As we highlighted previously, the solar energy industry is an ideal match for content marketing. The inherent elements of solar, including cycles of innovation, specialized information, specificity and uniqueness, all allow it to maximize the power of content.

However, in order to fully leverage content marketing, solar companies must determine the best content types for their messaging. Fortunately, there is no shortage of appropriate content assets to engage consumers and magnify impact.

The content marketing menu

Examples of content marketing assets include:

  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Graphic designs
  • Interactive media

Each asset serves a specific purpose, whether it’s generating overall visibility, diving deeper into complex subjects, enhancing search engine optimization or answering specific consumer questions.

Tweaking messaging to appeal to targeted markets allows solar companies to easily utilize each content type for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer audiences.

Additionally, by focusing on different areas of the sales funnel, businesses operating in the solar sector will be able to better determine which form their content should take.

For instance, blog posts typically work best in the pre-sales phase, when prospective clients are first gaining awareness about an industry at large as well as a company’s specific products and services. Meanwhile, whitepapers serve better later in the sales funnel, specifically addressing customer pain points and outlining how a product or service will solve them through in-depth coverage.

Blogs can be just as important to the solar industry as sunshine.

Content marketing can be just as important to the solar industry as sunshine.

Solar asset possibilities

Moving beyond the abstract, it’s helpful to explore specific examples of potential solar energy content marketing.

The constant cycle of news and industry changes associated with solar lends itself to blog posts. This type of content can easily leverage trending topics to promote specific businesses and their offerings. If a technological breakthrough leads to a significant update, such as reduced pricing or enhanced environmental benefits, blog posts offer the quickest route  to take advantage.

Meanwhile, animations, eBooks and graphic designs represent an excellent way to answer consumer questions and spotlight benefits. Since these asset types opt for imagery over text, they are ideal channels for breaking down more complicated topics in the solar industry to focus on clear advantages for consumers.

Similarly, videos, whether they take the form of video blogs, product demonstrations or interviews, provide an ideal chance for solar companies to explain their products and services while showcasing satisfied customers. The former can be accomplished through demo videos that simply explain how products and services work, making a potentially complex subject easy to understand for customers. The latter is achieved through customer testimonials. Hearing other consumers extol the virtues of the solar energy industry is much more impactful than reading advertising copy provided by the industry itself.

“The constant cycle of news and industry changes associated with solar lends itself to blog posts.”

Of course, written case studies also represent a great opportunity to turn happy customers into brand evangelists. Not only can these clearly outline results, they can showcase the quality of service and support a company offers.

A potential customer who wants to know how much money they will save, or a company that wishes to become LEED certified, should be able to quickly find hard data regarding their desires, whether through landing pages or case studies.

Real-world applications, such as solar panel installation, also benefit from straightforward descriptions on targeted landing pages. You can dive deeper into these processes through whitepapers that provide more technical information.

Interactive media also offers an ideal way to illustrate results. For instance, creating a quiz or calculator to publish on your website is an excellent way to both increase visitor engagement and provide raw data for prospective clients to ponder. Quizzes and calculators can easily outline how much money solar products and services save or explain their eco-friendly capabilities.

Crafting a solar content marketing strategy

While content asset offerings are varied, to say the least, no marketing campaign should be deployed without a clear content strategy in place first. This may include consulting services to understand strengths and weaknesses of a website, as well as an investment in reporting and analysis so content success can be easily measured asset-by-asset.

A content marketing approach that throws everything at the wall to see what sticks is costly and by no means guarantees positive results. Fortunately, with so many asset options to choose from, crafting a winning content strategy is a simple matter of understanding which types best align with audience needs and overall marketing goals, then utilizing them accordingly.

When it comes to the partnership between solar energy and content marketing, the sky truly is the limit. The question is which companies will invest in the power of content, and which ones will be left on the ground.

Eric Wendt is a writer and editor at Brafton. He discovered his love of words after realizing he was terrible at math. If he's not updating his Tumblr with poetry he's too embarrassed to share, there's a good chance he's out in search of the perfect pale ale.