Digital Marketing: Top Five Must-Dos
As solar professionals, we’re always looking for our next solar project. It is the nature of the industry. Especially at this time, it can be a challenge to get connected with the right property owner who is at the point in their buying journey where they are ready to start thinking about solar, let alone purchase a system. The central question is this: is it better to build and buy lists to find property owners, or have them find you? You may not want to hear this, but the answer is both.
Top Five Must-Dos in your Marketing Plan to be found online:
- Build an impactful and engaging website.
- Social media: it is your friend.
- Great SEO: it is critical and Google is the most important search engine.
- Links: these are key as they give you authority, value and relevance, major factors in SEO.
- Reviews: the modern-day currency. Your current customers will be your best evangelists, so focus on reviews and a strong referral program.
In today’s world it is more important than ever to have a strong digital marketing playbook; casting a large net while maintaining a precisely targeted approach with direct marketing.
At the top of your marketing strategy, The number one “must-do” is building an impactful and engaging website full of content that tells and shows visitors who you are, what you do and why you do it. Mastering the landing page is crucial for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when you build out your site. If there is ever a place to optimize for SEO with solar-related keywords, it’s your homepage, but building the best site you can is your overall best strategy.
Number two should be using social media to your advantage. It is your friend, so try to get to know it. We like to say, never leave a home or project without taking pictures. While video and drone footage are even better, a simple still photo image says more than a thousand words about your capabilities. Building on the images you have at your disposal, be sure to show potential customers what you can do by building out profiles of projects online and featuring them on your social media accounts. Here at CED Greentech, we focus on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
Rest assured, we would love to feature your project on our site, CEDGreentech.com, on our project profiles page. We have a vast following and building your project on our site will garner your authority with our following. Simply submit it to us and we can start the process. We will also feature a link to your website with any CED Greentech project that we profile.
For number three, ask yourself, “Why do links matter so much for SEO?” search engines, especially Google who possess 85% of the market, use sophisticated algorithms to score sites so that when someone does a search, Google delivers only the most relevant results. In their analysis of relevancy, the quantity of links that point to a given page has a large impact on the score. Links also increase authority which is another key factor in Google’s algorithm.
What we’ve learned is that directories and paid links don’t factor in nearly as much as original content. Content that provides unique value is the best overall way to increase your scoring and determines your relevancy.
This leads into must-do number four: Links to your Original and Unique content are key, as they give you authority, value, and relevance, which are the major factors in SEO.
There are over 200 variables in Google’s Algorithm so it’s very very hard to game the system. Keywords and content are crucial as well and we can dive into those topics in a future article. That being said if you stay focused on these basic fundamentals, you will do well with SEO over time.
We select the best project each month and feature it in our Monthly CED Greentech Advisor, distributing valuable content to thousands of solar contractors in our network. As mentioned previously, we always suggest that you build out your project for social media use along with your website. The more people that have access to your content the better. Social media linking supports your SEO strategy. You need to create content that other people find valuable and want to share with their visitors, making social media a great vehicle for this purpose.
Remember to have fun with social media and come up with creative ways to draw attention to your site, whether it be through videos, photos or contests. Let your creative mind wander. People love contests. Use them to build excitement about solar in your local community while building awareness about your company.
Reviews are the fifth must-do and are the modern-day SEO currency. Ask for reviews from all of your customers regardless of the situation. If there’s a problem, you want to know about it so you can maintain loyalty and consistency with your customer base. A solar contractor once told me that some of their best customers were ones that had voiced their issues, been heard out and had received great follow-up. By giving the customer a chance to speak, and solving their problem, this contractor helped them grow into the company's most loyal and strongest evangelist. Customers want to brag. Especially these problem customers where you fixed the situation, so now the customer has a chance to spread the word of the wonderful work you do. Rewarding them to do so with a good referral program will pay back in spades.
Good luck with developing your digital marketing plan to effectively find and win new customers as you grow your business. Stay tuned for the second half of the story, building an effective and efficient direct marketing outreach program.