Illuminating the Future: How Do You Build A Solar Energy Marketing Plan?

Written by Matthew Ludden / April 21, 2024 / 12 Minute Read
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For your solar business to succeed, you need solar marketing plans built for the future. Discover a new perspective on your solar company marketing plan.



As the world shifts to renewable energy, solar energy businesses can ride the sun to a new horizon or get lost in the shadows. Understanding how to research, plan, and launch data-driven marketing separates great solar panel companies from competitors.

What Are The Best Digital Marketing Strategies For Solar Energy?

Why do certain solar businesses seem to rank higher in search engines, shine on social media, and stand out in the marketplace?

At Valve+Meter Performance Marketing, our solar marketing agency uses data and cutting-edge digital marketing techniques to transform how solar businesses go to market.

Innovation within solar energy has been made possible through research and planning. From a niche energy source to a mainstream industry, demand for solar panels continues to grow globally and across the United States.

Digital marketing utilizes market research into your target audience, competitors, and existing solar marketing to build innovative strategies. Unlike traditional advertising methods, our performance marketing plans, measure, and improve the return on investment of every marketing dollar.

Your target audience is more sophisticated than ever before and the media landscape continues to become more diverse. To win in your target market, you need to design a custom solar marketing plan that reaches prospective customers effectively and eliminates paying for marketing and ads that do not generate solar leads.

Let’s explore valuable insights of how data-driven solar energy marketing aids in business growth.

In This Article

Performance marketing campaigns for solar installers, manufacturers, and suppliers raise your online presence through an array of techniques across multiple platforms and in all phases of the buying process.

A successful marketing plan should have three characteristics:

  1. Customization: Your solar marketing must be designed for your unique value proposition, target audience, and position in the competitive landscape.
  2. Measurable: When marketing efforts can be measured, you can predict outcomes, repeat successful marketing efforts, and adapt as your business evolves.
  3. Versatile: Experts forecast a continued evolution of solar power across the globe. From residential and commercial use to utility-scale solar, proven solar marketing strategies can rapidly adapt to reach potential customers at all phases of your sales process.

The solar industry is evolving and your solar marketing strategy must be able to meet potential customers where they are. By building data-driven marketing strategies for solar, you can make informed decisions as technology, solar customers, and your business grows.

Industry Growth 51%
US solar capacity expanded by a remarkable 51% in 2023, with the addition of 32.4 GWdc. (SEIA)
Credibility 3/4
75% of users judge a business’s credibility based on its website design. (LinkedIn)
Website Performance 42%
42% of people will leave a website because of poor functionality.
Paid Ads 63%
63% of small to medium-sized businesses use PPC ads. (Wordstream)
Longevity 40 yrs
Some 40-year-old solar panels that are still operational with 80% or more efficiency.

What Are The Key Elements Of Solar Marketing Strategies?

There are key building blocks for data-driven solar marketing. Before we explore how to incorporate each element into solar marketing, let’s define each element, the phase of the buying process it suits, and how to track performance.

What Are The Five Stages Of The Solar Buying Process?

Solar can be a complex and prolonged buying process. Traditional marketing methods may only increase brand awareness and focus in-market prospects.

Solar marketing acknowledges that prospective buyers may consider a purchase of solar panels for months or years.

  • Awareness: This initial stage introduces potential customers to solar energy solutions and your unique value proposition.
  • Consideration: Customers then enter the consideration stage, researching and comparing solar options. They assess the feasibility and benefits of solar installations, looking for content that helps them understand the advantages and processes involved.
  • Decision: At the decision point, customers are ready to purchase. Marketing strategies now focus on facilitating this step through clear calls to action, promotions, or financing options, making it easy for the customer to convert.
  • Retention: Keeping customers satisfied and engaged helps reach new referrals and opens profit centers including maintenance, repair, and expanded solar equipment.
  • Advocacy: The most powerful way to reach leads is happy customers. The best digital marketing strategies include building relationships with your client base and turning them into brand advocates.
A table showcasing the various marketing tools for building a solar marketing strategy.

Effective Solar Digital Marketing Tools

Individual solar marketing ideas and singular campaigns can capture quick wins, but to dominate your target market, solar businesses think beyond short-term goals.

Like an array of solar panels, Valve+Meter understands the power of utilizing a wide range of marketing channels to power your solar marketing strategy.

