Do you need solar content marketing to grow your green business? Yes, you and every other industry absolutely do! Solar content marketing helps qualified customers find your business organically online—people and businesses primed to buy and join the sustainable energy movement! If you’re a solar contractor who wants to increase leads, make more sales, and get more customer referrals, here are a few ways to implement strategic content marketing and optimize your content strategy to achieve your goals.
How Solar Content Marketing Can Help Your Business Grow in 2020—and Tactics to Improve Your Content Program
1. Website Content like FAQs and Blog Articles Helps Optimize SEO and Generate Website Traffic While Educating and Converting Customers
Content is king for a reason. It’s the heartbeat of your digital marketing strategy. Plus, content benefits businesses in a number of ways. For starters, writing SEO-optimized website content helps potential customers find your business organically—before the competition. In fact, publishing blog articles is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve your website’s search engine ranking and attract more qualified leads. And the more organic or “free” traffic you get, the more you’ll have to spend on other initiatives like social media marketing, PPC and social media advertising, and/or video marketing. Blogs also give you content to promote in social media posts. This keeps your content fresh while simultaneously cross-promoting your website.
From a customer standpoint, blogs and FAQs help build trust with your customers and convert leads. Blogs and in-depth FAQs are also a natural place to integrate SEO-friendly content that your customers actively seek. When you educate prospective customers, answer all of their questions, and resolve many of their deepest fears about making the transition to solar power, you can enhance their trust and affinity for your business.
Blogs and FAQs are also a great icebreaker to use to generate leads. For instance, if a customer has a complex question, your sales team can point them to your website for more information—a resource these customers will come to rely on and come back to as needed. For door-knockers and cold-callers, blog articles may make it easier to ask for a lead’s email too. Instead of bluntly requesting personal information from a customer who doesn’t know you, you can softly generate a lead by saying, “if you have more questions, I actually have a great blog article I can send you on that subject! What’s the best email for you?” Then, you can follow-up with an email marketing campaign that contains your blog article and a follow-up. Whenever you’re able to give a customer something before asking for anything in return, it does wonders for trust and relationship building.
So how do you create SEO-optimized blogs and FAQs and improve your content marketing program for your solar company?
- Conducting an SEO audit to isolate keywords customers use in search engines. Doing so will show you data-backed information about the exact phrases and words people use to search for relevant products and services. Once you have that information, you should 100% write SEO-friendly content like FAQs and blog articles—using the keywords you find in your SEO audit. So if you see people search for “The cost of solar panels in 2020,” write a blog post with that in the title. SEO best-practices advise you write blogs between 700–1,200 words. FAQs should also be meatier, at least 600 words. It’s a bit time-consuming to create this core content, but it’s super important to round out your solar content marketing strategy, give customers the information they want and need, and continue to improve a very important part of digital marketing, SEO.
- Creating a content calendar and content buckets to stay organized. This will ensure you talk to every audience and vary your promotional messaging versus educational and relationship-building content.
- Establishing a schedule to make content part of your routine. It’s easy to get off track without one! But as you publish more content, you’ll improve your search rankings. Because 90 percent of people don’t make a decision about a business before their search begins, it’s important you grab their attention and business before a competitor does.
- Optimizing Your Website Content. Don’t stop at blogs and FAQs. Optimize all of your website content—from the hierarchy of your pages to the copy on each page. This will help attract more qualified traffic and give customers exactly what they need when they search for it.
- Determining if you need to hire a content marketing team to get the job done. This will also help you establish an annual solar content marketing budget and allocate it properly.
2. Reviews, Testimonials, and your Response Through Content Shapes Your Reputation and Digital Presence
You can’t control whether you get a positive or negative review. However, you can shape the conversation around reviews through your solar content marketing. Publish your top reviews on your website and reach out to customers for testimonials. Always respond to negative reviews promptly, and use those reviews for content inspiration—like social media posts, website content, and blog articles. If there’s a widespread issue, be honest about it in an email blast, social post, or video too.
Why? Because reviews and ratings, both positive and negative, affect the purchasing decisions of your customer. Especially when they’re considering a high-dollar investment like solar panels. In fact, 95 percent of people read reviews before making a purchase and a whopping 84 percent trust them as much as a personal recommendation.
3. Social Media Content Educates Customers, Raises Brand Awareness, and Enhances Customer Service
People spend almost two and a half hours on social media per day. And many customers scour business’s Facebook or Instagram accounts before they choose you as their solar installer. To continue to build a following and attract solar customers, make your profile something worth following.
Your content should give the audience something 80% of the time and ask for something in return 20%. So, for every eight educational posts you publish about solar panel installation tips, user-generated photos, or company announcements, you can throw in two promotional posts. Anything more will seem spammy. Just put yourself in the customer’s shoes; if it would bore or annoy you, it would probably bore and annoy them.
Don’t forget the other very important aspect of social media: engagement. Your company can benefit from a solar content marketing strategy that includes social media marketing because of its customer service opportunities. Here, you can tag people, give them compliments on their photos, and answer questions. The more engaged you seem to your audience, the better. Customers expect companies to be responsive and authentic on social media. Doing so on your profiles can help you improve your reputation and business.
4. Use eBooks and Case Studies as Gated Content to Generate More Email Leads
We mentioned this above, but customers don’t like being asked for things. They want you to give them something. That’s why masking your lead generation strategy behind gated content works. Create case studies and eBooks and feature them in a pop-up or landing page. Craft enticing copy that tells the audience you have something awesome that will be useful to them and all they need to do is type in their email to get it. You’ll be amazed at how easily this works to build your email list and leads.
Once you have a healthy email list, you can launch email drip campaigns, newsletters, email blasts, and more to stay in touch with customers. The opportunities to convert are endless! The bottom line: if you want to increase leads, sales, and referrals, you must invest in content marketing. Your competitors are doing it. Your customers expect it. It’s a non-negotiable. If you need help or have questions, we’re always here to help!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in July 2018. It’s been completely revamped for accuracy, updated stats and advice, and your reading pleasure!