Instagram is a popular social media platform, and the number of Instagram users is continuously on the rise. With more than 2 billion users to date, it’s a perfect platform for solar installers to generate leads and see instant business growth. With such huge potential to reach out to new prospects, Instagram marketing should be a vital part of your solar marketing strategy to successfully engage your prospects and earn their business. If you are new to Instagram or social media marketing in broader terms, let’s explore how Instagram marketing works, from posts to sales, at every step along the way.
How Can Instagram Marketing Benefit Solar Businesses?
Instagram marketing is an effective way to boost your solar business outreach and get solar leads. You can get the following benefits by taking your marketing to Instagram.
1. Multichannel Marketing
As you incorporate social media, specifically Instagram, into your solar marketing strategy, you can take advantage of multichannel marketing. It won’t just boost your reach but will also increase the credibility of your business.
2. More Web Traffic
Smartly designed Instagram posts give you a powerful and effective tool to get more traffic to your website. You can share pertinent facts, information about deals and rebates on offer, and any useful information related to your industry to get your target audience to enter the sales funnel.
3. Better Educate Your Target Audience
While solar is getting more acceptance in the US, a majority of Americans still don’t understand or know how it works or benefits them. Social media can be a perfect platform to educate your prospects by sharing informative content in your videos and social posts. It will certainly help your prospects feel a lot more comfortable and well-informed to make a purchase decision.
4. Filter Audience To Reach The Ideal Prospects
One of the best things about social platforms like Instagram is that they allow you to pinpoint the audience you want your message to reach. You can target your posts and ads at prospects who are the most likely to purchase solar panels from you. It helps you make the most of your marketing dollars.
5. Build Trust
When your prospects regularly receive useful information from your Instagram account, they start trusting you as the most credible voice in the industry. They will consider you an industry expert and have your business on top of their mind when considering a solar installation.
With these benefits in mind, let’s find out how you can tailor your Instagram posts and overall strategy to get solar leads.
What You’ll Need To Implement a Successful Solar Marketing Strategy On Instagram?
You may think of making an odd post on your company’s Instagram account every now and then to generate solar leads, but that’s not going to work. If you want to get the desired results, you’ll need to take a systematic approach and implement a thorough strategy to make people start taking an interest in your offerings. You’ll need the following to make it work:
- A social media manager with proven experience and understanding of Instagram marketing and solar technology.
- A content team with experienced writers, designers, and researchers to create copy and images regularly to drive your marketing strategy.
- An experienced design and development resource responsible for creating and coding digital ads.
Once you’ve put together the best team to lead your solar marketing on Insta, you’re surely in for massive success.
How To Make Instagram Work For Solar Lead Generation
Currently, there aren’t many solar businesses taking advantage of Instagram to boost sales. Therefore, the early adopters will have a very high potential of attracting larger audiences, generating more leads, and eventually driving sales.
Let’s find out how you can make it work, right from putting a strategy in place to designing attractive posts to generate more leads and sales.
Put Together A Robust Strategy
First things first, if you want to see your Instagram marketing efforts pay off, you must work with a proper plan. Set your goals, define a target market, create comprehensive buyer profiles for your prospects by analyzing their activity on various social media channels, and perform thorough competitor research on the platform so that you can always stay a step ahead of other solar businesses that rely on Instagram marketing to generate leads.
With a robust strategy in place, you can set goals that align with your business objectives and use metrics like follower growth rate, engagement rate, post reach, and click-through, bounce, and conversion rates to track your progress. With a close eye on these metrics, make necessary adjustments where needed.
You can rely on Instagram Insights to understand the basic demographics of your followers and determine what type of content they engage with more. Depending on your target audience, there may be specific posting times to achieve higher engagement rates. Ensure that you maintain your posting frequency to build your brand presence online without overwhelming your followers.
Use Hootsuite Analytics and other similar tools for more streamlined information, such as trends identification and competitive analysis. As more reliable information and insights flow in, adjust your strategy accordingly.
Instagram Profile Optimization Is Important
Just like strategy, you can’t go far without an optimized profile on Instagram. When setting up your profile, try to best describe your business and share important information with your audiences in the description section. Don’t go over the 150 characters limit here, and make sure you don’t sound salesy. It’s where you can convey what your brand is all about using hashtags, voice, and emojis.
You can use the company logo as a profile picture. Use your brand name as your Instagram username and profile name. You can even use different variations of the brand name here, as they show up in searches made on the platform.
Connect And Grow Your Followers
The more people follow your business on Instagram, the better. In order to grow your list of active followers, it is important that you follow and engage with other relevant Instagram users. This could be the brands and users followed by your target audience. Keep track of the hashtags popular in your industry and comment on Instagram posts with authentic information and input. Follow users who take part in discussions. Such active interaction will help build your own community.
