Is your clean energy business online? Does it have a website? How Search engine friendly is this website? These and more are very important questions every business owner should be asking as we move closer and closer to a more digitalized world.
A world in which the first thing done when something is needed is to “Google it”.
This may be new or surprising to some, and even disappointing, but it should be pointed out that those taking advantage of being on-line are really experiencing significant gains not only in business growth but also in brand recognition, and trust from peers in the industry.
Now here’s the question — why are so many clean energy businesses not online?
The harsh reality is that most are simply at content with the level of the business — as long as the bills are paid and the business still open; no problem. Information and other computer technology (IT) are complex, very expensive and time consuming. These are just a few questions or self provided answers that plague the minds of most business owners and the task ahead is abandoned. Some of these statements may make one anxious–but without a proper plan, you shouldn’t rush to expand your on-line presence. You need a solid foundation on top of which to build what will introduce your business to the world.
At this point you may have decided that the best thing for your business is to get tapped into the opportunities available to you on-line. But where do you even start? From building your own website to setting up social media profiles, joining directories, advertising, and more, your digital check-list will be more than a little overwhelming.
The majors areas to cover online for clean energy business are:
Your very first step should be to define the goals of your website. Most businesses should have at least three: to create an on-line presence, to differentiate your business, and to capture leads.
1. Creating an on-line presence is the most basic reason for building a website. This means building a site that includes your business information, highlights what makes you special, and gives consumers a way to contact you.
2. Making your business stand out takes a more advanced strategy. Maintaining a blog that portrays your thoughts and insights can help your website stand out and help consumers better understand your business.
3. A good business website can be used to capture potential leads. As the site grows it becomes a community for customers and potential consumers. Connect with potential consumers and find a way to continue marketing to them. Your website can be the elevator pitch and your connection the long sell. Source: Mashable.com
It’s a given that over time, your business will evolve. You’ll modify your logo, employees will come and go, information and photos will become outdated, you’ll introduce new products, etc. That’s why it’s important to set up a regular on-line maintenance schedule—we recommends doing it at least quarterly—to make these necessary updates to your website and various on-line profiles. Source: socialmediatoday.com
Send out regular Newsletters:
At least 91% of consumers check their email every day. One of the most heavily used communication channels to date, email marketing is considered the third overall most effective channel for lead generation for marketers in 2013, producing 13% of all leads. To grow your email list, there are ways you can make use of the engagement you have with your social media audience, and website visitors to turn your followers into subscribers who’ll become long-term customers. Source: socialmediaexaminer.com
Social Media Accounts:
Social media, although a relatively recent phenomenon, is becoming an increasingly important part of any business’s marketing and client base development platform. The perception of social media marketing has shifted quickly—no longer viewed as a trendy or passing fad, having a flexible and well-managed presence in each of the “big three” (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) has become a must for any business seeking to secure a place in both the traditional and digital marketplace. What could once be accomplished by a traditional website now needs to be supplemented by a robust and responsive utilization of the tools social media offers. Navigating this strange, new world can be quite confusing at first, so here are some tips for those looking to bring their business up to speed. Source: forbes.com
So what should you–as a clean energy business owner or marketing manager do?
One thing to consider and understand is that establishing and growing your on-line presence is no different from establishing and growing your physical one. You will need to be smart with you budget. Do your own research and find out who offers what in the market and search for on-line tutorials on “how to do it yourself”.
Consider hiring pros when necessary to help boost your efforts when it comes to aesthetics, general advice, and continues maintenance.
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