Is Your Marketing Strategy Industry-Specific?
With so much information out there about how you should be marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in all the latest trends (especially when those trends are backed by solid data) and completely change your marketing strategy to align with the newest research. However, it’s important to remember that industries vary and what might work extremely well for a popular brand selling shoes for $95, might not work in the same way for selling solar installations or whole-home energy efficiency retrofits.
The data is telling us all to make videos, right?
Content Marketing for the Energy Efficiency Industry
Content marketing is one of the most popular tactics being used today. While it’s implemented by nearly every industry with many commonalities, you shouldn’t fall into the trap of modeling your strategy on the success of another brand completely unrelated to what your company does.
For example, we know that videos are great in every industry. So if you have the budget to produce a high-quality video explaining solar or showing where insulation usually needs to be installed in a home, it’s definitely worth doing. However, it’s key to remember that video production is often expensive and it would be unsustainable to solely rely on it.
Since your business is local and serves a particular service area, content that is more easily optimized for search should be more heavily prioritized (the fact that it’s much more budget-friendly doesn’t hurt either). While someone might not be searching for a $95 pair of shoes and interested in reading a blog about them, your audience is definitely Googling “Solar companies near me.” Having educational content that searchers can easily find and discover your company through is the way to go.
Social Media Advertising
You might love Facebook and Instagram, and research shows that customers do too — especially younger generations. But does this mean you should throw the majority of your marketing budget into social media?
Who are you marketing to and what are their preferences?
Again, channels like Facebook and Instagram might work wonders for conversion when there’s a product being sold — like a $95 pair of shoes, for example. But they don’t exactly accomplish the same thing when a larger investment like a $25,000 solar installation is on the table.
In the solar, home performance and HVAC industries, social media can be used effectively for brand awareness, but if you’re investing in social media advertising with the expectation that you’ll get loads of high-quality leads right away, you might be in for a rude awakening. Make sure you fit social media advertising like Facebook ads into your marketing mix, but set your goals correctly.
Email Isn’t Dead
Email marketing is a long debated topic. While the chart above might indicate it’s not the top preference for most generations, it doesn’t mean it’s not effective.
You might not be offering free shipping or a buy one, get one free promotion to your email list, but you should still take advantage of email marketing. The frequency shouldn’t be nearly as often as with e-commerce brands, but once or twice a month, an email with a useful reminder or a special promotion is cost-effective and can get great results if your email list is constantly being optimized.
Search Engine Marketing for Solar, Insulation & HVAC Companies
When you’re a business owner, you see coupons for AdWords everywhere — $25 in free advertising! $75 in ad credit when you spend $25!
How many times have you seen this or something similar?
At first you might think, “Wow, that’s a great deal!”, but soon you realize that in order to be effective with search engine marketing you need to spend a whole lot more than that — especially when you’re in an industry that’s as competitive as solar where keywords can cost upwards of $40 a click!
There’s no doubt that search engine marketing can make a large impact on traffic to your website and lead generation — but the amount you’re spending with Google AdWords or Bing Ads needs to be enough to support those goals. Yes, you can have a smaller PPC budget, but that might just cover branding campaigns (which is still important, especially if you’re a smaller, newer company). However, if your intent is to get a large volume of high-quality leads, you need to be spending accordingly depending on your industry and the competitive cost of keywords.
Get the Right Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Industry
Coca-Cola can get away with producing TV ads and other video campaigns to run during the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for your company. Don’t read marketing advice or data and apply it blindly to what your business is doing. Make sure you put everything into context of what it is that you actually do and how your audience is finding it, researching it and ultimately, buying it.
At Energy Circle, we’ve been involved in helping hundreds of businesses in the energy efficiency industry like HVAC companies, home performance contractors and solar installers market themselves for nearly the past decade. We know what works for your specific industry and what doesn’t (even if other marketing authorities might be touting it as the next big thing). Our strategists will work with your goals to come up with a marketing strategy that works for your industry and your unique company.