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Key Elements In Your Solar Marketing Strategy

Published: Thursday 21 October 2021 | Last updated: Friday 22 October 2021

Every business needs a marketing strategy. You can't just wing it and expect great marketing results. In creating a strategy you align your product, target areas, target audience and promotional channels to help you sell more.

In this blog we focus on the key elements in a solar marketing strategy. 

If you're looking for a complete guide to implementing your solar digital marketing strategy then you can jump ahead here. 

What are the key elements in a solar marketing strategy?

 

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Often due to a lack of resources, solar dealers utilise a fraction of these strategies that have the potential to influence profitable business growth. 

What is your marketing mix and how do you use it? It might be some or all of the elements above. Effective marketing requires extensive planning and organisation, which can be a lot to handle when your focus is on selling and installing. 

Often due to a lack of resources, solar dealers utilise a fraction of these strategies that have the potential to influence profitable business growth. 

xen solar-solar-marketing-strategy-checklist

 

To thrive in the digital space you need to:

  • Understand who your target market is, who your competitors are and where you want to position your business in the market 
  •  Clearly 'speak’ to your customers via your website
  • Rank well in search engines
  • Build engagement across your social channels
  • Drive traffic to your site, generating leads and nurturing contacts into customers. 

Let's take a look at each of these elements in turn.

 

All of this wrapped up in awesome customer service makes your business stand out in a crowded space.

 

 

Key Elements In A Marketing Strategy

xen-solar-brand

 

Aligning the following brand elements creates a strong impression.

Product and Services

You need a clear outline of the brand, products and services you offer.

Think about your most profitable solar combination. It might be LG NeON H panels, with a Tesla Battery and SolarEdge inverter. Make it clear what brands and products you recommend to help attract the customers you want.

Think about your most profitable solar solution combination to help attract the right customer to your business.
 
Positioning and Differentiation

This often comes back to your business mission and goals.

Firstly, let's talk about creative positioning and differentiation.  This includes:

  • Logo
  • Colours
  • Tag lines
  • Fonts
  • Design (look and feel)

Now let's look at overall brand positioning and differentiation. If you want to position your business as quality solar installers, then you won't be installing cheap solar products. And your customers need to know this.  It might be something like:

  • Our certified electricians install quality solar solutions backed by manufacturer warranties, or 
  • We guarantee solar satisfaction by avoiding sub-contractors and using quality solar brands we would use on our own home.
Positioning and differentiation comes back to your business mission and goals. How do you want to be perceived in the marketplace?
 
Place and Location

Where is the business located and how far are you prepared to travel for a job?

Set your limits, know where your bread and butter customers are located and focus on those areas. Become the go-to solar company for that area before you start tapping into other target areas.

What places do your customers frequent?  Are they on social media, do they ride trains to work, are they heavily involved in the local footy club, are they spending their time at the local bowls club?  Knowing where your customers hang out means you can delve deeper into those identifiers to help attract your target audience. 

How far you are prepared to travel for a job? Set limits, focus on profitable areas.
 
People and Qualifications

Often this is overlooked, but it's such an important part of your strategy. Here are some things to consider:

  • Accreditations
  • Award wins
  • Premium or Platinum levels with suppliers or partners
  • Certifications
  • Years of experience
  • Passion for renewables
Promoting your skills and accreditations helps position you in the eyes of your ideal customer.

 

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Competitor Research

When it comes to any kind of marketing, it pays to know who your competitors are. It’s necessary for carrying out keyword research and for understanding why other businesses are performing better in the SERPs than your site might be (and indeed if they are outperforming you in any way). It’s also something that should be carried out on an ongoing basis so that you can constantly monitor what your competitors are doing and how they are ranking for keywords that you might want to compete for.

You’re never going to win against the big brands that have a huge advertising budget if you’re a small business, but by knowing what they’re doing and what keywords they’re ranking for will help you to adjust your strategy so that you can compete in other ways

It pays to know who your competitors are, what they are doing and how they are ranking for keywords that you want to compete for.
 
Channels and Audiences

Marketing to solar audiences via their interests means targeting people who are interested in:

  • saving money by reducing household costs
  • renewable energy outcomes
  • latest technology and gadgets
  • keeping up with the Jones's
  • brands (Tesla)
  • environmental effects and climate change.

You can then target them using channels where you can best reach them, like FB interest groups or remarketing via Google Ads.

Understanding what interests your ideal customer has gives you a better chance of reaching them in unexpected places.
 
Goals and Budgets

Any smart business owner typically follows the SMART goal outline.

SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals use a specific set of criteria to ensure your objectives are attainable within a certain time frame. It is a great framework to measure success.

Another way to measure the success of your marketing strategy is to calculate your cost per lead. This is particularly important when you are investing ad spend into a channel and you want to track leads and ROI.

We use HubSpot as an effective marketing and sales CRM to track and monitor lead generation campaigns. 

SMART goals are a great place to start outlining your objectives.

 

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Website

Websites that create a great user experience have:

  • Updated frequently - The more frequently the site is updated, the better maintained it will appear to be to search engines. They don't want to promote abandoned sites or old content.
  • Load quickly - Speed matters. People won't wait longer than a few seconds for a website to load. They'll bounce off the site, and the site's rankings will go down. You need to optimise your site so that nothing slows your site down.
  • Contain valuable content -  Write meaningful and relevant content for your customer. Sharing content from one of your trusted partners (solar panel, battery or accessory supplier) is a great way to align yourself with the big players and you can provide links back to their site.  The issue of having duplicate content isn't much of a concern these days. Machine learning has taken content sharing to the next level. Search engines aren't looking for duplicated content so much as they're looking at whether users are finding the content relevant and valuable.
  • Optimised for mobile -  leads will research via mobile and purchase via desktop.
Websites that create a great user experience have fast load times, relevant content that is updated frequently, and are mobile responsive.

