With commercial and residential solar installations skyrocketing over the last decade, we can say that the solar industry is flourishing. We know that the demand is there, and the people who want renewable energy are just waiting to be found. But now the question is how do you find these solar leads?
A lot of service providers are turning to lead generators to provide them with a steady supply of prospective buyers. But not everyone wants to buy leads for their solar business. Here we’re going to look at how you can generate leads automatically without spending thousands of dollars.
Stop Buying Solar Leads, & Start Generating Your Own Leads
In the solar industry, buying leads is not an unusual thing. But there’s no denying that it can be very expensive.
On the surface, it definitely sounds great. Just pay someone to give you a list of high quality leads that are waiting for a cold call from a solar installation company. Not a ton of effort required, and whether you can convert them or not largely depends on your selling skills.
However, it doesn’t really work that way. A lot of these “vetted” leads don’t care about solar at all. Not to mention that cold calling as a marketing strategy is both outdated and disruptive. We all know people don’t like receiving those calls.
Imagine having your busy work day interrupted by a call from a marketer selling something you’re barely interested in. Cold calls can be annoying and it may turn off your prospects entirely.
According to data from Google, modern day consumers self-navigate 60 percent of the sales process. This means they do most of the work before ever reaching out to a sales rep or a company. This also shows that cold calling is not going to attract anyone who isn’t already conducting their research on solar.
Cold calling is a thing of the past, and new strategies are emerging that are far more effective. If you want to generate leads consistently, you need to attract the customers who are most likely to make a sale.
Consumers who have been bombarded with solar marketing are now less responsive to outbound marketing. The best leads are those who are using the internet to conduct their own research because these are the people who are actually interested. This means inbound marketing is better for generating solar leads.
Inbound marketing tactics include social media marketing, paid advertising, and search engine optimization or SEO. These are the strategies that bring the solar leads to your business.
Ways to Generate Your Own Leads in Solar Business
Lead generation is a big challenge for most businesses—not just solar companies. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need a consistent source of leads. Buying leads is not going to give you long-term lead generation that’s sustainable.
You need to learn how to bring leads to your business without spending most of your marketing budget.
Solar leads are generated very similarly to home improvement leads. When people are interested, they usually start with a web search. Your leads are most likely to work with the first few companies they find in search results. This is where you want to be.
With inbound marketing strategies, you can get your company directly in front of your target audience. And the best part is that since they are already looking for installation services, they are much more likely to convert. This makes your solar lead generation and conversion efforts much more successful.
Instead of wasting your time spraying and praying for leads, you should make it easier for people who are actually interested in solar to find you. When you let people find you at their own pace, you are already one step closer to making that sale.
Here’s the thing you need to know about inbound marketing: it’s not going to be easy. It’s not a short-term solution that will produce results right away. Instead, it is a sustainable long-term solution that will bring you a steady supply of leads if you do it right. It is more difficult than buying a billboard and waiting for the calls to come in. But it is also healthier for your business in the long run.
Content marketing is an effective and reliable marketing strategy for any company that wants to generate leads and establish their authority. Although it may take some time for your content to start generating tons of leads, it is worth investing in if you have a long term view of your solar company.
In the long run, organic search positioning will give you a steady source of high quality leads, and content marketing is one way to achieve that. The more high quality content you produce, the easier it is for people to find you online.
Keep in mind that you have a lot of competition, because other solar companies are already using SEO and content marketing to attract leads. So it’s all a matter of content quality and consistency.
When you post high quality content like articles, videos, and pictures that provide value to your audience, you increase your engagement rates significantly. Your post can even go viral if it’s entertaining or informative enough. This will drive tons of traffic to your website and help you find quality leads.
Consistency is very important. You need to post great content regularly to establish familiarity. This also makes it easier to gain people’s trust. When they see that you are always posting great content, they will view you as an authority figure in your industry. And when they decide to go for a solar installation, they will know who to work with.
The more content you have, the more traffic you get, and the higher you will rank in search results. Once you’ve become a trusted resource for all things solar-related, you’ll notice that your content is starting to rake in more views.
