How the energy sector can get smart with video marketing

29th November 2017

Smart technology offers a huge opportunity for the energy and utility markets. There is even a new buzzword, electech to describe it. How does this affect marketers who want to create video content for energy firms?

A switch towards thinking like a tech company and using video as an effective tool to inspire and educate customers is an ideal approach. In this blog, I’ll look at ways that marketers in the energy and utility sector can create powerful video content whether it’s a brand film or an explainer.

The opportunity for smart energy tech

From energy efficiency audits and real-time billing to battery storage, microgrids, and intelligent substations, what’s being dubbed ‘electech’ really offers the energy market the prospect of giving their customers just what they’re looking for.

It seems that respondents trust energy utilities to introduce smart tech into their homes more than other sectors, including engineering or technology. A recent PwC study found: “now that customers are interested and see these changes as beneficial, they are ready for a new relationship with energy providers.” This is especially important in a market where the services are almost taken for granted and is a way to build trust in the face of increasing numbers expected to switch.

Humanise your brand

Unsurprisingly, brand consistency is highly important in the complex energy market, and evidence bears this out, especially to reduce switching. Emotional video storytelling is the most compelling way to make a lasting connection with viewers, and show how they will benefit from the brand offering.

Disruptor, Ovo Energy, is effective at humanizing its brand by revealing what inventive customers can do with the extra money they save when they switch. Watch this advert about an ambitious Dad training his young daughter to go into space, no less.

As electech becomes more prevalent, thinking about your audience’s emotional drivers, and how to hit those drivers with engaging content, is a good way to humanise the tech. Emotional storytelling helps to show how your product will benefit them and creates that memorable moment.

Energy Explainer videos      

Smart tech products and their benefits can be complex to convey. That’s where explainers are invaluable. Here is an example from npower which used motion graphics to clearly show the advantages of an air source heat pump in action.

For some brands, especially those new entrants, it is necessary to educate consumers about the wider energy market and where our power comes from. The video below from Green Mountain Energy Corporation seeks to explain how the US energy grid is essentially the same as it was 100 years ago and the way that smart tech will generate new possibilities.

Being helpful with tips on how to improve energy efficiency and reduce bills is another way to tap into audience intent and build trust. For instance, here is a film from SSE:

Changing perceptions of renewables

Increased environmental awareness and clean energy are also having an impact in the sector, creating new opportunities. To reach wider audiences, businesses must key into the head and heart of consumers, who are varying shades of ‘green’. It is unlikely that the dominant driver overall will be the greenness of the energy company. It may also be about reducing costs, or even being an individual or an independent spirit.

This ad spot from a German smart, clean energy firm uses humour to challenge our perceptions of who would opt for renewables. A couple fails to take their daughter’s hints for a Star Wars themed Christmas gift, and instead give her a ‘worthy’ present. However, their child gets smart, playing a movie-inspired shadow puppet game. Her father has to admit that at least she’s using ethical energy, and the strapline ends with we all need to get smarter with energy.

Taking another approach, NRG, a company that is changing its energy supply model to increased renewables, microgrids, and electric cars, focuses on innovation. It looks to the future and the next generation of engineers by sponsoring an event which brought young students together to learn about robotics.

In conclusion, electech offers a new way for energy marketing teams to make connections with their audience and develop trust in a challenging market. Just as we would advise tech firms, energy companies need to use storytelling techniques to build their brand, drive emotional connections, and demonstrate how their innovation will improve their audience’s lives.

Now it’s time to create awesome content for your energy brand. For my top tips on developing a video content strategy that gets results, sign up for my free ebook today.

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