It would be impossible to count the ways that 2020 defied expectations. However, one lesson learned during this unprecedented year should not come as a surprise: customer engagement was more important than ever. 

Questline deploys millions of content marketing messages each year on behalf of energy utilities. This gives us unique insight into the topics that customers care about. Let’s look back at the popular content from this most unexpected year, to see what was on utility customers’ minds in 2020. 

Safety and saving energy topped the list of residential concerns  

Coronavirus had a big impact on the way utilities communicated with customers this year, including the topics customers wanted to hear about. At the beginning of the pandemic, when digital engagement reached record levels, residential customers were most interested in health and safety information, and advice for creating energy-efficient spaces at home.  

In March and April, the top coronavirus-related articles deployed by Questline were: 

  • Coronavirus Action Plan: Protecting Your Power 
  • Do’s and Don’ts: Coronavirus Prevention 
  • 6 Ways to Make Your Home Office Energy Efficient 
  • 5 Simple Steps to Social Distancing 
  • 6 Things You Can Do to Avoid Coronavirus Scams  

Apart from the pandemic, customers continued to be interested in new technologies that can help them save energy and make their lives more comfortable. For electric utilities, the theme of beneficial electrification often connected this interest with the convenience of smart- home devices.  

Other popular residential topics spanned energy efficiency, home improvement, lighting and seasonal weatherization. Questline’s top content included: 

  • Wasted Energy Detective: Mysterious Living Room Losses (interactive game) 
  • Wasting Energy is a Hard Habit to Break (slideshow)  
  • 5 Things You Can Do with LEDs (slideshow) 
  • 5 Ways to Save While Staying Warm (video) 
  • Get Your House in Shape for Summer (infographic) 

The year’s top content pieces were all multimedia assets — not text articles — which is another sign of the times. Residential customers increasingly prefer to receive energy information via videos, infographics, or interactive games, while business customers continue to read text articles for more detailed or technical information. 

Business customers looked for efficiency and analysis information 

Coronavirus was also on the minds of business customers, of course. Following the initial wave of the pandemic, as businesses worked to safely reopen, the most popular content covered health and safety advice for returning employees and customers.  

Top coronavirus-related busines articles over the summer were:  

  • Killing the Coronavirus: Myth vs. Fact 
  • Coronavirus: 4 Steps to a Safer Workplace 
  • The New Normal: How Workplace Design Will Change 
  • Ventilation and Air Quality: Problems and Solutions 
  • Business Downtime: Steps to Saving Energy and Money 

Saving money is always a concern for business customers. The year’s most popular content reflected that, from topics like power quality and lighting, to new energy-saving technologies. Top business content included:  

Customer-centricity requires listening to customers — focusing on their interests, answering their questions, and then providing information they’re looking for. By pPaying attention to the year’s most popular content can help energy utilities increase engagement around the topics that customers care about.  

As the Associate Vice President of Marketing & Content Strategy for Questline, Brian Lindamood builds strong digital relationships between energy utilities and their residential and business customers.