Let’s start with the good news: the residential solar industry is expected to see strong growth for the foreseeable future. Even with the solar Investment Tax Credit ending in 2023, the 2021 SEIA report predicts that the market is expected to only see a brief decline then quickly recover with “growth in the high single digits” in 2025 and 2026.
The not-so-good news? Unless you’re prepared to step up your marketing game with smarter advertising, you could lose significant market share to competitors.
To help you optimize your growth while the market is strong, we suggest you start by looking at your customers’ “pain points”. In other words, determine the biggest problems your customers face in their residential solar installation journey and then focus on alleviating those fears and concerns.
To help get you started, we’ll share the top 3 concerns that homeowners face when considering installing a home solar system. For each of the problems, we’ll outline some advertising ideas that help to combat those concerns.
Want expert advice for attracting more leads? Or need a hand implementing some of the strategies below? Trust the team at Rocket Media. For nearly 20 years, we’ve worked with home service companies just like yours and can help you stand out from the competition. Click below or call us at (800) 339-7305 to learn more about how we can help your solar business grow.
Pricing Information Is Not Provided Online
Most solar companies mistakenly believe that showing pricing on their website/marketing collateral will scare off potential customers. Unfortunately, this is actually the opposite of what typically happens.
According to a Nielsen Norman usability study, users often get frustrated and leave sites that don’t show prices. Customers often report pricing as the top most needed piece of information online and if you’re hiding this information (as most solar companies do), you’re likely losing potential leads.
We strongly recommend including pricing information on your website for potential customers to see.
Now, we’ve worked with many solar companies over the past two decades, so we know that pricing is complex when it comes to installation projects. There are so many factors that can cause a wide variation in price from one project to another, including how many panels are needed, which direction the house is facing, the age of the roof, etc.
That said, we always suggest sharing those details on the website with customers, explaining the complexity but always pairing that information with an honest price range.
Providing a price range and explaining what impacts price variance gives the customer some preliminary pricing information that can help them budget but also increases their trust in your company. If you’re providing in-depth details about what might increase their installation cost and competitors aren’t, you become the go-to website/company for transparent, helpful information that guides them along their journey.
It’s also important not to focus only on the technical factors that impact pricing but also to make it clear what your customers get when they choose your company over another. What value does your company provide that competitors don’t? What above-and-beyond experiences does your installation team provide that competitors don’t?
When you can combine this positive online experience with positive over-the-phone and face-to-face interactions, it’s incredibly easy for you to win their business instead of competitors.
Confusion and Doubt Over the Long-Term Value of the Investment
Homeowners often express concern and confusion when it comes to whether or not a solar system will pay off in the long run.
For example, calculating the “payback period” on a solar system is not for the faint of heart as it requires complex math that involves looking at the overall price of the installation, average monthly electrical payments, estimated savings per month with the solar system, etc.
And to make it worse, some solar companies promise the world to customers and underdeliver, resulting in negative online reviews that can increase a customer’s doubts and confusion.
We suggest writing articles and other guides that walk a customer through the process of calculating their potential payback period.
You can post these resources on your website and make them publicly available or you can make them “gated.” Gated content allows you to generate leads by providing prospective customers with valuable content (e.g. step-by-step professional instructions on calculating their payback period) in exchange for their name and email address. Providing gated content allows you to curate an email list full of potential customers that are eager for more helpful, transparent and honest content.
But don’t stop at just one piece of content that addresses this concern. Instead, create several pieces of content that explain similar topics like the value, ROI and long-term benefits of a residential solar system. Then, create an automated email flow that sends the content pieces in a logical flow to your email list. Make sure that the pieces build on each other and slowly push the customer closer to the ultimate goal of requesting an in-home estimate from your company.
Distrust of Solar Companies
In a 2020 survey involving 600 American homeowners, 13% stated they did not believe companies were honest and upfront about pricing while 21% state they were unsure.
This shows that solar companies have some work to do when it comes to gaining community trust. A quick check of online reviews may reveal similar negative sentiment regarding the trustworthiness of solar companies in your area.
Regardless of how trustworthy and honest your company truly is, the overall distrust of solar companies is something that can impact your lead generation.
First, we suggest providing upfront and honest information about your company’s pricing process, hiring and training policies and more on your website. The more honest information you can provide around these topics, the less likely customers are to think you are hiding. We always recommend that our clients write out in-depth details around the company’s values, their installation process, and any guarantees and warranties offered.
Second, we suggest providing video content and imagery on your website that introduces real people in your company (avoid using stock photography/video). Being able to see and hear the owner, the CSR professionals they will talk to, and the installation professionals who will be working on their home can help put skeptical customers at ease.
Lastly, consider creating a library of case studies from real, satisfied customers. Asking happy customers for a quick testimonial describing how satisfied they are with your services is typically all you need to create an effective case study (don’t forget to ask for the customer’s permission to use their testimonial). Then provide details around why the customer chose your company, basic details of the installation itself, and some before and after pictures. Case studies can help build trust with potential customers by showing off your quality work and the satisfaction of real homeowners just like them.
Need Help with Your Solar Advertising? Trust Rocket Media.
Rocket Media has nearly 20 years of experience helping solar and HVAC companies generate more leads with strong digital marketing strategies. Depending on your unique marketing goals, we can provide a range of digital marketing services including SEO strategy, content marketing services, paid advertising, and website design.
Just drop us a line or call us at (800) 339-7305 to chat with one of our digital marketing specialists.
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