Bright Ideas Blog, Marketing, Solar Marketing, Sustainability Marketing, Uncategorized

Four steps for more strategic clean energy marketing in 2024

The climate challenges we face today are immense, but the opportunities are unprecedented for clean energy marketing to shine. The momentum provided by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act gave a much-needed boost to public awareness of the climate crisis, spurring unprecedented clean energy investments and record solar installations. As 2024 gets underway, focus on how to make your marketing even more effective to leverage awareness and gain a better return on your marketing spend.

The Rise in ‘Climate Anxiety’

The number of people who are alarmed about climate change has almost tripled over the past six years, according to researchers at Yale University, who have been tracking climate concerns for the past decade. Fortunately, this rise in “climate anxiety” is also coupled with an interest in taking action.

“Many of them are alarmed about climate change but don’t know what to do,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, founder and Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. They are actually quite eager to do something but have never been asked by someone they like and trust. There’s enormous work to be done there by the climate community.”

Yale University's Six Americas Global Warming Study
Global Warming’s Six Americas, Fall 2023
Source: Yale Program on Climate Change Communications

This audience represents a prime target for solar energy marketers. The growth outlook for the US solar industry remains strong, averaging 14% annually over the next five years, according to Wood Mackenzie. But the industry faces headwinds as California’s net metering policies sink in, and interest rates present challenges to financing clean energy projects. For marketers, it’s more important than ever to keep a steady focus on well-crafted strategies and flawless execution. 

#1: Know what’s working. And what’s not. 

When you’re evaluating last year’s marketing efforts, focus first on the improvements you’ve seen. Perhaps it’s an uptick in web traffic due to a more robust content marketing strategy. Maybe it’s an enhancement to your brand or identity, or an upgrade to your efficiency through a new marketing automation tool you’ve implemented. Whatever it is, take those small victories into 2024 and build on them for continued success.

#2: Hyper-prioritize.

Marketing planning Take a relentless approach to effectiveness in 2024. Streamline your efforts by prioritizing initiatives that align with your core objectives and contribute to your business goals. Deprioritize those that do not.

If, for example, your event marketing budget has gone through the roof, as many have in these inflationary times, it may be time to reevaluate your event strategy. Consider what can be cut or scaled back, to enable you to have an even greater impact at those events that work for your sales team.

Take a fresh look at your outbound marketing efforts and your digital presence. Are your web site visitors converting or are they bouncing too soon? Focusing on the fundamentals with a refreshed digital strategy is a must-do to raise your awareness among competitors.

#3 Reconsider social.

Know what you’re gaining in terms of marketing ROI for every social channel, and double down on those that provide the most engagement and traction. While social media continues to be relevant, with all the changes on X/Twitter, it may make sense to revisit which platforms you spend time on.

A strategic, steady approach to social on Linked In, Instagram and, depending on your audience,Facebook/Threads, may continue to give your brand the social lift it deserves – but that doesn’t mean they’re equally effective. Spend time cultivating and growing your audience where it matters most.

#4 Expand on strategic PR.

In this social-saturated world, it may seem quaint or old fashioned to focus on public relations. Isn’t it an outdated concept to cultivate media relationships when you can essentially write your own narrative? One of the under-appreciated advantages of traditional media relations is that audiences tend to place greater credibility on information that is vetted and reported by news outlets. 

News coverage also provides a nice ‘two-for-one’ advantage for your business – those who consume it directly via the media outlet and those who see it when you post coverage to social media, or send directly to those in your business sphere. 

Some of the best ways to generate media coverage are to pitch ideas to reporters that align with current industry trends, including offering yourself as an expert source for stories or suggesting a contributed leadership article based on your expertise. This type of article should be educational rather than overtly promotional of your business, which will make it much more appealing to editors looking for contributed content. This is particularly effective for new companies who need to stand out among the competition.

Looking Ahead: Building a More Sustainable Tomorrow

As you look ahead to 2024, embrace your marketing challenges with a fresh perspective. Never before has the clean energy industry had such tremendous momentum and promise. It’s up to all of us to keep our eyes on the prize of building a more sustainable tomorrow with more effective marketing every day.