2020 is shaping up to be a big year for the solar industry—and the competition is hotter than ever.
To maintain a healthy installation pipeline and expand your business, you need to keep on top of the current trends and methods that generate the most solar leads. Solerus Energy is here to share expert contractor marketing ideas.
You’ll probably notice that many of these points focus on one specific area: building trust.
In the highly competitive solar market, consumers are increasingly selecting companies that are professional, reliable, and honest. In 2020, trust is the critical factor that will decide whether you win the job—or somebody else does.
Remember, fantastic marketing and impressive solar brands might get you in the door, but trust will close the sale.
1) Identify and Promote Your USP
Solar companies come in many shapes and sizes, but they’re all competing for the same customers. To stand out from the crowd, you need to identify at least one thing that your business does better than everyone else, and then use this to your advantage.
- Is it your knowledge and experience?
- Is it your equipment and system designs?
- Do you take on challenging jobs that other companies turn down?
Whatever your USP (Unique Selling Point) is, make that a focus of your website and advertising.
Expert tip: Ensure that your website is optimized with keywords and phrases that reflect your expertise. That way, when customers are searching for a specific brand, product, or service, they’re more likely to find you.
2) Create Helpful and Engaging Video Content
Most solar customers do hours of online research before getting quotes, and informative video content can be a terrific way to capture people’s attention and build trust, all while promoting your business.
The key to creating good video content is not to think of it as advertising, but rather as a way to educate customers and provide helpful answers to common questions. With this mindset, you’ll be more likely to create useful videos that instinctively attract people to your business.
You can post videos to several different places, including your website, YouTube, social media, email lists, and customized landing pages. They’re a terrific form of “evergreen” content that remains online forever and can be shared all over the internet. Even a single video can introduce your business to thousands of new people.
To maximize your results, you can create a whole series that helps customers through their entire solar journey. With multiple videos covering popular topics, you’ll remain “front of mind” and be the first choice when customers are ready to proceed with an installation or make a recommendation to their friends.
Expert tip: Keep your videos sharp and to the point, show some personality, and always close with a call-to-action.
3) Share the Stories of Your Happiest Customers
Few contractor marketing ideas are as effective as a customer testimonial. No matter what you say about your own company, it will rarely be as compelling as the words of a happy client.
You can use testimonials in your advertising, on your website, on social media, and anywhere else that you promote your business.
They’re one of the most effective ways to establish trust with new clients and position yourself as an industry leader. With a significant amount of money on the line, customers need to feel confident that your business is a safe bet, and glowing reviews from happy customers are one of the most compelling ways to put their minds at ease.
Expert tip: Insert short testimonials across many (or all) of the pages of your website, so customers read great things about your business no matter which page they visit.
4) Generate More Online Reviews
You should also encourage your clients to leave reviews across a selection of popular websites.
Not only do positive reviews paint your business in the best possible light, but they’re also a powerful way to generate high-quality leads for zero cost.
Prominent review sites include:
Expert tip: The best time to ask customers for a review is when their system is newly installed and excitement levels are high—so be sure to strike while the iron is hot!
5) Create a Referral Incentive Too Good to Ignore
Referrals are typically the cheapest way to generate new sales. Even with the cost of the rewards factored in, they still come in at a fraction of the price of most other marketing channels.
Also, referred customers have a higher conversion rate and are less likely to shop around with other installers.
As we explored in another article, referral programs work best when they have a clear goal, are easy to understand, and are simple for customers to make referrals and claim their rewards.
Once you have a program in place, don’t just start with brand-new customers—notify your entire database and encourage them to get out there and spread the word.
Expert tip: It can be effective to offer a two-way incentive, meaning that the referrer and referee both earn the same reward. If you’re offering a cash bonus, $200 to $500 is the most popular range.
6) Use Email to Start an Ongoing Conversation
Solar is a significant investment requiring time, research, and consideration. Because of this, you should build an email list (using your website, customized landing pages, and social media) as a way to inform and nurture your customers until they’re ready to take the next step.
Similar to creating video content (or ideally, in combination with it), you can use email to stay in touch with customers, answer their questions, and position your business as their preferred installer.
Perhaps best of all, email has been proven time and time again to offer the best return on investment of any marketing channel.
Expert tip: If you haven’t already, you should embrace email automation with open arms. Once the system is set up, you can sit back and let the automation work its magic.
7) Harness the Power of Public Information Sessions
Do you have multiple interested parties within a community or organization? An effective way to win these customers and elevate your reputation is by holding a public information session.
Group presentations are a fantastic opportunity to answer common questions, dispel solar myths, and showcase your business in a professional and approachable way, all while saving time on individual appointments.
Depending on the circumstances, you can also offer special promotions to community groups or organizations, allowing multiple people to install solar at the same time and maximizing your installation pipeline.
Expert tip: When speaking to larger groups, preparation is essential. Rehearse your presentation, check (and double-check) your A/V equipment, and have plenty of sales material at the ready. Most of all, don’t be afraid to showcase your personality.
Need More Solar Contractor Marketing Ideas?
We hope that our advice has provided you with newfound inspiration to generate more leads for your solar business. If you’re interested in further reading, visit the Solerus Energy information center, where you can find more helpful articles and industry tips about succeeding in 2020.
Solerus Energy is a supplier of premium solar equipment from many of the world’s top brands, but we’re also a complete design and installation partner that can help you complete more installations at a lower price.
Best of luck with your new marketing ideas!
Solerus is a trusted solar energy equipment supplier, empowering contractors to develop agile solutions for commercial and residential clients. We provide a range of best-in-class solar products that are backed by an industry-leading 25-year warranty, designed to provide you with unparalleled peace of mind.
To learn more about reducing solar customer acquisition costs and the equipment you’ll need to have happy customers at a price that you’ll love, feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable specialists today!