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Tor 'Solar Fred' Valenza's Comments

July 15, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Oops! of Intersolar 2014's Event Marketing

Drew, I liked SolarEdge's rolling literature box too. Useful, plus a rolling advertisement throughout the show.

Bill, there were three floors of solar products at San Francisco's Moscone center. Some name brands were definitely missing for whatever reason, but from what I understand, they were only down 10 or 20 booths from last year, so fairly stable. Not sure about the attendee numbers, but I think they were also down slightly from last year. Intersolar should be publishing those numbers soon. Come on down to SPI, BIll! There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for Vegas (but will people be coming for the show, or the 24/7 Black Jack and booze?)

July 03, 2014

The Rise of the Residential Solar PV Customer

Great thoughts, Paula, and thanks for linking to many of my past solar marketing posts. However,I need to point out that this one:

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2012/04/will-solar-installers-become-commodities-too-perhaps-they-are-already

...does not predict the "demise" of small and medium solar installers. What I do say is that the price of installation is being commoditized, and therefore, all installers, regardless of their size, are going to have to find ways to define themselves better so that price is less of a factor. One my most recent blogs goes more into depth about how to do that:

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/blog/post/2014/06/enphase-survey-trust-and-ratings-trump-price-in-residential-solar-sales

Otherwise, great thoughts, as usual!

June 13, 2014

Solar “Freakin’” Roadways Reveals How the Solar Industry Has Failed to Inspire America

I completely agree, Pamm. That's the point of this article. We need to have as much fun as Solar Roadways...every day!

June 13, 2014

Solar “Freakin’” Roadways Reveals How the Solar Industry Has Failed to Inspire America

Hey, Fred. I've included the link. Sorry about that.

I think part of the reason why there's not a lot of high end digital here is because it's... high end. Marketing budgets are tight. Don't know how much it cost you guys to do your video, but it looks (and sounds) great, so kudos to you. But with the exception of perhaps Sunrun and a handful of others, solar companies are using their (limited) marketing dollars in other ways besides video, and I think that's a mistake. It doesn't have to be expensive, as this Roadways video shows, but it does have to grab attention to even have a chance to be viral. There has to be something new or surprising in it. Since solar tech isn't new, that means the story/subject has to be compelling and shareworthy.

As you and I both noted, Solar Roadways has been around for some time, but they finally found a relatively inexpensive formula to up their game and relate to a tech-friendly audience. The challenge for you and all of us is to think of some story that will not only make us share, but pick the phone/email and get a "freakin'" quote before assuming that solar is too expensive/not ready for my house.

Thanks for your thoughts, Fred, and thanks for making such a cool video! I've personally shared numerous times and I hope others do too.

June 15, 2014

Solar “Freakin’” Roadways Reveals How the Solar Industry Has Failed to Inspire America

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful thoughts, Don! Appreciate it.

June 17, 2014

Solar “Freakin’” Roadways Reveals How the Solar Industry Has Failed to Inspire America

Any time, Thom. Thanks for your added comments.

May 22, 2014

25 Solar Marketing Alternatives to Unsolicited Telemarketing and Email Lists

Marc, whatever people are spending on unsolicited outbound, they could apply those funds to the tactics mentioned above, such as google adwords and other web tactics. I know of at least one company that got fined and shut down from their unethical tactics and I hope more bad players follow them. In the long run, high volume can be achieved through these other tactics without unsolicited calls, etc.

April 22, 2014

10 Charts that Reveal the Potential ROI for Solar Blogging

Abhisheck, speed and quality are a common problem for solar companies with limited marketing staff. One solution of course is to outsource it to communications companies like mine, but there will be an extra upfront expense. The other method is to commit to doing blogging in-house with your sales and marketing staff or anyone else who knows about solar. By commit, that means you set up an editorial calendar and you commit to that schedule like you were meeting a client, which in a sense, you are, it's just that you're meeting them once or twice a week via a blog post. Make sure all staff blog writers are on board. If not, they will not treat it seriously, and your editorial calendar will probably fall to the wayside.

Hope that helps.

April 14, 2014

How Much Are Your Solar Facebook Fans Worth? Around $403 Each

Fred, you're absolutely right about Facebook throttling back your page views to 10 to 20% of your fans. Their reasoning is that if there's not a lot of interaction with you and your page to a particular follower, then it's not worth interrupting their newsfeed with content that they don't care about. The lesson then is to make sure that you have content that is engaging--like your SolarPro video that you just did. The second lesson is that social media can't do it alone, unfortunately. Everyone needs a balanced marketing strategy that includes some kinds of advertising, including Facebook advertising. The argument to management is that Facebook ads can be very targeted to certain demographics, so if your boosted content is great and useful, I think these projected numbers will show their value. Boosted content will also get you around Facebook throttling, so you'll be able to reach people who are already fans--and interested in your solar service already. Otherwise, why were they Fans to begin with?

Hope that helps!

Tor 'Solar Fred' Valenza

Tor 'Solar Fred' Valenza

Tor Valenza aka “Solar Fred” is the founder of UnThink Solar, a strategic communications firm dedicated to helping solar companies reach solar customers through innovative messaging, branding, and social media communications. Follow him...

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