An industry-leading solar marketing strategy is one that’s in the right market, well-positioned, and highly efficient in conversion.
When set up effectively, your marketing strategy can generate recurring revenue, and continue to do so for a long-time, becoming more cost effective the longer it’s in place.
Go ahead and replace each mention of a “marketing strategy” above with “solar energy,” and you’ll have your answer.
Much like solar energy, however, it can be difficult to understand what actually goes into efficient conversion in marketing.
With generally high upfront costs, however, the clarity and impact of your marketing messaging in solar is especially important. Here, we’ll look at the moves you can make to assure solar marketing success in 2020.
1. Prioritize digital, experiment offline.
This is not to say that you should only focus on digital marketing, but instead just to prioritize it.
Obviously, events still serve a great benefit to those looking to connect with property and business owners.
Still, until you nail down your digital marketing efforts, you shouldn’t spend large amounts of time building mailer and out-of-home ad campaigns.
Those can serve as big wins later down the line, but your digital marketing lead generation will serve as the true driver of long-term marketing ROI.
Higher, Longer-term ROI
Business owners typically spend 40% less on their digital marketing strategy, and usually generate a higher ROI than the more traditional solar energy marketing methods.
It’s not that offline, traditional methods are useless in today’s world, but more so that they’re less useful, and cannot serve as the backbone of a marketing strategy like digital efforts can.
So, if you’re going to nail anything in particular, make sure it’s your digital strategy.
2. Make your “big wins” brand-focused.
Essentially, your brand name going viral is the “promised land,” of marketing. It drastically increases your exposure to all audiences, and leads aware of your brand are much more likely to close.
But, what do we mean by “big wins”?
The big projects. The really fun projects. The most impressive of your creations. The weird projects….
Make sure they have a strong sense of brand behind them.
A successful digital marketing machine is one that remains at a low hum and continuously generates business over time. It should also heavily driven by tracking and attribution. Read a bit about attribution here.
That’s what we’re referring to when we discuss nailing down your digital strategy—nailing down the repeatable, ongoing tasks.
Big brand wins can be those that are less driven by numbers and more driven by you and the people of your company.
There are many creative brand awareness campaign ideas that you can employ.
3. Building a Website? Take your time.
A well-designed website is about clarity.
It helps clearly defines what you do and the benefits you provide clients. It is easy to navigate, aesthetically appealing, and SEO optimized by-nature.
A slick website design can drastically elevate the perceived value of your brand in the eyes of your prospects.
As such, if you don’t have the resources at-hand, hiring a web designer to design you a beautiful interface will go a long way in drawing in new clientele.
And take your time. Getting a site design right, and on-brand, can take a bit of deliberation and planning.
When planning your website’s aesthetic, consider your buyer personas:
- What kind of interface would appeal best to your target audience?
- Which hues will make your prospects feel confident in choosing your brand?
- Could well-placed photos of your solar panel products and team humanize your business and help them better visualize your product and services?
When building your solar marketing strategy for your website, also take the time to size up your leading competitors.
- What are they doing well?
- What appeals to you about their website design?
- Do they utilize several different forms of content, such as images – client logos, testimonials, and video?
- Is there anything that your competitors are offering on their website that your company doesn’t?
For example, take a look at SunPower’s website.
How can you differentiate your solar energy marketing strategy from that of your competitors?
Take note of how your website measures up to the competition and use their offerings as inspiration for your own website design, avoiding imitation.
The main reason why web design shouldn’t be rushed, is because you need to consider the practical elements of the site as well:
- Ensure that your website is easy to navigate and is optimized on desktop and mobile.
- Take note of your loading times, as a slow loading time increases bounce rates.
- Ensure that your site also includes clear contact details, a subscription form for email and blog subscribers, and calls-to-action to move your prospects further down the sales funnel.
4. Provide useful, in-depth content on your site.
As a solar energy provider, content marketing is one of the best tools in your digital marketing toolbox.
Content can be used to help educate prospects and clients on the benefits of solar and the different types of panels on the market.
Many potential clients will be unaware of the various solar products and the range of benefits you offer. Social media and blog content can be used to position yourself as a specialist in the field.
And as we mentioned above, with high upfront costs, your target audience will very much want to be informed before making any agreements.
Your digital solar marketing strategy should focus on highlighting data that charts the real benefits your prospects will gain (and have gained) from investing in solar power.