You should also follow Instagram influencers, communicate with them, and build relationships. Influencer marketing on Instagram can also help you get solar leads. All it takes is just commenting on a profile to tap into their community. However, you can take things a step further by asking the top solar bloggers to share their views on the latest solar tech and posing images with their quotes.
It is recommended that you post user-generated content as it helps establish brand ambassadors. Always encourage your customers and followers to share content like reviews and photos. Show a caring gesture towards them by sharing their content and crediting them for their input through a special mention in captions and tags.
Basics For Creating Great Posts To Boost Engagement
Once you have your account set up and have started making connections to increase your Instagram followers, start posting great stuff regularly to boost engagement. Here are some basics to creating great posts for your audiences.
- Use Relevant Hashtags
When marketing on Instagram, hashtags can be the trick to making your content easily discoverable. It’s nothing but a phrase or word relevant to your content and can be identified by a hashtag symbol (#) preceding it. Hashtags are a way of categorizing your posts so that they appear in relevant user searches. Users can also search for certain hashtags. When users search for or click a hashtag, they get to see all the relevant content. It serves as a way to make your posts discoverable regardless of how long ago you created them.
Therefore, you should always search for popular hashtags related to your content through the Explore tab and use them in your posts to increase your reach to the target audience. To make it more effective, do the following:
- Search for the popular solar panel hashtags and note them down in a note-taking app or software.
- Categorize your hashtags as low or high-competition ones. The ones with fewer posts have low competition, while those used more often and in posts only a few minutes apart have higher competition.
- Group the hashtags by putting 2-3 high competition tags in one group and the rest in the other.
- Start posting content regularly with low-competition hashtags and also include the high-competition ones in your posts often.
This practice will ensure that your posts constantly appear in the search results for most of your hashtags. As you continue to create more valuable content and your followers grow in numbers, you’ll find it easier to get your Instagram posts on highly competitive hashtags. The strategy works perfectly to get solar leads from Instagram. You should also create original hashtags for your brand.
- Don’t Clutter The Captions With Hashtags
It is not advisable to clutter your captions with hashtags. Instead, you can use them in the comments or lower down in the caption after a few dotted lines. Keep the captions clear and concise to get your message across.
- Include Photos and Videos In Your Posts
The use of multimedia in your posts often gets better engagement than text posts. Therefore, you should always include photos and videos in your posts to get the attention of your followers.
The default image format for Instagram posts is a 612×612 pixels square frame, but it can be changed if needed. Your posts can include multiple photos to convey longer messages to your audiences. Ideally, you should use 1024×1024 pixels images as they look crisp regardless of the device being used. If your posts have videos, try to ensure they are not more than a minute in length. The videos can have anything like behind-the-scenes footage of an installation project, customer testimonials, etc.
Tools like Enhance, VSCOcam, Canva, Over, and Word Swag can be helpful in video editing and creating photo texts, colorful images, and interesting messages.
- Post Content With Captivating Captions
Captions help give meaning and context to your photos and videos and can be a great way to connect with your followers. So, it always pays to create captivating captions that are clear, concise, and consistent with your brand’s personality. You can vary the lengths of your captions, and they can have hashtags and @mentions at the end.
In captions, you can use quotes, ask questions, promote contests, and give instructions to your followers. They can also include animated emojis to instantly grab the attention of the readers and add personality to your posts, leading to better engagement.
Always Share High-Quality, Unique Content
If you want to get solar leads from Instagram, you must share high-quality and unique content that your audiences are looking for. Remember, instead of hard selling your products, you have to share content that adds value. As you get more engagements, you’ll automatically generate leads. So, always share photos and stuff that is unique, attention-grabbing, and full of personality.
It always pays to create a visual aesthetic specific to your brand. When you go with a particular theme, all your content will present a unified look and help your brand build a familiar visual identity.
Some popular content ideas for Instagram include employee-related posts, motivational posts that have a simple visual and a quote on top, images with uplifting messages, etc. You can also use Instagram Stories for storytelling, as it’s a popular choice among businesses. They can be a great option for behind-the-scenes how-tos, announcements, lists, and similar content. Remember, your stories appear in a slideshow and can have photos and videos that stay up for 24 hours and disappear after that.
Instagram is a fundamentally visual platform that lets you engage with your prospects and connect with them in a unique manner. If you go with a well-thought-out plan, you can easily get solar leads with your Instagram marketing campaigns. When your profile is optimized, and you know the basics of posting great content on Instagram, your efforts will pay off well.