Inbound Marketing is great. But it is not for everyone.
A full blown inbound marketing strategy is not going to get the same results for retailers of low-cost, everyday items (like candy) than they would be able to achieve for a business that offers high-cost products that require a lot of pre-purchase researching - like solar panels. Sorry, candy stores.
The reason for this is simple. Let me explain:
A budget-conscious homeowner is considering different options to save some money on his monthly energy bill, he has several different options: he can improve insulation, buy energy-efficient windows, invest in solar panels or start knitting thick sweaters and turn down the thermostat.
This decision process until the purchase is called the buyer's journey. And the longer and more involved this research and decision-making process is, the better can inbound marketing assist because most people start their buyer's journey online.
Let's look at why inbound marketing is a great investment for solar companies in particular:
1) The Buying Process Is Almost Entirely Online
Have you ever noticed a solar panel installment store on the side of the road, where you can go and get a consultation? No? Nor have I.
That's because most of the research and the buying process is conducted online. Consumers type into search engines queries like:
- solar energy
- save energy
- energy efficiency
- solar power
- solar panels
As they progress in their buyer's journey they get more specific in their searches as they find more answers to their questions:
- how to save energy in my home
- residential solar panels
- how to get solar panels for my home
- New Jersey law solar panels
- tax credit solar energy NJ
It's your job as a provider to show up in the search results and offer appropriate content, which brings me to the second reason.
2) Solar Companies Still Need To Educate. A Lot.
The average consumer knows next to nothing about solar energy and the options available to them. Once they research this topic, there will be so many questions about the cost, installment options, financing, tax credits, and local laws and regulations.
You can help your prospects by answering their questions on your website pages, blog posts and premium content. For example, you could answer the most frequently asked questions your sales team gets in blog posts.
For example, you could answer the most frequently asked questions your sales team gets in blog posts.
3) Your Sales Team Has A Lot Of Objections To Overcome
Whenever there is a significant cost involved or there will be a significant consequence (e.g, will the installation of solar panels destroy my new roof), your sales team needs to do more convincing. A simple "Request A Quote" on your website will not cut it.
Since most of your prospects prefer some self-learning, content in various ways allow you to offer ungated content such as blog posts and gated premium content, like case studies, eBooks, checklists, webinars and free consultations.
4) Inbound Marketing Can Shorten Your Sales Process
There is no denying it, solar companies have a long and involved sales process. But the better educated the prospect is before they hit the "Request A Quote" button, the shorter your sales process would be and the better your chances of a successful close.
Studies have shown, that Inbound Marketing can shorten the sales process by more than 60% by better educating in the pre-sales phase and empower your customers to act as a advocate for solar energy.
5) It Is Less Expensive Than Traditional Marketing
According to the State of Inbound Marketing study, which surveyed more than 3,500 marketing and sales professionals, the average cost of an inbound lead in a medium size company (51-200 employees) is more than 3x less ($70) compared to traditional marketing methods ($220).
Are you considering to start an Inbound Marketing effort this year?
Let us know in the comments! We would love to hear your successes, goals and what you have done so far to achieve them.