For all our fascination with robotics, missions to Mars, virtual reality, and every other whiz-bang technological feat known to man, in the end it’s the people behind these projects, not just the machines and outcomes, that really make us excited.
In the solar industry this presents us with a vexing problem. Isn’t it the gleaming solar panels shining in the sun that make us go, “Ah. Wow. I want that!”
They sure do — but the panels themselves aren’t saying much else. They’re just sitting around looking pretty, high-tech, clean, and futuristic.
But who are the ones that made the smart decision to install those panels (the same happy people who are now saving money and helping the planet)? And who are the ones doing all that oohing and ahhhing when they see the panels (their neighbors, that is)?
From ordinary people — residential homeowners — to businesspeople — CEOs, other execs, and decision makers — it’s still people who get excited about the planet-saving, pocketbook-saving, energy-saving, forward-thinking wonders of solar.
And so it’s people that you need in your solar marketing campaign.
People who need people
Whether you’re a small-scale solar development firm or an industrial-scale outfit putting out stunning and record-breaking arrays, you’re still convincing people to make the jump into solar. You’re still selling solar to people, and satisfying the needs of people, at home and in business. So get your current customers involved in telling their solar story — your solar story — to new people.
Everybody knows that in marketing, word-of-mouth is the bomb. Imagine being at a party where the lady with the gin and tonic is gushing about the ground-mounted solar that’s poised to power half of her household needs and will pay for itself in a few years. You start drooling, your imagination tuning into how you could do that, too.
Or being at a Chamber of Commerce gathering and hearing that a local car dealership will soon be storing its inventory under a parking lot gleaming with solar awnings that powers the showroom and service area. You’re going to wonder how your business can get both those savings and the feel-good marketing mojo that comes from having visible solar on your business.
Both of these are about as close to a mission to Mars as you’re going to get in your neighborhood and it’s going to sound pretty darned enticing.
So when it comes to your excited customers doing just that, heck, blog about those stories for heaven’s sake!
The very best secret weapon in your solar marketing campaign remains your own customer base. To quote Governor Pappy O’Daniel in the Cohen Brothers’ O’ Brother Where Art Thou?, with a blog broadcasting your happy customer stories all over the Interwebs, you’re not “one-at-a-timin’ here, [you’re] mass communicatin’.”
A solar marketing blog template
Okay, you might be thinking, who’s got time for this? When your firm is busy selling solar, arranging financing, engineering PV arrays, and running day-to-day operations you may not think you have the time to be gumshoe reporters gathering stories from the field.
But make time for it. Prioritize it.
An easy way to do so is to develop a solar marketing campaign customer story blog template. This will have:
- General questions for your customers about various aspects of their project: timeline, execution, affordability, etc.
- Specific questions about why customers chose solar, what their hopes were, how excited they are by the system.
- Advice customers have for why other homeowners or businesses should go solar.
Once you fill in the template, use these bits of info to craft a bit of solar storytelling that sends the message that real people and real businesses have not only thought about solar, but have decided to take the solar plunge, and how happy they are with it.
— Lindsay Curren, Creative Director, Curren Media Group