Consider the fact that solar installations have grown at a 50 percent annual pace over the last decade. Or that the solar industry employs over 242,000 Americans.
With figures like these, it's fair to say the solar industry is on the rise. If this is good for solar manufacturers' bottom lines (among other industries), it also makes the digital space more competitive. B2B solar companies aim to create content that resonates with their target audience, and many of their rivals are following suit.
So, what can I do to make my solar marketing stand out? It's a question that many solar companies have, and one that we'd like to help them answer.
Inbound marketing is the first step toward reviving the B2B marketing activities. Inbound marketing funnels qualify leads into the pipeline and provide them with services that are relevant to their desires and needs using a variety of methods and platforms. These prospects become valued customers as confidence and reputation are built over time.
Inbound marketing campaigns are 10 times more successful at converting leads than outbound approaches when done correctly, and they cost 61 percent less on average.
After you've developed an inbound marketing base, the next move is to think of new ways to drive yourself to the front of the pack. Here are three suggestions to help you with your solar marketing.
What distinguishes you from your competitors? Organizations are searching for attributes and functionality that make you the right choice, whether they communicate with you online or offline.
One of the most important ways to express what makes you special is through your value proposition, which is different from a slogan or tagline. This statement tells prospects why they should give you their company. It should be simple and direct, have specific outcomes to expect, and be prominently displayed on your website.
Your solar panels can have a warranty that is nearly twice that of the industry norm. Perhaps your solar panels have a higher efficiency rating than your competitors. Here are some examples of how these distinguishing characteristics might be communicated in the value proposition:
“Invest in solar panels now for decades of assured performance.”
“Reduce your carbon footprint and energy costs even more.”
Whether a solar installer is brand new to the industry or has years of experience, there is always a desire to learn more. Professionals in the solar industry want to stay up to date on the latest developments, get answers to pertinent questions, and walk away with a toolkit of tips on how to improve their solar installations.
Educational content generated around these subjects, from blog posts to long-form webpages, provides prospects with the knowledge they need while also establishing your reputation as a trusted industry resource. Individuals are more likely to select your product if you have reputation.
Although email and social media posts can help drive traffic to your content, it's also important to consider the content's long-term value. This is where SEO comes into play. You can create a content strategy around targeted keywords that resonate with your audience, have real search frequency, and are viable to follow in terms of ranking difficulty score by conducting keyword research.
Some solar installers, for example, want to know how much energy it takes to make a solar panel, and there's evidence of this in the search rate. You can rank for search queries related to this subject and draw the right kind of traffic to your website by writing a blog post around the keyword "how much energy to produce a solar panel."
Social networking is widely acknowledged as an effective tool for raising brand awareness, attracting new consumers, increasing revenue, and maintaining long-term relationships with current customers. Businesses are turning to industry influencers who have amassed a vast following and are revered in their profession to help them drive these efforts and interact with a wider audience.
Have you ever seen celebrity endorsements for clothing or beauty products on social media? If that's the case, you've probably already seen social media influencer marketing in action. Building these one-on-one relationships with key industry influencers can also have a significant effect for solar manufacturers.
Consider the possibility that your solar panels are featured on a famous television show about green remodeling. Connecting with the project's well-known, trustworthy installers and having them speak to their huge social media audience about why they choose your solar products will be a powerful message. Stories like this will help you reach a new audience while also providing you with a testimonial to share on your own social media sites.
Are you ready to start motivating and educating your customers? Then it's time to make the switch to inbound marketing and adopt innovative strategies that will set the company apart. Download a free copy of our eBook, How Alternative Energy Companies Can Generate More Sales through Content Marketing, for more information on how to get started.