More and more businesses and individuals are tapping into renewable energy, so the solar energy industry is developing at a rapid pace. Experts predict the global solar energy industry will reach $223.3 billion by 2026. Acquiring new leads, however, is still a challenge for many solar businesses.
The first question many companies have is what audience should we target or how can we generate more quality leads? Many educated consumers know exactly what products they need and are ready to make an informed decision. There are also many people who have never thought about purchasing anything associated with solar energy and are just starting to explore it. To succeed, you should target both audiences.
Obviously, your offerings should be visible for consumers who are actively searching for solar power products and services.
However, you should also appeal to potential customers who are still not sure what they want. It’s almost impossible to predict what type of marketing content will motivate a particular consumer to take action. For example, people may look for specific information on switching to solar energy, and your educational content may help them.
Unfortunately, many businesses only focus their marketing efforts on the easiest targets and create their content for consumers who are about to purchase something. As a result, these companies miss out on many good opportunities to convert others and lose potential revenue.
At some point, they realize they must reconsider their marketing strategy, and the sales process slows. We recommend building a strong presence from the beginning by planning every step of your sales process.
To execute the plan, identify the stages of your customers’ journey. Here’s where the sales funnel can help you.
Stages of the Sales Funnel
1. Awareness Stage
Customers who have just begun researching solar panel installations are at the top of your sales funnel. This is a big piece of your audience. However, this type of audience doesn’t demonstrate enough commitment. Prospects who are at the top of your funnel are not interested in making a purchase. At this stage, they only want to learn more about the product and get answers to their questions. In fact, such prospects may not even be sure about whether or not they need solar energy in the first place.
A great solution is to focus on educational content, including various articles, blog posts, and informative multimedia content on social platforms. You should tell your prospects what solar energy is, why they need it, and how to get started. We recommend considering a wider range of keywords. You should have keywords related to the installation process as well as keywords that address the needs of your potential audience. For instance, you may include such keywords as “energy-saving” or “lower utility bills.”
2. Consideration Stage
This is the next step of the sales funnel. Prospects who make it to this point are considering buying your product more seriously. They continue to research information that could help them make the right choice, but now they’re looking for more specific information, such as the difference between models of solar panels available, and the additional benefits they get from each type of product.
At this point, consumers are looking for specific products and brands, as well as the opportunities to purchase such products in their local area. They might read reviews and visit different companies’ websites. Your goal is to make them remember your brand from the content they’ve read previously so they can consider you as one of the best options. You should be specific about your products and services to stand out and withstand competition.
3. Final Decision
This stage of your sales funnel precedes the purchase, so it is associated with a higher level of commitment. Prospects at this stage have a strong intent to purchase, so they can respond to more direct marketing approaches. Now you can use sales-focused content, free demos, and consultations. If you want your prospects to make the right decision, you should be clear about your offerings and the benefits of your brand.
“You should plan the buyer journey based on your buyer persona. First of all, you should address the issues that are relevant for your potential customers, and then you should explain how they can solve their problems,” notes Irene Baldwin, a digital marketer at the essay-writing service reviews website Best Writers Online.
You must not only describe the solutions but also illustrate them so your potential customers can understand how your product can help them. You should present specific options so consumers can consider them and evaluate the benefits.
Once your potential consumers have considered your options, you need them to make up their minds and get closer to the purchasing decision.
You can use such tools as emails, ebooks, and social media to convert, evaluate, and nurture your leads. Here is a quick step-by-step guide:
- Describe your buyers’ needs at the awareness stage.
- Brainstorm and determine the concepts that will be interesting for your potential buyers.
- Analyze your buyer personas’ purchasing behavior.
- Brainstorm and determine what content you will provide at the consideration stage.
- Determine what your potential customers want to get after going through the decision stage.
- Brainstorm and develop ideas for the decision stage.
- Think of what your potential customers are looking for in their customer experience.
Challenges of Solar Lead Generation
To create a marketing funnel that will meet your expectations, you should clearly understand the challenges of marketing in this niche and be ready to address them:
- Long payment duration and high upfront costs may discourage your potential customers from using solar panels.
- The time-consuming buying process, as well as complicated installation, can also influence your potential customers’ decision.
- Many people still don’t know why solar energy is better and are not sure whether they’d be satisfied with the performance.