Optimize your website and make sure it looks nice enough so that people actually want to visit it. A visually-attractive website adds credibility to your company and drives even more traffic.
Inbound marketing is all about giving your prospects a reason to visit your website and get in touch with you. Ask yourself what kind of content potential solar buyers are looking for, and then produce that content. Make information accessible to them and answer their questions.
Content marketing works because it lets you provide value to your target audience without making them pay for anything.
Blog posts and long form articles are among the best for content marketing because they allow you to share the most informative and engaging content. Blog posts can be casual and conversational, while also covering a wide range of topics. You can also go for longer, scholarly articles with lots of information and scientific research to back it up.
If you want a more eye-catching approach, pictures and videos are the most interesting forms of content.
Whatever type of content you choose, make sure you are providing answers to questions that your target audience have. Figure out what they want to know and teach them all about it.
Use Videos to Showcase Your Work & Client Testimonials on Facebook, IG, YT & More
Speaking of videos, you want to use this type of content as often as possible. If you don’t have a dedicated team for content creation, producing high quality videos may be difficult but you can still make great ones with a bit of practice.
Videos are eye-catching and informative. People can learn a lot just from watching one well-made video. Use this as an opportunity to educate your leads and prospects about your services. Showing them a video of the process from beginning to end creates trust. This makes it easier to convert them in the future, because they already know what to expect.
Your videos don’t have to be too long. Just tweak your video based on where you’re going to post it. For example, Instagram and Facebook Stories are perfect for short, bite-sized content, while YouTube is suitable for very detailed videos. You can cut your longer YouTube videos and share them across other social media platforms to maximize your engagement.
Hone your editing skills to get the best results. It helps to spend some time viewing other people’s videos on different platforms to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. You can repurpose your longer videos into quick content for your Stories.
You can also make a one-minute trailer for your videos to really make the most out of them. Don’t cram everything into a 60-second video, but instead choose a snippet that will serve as the hook to catch your audience’s attention. Post your trailer on Instagram since it only allows one-minute videos.
Twitter allows videos up to 20 minutes and 20 seconds long, which means you can post your snippet here as well. The goal is to attract as many leads to your video content as possible.
Repurpose Your Video Content
Creating videos for social media can feel unrewarding. It takes a lot of time and effort to create them, and sometimes they don’t even get a lot of engagement. You’ll feel exhausted after writing, shooting, and editing your videos.
Luckily, there are other ways to repurpose your video content aside from just shortening them and sharing them on other platforms.
One good tip is to take your videos, transcribe them, do a bit of editing, and post them on your website’s blog. This extends the lifespan of your video. You can even elaborate on some points if you want to flesh out your article.
This also allows you to enjoy the benefits of SEO. Although people love watching videos, search engines love the keywords inside your written articles, so don’t neglect them. Not to mention that some of your leads prefer articles over videos, especially if they don’t have the time to sit and watch the whole thing.
Turn your videos into blog posts to maximize your content marketing efforts. Give your audience the option to watch or read and you will engage with more people.
If you have a podcast, you can also turn your videos into audio and post them on social media. Some people love listening to podcasts while doing other things. When viewers can’t dedicate their full attention to watching a video, they can just listen to a podcast. Audio content is easier to consume, and the good news is that your videos can easily be transformed into audio form.
Invest in Google My Business Marketing to Show Up for “Solar Companies near Me” Searches
Invest in Google My Business Marketing to Show Up for “Solar Companies near Me” Searches
A lot of inbound marketing and content marketing revolve around keywords and SEO. You want to make your solar company discoverable to all of your leads—and the best place to connect with them is in search results.
When your company shows up in search results, it shows credibility and authority. It takes a while to get high rankings in search results. That’s what your content creation is for.
But once you reach that top spot in Google, your company will be swimming in solar leads. These people who are using Google to search for solar installation services are the ones most likely to convert. Rank high enough in search results and you can engage with these high quality leads.
Use a lot of relevant keywords so that your content shows up higher in related searches.
While you’re working on your SEO strategies, you should also manage your Google My Business listing. A Google My Business account is totally free, and it lets you manage how your solar business appears on Google Maps. This also helps you appear in search results. Your goal is to show up for searches related to solar companies.
