Consider the fact that solar installations have experienced an annual growth rate of 50% over the last decade. Or that more than 242,000 Americans work in the solar industry.
With statistics like these, it’s safe to say the solar business is booming. While this is great for the bottom line of solar manufacturers (among other industry organizations), it also makes the digital space more competitive. B2B solar companies strive to serve up content that connects with their target audience — and all the while, many of their competitors are doing the same.
So how do I ensure my solar marketing stands out? It’s a question that many solar businesses ask themselves, and one that we are eager to help answer.
Energizing your B2B marketing efforts begins with an investment in inbound marketing. Through a combination of methods and platforms, inbound marketing funnels qualify leads into the pipeline and provides them with resources that correlate with their interests and needs. With trust and credibility established over time, these prospects become valued customers.
With an inbound marketing foundation in place, the next step is to find creative ways to push toward the front of the pack. Here are three ideas to guide your solar marketing efforts.
What makes you the obvious choice over competitors? Whether organizations connect with you via your website or offline, they are looking at qualities and features that make you the best pick.
Your value proposition — different than a slogan or tagline — is one of the most effective ways to communicate what makes you unique. Intended to be clear and direct, include specific results to expect, and have a prominent presence on your website, this statement tells prospects why you should earn their business.
Perhaps the warranty on your solar panels is almost double that of the industry standard. Or maybe your solar panels have an efficiency rating that far exceeds your competitors. Here are some ways you could communicate these defining factors in your value proposition:
Whether a solar installer is brand new to the field or has years of experience under their belt, the interest in education is always there. Industry professionals want to be in the loop on the latest trends, get answers to relevant questions and walk away with an arsenal of tips on how to advance their solar installations.
From blog posts to long-form webpages, educational content created around these topics offers prospects the information they need — and builds your credibility as a trusted industry resource. With this credibility comes more potential for individuals to choose your product.
While email communications and social media posts can help drive traffic to the content you create, it’s also important to think about its long-term value. That’s where SEO comes into the mix. Through keyword research, you can build a content strategy around targeted keywords that resonate with your audience, have real search volume and are viable to pursue in terms of their ranking difficulty score.
For example, some solar installers are interested to know how much energy it requires to manufacture a solar panel — and there’s search volume to prove it. By building a blog post around the keyword “how much energy to manufacture a solar panel,” you’ll have a chance to rank for search queries about this topic and attract the right kind of traffic to your website.
Social media is recognized as a valuable tool for increasing brand awareness, attracting customers, growing sales and fostering long-term relationships with existing customers. To propel these efforts and connect with a larger audience, businesses are turning to industry influencers who have amassed a large following and are revered in their field.
Have you come across celebrity endorsements of clothes or beauty products in your own social media feed? If so, then you’ve already seen social media influencer marketing in practice. For solar manufacturers, building these one-on-one relationships with key industry influencers can have a sizeable impact as well.
Consider a case where the solar panels you manufacture are featured on a popular television show about sustainable remodels. It would make a powerful statement to connect with the well-known, trusted installers behind the project and have them talk to their large social media following about why they chose your solar products. Stories like this can introduce your brand to a new audience and give you a testimonial to promote on your own social media platforms.
Ready to start inspiring and educating your buyers? Then it’s time to make the shift to inbound marketing and embrace creative tactics that make your business stand out. For more insights on how to get started, download a free copy of our eBook, How Alternative Energy Companies Can Generate More Sales with Content Marketing.