As public focus on the environmental impact of corporate operations tightens, the E in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance criteria) has become a higher and higher priority for business leaders. At the same time, consumers, now fluent in the language of sustainability, opt for renewably-produced products and renewable energy options in their private lives. The result is a gold rush for renewable energy companies, particularly along B2B pathways involving solar, wind and green hydrogen energy production for major utility companies, as well as large-scale energy storage.
But with the increase in opportunities for this industry has come heightened competition. Renewable energy companies stand at a juncture where timely, strategic communication may drive awareness, excitement and conversions to new levels, while the wrong communication, or lack of communication, may rob them of the chance to tell their stories. Now more than ever, business leaders in this space must consider the importance of consulting with a renewable energy marketing agency like Communications Strategy Group (CSG®).
As a proven partner over decades to corporations in the renewable energy industry, CSG draws from hard-won lessons to design, implement, track and reinvigorate renewable energy marketing strategies. From driving revenue for a single solar company to swaying national opinion on CleanTech, no job in this sector is too small or too large for our sustainability specialists.
What is Renewable Energy Marketing?
Renewable energy marketing promotes a renewable energy company through material that shows the company’s value, authority, potential, distinction, safety, reliability and other favorable attributes to its target audience. This can mean expressing the company’s value to individuals or to the environment as a whole. It can mean clarifying the company’s potential to move energy production and storage into new, more sustainable phases. It can mean celebrating breakthroughs in technology the company has achieved or establishing trust by emphasizing the number of satisfied customers or clients the company has served. The material used for this goal varies widely — it may include digital ads, traditional ads, owned content, social media posts, earned media endorsements and much more — and may overlap with renewable or clean energy PR campaigns.
Common Renewable Energy Marketing Terms
Terms connected to renewable energy have multiplied as the branches of the field diverge and coalesce. Here is a glossary of some of the words and phrases you may see throughout this post:
- Sustainable Energy
Energy sources that theoretically may or may not be clean or renewable (although in practice they are) but have no impact on the environment that would prevent future generations from relying on them. In other words, it’s an inexhaustible energy source.
- Renewable Energy
Energy sources that replenish themselves naturally, such as wind, solar, and hydropower. These may not be sustainable if the environmental damage of extracting, storing and using them exceeds whatever gain in sustainability they provide.
- Clean Energy
In current usage, a synonym for renewable energy.
- Green Energy
A subcategory of renewable energy that from extraction to use has a minimal effect on the natural world. These forms of energy are considered the most valuable in terms of preventing environmental harm.
How Cleantech PR and Marketing Can Make a Sustainable Difference
For all companies, the urgency of finding a sustainability marketing or renewable energy PR partner has become clear. 85% of consumers now consider a company’s environmental footprint in their purchase decisions, and a third are willing to pay significantly more for products and services that honor the goal of sustainability. This phenomenon extends to renewable energy companies as well. Marketing strategies that emphasize a company’s superior cleantech, track record and commitment to sustainability will appeal both to private consumers and to companies eager to form partnerships that will put them on good footing by ESG metrics.
Bottom line, in the age of clean energy the work a renewable energy marketing agency does has a significant impact on a company’s visibility, credibility and persuasiveness, even inside the industry that is driving the change.
The ROI On Sustainable Marketing for Different Companies
The communications tactics and techniques employed by a CleanTech PR and marketing agency like CSG have applications in a multitude of renewable energy specialties:
- Solar Power Energy
- Wind Energy
- Corporate Sustainability
- ESG Investing
- Carbon Tax
- Renewable Energy and Sustainability Associations
- Public Affairs
- Advocacy and Awareness
- Green Building Certification
- Battery Storage and Energy Transmission
- Environmental Activist Response, Engagement, and Planning
Any facet of the renewable energy infrastructure, from the actual generation and storage of the power to the public attitude surrounding environmental topics, leaves openings for strategic communications to start or change a narrative to the advantage of a renewable energy company or organization. Through content marketing, paid media, and PR components such as news releases, bylines and broadcast media coverage, the audiences these companies address can come to know them better, trust them more, share in their values and vision, and even promote them through word-of-mouth, a form of earned media that still has legs in the digital age.
Common Renewable Energy Marketing Challenges
Because the necessity of expressing green values has overtaken the corporate landscape so rapidly, consumer protection agencies have enacted new regulations and revised existing ones, such as the FTC’s Green Guides, designed to deter companies from misleading their audiences by making sustainability claims that do hold true in practice. This adds an extra layer of complexity to sustainability marketing campaigns. One area where a renewable energy marketing agency can serve its clients is in ensuring their marketing materials maintain compliance with these laws and regulations, to avoid the ambiguity or outright misinformation known as “greenwashing” that has resulted in costly lawsuits against offending corporations.
