Digital Marketing Case Study – JEX Energy Solar Doubles Appointments in 30 Days
Solar power generation is one of the most rapidly growing renewable sources of electricity. Solar power generation has several advantages over other forms of electricity generation; it does not require any form of fuel to work. Although there is variability in the amount and timing of sunlight over the day, season and year, a properly sized and configured system can be designed to be highly reliable while providing long-term, fixed price electricity supply.
However, we know that the Solar Energy market is somewhat saturated, and making your brand stand out can be hair-raisingly daunting. JEX Energy Solar was one of those companies which battled; they are a solar and green energy solution provider operating throughout Johannesburg and Pretoria. Their services encompass all things solar including:
- Solar Panel Installations
- PV Grid-Tie Systems
- Total Off Grid Solutions
- Solar Geysers
- General Hybrid Options
Before we launched our digital marketing campaign with JEX energy:
JEX were getting approximately 2 leads per day – primarily through Google AdWords. 60 Leads per month can be very lucrative in a high ticket item industry but the problem was that they were closing only about 1 in 20 leads – equating to roughly only 3 customers per month. In any language, any dialect and any business ledger – the return on investment for Google AdWords showing results like these is not what anyone hopes for.
We were particularly excited to get involved in the solar industry as we considered solar having a hybrid potential between inbound and outbound approaches.
Solar is what we consider a non-time dependent industries; what is a time dependent industry, you ask? It is one where prospects will only consider a certain service or product at a very specific time or based on a key event occurring. Needing a new website design or requiring a plumber are two good examples of time dependent services.
A non-time dependent industry is one where prospects are always open to a service or product if the value proposition is right. Buying a coffee machine or installing an energy saving meter are items which interested prospects will consider regardless of a certain event taking place.
Most solar products fit into the non-time dependent industry category as pretty much everyone consumes electricity constantly and solar offers a green alternative to this.
Personalized Digital Marketing Strategy
We knew the solar industry had huge potential from an inbound and outbound perspective. We therefore wanted to optimize the inbound sales approach as well as introduce an outbound element.
Our inbound martkeitn approach was structured around the industry itself, and aligned with the outcomes we aimed to achieve:
Digital Marketing Inbound Methodology
One of the most common mistakes we see companies making when paying for inbound traffic (through AdWords or some other paid advertising medium) is to only measure which keywords are converting into leads. The reason why this is a misleading optimization approach is because the only metric that is really important is sales. Therefore we need to rather be looking at which keywords produce sales rather than which keywords produce leads. This mistake is seen in almost every industry we work in.
In every industry the generic keywords (in this case “solar”, “solar geyser”,”solar power”, “green energy” and “off grid energy”) have the most search traffic and therefore produce the most leads. However because these are top of funnel searches (the search is not very educated at this point), very few of these search types result in sales.
A far better approach is to bid on cheaper, longer-tail keywords (“200 litre solar geyser price”) as the searcher is likely much closer to buying when they make these types of queries and although the search traffic is much lower for long-tail searches, the conversion rates are much better! Some smart ideas on words to bid for could include “how to’s”, “cost”, “cheap” and “local” – all followed by the short tail keywords. This coupling allows for some searchers with no buying intent, but the main focus is on those who already know what they want and are simply trying to find the best company to source it from.
Digital Marketing Outbound Methodology
B2B cold calling can be incredibly effective but we decided to rather use a Facebook push campaign to gather leads quickly for our closers to call. We knew green energy was a hot topic and therefore we expected a promising result.
We used a variety of Ads to generate top of funnel leads. Below were two of the best performing ones we used. Facebook leads need to be dealt with quite differently compared with Google leads as Facebook employs demand generation rather than demand fulfillment (as is with Adwords) so the actual closing technique was key here to convert these weaker leads into hot appointments:
By focusing on the whole lead journey we managed to optimize the inbound campaign by eliminating non-sale producing keywords, that originally looked to be effective (as they were resulting in a lot of leads but were producing no end results, or sales). This resulted in the same number of sales at an immediate cost saving of approximately 50% .
We then used the left over budget and pumped that into our Facebook outbound approach which resulted in 90 leads per month with a net average of 15 appointments per month all at the same original cost of marketing. That is literally almost a 300% increase in appointments because of research, and a shift in keyword focus.
Through our time working with a number of customers in varying industries we have noticed that these problems are evident in almost all of the cases we work with. What we have found is small tweaks like this are possible in almost every industry and one of the best parts is that these tweaks are fairly quick to implement so results should happen almost immediately.
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