Things can be tough for a solar marketer. In spite of all the good news coming out of the solar and clean energy industries almost daily, there are still obstacles.
The dirty energy sector, feeling more and more threatened by solar by the day (in spite of being the entrenched power and propped up by price-distorting economic subsidies), is doing every thing it can to sully solar, fighting it on all fronts — in business, politics, and culture.
And one of their most unapologetic weapons is faulting solar for being an intermittent — and hence allegedly unreliable — energy source.
“What will you do on a rainy day,” they wonder, crocodile tears flowing down their cheeks. Meanwhile they proudly proclaim that “coal keeps the lights on.” (Just never mind the mercury rain, and asthma kids, and world choked by climate chaos.)
Let the sun shine in
Dirty energy henchmen definitely scaremonger on clean energy intermittency.
But the public is also less than informed on how much a solar unit can power and how net metering works. They’re also scared about how involved off-grid battery maintenance might be.
So, overtly or subliminally, in America at least, concerns about what day-to-day life with solar power would be like is alive and well and scaring off some of your solar leads in both the residential and business sectors.
But Big Oil’s hardball and solar’s uphill climb should be nothing to you. In fact, your solar marketing campaign should be built at least in part on turning any negative — real, perceived, or claimed — into a positive.
And that means embracing cloudy skies (or instances like last week’s total solar eclipse) as a moment to burnish your solar marketing campaign with simple, accessible education.
So let’s pause for a minute for me to underscore something SUPER IMPORTANT in solar marketing: DON’T USE JARGON. Just write plainly and simply.
Sunlighting solar challenges
Let’s say your area is struck by a week of storms. Not such an apparently great week for a solar marketing blog. But like I said, you can use this as an opportunity to write about net metering in ways that are accessible to your ideal solar customer.
Start by breaking down how net metering works as if you were talking to an intelligent 10-year old. (This is not to underestimate the intelligence of your adult solar customer, but it’s an exercise to keep you from talking about kilowatts and transformers and direct currents and alternating currents.)
Pretty basically you’re going to write some version of, “Solar keeps the lights on.” Assuage fears, explain all that’s needed, and don’t get bogged down in extraneous technical details. It’s just a blog, after all.
Talk about how great the electrical company in your region or state is on net metering — some kudos goes a long way to building better clean energy relations. Use a testimonial from a home or business owner. Keep it peppy, bright, and realistic.
Conversely, if your state is facing legislative attacks on net metering, or cumbersome fees designed to kill solar sales, write about that too, coming back to the point that net metering is what makes grid-connected solar on par with dirty energy inputs to the grid.
A sunny outlook
Your ideal solar customer (and the simply solar-curious customer) is going to have questions and concerns about how to live as we live today with solar behaving in as convenient a manner as our current dirty-energy, climate-killing falsely-priced paradigm. As a solar marketer you have to anticipate their concerns and pay attention to opposition chatter that seeks to exploit those concerns toward fearful ends.
The perceived negatives of solar shouldn’t deter you one bit. They should fuel your solar passion and make your solar marketing campaign soar with variety, intelligence, and soothing comfort aimed at your ideal solar customer.
So just keep singing, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray!” And write that blog!
— Lindsay Curren, Creative Director, Curren Media Group
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