A great solar marketing campaign focuses on winning search engine results and raising the online profile of your solar brand.

SEO: How Do Solar Businesses Rank In Google Searches?

When your solar business ranks at the top of search results, you gain brand awareness and a greater share of the traffic around key terms.

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves enhancing your website’s structure and content to improve its visibility in the unpaid, natural listings of search engine results pages. As many as 94% of users skip past sponsored ads in Google and click organic results.

SEO aims to increase website traffic by ensuring your site ranks highly for relevant queries. This is the most important factor in how to grow your digital marketing and earn more solar leads.

Performance Tracking:

There are various tools for tracking SEO performance including organic site visitors, conversion rates, and organic keyword performance in tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz, and others.

Benefits Buying Phrase:

Search engine optimization is exceptional for solar marketing because it reaches prospective clients and existing customers at all phases.

Consumers utilize search engines for research. This means SEO can generate leads from awareness through consideration directly from search engine results pages.

In the decision-making phases and retention, high-quality SEO content enriches the user experience with clear calls to action and both internal linking and inbound links from credible websites.

Daily Searches 3-4
The average internet user searches Google 3-4 times each day.
Organic Results 54%
The top-three Google search results get 54.4% of all clicks.

PPC Advertising: Gain Visibility Quickly

How do you showcase solar products and earn leads now?

Target sponsored ads on Google, Bing and social media.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a model of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. While SEO focuses on organic search results, PPC can reach your target audience quickly through search engines and social media platforms.

When your solar marketing strategy targets all positions of the search engine results pages (SERPs), you gain visibility and relevancy.

Performance Tracking:

PPC performance is tracked by analyzing cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and overall ROI using platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Business Manager.

Benefits Buying Phrase:

PPC advertising provides solar companies with a fast track to visibility in search results and on social media, generating awareness and nurturing leads through the consideration and decision phases. Display ads and retargeting can be particularly effective in this regard.

Paid advertising and organic campaigns work best in tandem. The key is to carefully measure and analyze your results to identify the most profitable marketing strategies.

Lead Generation 7%
Continuous content marketing increases lead generation 7% YoY.
Linkbuilding 97%
Businesses with blogs obtain 97% more backlinks to than those who do not.

Content Marketing: Connecting With All Phases Of Buying Process

The most successful solar businesses are continuously engaging with target prospects throughout the buying process.

SEO focuses primarily on appealing to search engine algorithms, but what happens when someone visits your website?

Content marketing zeroes in on the users experience and converting visitors into prospective customers.

High-quality content is key for solar marketing to educate consumers about new technologies, incentive programs, and your company’s value proposition.

Performance Tracking:

Performance can be tracked through engagement rates, such as time on site and social shares, lead generation metrics like download counts for gated content, and content reach via analytics platforms like Google Analytics.

Benefits Buying Phrase:

Content marketing surpasses SEO in its importance, as it’s fundamental to all phases of the buying process. User-centric content, when optimized effectively, fuels your success across SEO, social media, email, and even ad copy for paid campaigns.

Social Media Marketing: Customer Engagement Beyond Your Website

Growing your website can take time, so a versatile solar marketing plan should incorporate social media.

People spend hours daily using social media platforms. Social media marketing involves using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube to engage with your target audience.

Social media is well-established as a brand-building tool. Through paid ads and creating high quality content for your business pages, you can encourage customers to learn more about solar panels and drive website traffic.

Performance Tracking:

Track performance through engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and direct messaging, and conversion rates from social channels using platform-specific analytics tools and UTM tracking for website visits.

Benefits Buying Phrase:

Social media provides a powerful platform for your solar company to connect with potential and existing customers.

It’s ideal for generating awareness through both paid ads and organic growth. PPC ads offer immediate visibility to your ideal prospects, while consistent organic social media activity builds long-term brand recognition and customer loyalty.

Email Marketing: Increasing Efficiency In Lead Nurture

Like a door knocker or direct mail piece, email marketing delivers your message directly to your target audience.

It allows you to personalize communications with subscribers and automate tasks that can slow down sales teams. For solar companies, educational content delivered via email nurtures leads, drives faster conversions, and keeps existing customers engaged.