Feature as many reputable data sources in your solar marketing as possible.
Statistics, studies and expert endorsements are powerful selling points for commercial clients.
Illustrating these benefits in the form of video and blog content can help draw in prospects and generate more conversions for your business.
Some additional pointers:
- Organizing data into infographics can help simplify complex information in a clear and engaging way.
Infographics are highly shareable and can be repurposed for each of your social media accounts. Post your infographics on your social media accounts.
- You can also use your own data to help influence the buyer decision-making process.
Sharing images of your latest installations, case studies, surveys and client testimonials, along with independent statistics and scientific endorsements will engage prospects and highlight the unique value that you provide.
- Humanize your social media and blog content by providing images of your team and projects.
This will also help you stand out in the sea of stock photos typically used by your competitors.
The results you generate from your content marketing will depend on how consistent you are with content creation, as well as your ability to analyze and interpret content performance and tweak your content based on the interests, needs and pain points of your audience.
Content management systems can help you to plan, publish and effectively analyze your content to generate more traffic and improve your conversion rates. HubSpot offers a database to allow you to do just that.
5. Make search engines happy.
The amount of repeatable traffic you generate is dependent on how well both your content and your website have been optimized for SEO.
The keyword there is “repeatable.”
Most of your leading competitors will be using keyword tools to optimize their content.
To ensure that you have an edge on the competition, make sure you’re using one of the leading keyword tools on the market.
Tailor each of your web pages so that they are optimized for keywords relevant to the solar industry and your market of focus.
- What are your target clients looking for when it comes to knowledge, services, and solar products?
Ensure each page is optimized for each medium and high-priority keywords uncovered in your keyword research.
In addition, if you include product listings for solar panels and solar accessories on your website, take the time to ensure each description tells a clear story of the product at-hand.
Provide a detail description of your products—allowing space for several long-tail keywords and ensuring that your prospect doesn’t need to venture elsewhere to find out more information about your product.
6. Always practice multi-touch outreach.
Paid ads can generate brand awareness and improve sales for your business.
When drawing up your solar marketing advertising plan, consider where you target audience is most likely to spend time online.
- Focusing heavily on location both for SEO and paid advertising purposes is a great way to reach niche audience is targeted messages. Run localized campaigns to grow your business on a micro-level.
A paid ad should be visually compelling, as well. And don’t be hesitant to match your paid ads to the design of your well-designed website.
Your copy should be personal and engaging, and should always include a call-to-action that leads people to your website.
A successful ad should play into your target client’s fears and ambitions.
- Are they looking improve their brand’s green reputation by limiting their impact on global warming?
- Are they simply looking to reduce their energy bills?
Before creating a digital ad, have your customer personas clearly defined, with an in-depth understanding of their pain-points and ambitions clearly mapped out.
A successful ad is evocative and promises a solution to a pressing problem.
If you’re a new solar energy company, or if you’re experiencing a downturn in your business, paid ads can provide instant traffic, as well, in comparison to web content, which can sometimes take a few months to show measurable results.
From promotional emails to a regular solar energy marketing newsletter, email marketing is a great digital tactic to use to nurture relationships with prospects and clients.
While solar marketing content is a great way to showcase the general benefits of solar panels, email marketing can be used to demonstrate the unique personal benefits of solar power for your each of your prospects.
Personal emails typically perform much better than generic templates, and you can use the data you collect on your subscribers to personalize email you send out.
For example, you can tailor your emails so that they include information on state rebates available in your client’s local area; include links to your website and a call to action to increase your conversion rates.
To draw in as many leads as possible, grow your subscriber list with subscription forms on your homepage and blog.
In addition, experiment with different subject lines, email lengths, and content.
You can track and test how well each of your emails perform with data analytics. Google Analytics can be used to assess the strength of your solar marketing emails and your prospects follow-up, providing data on traffic to your landing page and your prospects’ activity once on your website.
Digital Hacks for Solar Marketing
You can elevate your solar marketing strategy by focusing your efforts on the digital sphere.
Many of your prospects will welcome expert guidance on the latest solar panel products and the benefits they can provide; content creation is a great tool to help position yourself as a leader in the field.
In addition, solar energy marketing emails and paid ads can directly generate new business—while SEO and a sleek website design can ensure your business gets noticed online.