As of today, the market has rebounded a bit. But, overall the oil market downturn is still a hard reality for businesses struggling every day.
After the high flying days when oil still sold over $100 per barrel, $50 per barrel feels like the end.
Is it though? Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Back in the Day, When I Was Young…
It’s 2008. Financial markets are melting down. 2.3 million Americans just lost their homes in foreclosure.
To top it off, gas prices hit $4.00/gallon for the first time in history. It seemed everyone was out of credit and out of cash.
It certainly was tough on me. I was selling for AT&T back then. My territory? Detroit, Michigan.
Several times each month I would call on a prospect only two here this response, “Appreciate the call, but we’re closing up shop next week.” Businesses were folding all around me.
I couldn’t even build a solid book of business when the iPhone was first invented. How could anyone build a successful small business?
While I was pounding phones trying to sell iPhones, Marcus had his own problems to deal with. As the owner of a fiberglass swimming pool business, you can only imagine how things affected him.
Orders cancelled. His business checking account went negative. He was on the brink of becoming another casualty of the downturn.
What do you do if your market disappears overnight? How do you stay afloat when all signs point to bankruptcy?
If you’re Marcus, you start blogging.
You decide to answer every question every prospect has ever asked you. You write helpful and conversational answers, but you don’t email them out.
You post them on your company blog. While posting them, you search engine optimize each post to ensure you rank first on Google.
And, again, if you’re Marcus by the end of the first year you are running the #1 swimming pool website in the world, and you’re raking in money hand over fist – selling a luxury product in the worst economy since the Great Depression.
Blogging & The Oil Market Downturn
It’s not secret the oil industry isn’t keen on digital media. Social, blogging, and all that jazz those crazy kids are into these days aren’t at the top of everyone’s to do list in the oilfield.
So you might be asking, “Is blogging even worth my time? I mean, I sell oil and gas services. How can blogging benefit my business?”
Well, as Marcus Sheridan says, “From the content, comes the trust. And, from the trust come the leads. And, of course, from that, comes sales.”
By creating consistently outstanding content that draws readers back to your site over and over again, you begin to develop, not only trust, but community.
That community will become the best marketing department you could imagine. Because your community isn’t staffed by your employees.
It’s staffed by passionate customers who are eager to spread the word about your products and services … and you don’t have to pay them a dime, the perfect price during an oil market downturn!
Get Off the Fence
That might I’ll sound well and good, but why not just ride things out? You’ll start marketing your business once we’ve fully recovered from the oil market downturn, you say.
I appreciate your objection, but you could not be more wrong. While you are waiting, your competitors are snatching up prime acreage in your backyard.
But this acreage isn’t leased property. It’s keywords. Keywords your prospects search when they’re looking for answers. And the longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be to get to the top of Google.
The digital landscape is still wide open in oil and gas. That won’t last forever.
So get off the fence. Start yesterday. Answer your customer’s questions. Be helpful. Be relevant. Solve problems. Then, watch your online audience and the quality of your leads go through the roof.
Or just keep doing things the way they’ve always been done. I’ll be here consulting with your competition while they destroy your market share.
But if you read this far, you’re clearly smarter than that. So get started, and keep me posted on your progress!
Have questions about starting a blog? Leave them in the comments below. I’m happy to help!