Update from American Energy Coalition

Written on: February 5, 2015 by ICM

The American Energy Coalition (AEC) released an update addressing the end of its 2014 marketing campaign. The campaign, which kicked off on June 2nd with ten and fifteen-second radio spots in the New York City, Connecticut and Massachusetts markets, aimed to convey a “constant, sustained and unified” message from the oilheat industry, according to AEC.
The radio spots comprised one part of the mult-faceted campaign, which also included a social media presence, an expanded website, direct mailings and pay-per-click online ads. Main themes of the campaign included issues facing natural gas—such as interruptibles or pipeline/supply problems—the “true cost” of converting to natural gas, and pro-oilheat messages regarding ultra-low sulfur fuel and Bioheat.
Through unique URL addresses given in radio spots, as well as social media and pay-per-click ads, AEC has been able to gather data on the performance and reach of the marketing campaign. According to a release, the AEC website received 1,421 visitors each month (82% of them new visitors). Those numbers alone mark a 104% increase over 2013, indicating that AEC has more than doubled its outreach to the public.

Read the full AEC press release below:

For Immediate Release: January 30, 2015
AEC 2014 Marketing Campaign, Yearend Update
(New York, January 2015) The American Energy Coalition (AEC) launched its 2014 Marketing Campaign on June 2nd with ten and fifteen-second drive time traffic and weather radio spots in Connecticut, Long Island and New York City; Massachusetts joined a week later. Staying true to its mission to provide the industry with a “constant, sustained, unified message,” this first-ever “spring” radio flight was just one component of a comprehensive, broad based, “all inclusive” campaign that in addition to radio also includes: social media, expanded website content, direct mail, print and a first-ever pay-per-click Ad Campaign. The overall campaign is focused on three main topics: natural gas pipeline and supply issues (including interruptibles), the true cost to convert to natural gas with no guarantee of future savings and energy pricing, and a pro-Oilheat message including the benefits of a new Low Sulfur Fuel with a renewable Bioheat® Fuel component. And while the Spring and Fall Radio Flights have concluded, the Internet Marketing and Social Media Campaigns are ongoing, 24/7/365 with frequent Facebook and Twitter updates and boosted posts to expand their reach with links to AEC web pages.
The various facets of the Campaign were designed to significantly extend the reach of the Oilheat Message while allowing us to track the performance of each of the component parts. The radio spots, for example, contained a tag line with a unique URL that directed listeners to a unique landing page tied to the specific commercial’s content (formatted for easy download, printing and sharing), so we could measure how many people responded to each of the radio spots. The social media and pay-per-click components contained similar unique signatures that allowed us to track the effectiveness of those efforts too. The results have been quite good.Google Analytics Stats on the Internet Campaign for 2014 are in showing strong results. In 2014 we had (on average) 1,421 visitors per month to the AEC Website, 82% of whom were new unique visitors. By comparison, in 2013 we had (on average) 695 website visitors per month; and in 2012 we had (on average) 645 website visitors per month. A closer look at the seven month period during which the Campaign was active (June 1st thru December 31st) on average, there were 1,863 website visitors per month; compared to the five months prior (January 1st thru May 31st) with an average of 803 per month. So clearly, the 2014 Marketing Campaign drove more people to the website as it was designed to do, and even more in June, October and November when the radio campaign was also running.The subject matter of most interest as measured by page views during all of 2014 was not surprisingly “the AEC home page” with 5,039 views; followed by “the real cost to convert” with 3,240 page views; followed by “the disadvantages of natural gas” registering 2,845 views; followed by “interruptibles” with 335 views.
The pay-per-click campaign reached hundreds of thousands of searchers from the participating areas in 2014 (NYC, L.I., CT, MA and PA). The number of “impressions” during 2014, impressions being the number of people who searched one of our key words or key phrases and viewed our pay-per-click ad, was much higher than anticipated. The number of impressions coming from people in New York City in 2014 was 215,431, with 1,596 of those clicking through to the AEC website; Connecticut was second with 102,471 impressions and 1,174 clicks; followed by Pennsylvania with 88,391 impressions and 786 clicks; followed by Massachusetts with 61,857 impressions and 921 clicks; and Long Island had 52,666 impressions 943 clicks.
In June, all four geographic areas (CT, L.I., MA and NYC) set an initial pay-per-click budget of $1,000 per month, approximately $33 per day. So once the daily budget was expended our ad disappeared from view in that area and we stopped accumulating impressions and clicks. On average Connecticut expended its budget by about 5:00 PM each day in June. So for the last seven hours of the day, the pay-per-click ads were not displayed and any searches for our list of key words and phrases were not captured. For New York City the time of day was about the same, in Massachusetts it was an hour earlier at about 4:00 PM and on Long island it was a bit later at about 7:00 PM. So a higher budget would have likely driven these numbers higher.
In mid-July, the pay-per-click budget in New York City was increased by $500 per month to $1,500 per month. The increase in budget almost doubled the ad impressions and increased the total number of clicks to the website through the end of July. In New York City between June 2 and July 2, there were 23,980 impressions and 206 clicks. From July 3 to August 2 we received 42,792 impressions and 231 clicks. The increased budget also allowed for the New York City ads to appear in searches for about two additional hours a day (until 7:00 PM).
Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania joined the pay-per-click campaign on October 9th with a budget of $500 per month ($17 per day) and recorded 5,980 impressions with 56 clicks for the 22 day period that they were in the campaign. On November 7th the Lehigh Valley pay-per-click campaign was paused and the entire State of Pennsylvania joined the pay-per-click campaign.
Also of some interest were the devices from which visitors accessed the AEC Website. Of the 17,052 website visitors in 2014, 3,038 came from mobile devices such as smart phones; another 1,731 came from tablets, with the remaining 12,283 coming from more traditional desktop computers.
The AEC is encouraged by these results, particularly with regard to the social media and pay-per-click activity and is anxious to have other states join the campaign. We are also pleased to be able to measure the results of our marketing effort in a more studied way.
A final component of the 2014 Marketing Plan addresses the all important Real Estate Market and includes a program designed to reach new home buyers, real estate agents and home inspectors with a strong pro-Oilheat message. A presentation will be available to address the various market segments with printed materials and a web-based resource to support and supplement the presentations, printed materials and internet searches.
On August 5 and August 7, the AEC presented two webinars to highlight the various elements of the 2014 Marketing Campaign and to detail performance data through the end of July. That presentation can be viewed from the homepage on the AEC website americanenergycoalition.com.