Google My Business is great because when people near you search for solar installation, your business will be the one to show up. That’s how it works. Google My Business prioritizes proximity when suggesting businesses. So when you claim your business listing, make sure you add all the necessary information that your clients need.
After verifying your location, you can access your GMB dashboard and start adding your business information. Used correctly, Google My Business can drive more traffic to your website. It can even bring more people to your location.
When optimizing your account, choose a category that is relevant to your business. Do not add secondary categories that are not related to your business. Use categories like “Solar energy contractor” and “Solar energy equipment supplier”.
Add the correct service area, address, and pin. This is very important as it allows prospective customers to find you. Drag and reposition the pin if it’s not accurate to your physical location.
Also include your office hours so your customers know your availability. If you have different office hours in place because of COVID-19, make sure you include that as well.
Add your primary phone number as well as any secondary ones, if applicable.
Write a brief business description. Google will only display the initial 250 characters, but they will let you use up to 750 characters. Keep that in mind when creating an interesting business description. Talk about your business and what it does, but make sure all of the most important stuff is in the first 250 characters.
Finally, add a short name for your profile. This makes it easier for leads to look you up. They can just enter the short name URL in the address bar to visit your GMB listing. It will look like this: “g.page/[customnameyoucreated]”.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can also use Google My Business to share content. It’s a free space where you can advertise your brand, offers, events, and news—whatever you would normally post on your website. Use your GMB listing to share updates, upcoming events, exclusive offers, etc.
Use LinkedIn to Prospect for Solar Leads
Social media in general is great for all your content marketing efforts, but one of them stands out above the rest. LinkedIn is the best platform for content marketing and sales prospecting. That’s because LinkedIn is now the biggest professional platform online. Unlike other social media, it is focused on building professional and business relationships.
If you’re a B2B marketer, you probably know that LinkedIn is a bottomless well of opportunities. Here you can find high quality B2B leads that are likely to convert into paying customers.
In websites like Instagram and Facebook, your content may sometimes look out of place unless you’ve worked hard to optimize them. But on LinkedIn, your content is always welcome.
Aside from content marketing, LinkedIn is also a good place to look for leads, including solar leads.
LinkedIn has data-rich filters that let you find targets in different demographics. You can then use LinkedIn outreach messaging to connect with them, get a conversation going, and start building a relationship.
LinkedIn outreach is all about creating a strong professional brand so that leads are encouraged to connect with you. Establish trust by posting content on your LinkedIn page, become an active member of LinkedIn Groups, and start messaging other LinkedIn members.
When prospecting on LinkedIn it is important to avoid spamming other users. Sending the same old message templates to a lot of people may cause LinkedIn to restrict your account. Instead of spraying and praying for a reply, engage your audience in a genuine discussion. Ask insightful questions and find ways to help them with their problems.
Use Kennected to Generate Leads Automatically via LinkedIn
LinkedIn, when paired with the best automation tool out there, will produce even better results for your solar sales prospecting. Imagine being able to message everyone in your area an offer for 15 percent off solar installation. That’s the power of Kennected.
Not only is Kennected the best LinkedIn automation tool, it is also the safest. Instead of letting you send the same old messages that everyone’s bored of, Kennected helps you personalize your messages and even your follow-ups.
Personalized messages are more likely to receive replies from your prospects because they don’t look like spam. This means they are more likely to connect with you, keeping your acceptance rate high, and keeping your account safe.
If your prospects don’t accept you right away, Kennected sends personalized follow-ups up to 10 times—or until they reply. Kennected has both a response tracker and a reply detection feature.
This means you don’t have to wait for anyone to reply. It will notify you when you get a response and you can hop right into the conversation. Focus on building relationships instead of manually prospecting on LinkedIn.
Kennected brings you a stream of solar leads, so you can spend your time on important tasks like converting your leads. This automation tool brings you smart prospecting on autopilot.
Use this tool along with all the tips we provided above so you can generate sales automatically. While inbound marketing is a long term strategy, Kennected and LinkedIn will help you generate leads in the meantime. Book a demo with Kennected today to learn more!