U.S. solar electricity generation is on the rise. In fact, solar is predicted to account for 39% of all new electricity generation capacity in 2021, surpassing wind power for the first time in history. And of course, as the demand for renewable energy in the public, private and political sectors increases, opportunities for more solar farms to supply this growing segment abound.
But even as this trend continues, energy providers need to maintain solar’s momentum and positive image — by actively marketing to their customers and conveying to them the benefits of solar power. It is imperative for energy consumers to continue subscribing to solar energy in an effort to protect the planet from further damage caused by climate change. But how do marketers convince customers that it’s the right thing to do and could save them money on their energy bills?
Shining a light on solar
Solar energy is the wave of the future, and with solar generation and storage efficiencies advancing over time, its costs are gradually coming down — making it more and more viable as a widely used source of energy. To prepare for solar’s bright future and the continued rise in status that it’s anticipated to experience, it’s important for energy providers to start talking to their customers now about its benefits and the solar-consumption opportunities that are available to them now.
To get the conversation started, consider these five tips from The Brandon Agency on how energy utilities can better spread the good word about solar energy, its benefits and the opportunities it presents:
1. Harness your owned media
Use your owned media to educate customers on the benefits of solar energy generation to our planet and to their pocketbooks. Whether it’s done via your brand’s emails, blog articles, monthly newsletters or other publications, or social media, it’s important to start educating consumers about the power that solar energy brings to the grid. Also, inform customers of their ability to purchase solar energy without having to install expensive solar panels on their roof or in their yard.
2. Redirect existing renewables customers
If your energy utility is already running programs focused on renewable energy, reach out to those existing customers who have already signed up for other green initiatives to convert them to solar energy customers. These customers are likely to already understand the importance renewable energy sources play in preserving our environment, making them good candidates for purchasing solar energy.
3. Utilize paid social
Use your paid social media channels to raise awareness of any solar energy programs you offer and the different solar products available to customers. This can also serve as a great lead-generation platform to get customers in your owned-media database and continue to remarket to them with educational statistics, interesting developments, promising predictions, etc. about solar energy.
4. Build up business partnerships
Make sure you are reaching out to local business associations in search of speaking opportunities, which you can use to educate area businesses on how they can benefit from your utility’s solar programs. For many businesses, tapping into solar energy is a great way to ramp up their own following among eco-conscious consumers, giving them added incentive to do so.
5. Target lookalike audiences
And last but not least, once you have built a strong database, use this to model lookalike audiences — so you can expand your reach among consumers with characteristics similar to those of your best current customers.
Solar energy is very likely to continue its upward trend — make sure you are using your earned, owned and paid media channels to educate your customers on the benefits of making the move to solar. By using a full-funnel marketing approach, you can easily educate your customers on your solar energy products and the benefits they can receive from them without having to put large amounts of money toward paid media.
For example, at The Brandon Agency, we began promoting renewable energy for one of our energy-utility clients 5 years ago using the full-funnel approach. Since then, the client has been able to surpass its annual goals over the first 9 months of the year repeatedly over the last few years.
Using our organic social, email marketing, SEM and paid media teams, The Brandon Agency can help your utility find the customers most likely to sign up for your solar programs. We’ll help you drive customers through the full marketing funnel, from building awareness to converting to sales, through these channels. Further, our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of marketing specialists who can cover media planning & buying and lots more — including web design, brand strategy, creative, interactive, social media, analytics, SEO, conversion rate optimization and more — all in one place.
Contact us today to learn how we can create a full-funnel approach to ensure your messages are not only being seen by your customers, but are moving them toward enrolling in your renewable energy programs.