Selling to the oil and gas industry using podcasts, let me share what we’ve learned. The first thing is why a podcast? Many reasons a podcast makes a great tool to help increase your sales.
First is the cost of entry being extremely low. Secondly, most of the industry are now podcast listeners. In the old days, you would have had to spend a lot of money on a print magazine, TV or radio ads and try to get in front of a few people that work in oil and gas. Now with a podcast, you can get in front of tens of thousands, if not more people that work in the industry for truly little money. It’s interesting. Podcast listenership in the oil and gas industry is up 72% from 2019. Most people that work in oil and gas listen to an average of seven podcasts a week.
Selling to the Oil and Gas Industry Using Podcasts is Easy
That’s a lot of mind share when you get your company in front of these people. The next thing is podcasts are hyper targeted. If you have a podcast around health, safety and environmental that’s a super great audience to talk to about hard hats, FR’s, gloves or any type of PPE, right? Because that podcast audience are people that are interested in health, safety and the environment, it’s naturally a good fit for the companies that are trying to sell anything to do with HSE. By podcasts being hyper targeted, selling to the oil and gas industry using podcasts is easy.
A podcast is basically education through storytelling. Nobody likes to be pitched. Nobody wants to feel like they’re trying to be forced to buy something they don’t want, but the podcast world is different. In most cases, good podcasters are not trying to pitch a product or service at all. What they are really doing is educating by telling a story. That’s a different approach to sales in oil and gas.
So, if you tell the story about how your downhole tool improves production, increases safety metrics, is cheaper or is quicker to get on the job site, that story naturally will arouse people’s curiosities. If they have a need for what you do, they’re going to reach out to you. That storytelling while you’re doing education is a gentler, but more truthful way to get your product or your service in front of people and educate them on how you can help them.
Then as mentioned earlier, podcasting is super cost effective. For the price of one booth at a major trade conference in oil and gas, you could fund a year’s worth of podcasting. That one booth at that trade conference will get the attention of whatever sales and marketing people walk by that day or two. Whereas a podcast has the attention of people every week for the entire year. This is on a totally different scale and it is much more cost effective than almost any other type of marketing or advertising out there.
Gain Mindshare with your Buyers
Then there’s accessibility. You can listen to a podcast while you do other things, which is one of the key reasons why they’re so successful. You can listen to a podcast while you’re commuting, working out or washing dishes. Unfortunately, you cannot do that with video, print or trade shows. So, what happens is your audience listens to you at their convenience. They’re relaxed. They look forward to episodes. So, it’s a great way to get mind share with your potential buyers in a way that doesn’t feel so salesy and it’s super accessible.
Anywhere in the world, people can listen to your shows on multiple platforms. It doesn’t require a lot of bandwidth. It’s an almost effortless way to digest and learn about your company or your product or service.
Now in the grand scheme of things, podcasts are relatively new in the oil and gas industry, but we have been doing it probably longer than anybody else. We’ve seen a lot of successes, not just ours, but other podcasters as well. Some things to think about is if your product or service easy to explain. If so, then podcasting may not be a perfect fit. However, if it’s more complex, podcasts are excellent for that because you can take the time to explain the complexities. You can explain in multiple parts, so that you’re educated in steps. This way people can build upon a base of knowledge, which only helps you when selling to the oil and gas industry using podcasts.
Maybe you’re a company that the oil and gas industry doesn’t know, or you’re in a part of the world that you have no brand awareness. That happens a lot where companies are extremely popular in the Middle East, in South America or Europe. Yet the oil and gas industry in the US doesn’t know who they are or vice versa. If you are in this situation podcasts are fantastic way to build organic brand awareness, just by telling the stories of your company and how you help your customers.
Educate the Industry in What You Do
Hopefully by telling the stories from your customer’s point of view, you can now educate the industry about who you are, what you do and how you can help them. Podcasting has been used commercially for the last twenty years, and the oil and gas industry is rapidly realizing the value of this format.
From an implementation point of view, we believe you should use a third-party. The reason that you should use a third-party is if you launch your own podcast (which is not that hard to do), it sounds like your in-house podcast is just your company’s marketing department trying to sell or pitch your product.
