Solar marketers looking to generate high-quality leads have a steeper hill to climb than their non-solar counterparts. And that's because unlike, say, customers who want to buy a microwave or a new car, many solar leads aren't familiar with the ins and outs of the product itself. There's a lot of misinformation out there surrounding residential solar, and marketers need to educate leads before nurturing them across the solar sales purchasing funnel.
Therefore, the main challenge for how to generate leads for solar begins with effectively reaching people at the top of the funnel. To accomplish this, we turn to the principles of inbound marketing, which stipulate that customers will find you before you find them. We suggest rolling out and optimizing the following:
Your solar blog. An intelligently-written, educational, and SEO- and keyword-driven blog whose posts are promoted on social media will attract visitors to your brand. The trick is to refrain from positioning your blog as a commercially-oriented sales channel, but instead, a platform from which you can educate leads around the complexities of solar technology, financing, lease vs. buy, rebates and incentives, and so on. To that end, make sure to set up a Google Alert so solar-related content like this is delivered to your inbox.
Publish white papers and eBooks regularly. White papers or fact sheet spelling out answers to the most common questions is a must-have. We're thinking things like, "Six Things to Consider When Looking for a Solar Provider," "Is Solar Right For You? Fill Out Our Questionnaire," and "How Can Solar Save You Money?"
Videos. Finally, some good news! Unlike, say, a patent attorney, solar marketers can draw from a wealth of educational information to create videos. Identify some common lead concerns and create videos that address them head-on. For example, leads may be confused around the solar installation process itself — will technicians replace the roof? Will they be on-site for three weeks? Create a video showing how the installation process works to allay these misconceptions.
Now that you have a foundation of content in place, it's time to go on the offensive. Convert visitors to high-quality leads by rolling out Calls to Action (CTAs), Landing Pages, and Forms. Here is where you'll see these strategies integrate with your content.
For example, at the end of a blog post entitled, "Buy Or Lease? Determining Which Residential Solar Approach Is Right For You," include a CTA promoting a free consultation. Or include language offering the reader a free white paper where they'll enter their contact information. Or, if you direct readers to your home page, make sure it's "lead-friendly."
The ultimate goal is to use content to engage readers and then employ strategies whereby your marketers can reach out to them directly.
What do you think? What other solar lead generation tactics did we neglect to mention? Which tactics have proved particularly successful at your firm? Has paid advertising on sites like Facebook or Twitter yielded a compelling ROI?