Spreading content can sometimes be more challenging than producing it. Yekemi Otaru from LR Senergy, part of the larger Lloyd’s Register Group, explains why the energy industry company chose Smarp.
LR Senergy operates in a business environment that is challenging for several reasons. The industry is in a downturn, making it crucial for companies to make themselves visible. When dealing with technical industries, making information available to the relevant people in the right format can also be a challenge.
We spoke to Yekemi Otaru, who took the initiative on deploying Employee Advocacy in LR Senergy. She is wrapping up her work as Software Marketing Strategy Coordinator for the company and moving on to work full-time at YO! Marketing, a company of her founding. Otaru is well-versed on Employee Advocacy for companies – a fact that her book, titled The Smart Sceptic’s Guide to Social Media in Organisations, published this year – is an attest to.
Need for Content Speed
Before opting for Employee Advocacy, LR Senergy was already actively producing content. The problem was that they didn’t have the tools to spread it to the right audience. As Otaru points out, the company operates in a very knowledge-intensive sector, with many technical employees in the company such as software developers, engineers and scientists, who often want to get on with their work, not always too eager to pass on their knowledge. At the same time, customers on the outside need this information to make important decisions.
“It’s an industry that requires a lot of information, especially during the decision-making phase, on what software platform they plan to go for”, Otaru says. “In this environment, where the (energy) industry is in a downturn, it was increasingly important for us to be proactive about sharing that knowledge. We needed to go out and share content.”
Going for Smarp
With Smarp, the company was able to test out to whom and what content would be shared. The company first sent a survey among its employees to find out the current activity of their employees on social media, and their willingness to share work-related content. Location and social credibility were also factored in. The results of the survey were promising.
The program provided the perfect opportunity to start investing in the quality of the content that LR Senergy put out there. The potential was there: “We know that there are certain experts within our organization who have a lot of clout and credibility, and when they do a video or write an article, we see a large increase in the engagement with that particular piece of content”, says Otaru. “We can take that information and use it to provide more content.”
Yeketemi Otaru took initiative on Employee Advocacy at LR Senergy.
The pilot produced some amazing results. With just 36 users, traffic to the company’s website went up by 15 % on average in just three months, compared to the six previous months. Not only did the amount of traffic increase, but also its quality. With the help of Smarp, the site’s bounce rate dropped a significant 8 %, on account of better targeting. New people were coming to the site and spending more time there, watching videos, often during a crucial point of their purchasing process.
Videos that demonstrated their integrated software platform features, information on how to switch from a different vendor to LR Senergy’s product, case studies on how this had been done – this was golden information on their services to show to prospects. “Depending on where the customer is in their journey, we have that potential to really be providing content and information they need to go to their managers to make a purchasing decision”, Otaru says.
The pilot led to an important conclusion: Content made customers actually reach out to the company, instead of the company going after them. Sales and customer support people were getting contacts from customers, who had seen a piece of content they had shared and wanted to know more. Yekemi Otaru thinks that this type of interaction is highly uncommon, as most salespeople are trying to get attention and pushing down doors, hoping to get conversations. “And then to have a customer get in touch with something we shared, I think, is absolutely great.”
Scaling Up Social
LR Senergy is now expanding at a fast pace, being fully integrated into the Lloyd’s Register Group, a major provider of risk management services to the energy industry. Employee Advocacy will play an important role in boosting the new larger company brand externally and internally. The process of providing relevant information to everyone in the company on all their products and services is now much easier. As demonstrated, this information is now also more easily reached by customers. The number of Smarp's users will be scaled up, which will further reinforce the role of content within the company.
Otaru highlights the opportunities that Employee Advocacy provides to all companies. Smaller companies that compare themselves to bigger brands may feel like they can’t compete because those companies are huge; they already have a certain kind of culture and an affinity towards things such as an Employee Advocacy programs. Yet this shouldn’t be a problem, Otaru points out. She believes that it’s important that smaller companies, even companies that are still building their credibility, can also get involved in a way that is comfortable for them.
“We don’t have a huge media presence, we are very technical, with a large knowledge-based technical force. This is very foreign to people. And so coming in and being able to get 30+ people to take part and share content, and get brand reach, I think it’s altered the culture significantly. Forever probably.”
Read the full LR Senergy case study.
About LR Senergy:
LR Senergy, originally established as Senergy in 2005, provides energy services for oil and gas fields and renewable energy projects. The company, which employs over 500 people globally, became a member of the Lloyd’s Register Group in 2013, and it has operated independently until the full integration taking place in 2016. With the collaboration, LR Senergy will provide a more extensive spectrum of energy services.