Sound marketing and PR strategies allow companies to strengthen customer relationships by telling their stories in authentic, compelling ways, rather than rupture those relationships with misleading statements. Exaggerating to stay ahead of public opinion on green matters without having actual sustainability achievements to showcase risks more than it is worth.
Clean Energy Marketing and PR Strategies for Your Company
As an energy company consults with its marketing partner and a renewable energy PR or marketing initiative takes shape, several communications elements may be deployed at once. Which elements a campaign prioritizes will depend on factors such as audience preferences revealed by market research, company goals, company budget, timeline and market projections or breaking news. Here are some of the components that CSG has weaved into marketing strategies throughout the years:
Video offerings surpasses other forms of content in engagement. Search engine algorithms respond to this fact by treating video content as particularly useful to searchers, giving marketing experts a double incentive to include video in client projects. With video in the form of testimonials, “About Us” clips, and paid media installments, companies achieve not only pieces of content that are attractive to their audience and likely to be shared, but also ones that offer the greatest pound-for-pound improvement in their SEO performance within their space.
- Paid Digital
People live online now. Digital ad campaigns, whether embedded on social media platforms, in search results or on sites frequented by a renewable energy company’s target audience, turn people’s digital appetite into opportunities for advancing the customer journey.
- Owned Media
The content a renewable energy company publishes under its own name is often what potential customers come across first. This might be the company website, an article on its blog, or an email newsletter. These owned media components can show prospects that a company possesses expertise, product advantages or a mission that set them apart in their field or align them with the prospects’ values. As well as establishing thought leadership and forming a connection between customers and a company, owned media marketing creates chances for backlinks, organic search traffic and other positive markers in SEO analytics.
- PR Pitches
While marketing efforts may succeed on their own, a renewable energy marketing agency also versed in PR for clean energy, with media connections to leverage for the sake of its clients, can be a powerful ally in the renewable energy industry. Renewable energy has become an object of intense public interest, which means reporters are more willing to write stories on developments in the field. Combining marketing in all the forms above with pitches of client stories to media outlets can create visibility, excitement and engagement from two directions at once.
How to Choose a Renewable Energy PR and Marketing Agency?
Partnering with a marketing agency to promote a renewable energy company involves several steps. Be methodical, and choose well. The best allocation of your resources will come from having a clear direction in mind. It may take a little time, but as you pursue options, an agency with the skill, experience and customer service you want will emerge.
Set Your Objectives
Define your goals. What are you hoping to get out of your marketing? On what timeline? When will you know a campaign has succeeded, or needs to be revisited?
Create a Budget
How much can you spend on marketing without creating drag on the other aspects of your operation?
Research about Renewable Energy Marketing Agencies
Who can you ask for help? What candidates are there to implement your marketing strategies, and what are their various strengths and weaknesses? If other companies in your industry have had success in marketing campaigns, what attributes tie their advisors together?
Write a List of Questions to Ask
You will be entering a whole new world when you consult with marketers. There will be new language and new information to absorb. Having questions ready allows you to clarify your own thinking and ensures you don’t get distracted during meetings and leave without getting your concerns addressed.
Meet with your potential partners. Does their track record in the renewable energy industry line up with your goals? Do they offer insights that match their claims of expertise? Do you like them?
Once you’ve chosen a partner, express your expectations for the relationship and the campaigns you will launch together. This will help them anticipate your needs and deploy their resources more effectively for you.
FAQs About Renewable Energy Marketing
How do you market a renewable energy company?
You market a renewable energy company like any other company — through the strategic publication of compelling messaging in spaces trafficked by the audience you want to attract.
How do you advertise energy?
Advertising energy involves showing value and creating a condition that leads to a desired behavior (most often the act of purchasing.)
Are consumers more likely to buy brands from firms that support strong sustainability initiatives?
Yes. Modern consumers care about the environmental impact of their decisions and patronize companies that show similar values, sometimes even if that value alignment comes at a premium.
How can I find solar customers?
Solar companies can find customers by investing in clean energy PR and marketing that captures audiences with an authentic and resonant message.
Develop Your Renewable Marketing Strategy With Us
Renewable energy companies represent a great hope for a better future. Marketing agencies have the privilege of telling these companies’ stories to people who want to hear them and moving the energy industry in a positive direction. We take that privilege seriously, and our work reflects our commitment. Want to find out how far your clean energy business can go? Reach out to us here.