Content marketing is a key strategy to connect with your energy utility’s customers. In this webinar, Kurt Hansen, Questline Digital AVP of products and partnerships, focuses on how to use content marketing to educate customers about solar power and electric vehicles. He also demonstrates how to use customer segmentation to reach specific audiences.

Content marketing shines bright for solar

More customers are showing interest in solar technology. They want to know what to do with solar energy, if it would work for them and how your energy utility is going to be part of the relationship as they begin their solar journey. 

Content marketing allows your energy utility to be proactive and act as a trusted solar resource to customers. Hansen notes that developing a content marketing strategy is truly that — strategic. It is not a one-off email or simple blog post. This strategy needs to have a breadth of content to support any messages being pushed out to customers.

Your energy utility should work with industry partners to find out what your pain points are and where you specifically need help from a content journey perspective. Content marketing is about creating trust and familiarity over the long run between your energy utility and your customers. “It’s building a relationship,” Hansen says.

When sharing content, make sure it is interactive and engage, such as with quizzes, videos or slideshows. These content assets build a stronger and more memorable digital relationship with customers.

Another aspect of a content marketing strategy is a using on that your energy utility should also focus on? Creating an omnichannel campaign will help your energy utility reach customers through email, social media or blog posts.

The solar power customer journey

“For U.S. consumers, the primary motivators for going solar are saving energy and reducing environmental impact,” Hansen notes. Focus on these key points throughout the solar power customer journey to meet your customers where their interests are. Also, consider segmenting your messages to target customers based on where they are in their solar journey or where they live. By combining your segmentation strategy and content strategy, your energy utility can see higher levels of customer engagement.

While a customer may deal with solar energy contractors, installers or other outside vendors, your energy utility ultimately holds the long-term relationship with that customer. If they are unhappy, your energy utility will be getting the phone call.

Be proactive and stay in front of potential customer concerns. For example, installing rooftop solar may not be the best option for every customer that’s interested in renewable energy — you want them to learn that before it’s too late. “Your goal isn’t to get everyone to install it, it’s to get the right people to install solar,” Hansen says. The key is for your energy utility to be a resource that customers will turn to for help in the future.

Content marketing paves the way for electric vehicles

Similar to solar power, more consumers are becoming interested in electric vehicles and are looking to their energy utilities for help and advice. Typically, this conversation is led by the auto industry. However, this is a major opportunity to be an EV resource for your customers.

Your energy utility needs insights on what customers are interested in EVs as well as their motivation for going electric. By sharing a fun EV quiz with your customers, you can develop a segmentation strategy based on their answers. This will help your utility understand how to target specific audiences with different EV messages. Your customers will also better understand the role of their energy utility in the decision-making process. 

Based on research conducted by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative, Questline Digital developed content to reach four customer segments interested in electric vehicles:

  1. Green Champions
  2. Savings Seekers
  3. Technology Cautious
  4. Movers & Shakers

Understanding these segments will help your energy utility align your content strategy to their interests and questions over the course of their buying journey. Keep in mind, this is not something that is achieved with a single video or email.

By creating a comprehensive content marketing strategy that supports your solar and electric vehicles program goals, your energy utility will naturally become a trusted resource for customers. Instead of pushing a hard sales message, sharing educational content that answers their questions will build a strong relationship and increase customer satisfaction.

Learn more about Questline Digital’s content marketing solutions for your Solar Energy programs.

With growing interest in renewable energy, an increasing number of consumers are choosing to install solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. In the United States, solar PV installations have increased to more than 2 million, and this number is expected to double by 2023. With demand greater than ever before, energy utility customers are looking to their energy utility for guidance as they navigate the steps along the solar energy journey.

Solar customers want to save money and the environment

Today’s consumers are more concerned about the environment than ever before. In fact, the primary motivators for going solar are saving energy and reducing environmental impact.Consumers see adding solar PVs to their homes as something they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. In fact, a solar PV is installed every 4 minutes in the U.S.

