I know I write a lot about how solar companies can blog effectively, but I still see few companies truly embracing blogging. Perhaps that’s because solar marketers want to show their CEOs some objective stats that show how blogging can be effective and not a waste of time and resources.
And that’s where HubSpot, a popular inbound (content) marketing platform, brings some objective — though non-solar — statistics from surveys it's done with its clients.
First, let’s answer that burning question about ROI. Is there one? For most companies, yes:
These slides above pretty much speak for themselves, although it should be emphasized that the more you blog, the more effective your ROI. I recommend solar blogging at least once a week, but preferably twice a week or more. And don’t forget that your solar blog can be used for social media, newsletters, and other content marketing channels, so it's not just an organic search engine magnet, although that's always welcome.
Now the question is why is blogging so effective. The following slides answer that question:
Have you ever read a blog post about the value of some product and went on to purchase it? According to the above stat, you’re not alone, and solar consumers are probably the same. If they’re reading your blog, they’re looking for useful information about going solar, and if your blog post — most likely found through a Google search — answers their question(s), then that builds trust and leads to the reader to get a solar quote.
The key word here is “enjoy.” If you’re going to have a blog, make sure it’s easy to read, helpful, and accurate. Try to have a "voice" that reflects your company's brand. Though many companies do this, a blog should not be left to an intern who knows next to nothing about solar. Perhaps worse than no blog is a bad blog, because that poorly written info will chase people away from your website. “Content is king” is a cliché, but it really is true here.
These last two stats above are related to the previous enjoyment stat, but trust is very important to emphasize: Solar is a large purchase and it’s a new purchase for consumers. That can be intimidating, especially when you’re the first person on the block to go solar, so new solar purchasers are seeking a trusted source of information. You are a stranger in their mind and someone who wants something from them, namely a large purchase. A blog is a nice "Hi, how are you, this is who we are and we're here to help" introduction to prospects who may be suspicious of solar companies taking advantage of their lack of knowledge.
Consequently, well written blogs, white papers, or articles shouldn’t be designed with sales verbiage, but instead provide honest and objective information about going solar. Whether it’s a consumer searching for home solar info, or an installer searching for more details about the advantages of your solar inverter or racking product, share your solar knowledge and advice in a blog, and you’ll be rewarded with customer trust — and sales.
I hope these statistics give you confidence for implementing a quality solar blog. It’s always been one of my main recommendations … to UnThink Solar.
Tor Valenza a.k.a. “Solar Fred” is a solar marketing and communications consultant and the author of Solar Fred's Guide to Solar Guerrilla Marketing. Sign up for the Solar Fred Marketing Newsletter, or contact him through UnThink Solar. You can also follow @SolarFred on Twitter.
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