The home solar system installation market has seen steady growth for more than a decade, but demand has just exploded in the last few years. Between local and state governments offering tax incentives alongside federal efforts, declining prices for solar equipment, and rising consumer awareness, there are just a lot more people who want solar now. There are also many more companies competing for their business, which is why lead generation has become more crucial than ever.
Solar Company List Directories
There are lead generation companies that build lists of local solar companies and conduct marketing operations to find interested homeowners, matching them to member installers. That can be a pricey way to market investments, but it also gets directly to interested homeowners, so it is often worth the investment. It is only one piece of the puzzle, though. Not many businesses can afford to get leads from a single source, no matter how good that source happens to be.
Social Media Marketing
Your social media outreach is probably the most crucial part of your marketing because of the overwhelming number of people who use powerful platforms. You may also want to consider a few less well-known networking sites because of their appeal to those planning home renovation and improvement. Which social media sites are most important right now?
- Facebook is the largest, overwhelmingly
- Instagram appeals to all things photographic, including home improvements and renovations
- Twitter is also enormous, with a broad user base
- Pinterest innovated pinboard-style pages that allow visually-minded people to build up collages of images as they plan everything from vehicle renovations to new art projects
Social media marketing is about more than just reaching people. Like any other marketing campaign, you need clear goals and ways of measuring your ROI in both dollars and labor hours invested. Luckily the major platforms have ad services and other business tools built-in. From there, the next step is to create your funnel, and you do that with a mixture of additional digital marketing and SMS campaigns.
Websites and Email Lists
As vital as social media marketing is, you also need to support it and your other marketing channels with digital marketing staples that can help funnel leads to you. Websites with a regularly updated blog or knowledge base provide resources that customers and prospective customers can use, and an email list strategy works a lot like your opt-in SMS campaign. However, it also captures the people who might not be willing to participate via SMS.
Opt-in text message marketing is the highest converting and lowest cost-per-participant way of reaching interested prospects and following up on leads. Still, it is only helpful on an opt-in strategy due to federal telecommunications law. Text messages are overwhelmingly opened by the recipient, even more so than emails or messages on social media platforms. Almost every working adult has a cellular phone with SMS capabilities.
Setting up social media marketing that gives interested parties a chance to learn more about solar installation, products, upgrades, or services by opting into an SMS campaign is a powerful way to keep customers engaged and informed, giving you active leads to follow up with. Lead management software like BatchLeads allows you to set automated follow-ups, create smart lists to stack or separate leads by interest, and even create timed communications, so you always keep your customers up to date on sales and seasonal promotions.
Professional referrals from contractors working in other niches also go a long way, and to make the most of them; you will need to network. Make yourself known to roofing company owners and shift supervisors, construction companies, electricians, and other professionals with related businesses by joining local professional organizations and getting involved with civic activities. Those referrals can also come from regular word of mouth if you invest in legacy media with the same funnel strategy you use online to bring even more people into your SMS list.
Legacy Media Advertisement
Like other home improvement contractors, your primary competition and customer base are local. That makes legacy media ads reasonably low cost in most areas, especially if you look beyond the typical television and radio spots. Those have been effective for decades, but you can get more traction for less money with alternatives that still reach tens of thousands of people in many markets.
- Freeway billboards
- Direct mail fliers or postcards
- Local sports team program or field billboard sponsorship
- Local youth sports league sponsorships
- Church programs
- Newspaper ads
- Pre-show slides at movie theaters
Many successful local contractors in various niches use all of these rotation methods, along with appropriate radio and local broadcast television ad buys. Consider your options and pick a starting point. You can continually reinvest returns from your increased lead volume in more opportunities. Direct mail campaigns are often the easiest to start with, and they can be run from inside lead management apps like BatchLeads.
Successful marketing is a multi-front effort that unites your work across campaigns in different media. The best strategy is to funnel all your leads to one management system, which is why opt-in text messaging and website forms to collect information from interested parties are so popular. Don’t ever miss out on legacy strategies like direct mailing, though. You can either purchase lists from the USPS to canvas local addresses or use the lists you get from online lead generation companies to build your direct mailing list.
The right tools allow you to sort out all the lead sources and put them in the proper categories for follow-up. As you plan your next marketing investment, remember to make sure you are using the most effective tools for your goals. Lead management platforms like BatchLeads provide potent options, including multi-list lead management and accessible data importing and exporting. You can do more with your leads when you have the tools to make work easy.