Despite this rapid growth, some consumers are still hesitant about adding solar to their homes or businesses. The top barriers for U.S. consumers considering solar include financial reasons and a lack of trusted, credible information. The decision to add solar is an important one and requires a major investment. However, there is not much information available other than from solar vendors. According to a survey conducted by the Distributed Energy Financial Group, 75% percent of U.S. consumers wish they had more reliable information before adding solar.

To drive solar PV adoption and increase customer satisfaction, energy utilities can guide their customers along the six phases of the solar journey.

Awareness: Energy utility customers are looking for educational resources on solar technology. Your information should educate customers on the basics of solar energy, such as how solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, key energy and cost-saving benefits and common misconceptions (for example, solar energy only works in sunny climates).

Discovery: During the research phase, customers want to know if solar energy is right for their home or business. Your energy utility should provide resources on the financial impact of a solar investment, along with how much they can expect to save on their energy bill. To level-set customer expectations, it also makes sense to provide a clear understanding of the role your energy utility plays in the solar journey.

Contracting: Solar installation is a major job. That’s why it’s imperative your customers find the right solar vendor for their installation. Vendors should be experienced and hold the right certifications, insurance and licenses based on state requirements. Your customers are seeking advice on how to find a qualified contractor and how to create a realistic budget. 

Installation: The installation process is complex and starts well before the solar panels are added to the roof. In some cases, customers may need to make upgrades to their home or business before installation can begin. Your energy utility can prepare customers for this lengthy process as well as answer common questions. For example, what happens during installation, how long a typical installation takes and how much roof space is required for solar panels.

Billing: The solar journey doesn’t stop once installation is complete. Your customers want to know how to make the most of their solar PV system. Your energy utility has the opportunity to educate customers on net metering and provide understanding of solar energy credits and charges on their monthly bill.   

Maintenance: Solar panel maintenance is key to efficient energy production. Customers will need to conduct periodic cleaning to ensure dirt and debris don’t obstruct the sun’s rays. Customers should also have a good warranty to keep energy production at 85% or higher for the lifetime of the solar panel. Your customers will likely reach out to your energy utility with their maintenance questions, so be sure to have answers ready for them.  

Your customers are interested in solar. Is your energy utility prepared to lead them to success? With the right resources, you can help establish reasonable expectations and increase customer satisfaction throughout the solar journey.

Do your customers have questions about solar energy? Give the right answers with Questline Digital’s content collection.

Your customers are ready to go solar — are you ready to guide them? With consumer interest in solar energy at an all-time high, energy utilities can benefit from serving as a proactive resource.

Making the switch to solar is a big decision for customers, not to mention a major investment. That’s why energy utility customers need reliable, easy-to-understand resources to guide them along their journey.

Unfortunately, there is limited information available beyond what solar vendors offer. Solar panel installers often set unrealistic expectations with customers about timelines and potential savings. When these expectations aren’t met, energy utilities can become a sounding board for complaints, leading to lower customer satisfaction scores.

Be a proactive solar resource

Questline Digital’s innovative package of educational solar content will help energy utilities become a proactive resource for their customers.

“With industry-leading content, you have the power to create an ongoing solar relationship with your customers,” says Questline Digital Product Director Kurt Hansen. “Many customers aren’t sure when or how to interact with their energy utility about solar installation and maintenance, but you can help them navigate the many twists and turns along the way.”

Solar customers have many questions, concerns and expectations. By serving as a credible source of information, energy utilities can help establish realistic customer expectations and guide the solar process toward a successful outcome.

Your solar solution

Questline Digital’s content assets can be shared across all communication channels, including websites, social media, newsletters, email and bill inserts. This content is designed to answer customer questions and set realistic expectations if they decide to install solar at their home.

“Our solar solution gives energy utilities a strong launch point to make the customer solar journey as smooth and painless as possible,” Hansen explains. “Whether customers decide to switch to solar or not, energy utilities can be seen as a proactive resource, not a barrier, in the process.”

Lead your customers on a successful solar energy journey with a content solution from Questline Digital.