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Do I Need A Big Budget To Market My Solar Business?

Do I Need A Big Budget To Market My Solar Business?

Calculating the perfect marketing budget for your solar dealership will help you avoid big expenditure with little return.

Whether you're just starting out, or have been in business for a while, you will wonder how much you should invest in marketing your business. A recent report suggests you should be looking to spend between 7-12% of total revenue on marketing activities. How does this compare with what you're doing in your dealership?

In addition to this it can be hard to decide how to allocate your marketing spend and what advertising channels provide the best return on investment.

A simple and straight forward approach is to base your strategy on your business goals. They might be one or some of the following:

  • I want to be found at the top of a page in a Google Search
  • I want to be recommended by satisfied customers
  • I want to educate customers about the benefits of quality solar
  • I want people to like, comment and share my social posts
  • I want my website to be fast and easy to use for potential customers using a smart phone
  • I want people to come to my website and turn these leads into customers.

It all comes down to visibility and accessibility.

If you're wondering what to focus your marketing budget on, we share some tips below that have worked for the solar businesses we have helped. We also outline what a low cost investment looks like vs a medium-high cost investment.

Budgeting Tips For Marketing Your Solar Dealership

1. Ensure your website is reliable, fast and mobile responsive. You don't want to waste your marketing efforts by sending leads to a website that take minutes to load a page or crashes mid-search.

Estimated Budget Costs:

  • Low: If your website is relatively new and mobile responsive, then updating pages with latest services and offerings is a minimum spend required to keep your business relevant and timely.
  • High: If your website is older, not fast or responsive to mobile, then you will need to invest in updating your website (and perhaps your current host provider).

2. Take advantage of organic, low cost marketing activities that help create visibility for your business. This means having a presence across the following channels to ensure you appear organically in searches for solar needs in your area:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Google My Business

Estimated Budget Costs:

  • Low: Majority of your cost here will come down to time. If you have resources within your team who can create, edit and upload content to these channels, then your costs will be low.
  • Medium: Your team can utilise free (or paid) apps that allow you to design social posts that look professional and on-brand.

Using a tool like Buffer will allow you to cross-promote channels and takes the headache out of social calendar scheduling and accessibility. There are free and paid versions available too.

3. Once you have some strategic organic activity in place, start investigating paid advertising. This can be across the same channels and optimises your chances of attracting quality leads:

Estimated Budget Costs:

  • Low: If you have resources within your team who are across the various paid advertising functionalities of social channels, then your costs will be minimal.
  • Medium: If you have no idea where to start when it comes to paid online advertising, then your costs will be directed toward social media management experts who can implement this for you. They will have the expertise to attract your leads at all stages of the buyers journey (awareness, consideration, purchase) as well as identifying your ideal customer based on location targeting.

Traditional Marketing Vs Digital Marketing

Over the last decade, spend in traditional advertising has been decreasing (television, radio, print) due to the emergence of digital marketing. This is mainly due to the fact that digital allows businesses to invest at a lower entry level and reach the same, if not more, people in targeted areas.

We have seen a small exception to this trend with some solar dealers who are in regional areas. For example, solar dealers in regional Tasmania and Canberra have access to regional television advertising that has allowed a reasonable entry level cost with good return on investment. Solar dealers in metro areas however usually find television advertising opportunities are expensive, and therefore look to more affordable marketing channels to invest in.

Where To From Here?

Here are some take-aways for you to consider:

✅ What percentage of revenue is currently allocated towards marketing your business?

✅ What are the specific business goals you want to achieve from marketing activities?

✅ What channels do you think you need to focus on in order to attract leads and convert customers?

✅ Do you have the time and resources to implement these marketing activities?

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