Content marketing for renewable energy developers is easier than you might think. You’ve got a great story — all you have to do is tell it.
Of course, we’re aware that “content marketing” and “easy” rarely appear in the same sentence. Content marketing can encompass a variety of related specializations, including social media management, search engine optimization (SEO), brand management, and public relations. The basic approach is to create, share, and promote content that compels your audience to engage with your brand.
In other words, your goal is to create great content and get it out in front of the people who need to see it — landowners, local residents, and policymakers — to present a clear idea of what you do. It can seem like an overwhelming task, but ultimately, it relies on resources that you’ve already mastered: A clearly beneficial product, a consistent work ethic, and most importantly, a passion for your project.
Understanding the Audience of a Renewable Energy Content Marketing Campaign
To create your strategy, you’ll need to understand your audience, particularly if you’re providing a new footprint in a relatively small geographical area. You’ll need to present them with a message that resonates. Messages showing economic impact may prove more beneficial in rural areas, whereas broadcasting the message of a cleaner environment may fare well in more populated regions.
Let’s borrow insights from Germany, for example. In 2014, researchers from the Faculty of Business Administration at Nuertingen-Geislingen University conducted a study of 480 green energy providers’ websites. They found three particular benefits of renewable energy that appeal to potential customers:
1. Functional Advantages of Renewable Energy
Green energy can lower utility costs, improve energy access, and facilitate “off-the-grid” living. Even consumers who aren’t concerned with their environmental footprint are attracted to these utilitarian benefits, and explaining them in-depth can position your organization as an authority while also encouraging support of the industry at large. .
2. The “Warm Glow” Effect
Researchers note that consumers respond to the sense that they are behaving morally, with altruism and concern for the world around them. When a renewable energy company’s content drives home these points — that, in fact, going green is the morally responsible thing to do — they can both inform consumers and encourage them to participate in the transition to renewables.
3. Virtual Nature Experiences
What’s more compelling than an image of lush trees near a babbling brook? According to science, not much.
A 2008 study in the journal Environment and Behavior found that representations of unspoiled nature induce an emotional response in the viewer. When companies can associate their brands with this emotion, they establish themselves as authoritative providers of products that help improve the environment. This, again, pushes wavering stakeholders to become advocates of renewable energy.
Your content marketing strategy should take such factors into consideration, as your first goal is to create high-quality, usable content that drives engagement and builds your audience. If you don’t understand what appeals to your audience, you’re not likely to make much headway.
Driving Interest in Renewable Energy with Great Content
Great content should promote renewable energy, of course, but not your brand specifically. Remember, branding is a mist, not a hammer; you’ll be more successful by surrounding your audience with your message, rather than beating them over the head with it.
So, what should you create? Your content strategy might include blogs about energy conservation, renewable energy calculators, shareable infographics, economical impact, videos, Earth Day press releases, and an active social media presence — or, better yet, everything we just listed and more. Building that “mist” can take some time, but it’s the type of multi-line investment that pays big dividends down the road. Not only can the exercise help win advocacy for your projects but it also can garner attention of investors, attract human talent, and sway policymakers as well.
Your content marketing partner will need to work with you constantly, as your passion for the project is what will drive your campaign. Keep emphasizing quality, keep analyzing your results, and keep talking to your audiences and potential audiences. Find out what they want to read, see, and hear, and the pieces of your content marketing strategy will start to fall into place.
Like we said, content marketing is easy — provided that you’re ready to work.