The main reason why solar businesses cannot reach their goals is that they get the wrong leads. You should be able to acquire high-quality leads because the quality of your leads determines your success. Another challenge is that many solar companies get the same leads so they contact the same customers, and competition increases. The first company contacts a customer and the same customer gets the same call from other companies. The earlier you contact someone, the more likely they are to choose your offerings.
All the factors above are reasons why offline marketing becomes ineffective. We recommend focusing your efforts on digital marketing because it allows you to help potential customers to do their online research and to explain what the benefits of your product are. “Digital marketing enables you to use a variety of techniques, including email campaigns, social media campaigns, paid ads, online events, etc.,” explains Donna White, a digital marketer at the paper-writing service reviews website Online Writers Rating.
“You can also offer various incentives. Your potential customers can download your ebooks and subscribe to your newsletters so that you will have many opportunities to describe the benefits of your product in detail.”
Tips to Create a Solar Sales Funnel
Create a unique value proposition
You should determine what makes you better than your competitors. No matter how people connect with your brand, they should be able to immediately notice the features and qualities of your product that make your company a good choice. Your actual value proposition is the best way to explain why you are unique and is much more effective than any slogans. You don’t have much time to wait until your prospects understand why they should make a purchase, so we recommend that you focus on the benefits from the beginning.
For example, your main selling point might be the warranty on your solar equipment, or you might focus on the efficiency of your products that outperforms your competitors.
Research keywords to create effective educational content
Educational content is useful for both new brands and companies that have been in this business for many years. We’ve already explained the importance of educational content for prospects who don’t know whether they need solar equipment or not, but educational content enables you to build credibility. We recommend providing useful content that can help your potential customers not only better understand the benefits of your products, but also use them
Email campaigns and posts on social media platforms help drive more traffic to the educational content on your website. You should also think of the long-term value of your content. SEO optimization will help you create content that resonates with your audience. You should research keywords related to your potential customers’ common questions so you can attract high-quality traffic. You can use different keywords at different stages of your sales funnel, creating a strong marketing strategy.
For example, your potential customers might be interested to know how much time they need to install a solar panel.
You can research keywords relevant to the topic and see that there are many pages with answers. If you write a blog post with the keyword “how much time to install a solar panel,” your article will rank for search queries related to the subject, attracting an audience of people who want to install panels.
Keyword research is also crucial for search engine optimization.
Collaborate with influencers from your niche
Social media is a useful tool for increasing brand awareness, boosting sales, and attracting more customers. Social media can also help build long-term relationships with existing customers. It might be difficult, however, to gain a large following. There are many social media influencers with an engaged audience who are interested in your type of product, and if you collaborate with these influences, you’ll be able to get a larger audience more easily.
Perhaps you’ve seen celebrities who endorse beauty products or clothes. This is how influencer marketing works. If you sell solar equipment, you can benefit from influencer marketing as well. For example, you may find influencers who create content about sustainable remodeling. Their followers will certainly appreciate an opportunity to connect with trusted installers who can answer their questions and provide useful information on choosing the right product.
Use PPC ads
According to research, as much as 60% of businesses that use SEO strategies also invest in PPC advertising. Organic search is important, but you should also use other opportunities to attract customers. When people search for something, they see paid search results at the top, and if your website appears there, you can boost your traffic and get more leads.
Create effective calls-to-action (CTAs)
When someone visits your website, you should do your best to encourage them to make a purchasing decision. Your CTAs must immediately grab attention. If CTAs are embedded in your content, your conversion rate might exceed 120%. We also recommend you include descriptive CTA buttons so that your visitors can not only click them but also take action instead of simply bouncing out.
Include CTAs on your landing page and experiment with different CTA types. For example, you may ask your visitors to submit their contact information, subscribe to your email list, sign up for a membership, add products to cart, or learn more about them.
The solar business is on the rise, but it’s also quite competitive, so companies need to put a lot of effort into getting high-quality leads. We recommend researching your target audience and planning a marketing funnel so you can provide the right marketing content at the right time. Some people are almost ready to buy their new solar equipment, so you should explain why your company is a better choice than your competitors.
There are also people who think about switching to sustainable sources of energy but they need to learn more about it first. Your marketing strategy should target different types of audiences so that you can ensure stable growth. We hope that our tips will help you acquire new leads and boost your sales in no time.