PPC campaigns that capitalise on shifts in the energy market

Ellie Burns Written by Ellie Burns

7 min read   -  25th July, 2023

PPC campaigns that capitalise on shifts in the energy market

The energy industry has been highly competitive over the past decade with consumers used to switching providers. More recent years have seen many suppliers dropping out of the market due to soaring prices. Times are changing again, as prices start to drop. How can you make sure you capitalise on that shift? A well-crafted PPC campaign can be extremely effective in helping your brand stand out and win new customers. 

Here’s our guide to setting up your energy PPC campaign. We’ll take you through the key challenges you’ll come across in the energy industry, how PPC can best be applied to your company goals, plus some tips from our experts.

The challenges of PPC in the energy market

The energy sector is a nuanced and diverse industry that often requires a slow sell to consumers.

1. Lack of distinction between products and services

A common frustration of prospective clients in the energy sector is the lack of distinction between their services and products. The right PPC campaign can help educate your clients by highlighting key features and differences; it’s what sets you apart that will bring in the most relevant clients.

2. Being seen as a trusted service provider

Developing a strong relationship as a trusted service provider or online shop therefore takes time and requires multiple touchpoints to connect and engage your clients. You’ll need to bring in a couple of key elements for this: brand identity and trust.

Branded energy PPC campaigns

1. Build trust in your brand

If you want users to go from curious browsers to clients ready to buy directly from you, you’ll need to establish trust. It may seem simple, but the more a user sees your brand name pop up when searching for relevant and related products and services, the more likely they are to build trust in your brand. Which is important in any industry but given the volatile nature of the energy industry, it’s vital. Building brand identity is vital.

2. Don’t lose out to your competitors

A branded campaign is the first step in this process. You create campaigns that show up when someone searches for your brand name specifically. This protects your brand and related online ad space from being taken up by your competitors - a must-have for a competitive energy market. Trust us, we know how quickly competitors will jump on your brand name and try to serve their ads in its place!

What’s driving sales in energy PPC

1. Relevance

PPC ads only show when a user is searching for a related keyword. So, whenever your ad is shown, it’s likely to be shown to someone with an active interest in your product or service. You’ll want to make sure your ads only show up for the most relevant searches by your prospective clients, after all, there’s nothing more frustrating than an irrelevant ad “following” you online. Be associated with only the most relevant keywords and keep your customers happy.

This relevance is also found in the ad copy. Remember, you’ll only want your ads to show when they're most useful, so pack your ad campaigns with ad copy that is highly aligned with the keywords of each ad group.

2. Trust

If you’ve got your ad copy sorted, and have crafted a well-organised campaign to appeal to your target audience, you now need to build trust. This often comes over time, which requires you to include ads that will continue to present your brand to a potential customer on multiple occasions, in various different formats.

Think of it this way:

Frequency + relevance x time = trust

Audience types in energy PPC

The energy industry is diverse and nuanced, so your audience segments should reflect this. The best PPC campaigns are targeted and created with the specifics of each audience in mind. This way, you can appeal to contrasting demographics of energy users, showing them only what is more useful to them. Why complicate things for your future clients?

Here are some example audience types that you’ll find in the energy industry.

Primary audiences - This audience could be homeowners; people looking for affordable personal products or services to invest in for a more sustainable future. You’ll benefit from ad copy that is easy to engage with, friendly, and warm, positioning your company as a trusted expert.

Influencers - This audience group can be quite diverse, including electrical utilities, environmental groups, real estate companies, or local communities. These audiences will want clarity of message, authentic and accurate ad copy that doesn’t over-sell, and reassurance of your expertise in your company’s speciality.

Ad types in energy PPC

Once you’ve successfully analysed the profiles for your different audience types, it’s important to market carefully to each audience type. Take your time to familiarise yourself with the various options for your next campaign.

Here are a few of the most useful ad types available to you:

1. Search ads

These are the original PPC ads, and they’ve stuck around for a reason. Search ads are text-based, making them perfect for building brand identity through strong ad copy to showcase your company’s tone of voice.

Search ads appear at the top of search results. This is your chance to outrank your competitors! Establish your brand as a trusted authority with useful ad copy that answers your future client’s energy needs and requirements as they search online.

2. Display ads

The clue’s in the name with this ad type. Display ads showcase the design and performance of your products and services, making them ideal if you know the look, performance, and style of your products can influence your client's buying habits.

Display ads also include Remarketing ads, which are shown to clients after they’ve initially interacted with your ads. This means your ads are presented to an already interested and engaged audience, at times when they aren’t specifically searching for your brand or energy product. This helps keep you in mind, without having to opt for another hard sell.

3. Shopping ads

These ads use a feed of products that you can enter into Google Merchant Center, creating unique ads for every single product listed. This is powerful; it can be used for thousands of products and target incredibly specific searches. These ads are amazing for products with measurements like size and weight at the core of their functionality - like solar panels for example.

You’ll see Shopping ads at the top of Google search results. They’re highly visual, with product images for every product. Usefully, they all link directly to the product page on your site, minimising the route users take to get to purchasing directly from you.

4. Social media ads

Let’s think about brand identity again. Authentic brand representation goes further than just Google searches. To build up a strong online presence you need to be active on social media, but bringing organic traffic to your profile can be difficult if you’re in a niche within the energy industry. Social ads are here to help. These ads can be presented in a more relaxed and informal way, but still lead to your site or social profiles.

Social ads can include striking visuals and engaging video content, so your brand can stand out through strong design and memorable visuals.

The best energy PPC keyword strategy

1. Relevance

Make your ads specific to your specialism within the energy industry. Relevancy will also help improve the link between your ads and landing pages on your site, which in turn encourages Google’s algorithm to favour your ads in those key top positions.

2. Negative keywords

Negatives are lists you use to stop your ads from showing up for unwanted searches. For example, you want your ad to show for “solar panel installation” but not for “solar panel grants”. Build big lists, specific to each product or service category to cut down on wasted budget. This will literally save you money, so make the most of your negative keyword lists.

3.Stay up to date

Don’t just rely on using the same keywords as always. The industry is ever-changing so it’s vital you stay flexible and responsive to these changes. Use Google Keyword Planner and do your own research to add new keywords into the mix. If you come across trends, you can introduce new audiences to your brand and outrank your competitors.

Frequently asked questions about energy PPC 

Q: What should you look for in a PPC agency if you’re in the energy sector?

If you can, a PPC agency that has experience in the energy sector is useful. That can cut out the time taken to get the know the nuances of your industry. Things like seasonality for example. That said, those things can be learned and a good PPC agency will ask all the right questions. The key is that they are experts in PPC and demonstrate that they can deliver results through that channel.

Q: How is PPC different for the energy industry?

PPC itself doesn’t change, whether you’re in the energy, health, tech, or any other sector for that matter. The same type of tactics apply - keywords, ad copy, and audience segments - all targeted for your industry. What’s different will be the strategies that are employed, for example, ad types and the allocation of spend to fit with industry-specific trends.

Summary of PPC for the energy industry

A successful energy PPC campaign should be highly targeted in terms of audiences, ad copy, and creative. This is your opportunity to help your company stand out from the crowd and provide value to any users searching for your products or services. A well-thought-out PPC campaign is guaranteed to widen the reach of your brand and welcome new and returning clients to your products or services. It should establish your identity online as a trusted and respected expert in your field within the energy industry.

If you’re thinking of working with a PPC agency or changing provider, we work with energy clients, so it’s an industry we know a lot about. We offer a free PPC review. Get in touch with us to see what we can do to improve your search performance.

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Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.