Demand for solar energy is at an all-time high, but with millions ready and willing to spend their hard-earned dollar on your product, how do you reach those potential customers? By making smart marketing decisions. I know from personal experience of owning my own solar business that marketing can be a tricky part of the industry. In the year 2021, competition will be higher than ever, making it vital to stay ahead of the curve with new strategies instead of the same boring marketing plans thousands of other companies are following. By keeping the following three points in mind you can generate quality leads that result in quality clients.
Really educate homeowners on the benefits of going solar. I have found the key to success in the solar industry is educating clients on the benefits of solar energy. There are so many advantages for homeowners when they make the switch. Homeowners are typically unaware of the cost savings, which is enough to intrigue anyone into further exploring solar energy. However, I have found clients also are interested in the science behind solar energy, how it works and the environmental benefits it can provide.
Back in 2016 and 2017, it was a given to use social media because we could get multiple leads for very little cost, and we advertised on Facebook alone. In recent years, we found the cost for someone to view ads on Facebook was getting more expensive and became very competitive, with up to 180,000 solar ads at any given time.
During the past few years, we at Solar Exclusive have found the best way to educate those potential clients is by creating videos. We originally tested our theory with some of our bigger clients. and the results were incredible, with retention rate up to 93 percent from just 35 percent. We have been able to grow and generate more than $800 million by utilizing Google and YouTube in addition to our Facebook ads.
We discovered through trial and error that homeowners are turning to YouTube for their home improvement needs. Homeowners don’t want to be simply told what is best for their home and budget, they want to be taught. The solar energy industry would be crazy not to take advantage. I believe in 2021 educating clients on a variety of social platforms, like YouTube, will continue to be the best way to teach clients on the long-term benefits of owning solar.
Don’t fear the word free. There has to be a way to draw clients in and make them interested in your product. Catchy logos and brand identity are important tools for any business. Another effective marketing tool is the phrase you use to capture the audience and represent your business. Allow marketers to effectively create your marketing strategies and raise interest and awareness for solar energy, and don’t be afraid of “no cost” language — it is all a part of the process of attracting clients actually interested in solar.
We create our custom campaigns based on our client’s preferences. Some clients prefer never to use the word “free” in their ads, and that’s okay. However, we notice that still 20-25% of prospects are confused by terms like “$0 money down” or “No cost upfront.” In many cases, homeowners still interpret this as “$0 total,” or “no cost ever,” even though that’s clearly a misinterpretation.
Bottom line, you will run into some objections whether you like it or not. But you may want to reconsider using the word “free” in your marketing process because it can often reduce cost per acquisition by up to 30-40% in some cases.
Don’t be afraid to spend money. Nothing is free, and that includes customers. You want to create ads that educate potential clients on the benefits they will experience when purchasing solar. Doing it across all social channels and not just on Facebook helps you reach a larger base, but this costs money.
With a proper digital marketing strategy that reaches customers actually ready and capable of buying, those dollars will be well spent. The fastest growing solar companies are those who are willing and ready to spend the money to develop a customer base.
When you educate those customers on a platform like YouTube that already has viewers in learning mode, it is easy to get them to request a quote. This is when the money invested generates leads, making every penny spent worth the return on investment. You can find clients with the right credit score able to pay and weed out those who aren’t a good match for solar energy, such as those clients whose roofs won’t hold up under solar panels.
There has never been a better time to be in solar energy than the year 2021, but as with any hot commodity, competition will be fierce. By taking a creative approach to your marketing strategy that teaches customers the benefits of solar energy, you can give your company the edge it needs.
Rich Feola is the founder of Solar Exclusive, an 8-figure advertising company that generates unique, qualified leads and appointments for solar companies. Solar Exclusive works with solar companies in over 39 states.
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We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.
Our longer running side project is The Pitch -- in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don't have to. We discuss everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.