Performance Tracking:

Email campaign success is measured by open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates from emails to sales or inquiries, using email marketing platforms like Mailchimp or HubSpot.

Benefits Buying Phrase:

While email cannot generate leads like cold calling and paid ads, it is highly effective in solar marketing for maintaining communication with potential leads and existing customers during consideration through decision-making.

Referral Programs: Growth Through Existing Customers

Referral programs incentivize existing customers to refer new clients by offering rewards or discounts. This leverages their personal networks to expand your customer base. Referred leads often have a higher close rate and convert faster.

Performance Tracking:

The effectiveness of referral programs is measured by tracking referral codes, monitoring the number of referrals, and analyzing the conversion rates of referred leads using CRM software.

Benefits Buying Phrase:

Referral programs leverage the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing, substantially boosting trust and establishing credibility for solar companies. These programs encourage happy customers to act as brand advocates, generating valuable leads.


These are the building blocks of a planning a solar energy marketing campaign. Market research and your solar company’s current position help determine how and when to invest in these programs.

Now let’s consider how to bring these solar marketing ideas into a complete strategy.

solar energy marketing plan

How To Build A Solar Marketing Campaign?

Digital marketing opens up a world of opportunity for solar businesses aiming to connect with a specific audience.

These six essential solar marketing tools can be shaped into a custom strategy for your solar business. Instead of relying on individual marketing tactics, the best solar marketing strategies combine the strengths of each to form a stronger, more effective whole.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and paid advertising work in tandem. For high-value keywords and queries, PPC can be used to rank almost immediately. High-quality content marketing and organic SEO marketing efforts can take time to develop, publish, and rank. But once your organic performance is strong, you can shift paid advertising to new targets and expand your reach.

This dual approach not only increases the number of site visitors but also enhances the chances of converting these visitors into leads and, ultimately, satisfied customers.

Through a well-crafted digital marketing strategy, your solar business can establish a strong online presence, attract more potential customers, and grow your customer base.

So how do you develop your digital marketing strategies?

How Do You Optimize Your Website for Solar Lead Generation?

Converting potential customers into leads for your business requires the right website design and development.

To turn your website into a powerful tool for generating solar leads, you need to focus on design, development, and content.

Solar marketing strategies drive all potential leads toward your website. As the online showroom for your solar business, your website must immediately clarify why visitors should choose you over competitors. By contrast, 42% of people will leave a website because of poor functionality.

Incorporate these elements into your design:

  • Dynamic images on every page
  • Easy-to-use navigational menus
  • Lead capture mechanisms such as contact forms and quote requests
  • People focused content to build credibility and authority
  • Exceptional site speed
  • Response design for mobile devices

By implementing these strategies, you can enhance the user experience on your site, making it more likely that visitors will engage with your content and act, thereby improving your website’s conversion rates and driving more business.

Organic Content 19x
The top organic result in search engines earns 19 times more clicks than the top paid result.
Local Search 97%
Nearly consumers discover local businesses through the internet.

Why Is Content Marketing Crucial for Solar Companies?

Content marketing is a powerhouse for solar companies looking to educate and inform potential customers about emerging technology and capabilities. Content includes written text, images, video, and other assets for your website, social platforms, email, and other brand assets.

By crafting and disseminating high-quality, informative content, you’re not just filling up web pages; you’re engaging your target audience with unique selling points. In an era of AI, only 47% of businesses research their audience. Valve+Meter strives to create a brand vocabulary that deeply resonates with new and existing customers.

Key content marketing efforts include:

  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Demonstration videos
  • Customer testimonials
  • Webinars and podcasts
  • Ebooks and whitepapers

Paired with best SEO practices, content marketing serves a dual purpose. It educates new leads about solar energy, nudging them closer to a decision, and simultaneously boosts your search engine rankings.

Market Research 47%
Only 47% of businesses research their audience.
Social Media 2 hrs 24 mins
Americans spend an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes on social media every day.

How Can Paid Media and Pay-Per-Click Advertising Balance SEO for Solar?

Paid media and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising serve as effective accelerators for solar companies looking to amplify their visibility alongside ongoing SEO and content marketing efforts. While SEO focuses on organically growing your online presence over time, PPC offers an immediate boost by placing your ads directly in search engine results and on social media platforms.

