In order to create a successful content strategy, natural resource companies should strive to connect their work with real people.
Creating content for companies in the natural resources space is more challenging than for those that reside in industries that dominate the public attention. Essentially, marketing for natural resources will work for two reasons:
1. The features are relevant to the customer and explained effectively.
2. The content helps the customer connect emotionally with the message or brand.
At least for now, a story about natural resources is most impactful if it resonates with the reader on a human level. Will readers find a story that chronicles an innovation in oil drilling technology or one that focuses on an innovation in Tesla’s battery technology more compelling? The answer is behind door B: readers are interested in stories that have a real-world impact, or even better, an impact on their own individual lives. So find the connection between your work and real people, and focus your content creation efforts around that.
Creating an effective publishing strategy for a business in natural resources like oil, gas, or coal is a non-trivial exercise. An innovation in environmental protection solutions for mining companies is unlikely to make headlines compared to the innovations of a company like Tesla.
Despite how fundamental natural resources are to all our lives, the technology and best practices in this space are simply not as novel and appealing as, say, in the tech world — for now, at least. But in B2B marketing, where the decision-maker is deciding for the company and not themselves, brands that make an emotional connection beyond simply promoting the features and benefits of their products and services will excel.
Having perused many (possibly too many) company blogs, I can say that the majority of companies approach content marketing as though their brand publication (whether in the form of a blog or news section) were an extension of the rest of their site. This is to say that each blog post merely serves to promote some aspect of their service offering.
In lieu of this approach, brands must speak to the ways in which their ideas and services affect people in order to create real connections with their audiences.
Natural Resources and People
At L&T, we’ve developed two approaches to meet this criterion for clients in the natural resources space:
1. We speak to the ways in which our clients’ capabilities help communities and affect the economy more generally.
2. We share the ideas and expertise of our client company’s founders and executives.
For example, one of our clients provides organic solutions that mitigate the effects of natural resource activity, such as mining. The specifications of these chemicals are interesting to someone in this field — objectively, they are important. However, they aren’t inherently gripping or engaging to the average reader.
To bring a human element to our content, we wrote about the ways in which our clients’ products protected people who lived in the areas around mining sites from environmental and health risks. In doing so we created an emotional anchor in the minds of our clients’ audience members, which will make them more likely to read the blog regularly or even work with our client down the line.
Meanwhile, we launched a campaign to take the knowledge and experience of our client’s executives — decades of it — and write it down. This connected the somewhat “dry” specifications and capabilities of their technology with a human story: how these executives built a business from the ground up, and how they’ve applied their wealth of expertise to benefit real people.