marketing pieces to create compelling energy storylines to pitch when your news pipeline is low – especially unique data or insights only your company can provide. This content and accompanying commentary from your SMEs give you a way to consistently engage reporters, build on thought leadership, and position your spokespeople as expert resources.
For example, an executive’s LinkedIn article on energy trends can inform media interviews and earned coverage deep-diving into individual trends. Or a state of the industry research report can lead to timely trade coverage.
3. Target a Variety of Stakeholders
Energy companies shoulder the challenge of communicating their value to a wide range of stakeholders. Content marketing can help to meet the needs of each unique group, from the uninformed to industry experts. You might focus 101 educational pieces on informing and driving support from the public on topics like:
- What is clean electricity?
- The difference between a backup generator and battery storage
- What does renewable energy mean for electricity prices?
- How to save money with a smart EV charger
You might tap into more technical material or deep-dive topics to influence a knowledgeable prospect. Bringing in subject matter experts from within your organization to inform this type of content can be a game changer. A 30-minute interview often produces smart, quotable soundbites and helps ensure your content reaches an advanced level and highlights a more diverse set of voices representing your company. Additionally, working with an agency embedded in the energy industry will help you to scale that expert-level content.
4. Educate on Challenging or Niche Topics
Numerous topics related to the energy transition are too nuanced for mainstream outlets to cover in detail. From the circular economy to niche power generation technologies, owned content can help you accurately address these conversations with a more in-depth and controlled approach.
Publishing content on these topics also positions your company and its experts as a reliable source of truth, providing clarity within energy’s rapidly evolving landscape, particularly when it comes to policy.
5. Take Control of Key Narratives
Earned media coverage offers powerful third-party validation and social and digital marketing are fantastic for more succinct messages. But incorporating content marketing into your energy communications program creates space for you to expand further on your priority messages while controlling your angle and narrative.
This level of control is essential for companies navigating the evolving energy transition, where different stakeholder groups have different levels of understanding. You can dispel myths and set clear expectations around energy technologies, policies, and benefits with owned content such as blogs, bylines, sponsored content, white papers, and reports.
6. Feed Your Email List and Sales Funnel
We’re all familiar with content that generates leads – gated white papers, research reports, webinars, e-books, and the like. We typically consider gated content as high-value, lengthy pieces that take a reasonable amount of time and resources to produce. These are fantastic to treat as anchor pieces for your communications program (à la tip number one), but there are also smaller, quick-turn opportunities to drive conversations with energy content.
Pair your ungated articles – especially those well-optimized for SEO – with a short-form downloadable resource that helps the reader put your article into action or gain additional value from it. Not only does it give your audience an asset to walk away with and put to use, but it also feeds your email marketing and sales efforts.
Some examples of short-form downloads to drive conversions:
- Questions to ask your suppliers when tackling Scope 3 emissions
- Checklist for sustainability reporting
- Criteria for evaluating different EV charging solutions
- Presentation template to sell your boss on distributed energy resources
Getting Creative with Energy Content Marketing
The long and short of it is this: think beyond your classic company blog post when incorporating content into your communications program. Bolstering and diversifying your content can be a vital power source (pun intended) for your earned, paid, and shared efforts. With the influx of interest in sustainability, carbon neutrality and the energy transition, content is critical for companies putting a stake in the ground with unique expertise.