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Leveraging utility website traffic

Posted by Sheera Eby on May 19, 2015

When it comes to utility marketing goals, driving traffic is often near the top of the list, along with engaging customers and improving the customer experience. Increasing traffic is a reasonable goal, but don’t overlook the value of leveraging existing website traffic. According to Market Place, the average utility has 50% of consumers paying bills online.1 Consider if roughly 50% of your customers are paying their utility bills online, at least that many are regularly online and interacting with your website. In reality, the actual number of unique visitors is likely higher, as some customers might be visiting the website to report an outage, check out a rate plan, or get information on an energy efficiency program. That’s a pretty significant amount of traffic that doesn’t need to be generated – it is already available for engagement.



If this group of users can be engaged and kept on the utility’s site, the utility has a golden opportunity to enhance the customer experience while meeting other marketing goals. Content marketing for utilities, specifically downloadable content, is perfect for filling this particular utility marketing need. Presenting relevant content can engage business and residential customers while they are viewing a website for other purposes. This form of engagement will increase the length of a typical user’s site visit and create a positive customer experience.



Downloads are a way to engage site traffic
The best offer for utilities to promote on their websites shouldn’t raise regulatory eyebrows or be faced with any of the traditional barriers of incentives. Content downloads can be used to engage customers and enhance their experience on a utility’s site. According to the Shelton Group, 82% of consumers would upgrade their appliances and equipment if they knew a rebate was available.2 Content marketing for utilities can be used to educate customers on applications and uses for products that your utility also supports with rebates. Content can be used to help customers understand how to implement these energy efficiency actions and provide additional education. Furthermore, the product applications, uses and other related energy efficiency information can be packaged into ebooks.



Making the offer
Banner ads are useful for letting customers know what content your utility offers. Cross-promotion of content throughout the site is essential to effectively capitalize on your utility’s existing website traffic. When a business or residential customer visits your site, whether to view a statement, pay a bill or request service, a banner ad placed strategically on the webpage will catch their attention. The ad will promote the download you’re offering whether it’s a step-by-step of how a business can go green or a list of hvac or lighting tips. Clicking on banners will take the customer to landing pages outside your site’s current navigation. Those landing pages also utilize content to give the customer just a bit more information on the download you’re offering. The landing page is where the download is located and the customer can get access by completing a few simple fields of information.



In a world where customers have less time and are more reliant on their computers and devices, utility marketing is becoming more and more challenging. Utility marketers are considering different ways digital marketing can fit within their marketing mix. Content marketing for utilities is an important piece of the puzzle, however the strategy must be carefully architected and implementation must follow best practices to yield results. That’s where we come in. Jacobs & Clevenger are experts who more than understand all the different aspects of utility marketing, including digital marketing. We know how to create and leverage content to engage customers, enhance their experience with you and their perception of your brand and to set your utility up as an authority.





Topics: Inbound Marketing

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