In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly created a list of 17 worldwide sustainability goals as a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” U.N. Sustainable Development Goal #7 exists to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” This goal intersects the rising costs of crude oil and gas and growing frustration over the drastic price fluctuations in this arena.
Consequently, consumer demand for sustainable energy is increasing. While this is great news for renewable energy companies, it also means that each company is up against an increasing amount of competition as more and more players are entering the field. That’s why it’s critical that renewable energy companies differentiate themselves through a solid marketing strategy.
And what is at the heart of a solid marketing strategy? Content.
Here are three steps to get your content marketing strategy off the ground:
1. State your differentiation factor
Your differentiation factor is your company’s unique selling point. It answers the ultimate question, Why would an environmentally-conscious consumer choose my renewable energy company’s services over the next guy’s? To determine this answer, there are a few preliminary questions you need to ask yourself:
- Why is our service the best on the market?
- Who would benefit the most from our service?
- What advantages does our service offer over similar services from industry competitors?
Once you pinpoint these answers, you can weave together your differentiation factor.
If you are unsure about what truly sets your company apart, here are a few ideas:
- Survey your employees, collect their feedback and look for common words/themes/trends.
- Take a look at your Google reviews and see what your customers are saying about you.
- Reach out to recent customers and ask why they chose you.
Now you’re ready to move onto the next step: defining your target audience.
2. Define your target audience
In the process of crafting your differentiation factor, you spend time analyzing the exact person or people your service is best suited for. These people are your target audience. Every single piece of content you create should speak to this audience. Defining your target audience increases the likelihood that your prospects will recognize the need for your service and stay engaged with your messaging, eventually investing in your renewable energy offerings. Want some help? We recommend this user-friendly tool by HubSpot!
3. Craft valuable content
Content is the meat and potatoes of your marketing strategy. Once you clearly identify what sets your renewable energy company apart from your competitors and you know who your target audience is, you’re ready to create relevant content that educates prospects, warms them up to your offerings and convinces them to make a purchase. Does that sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be. There are a few key pieces of content you should be creating that will help you with this process:
Blogs: Did you know that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads? That’s why blogs are non-negotiable. The best way to educate your prospects about your company and your service is through long-form content that is highly shareable.
When you create blog posts, you focus on offering your target audience value by addressing their pain points, questions and concerns and showcasing how your product can intersect their journey and make their life better. Once you add blog posts to your webpage—SEO enabled so search engines can find them—you can link to them on your social media channels and in your newsletter, directing your prospects back to your website to learn more about you. Plus, creating consistent, valuable content enhances your brand image and paints you as an expert in your industry which can help set you apart from the competition.
FAQ’s: Chances are, when prospects first land on your website, they will have a lot of questions:
What is renewable energy? Do you work directly with consumers? How do you calculate energy savings?
Provide them with value by creating an FAQ page that answers the most common questions your sales team hears. Be sure to include links to your other valuable content such as blogs and whitepapers where you address these questions and link to your Contact page so they can easily reach out if they’d like to speak directly with a member of your sales team.
Did you know that you can optimize your FAQ page for SEO? By making each of your answers to your list of frequently asked questions SEO-friendly, you make it that much easier for search engine spiders to find your content…which makes it that much easier for potential customers to find your website!
Testimonials: In this information age, few people make purchasing decisions without reading reviews. If they’re just learning about your company, prospects want to know you’re credible before giving you their money. Capitalize on this powerful source of social proof by incorporating testimonials into your website and adding them to your blog posts, newsletters and campaign content. Testimonials will increase consumer confidence and drive sales for your company.
Lead nurture campaigns: Long sales cycles are typical in the renewable energy industry. From the time your prospects first learn about your company until they make a purchase and you deliver the service, months or even years can pass. That makes lead nurture campaigns, as opposed to drip campaigns, an effective way to educate your prospects.
The goal of a lead nurturing marketing campaign is to deliver pertinent emails at crucial points in the sales cycle. These emails are triggered by certain prospect behavior such as visiting a webpage, downloading a piece of content, performing a specific search on your website, etc. These emails coincide with the actions they engage in and help grow a sense of trust as you “nurture” them along their journey.