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How can Digital Marketing help Solar businesses boost sales in Covid-19 time?

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How can Digital Marketing help Solar businesses boost sales in Covid-19 time?
How can Digital Marketing help Solar businesses boost sales in Covid-19 time? ("Digital Media Marketing" Image courtesy of Marketing Eye Global)

Quick Summary

How do you survive as a business and keep engaging with your customers? Our marketing expert Oluoch Were has been looking at solar business in this article. Here are the keys points discussed:

  1. How does the situation look like for Solar companies?
  2. What can we learn from marketing surveys?
  3. Benefits of social media in digital marketing
  4. What do we get from the various platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc?

Do you want to find out more, we are inviting you to join our webinar looking at: How to STILL engage with Solar customers in the era of social distancing?

Sign up HERE.

ARTICLE

The corona virus (Covid-19) has disrupted the way in which we work and engage as a society. Cities, states, and countries are shutting down, slowing the economy. During times of crisis, it’s important to adapt your marketing and lead generation strategies to ensure your business continues to bring in revenue and thrives post pandemic.

How does the situation look like for Solar companies?

How are Solar companies doing their marketing during this Covid-19 period? We’ll look how solar companies can maximize on the current situation by:

  • Engaging online with potential new customers
  • Staying relevant and in touch with your current customers
  • Strengthening your brand during a crisis
  • Use of technologies and processes to track leads with your team in a remote environment

Gone are the days when digital media was considered by some as a passing fad. As a business tool, digital media is no longer optional. It’s an important channel for reaching your customers. The likes and the following the business gets on the digital media platforms translates to more visibility and potential for business.

The internet and digital media has become an important market to reach potential clients and sell solar products and services. Globally, there are more than 3 billion internet users – and more than 2 billion of them have active digital media accounts. Popular digital media platforms have become marketing giants, offering businesses valuable data about their customers and a viable channel to reach them.

What can we learn from marketing surveys

Survey by Eskimi DSP team on how the current Covid-19 pandemic impacts marketing decisions shows that most resilient brands are changing messaging, moving more spends to digital marketing. The same direction that solar companies should take.

Digital media traverses borders and connects business with people you would otherwise not reach through the traditional means. The various social media platforms reach different groups of people. Many forms of social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and  LinkedIn, will allow businesses to target specific groups often in particular locations.

As an off-grid solar company, when you have presence on digital media platforms, you make it easier for your customers to not only find, but also connect with you. And by connecting with your customers on digital media, you are more likely to increase brand visibility, customer retention and brand loyalty.

One of the biggest reasons start-up off-grid solar companies get involved in digital media is to get to know their customers and potential customers, and begin to form relationships that can lead to new opportunities. In Many cases, this translates into providing customer service and support via social media. Off-grid solar companies which are open to this level of interaction with their customer base often find it can be a powerful way to promote their business and strengthen their brand.

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Figure 1 – Eskimi Survey

Benefits of social media in digital marketing

One of the biggest benefits of social media in digital marketing is to increase website traffic.  Not only does social media help you direct people to your website, but the more social media shares, likes, views, comments, retweets and replies you receive, the higher your search ranking will be. In Africa, Facebook is by far the most popular network. Many people are already familiar with it from their personal use and it often makes a great starting point for business use, too. There’s often a great deal of confusion among new Facebook users about the difference between Facebook profiles, pages and groups. The most important point to keep in mind is that profiles are meant to be for individuals only, not businesses. Creating a profile for a business is against Facebook terms of use, and it can be deleted at any time. Facebook page offers an opportunity to build a community around your business and to discover more about your target audience, to add a public face to your brand.

What do you get from the various platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc?

If you need a high volume of opt-ins at a cost low enough to make your campaign viable, Facebook is a great place to start since the traffic is cheaper and will allow you to test faster. Make sure to use Facebook’s Business Manager and upload past lists of buyers to create an “LTV Lookalike” list. These lists are some of the most potent targeting groups you can run on Facebook.

Twitter is also a very effective tool for many off-grid solar businesses, especially the start-up companies. The most important part of getting started with Twitter is understanding the platform and figuring out how you can use it effectively in your start-up company. Google + on the other hand, is a digital media platform that intertwines with Google search and other Google products. It’s similar in style to Facebook, but has some very unique features that set it apart

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a social networking service for business professionals. Users can create profiles and form professional relationships by “connecting” with other users. Solar businesses can use LinkedIn as a cost effective marketing tool by posting and sharing product or service announcements or other company news. Off-grid solar company employees can also post their own profiles and link to the business, thereby showcasing company talent with prospective customers.

According to Josh Turner, a digital sales marketing Guru, LinkedIn is hands down the single most effective platform for B2B campaigns. With over 560 million active users, 61million are of senior-level influence or in decision-making positions and able to make the final call on your product or service. Whether you’re promoting a case study or white paper, or your ads go “direct to appointment” (i.e. the ad encourages people to book an appointment with you directly instead of opting in for your email list), LinkedIn makes it easy to get in front of businesses who want and need your services.

The thing to keep in mind here is that traffic from LinkedIn is going to cost you 3-4x’s more than traffic from Facebook.

If you want your off-grid solar company to continue excelling, during this Covid-19 pandemic period, don’t be a spectator. Create and open appropriate digital media accounts, link them up, update them regularly and get your company’s name, service or product to people.

At RiA, we are working diligently to keep promoting the sector in these difficult times. We are inviting you to join our webinar where Oluoch Were and Kemunto Maturwe will be looking at: How to STILL engage with Solar customers in the era of social distancing?

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Sign up HERE.

Author: Oluoch Were is RiA Regional Director for Kenya and East-Africa.

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