However, when you have a third independent party do your podcast its more genuine selling to the oil and gas industry using podcasts. Number one is it’s much easier for you, but number two you have that third-party independent thought leadership around the podcast. This way people don’t believe it’s your marketing department trying to sell or market something. As we have seen this time and time again, people just discount an in-house podcast.
Now with all that said, if you want to do your in-house podcast to help selling to the oil and gas industry using podcasts, go for it. Like I said, it’s very inexpensive. The worst thing that could happen is you waste a couple hundred dollars without increasing any sales. And then you learn your lesson and you go find a third-party.
Find Podcasters that Have Existing Oil and Gas Audiences
The other thing about using a third-party is that they typically have existing audiences. This way you get to tap into the actual audiences they have, instead of trying to build your own, which takes time. Also, most podcasting communities or organizations out there like OGGN have a large community. By working within that community, you can get in front of the people that you want to right now. Not six or eight months or a year from now, which is what would happen if you did it yourself.
When selling to the oil and gas industry using podcasts, podcasting is probably not your core business. So, it will take you time to become proficient enough to drive sales, which can typically take a year or more, but it can be done.
If you decide to go down the third-party route, a couple of things you should do. First check out their reach, both geographically and number of downloads. Ask them to literally log into their hosting provider and show you in real time the actual numbers, but just remember numbers are not everything. Here is what one of our shows looks like.
Numbers are Important When Selling to the Oil and Gas Industry Using Podcasts
Watch the video to see this, but I will go ahead and log in. We’ll look at Oil and Gas This Week (just one of OGGN’s shows) and at all the statistics. As you can see, this show has over 1.4 million listeners, 517 people listened to it today and a little over 38,000 people (about twice the seating capacity of Madison Square Garden) listened to it in the last thirty days.
When you look at the distribution geographically, you can see that this show is listened to in 198 different countries. The biggest listening audiences are where you would expect: United States, Canada, United Kingdom and so on. This is what a podcast dashboard should look like and this is what your provider should easily be able to show you.
Next, ask for sponsor referrals. Just talk to their sponsors and very upfront, say, “Have they driven satisfactory results for you?” You’ll quickly realize if these shows are somebody that you want to work with or not.
Then is their product focused on your niche? By focusing on your niche, their audience will be highly valuable prospects when selling to the oil and gas industry using podcasts and will be the people that you want to get in front of.
Are They Professionals or Amateurs?
Are they professional podcasters? There’s an enormous difference between people that do it as an amateur podcast, meaning they don’t get paid for it, and the people that do it professionally, who are ones good enough to be paid for it. The difference is everything from audio quality, education, training, experience and the ability to tell your customer story in a way that makes sense and drives sales.
Are they considered part of the media? Any podcasting organization out there in the oil and gas industry should be considered part of the media. If they are, that’s another great indicator for you.
Next, when you get into contract negotiations, what is your gut feeling? Are they quickly trying to close a deal or are they more interested in helping you solve a problem? How much time do they talk about how they can help you drive revenue, achieve your goals and explain how they’ve done it with others, versus just talking through contract terms to get a signature.
How are their contracts written? Are their contracts written to guarantee them more revenue, or to minimize risk for you? They should be written to minimize risk for you.
Finally, do they have an onboarding process for new sponsors? When you come on board as a sponsor for the podcast, do they have a process in place that helps you quickly get up to speed, get to know the team you will be working with, agree upon success metrics and then have reporting back to you on a regular basis on those metrics?
It’s Not Expensive to do a Podcast
Now, if you want to do your own podcast, it’s quite inexpensive. You don’t need a thousand dollar microphone. We use eighty dollar Audio-Technica microphones. You don’t need a lot of sound equipment. You don’t need a mixing board. A digital recorder like a Zoom is just fine. You need some cables, a quiet place to record, a hosting provider like Blubrry, or Libsyn and then an Apple Podcasts account. Plus, you will need to learn how to edit audio, and the software to do so. Two free options are GarageBand and Audacity. So, it’s really that simple to stand up your own podcast.
Once again, from a commercially successful point of view when selling to the oil and gas industry using podcasts, we highly recommend a third-party. It simply works better and then pays for itself.
Hopefully this helped explain a little bit how you can use the podcast to sell to the oil and gas industry. It’s a wonderful way, that’s extremely effective. Plus, there are so many other side benefits besides sales, but you can absolutely drive new revenue with podcasts. I hope that helped. We will see you next time.