This immediacy is particularly beneficial for your solar company when launching new websites, introducing new products, or initiating SEO campaigns, as it drives targeted traffic right from the start.

PPC and other rapid media include:

  • Search ads on Google or Bing
  • Display ads on relevant websites
  • Social media ads (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
  • Video ads on YouTube

Deploying PPC and SEO creates a balanced marketing strategy and deeper insights. PPC campaigns help you refine marketing strategies, making informed decisions to optimize both paid and organic efforts for maximum impact and ROI.

Leveraging Social Media to Connect with Potential Solar Clients

Social media platforms are not just about sharing moments; they’re powerful tools for solar businesses to reach and engage potential clients. Americans spend on average 2 hours 24 minutes on social media daily.

By deploying targeted ads and crafting interactive content, you can effectively communicate with your audience. Showcasing the latest industry trends and sharing stories from satisfied customers. This approach not only helps in generating leads but also in building a community passionate about renewable energy.

The key is to use social media not just for promotion but as a platform for dialogue and education, creating a space where potential clients can learn, ask questions, and get excited about the possibilities solar energy offers.

The Power of Referral Programs in Solar Marketing

A referral program may not seem like a cutting-edge internet marketing strategy. However, harnessing the power of personal recommendations is vital, especially in emerging technology.

Referral programs have a lower cost-per-lead compared to other marketing efforts.

By incentivizing your happy customers to spread the word, you’re not only expanding your reach but also tapping into the trust they’ve built with their peers. In emerging markets, word-of-mouth recommendations are more impactful than any other marketing method throughout the entire buying process.

This strategy can dramatically increase solar sales and referred customers are more likely to remain loyal to your brand. Through personal connections and the inherent trust they carry, referral programs can significantly streamline the process of acquiring new solar leads, proving to be an invaluable asset in your marketing toolkit.

Referral Programs 54%
54% of business report referral programs have a lower cost-per-lead compared to other channels.
Word-Of-Mouth Marketing 20-50%
Word-of-mouth marketing influences between 20-50% of all buying decisions.

Harnessing the Power of Email Marketing in Solar Industry Outreach

Email marketing emerges as a cornerstone in the solar industry’s marketing toolkit, offering a direct line to potential and existing customers. Email can be used to nurture a potential customer with personalized information.

Because email is an outbound tool, automation, and customer segmentation can deliver a highly personalized experience. This is valuable for complex buying processes and for engaging new customers in a younger demographic.

Deliver targeted messages that educate, inform, and inspire action, so you can engage your target audience more effectively.

This digital strategy excels in nurturing leads through personalized communication, delivering targeted messages that educate, inform, and inspire action toward solar solutions. By segmenting email lists based on customer interests, behaviors, and where they stand in the buyer’s journey, solar companies can tailor their messages to resonate more deeply with each recipient.

Effective email campaigns provide updates on the latest solar technology, share success stories of solar installations, and detail the environmental and financial benefits of switching to solar power.

Beyond merely selling, these emails serve to build a relationship with the audience, positioning your solar company as a trusted advisor in the renewable energy space.

Incorporating email marketing into your solar company’s overall digital strategy enhances the ability to convert leads into customers and keep your brand top-of-mind among those considering solar energy. With its cost-effectiveness and high ROI potential, email marketing is not just a tool for direct sales but a means to educate and engage a community interested in sustainable energy solutions.

How To Know What Digital Marketing Strategies Suit Your Solar Business?

Determining the right digital marketing strategies for your solar business can often feel like navigating a labyrinth.

Partnering with a professional agency helps you identify the marketing programs to reach your target audience and drive traffic to your sales team.

Valve+Meter focuses on performance marketing which insists on a foundation of predictability and accountability in all marketing endeavors. We believe every marketing action should be taken with a clear understanding of the expected outcomes, leveraging data and analytics to accurately forecast results.

This principle ensures that investments are made wisely, with strategies tailored to the unique aspects of your solar business. When you can measure the results of your marketing efforts, you can refine and optimize continuously. Versatile, adaptable, and measurable marketing ensures sustainable growth and the ability to scale success.

Interested In Learning More About Solar Marketing?

Through this methodical approach, Valve+Meter helps solar companies illuminate the most effective paths in their digital marketing journey, turning insights into action and investments into measurable returns.

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