 

 

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will improve your site so that it ranks well in search engines. It includes making changes to the way your site is architected and the content that is included, as well as encouraging other sites to link to it.

The benefits of careful and responsible search engine optimisation are vast. Currently, search engines will rank websites based on their own proprietary algorithms and machine learning. With more and more searches conducted daily on Google, Bing, Baidu and Yahoo, the opportunities for businesses to reach new customers are increasing. But with added opportunity comes greater competition, and ranking highly in the results is not as easy as it used to be.

SEO can be broken into two main components:

  1. Initial On-page optimisation: The is the initial web site optimisation – the process of ensuring the site is optimised properly for search engines.
  2. On-going Off-page optimisation: This is the ongoing process of link building – the outreach process of encouraging other sites to link to yours.
SEO will improve your site so that it ranks well in the search engines.

 

Social Media

Where do your customers hang out on social media? 

It might be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest.

By ensuring all social channels are updated, business brand and perception is maintained.

Organic social posts can also be used as inventory to promote via paid social channels.

To improve brand awareness and attract leads you need to be found in the right place! On socials you can post text or video that has:

  • Content from your own site and assets (eg blog posts, product pages)
  • Content curated from industry sites (eg trends, research, interesting items)
  • Promotions (eg special offers, product announcements)

And don't forget Google My Business profiles and pages. Keeping them up to date means your listing is timely and full of great content.

By ensuring all social channels are updated, business brand and perception is maintained.
 
Reputation Management

For individuals and businesses alike, the internet has evolved into a place where things we may have said or done in the early days, can make or break us now. This is reflected in the growing field of reputation management, something which you can manage yourself or have a company do for you.

The best way to approach reputation management is of course to be careful what you say and how you deal with consumer complaints. However, this isn’t always possible for a number of reasons, you might have had your social media profile hijacked and someone is pretending to be you, or a disgruntled customer may be following you around the web commented negatively on everything you post.

Internet trolls are usually nothing more than an annoyance, as they seem to live for irritating others with innocuous and inflammatory comments. Usually they are best ignored, but sometimes they have more malicious intentions.

If you find yourself under attack, then report it to the relevant network and be completely transparent and honest with your followers, fans, customers etc. This ensures that you can take control of the situation and often people will surprise you with their support.

Internet trolls are usually nothing more than an annoyance, as they seem to live for irritating others with innocuous and inflammatory comments. Usually they are best ignored, but sometimes they have more malicious intentions.

 

xen-solar-referral

 

Real customer reviews matter! Most solar dealers use referral programs to boost their growth in a favourable market. There's no better referral than from a happy customer! These days, everyone wants real customer reviews. You can ask happy customers to:

  • Refer family and friends
  • Write a testimonial on your website
  • Write a testimonial on a third party site (eg SolarQuotes)

You can use these in your marketing, on your website and also via Google My Business.

Everyone wants real customer reviews.

 

xen-solar-traditional-marketing

 

Traditional marketing includes print, tv, radio, outdoor and direct mail.  Radio and TV media buying rates are known to be very affordable in regional areas and often solar dealers get scripting and production services that are unattainable in bigger cities.

Signage around shopfronts and community events are also very popular, however considered to be more of a brand awareness technique than a lead generation tactic. Social presence matters however and keeps you top of mind when the time is right for the customer.

Radio and TV rates can be really affordable and successful in regional areas for solar dealers. 

 

xen-solar-internal-comms

 

It's important to communicate your company brand in a consistent way.  What do your internal comms look like?  Are your:

  • emails streamlined with company email signatures?
  • do quotes go out on letterhead?
  • do follow up calls follow a standard script?
  • do all staff wear the uniform?
  • are comms consistent with branding, font size, structure and call to actions?

If you're spending thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns that generate leads, what is their overall customer experience when they come to your business?  Consistent branding across all aspects of the business helps reassure customers that you are a strong, professional company.

It's important to communicate your company brand in a consistent way across both internal and external comms.

 

xen-solar-pr

 

We don't see many solar dealers in Australia using PR agencies in their marketing mix but you can consider hiring a PR company if you want to:

  • build your brand amongst target industry contacts and consumers
  • undertake speaking engagements.
PR can provide powerful and positive exposure to help build a brand and maximise sales.

 

Where To From Here ...

If all of this seems overwhelming you're probably wondering whether you should outsource your marketing campaigns. Let's keep it simple:

  • If you need to focus on your core business then outsourcing marketing activity is a no-brainer.
  • If you have a resource who is up-to-speed with latest trends and best practices on website development and maintenance then keep your marketing activity in-house.

Need Help For Your Business To Grow?

To find out if XEN Solar is a good fit for your business goals please book a discovery call here or call Kylie on 0409 153 635.

 

Key Elements In Your Solar Marketing Strategy

Published: Thursday 21 October 2021 | Last updated: Friday 22 October 2021

Topics: marketing for solar dealers, solar marketing tips, marketing strategy

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We've been impressed with XEN's combination of strategic, technical and implementation skills, and have now introduced them into other divisions across LG.
Markus Lambert

Markus Lambert

National Manager, Solar Sales
LG Electronics Australia Pty Ltd
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