#MarketingSolar Podcast: Tracking Results to Improve Solar Marketing


Welcome to the Marketing Solar Podcast Series, hosted by Glenna Wiseman of Identity3. We are working with Energy Trust of Oregon on this Solar Marketing Training Program. It’s designed to help solar contractors reduce marketing and customer acquisition costs.

This podcast topic is: Tracking Results to Improve Solar Marketing.

The podcast features Kent Lewis, President and Founder Anvil Media Inc. to the show again. Kent is a highly sought after speaker and marketing professional who founded Anvil Media in 2008.  His company is now an award winning integrated marketing agency specializing in search engine marketing, social media and analytics.

This episode of Marketing Solar includes:

  • Referral Solar Marketing Tips
  • Insights for Advocacy Solar Marketing
  • SEO Do’s and Don’ts for Solar Marketing
  • Create Content “Social Signals” Google Can See
  • Avoid Expensive Paid Online Advertising Mistakes
  • Three Tips to Use Google Analytics for Actionable Website Data
  • Three Steps to Setting up Solar Marketing Key Performance Indicators

We want to thank Energy Trust of Oregon for their vision and support helping solar contractors reduce customer acquisition costs through more efficient marketing.

Full Transcript

Anvil Media logoGlenna: Hello and welcome to the Marketing Solar podcast series. I’m Glenna Wiseman of Identity3. We are working with Energy Trust of Oregon on this solar marketing training program. It’s designed to help solar contractors reduce marketing and customer acquisition costs.

The topic we’re covering in this episode is “Tracking Results to Improve Solar Marketing.”

I’m excited to welcome Kent Lewis, President and Founder of Anvil Media to the show again. If you did not catch our February podcast, Building a Social Media Strategy, with Kent, you can find it at EnergyTrust.org/businessdevelopment or on SoundCloud at Marketing Solar.

Kent is a highly sought-after speaker and marketing professional who founded Anvil Media in 2008. His company is now an award-winning integrated marketing agency specializing in search engine marketing, social media, and analytics. And analytics are just what we want to dive into today. So, welcome to the show, Kent.

Kent: It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.

Referral Solar Marketing Tips Identity3 TwitterReferral Solar Marketing Tips
Glenna: Okay. So we’re going to set it up here a little bit with recent survey work that Energy Trust did, and in that research they discovered that solar installers in Oregon and Washington focused marketing efforts on four areas they felt were the most effective.

These areas include

  • Referral or word of mouth
  • Graphics, including a focus on yard signs and truck magnets
  • Affinity marketing
  • Paid media online

National research shows referrals as being the number one source of high-quality leads for most solar installations firms. Yet our interviews in preparing for this Build it Bright Solar Marketing program revealed installers don’t usually have a systematic process around conducting and measuring referral programs. So, Kent, let’s start with this critical, really critical area for solar installers, referrals.

What insights can you give us around conducting and producing measurable analytics for referral programs?

Kent: Well, that’s a great question. Thanks for asking it. And I think what my experience has been that it’s surprising how difficult it is for any brand, not just a solar installer, but any size brand to effectively manage and track referrals. But it doesn’t have to be complicated, really. At the baseline, there’s just the idea of making sure that when you get a new lead, you simply ask, “Where did you hear about us?” And if they mention, “It’s a friend,” then you’ve got it tracked. Or, if they mention a specific partner of yours that you have a formal or informal program in place with, then you can just sort of hash mark it. Like, “This month we had this many,” put them in a spreadsheet. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

If you want to automate that process with relatively little effort, you can utilize some automation on your website, with a contact form, with a dropdown. That’s what we do on our website on Anvil, is there’s a dropdown that says, “Where did you hear about us?” And word of mouth is one of the options as are a few things like advertising, read an article, and just for good measure because of our personality, we have voices in my head. And interestingly, that is the most popular answer. So, being funny or witty does have its downside where you tend to get lesser-quality of data but you at least set a bit of emotion, a bit of your personality in place.

So, generally, when you’re looking to set a referral program in place you need some sort of incentive. So, if I refer people to my friend Bob, who’s a solar installer, if I don’t get anything other than good feeling, he has to be really, really good at what he does and takes really good care of his customers. Otherwise, it reflects poorly on me making the referral.

But the other way is that money always talks, right? So, whether you want to offer a discount on services or products to a customer who’s referred somebody, that’s great. Or, you can always do a cash kick-out or a gift card, sort of a commission on a new customer, or even just a referral. A $10 Starbucks gift card can go a long way.

If you’re giving away anything more than, say, 100 bucks, 50 bucks, you got to look at the tax ramifications. You don’t want to get in trouble with the state or the Feds for giving away untrackable income. They potentially want to tax it, so be careful. But that said, a formalized referral program can be very effective and one way to curtail a lot of management is, until somebody refers you, say, three or five new leads, you don’t pay anything out. And then that makes them want to refer more people and you get more leads and then you have less administration in the process. So, that’s a way to simplify it.

The equivalent is an affiliate program on the internet. So, if I join Amazon’s affiliate program and a bunch of people click through my links to buy books, I get, say, 15% of books, 5% of other products. I’m incentivized to get that URL out there as much as I can.

But, affiliates like Amazon have a minimum payout of, say, $100. It may take me six months to get a $100 worth of commission. They only have to write one check in six months instead of a bunch of small checks. So that’s another way to do a referral program is create minimum thresholds so you’re only paying out or administering in a minimal way. That’s kind of the how’s and the why’s of a referral program.

Insights for Advocacy Solar Marketing
Glenna: Well, excellent. And, just to kind of dive a little bit deeper into this particular topic, what about social media? We can use advocacy programs for social media to generate referrals. And I know we’re a little off the analytics topic here, but I can’t help myself. So, any insights into how your firm has helped clients use advocacy programs in terms of social media?

Kent: Yes, sure. Another solid idea, typically an ambassador type of program, usually utilizing social media. A good example would be Yelp, it’s not our client but they’re very good at what they do, is that the power reviewers, the people that review certain number of businesses in a given month or time period, get a VIP status and they get to attend special parties, they get special perks.

So, it can be as simple as making sure you know who is shouting out your business, particularly on social media, and then thanking them and recognizing them. Sometimes public recognition is all they want, but you can also obviously tie that into a referral program or an ambassador program.

So ambassador program would be basically some sort of VIP benefits, whatever those are. And for an installer to be on this, it can be as simple as once a year you throw a big party just for your ambassadors. Throughout the year, you might give them special access to new products, news, information, services, whatever it is, like any other sort of premium programs.

But I found that realtors and others or the content marketers are showing great success throwing big events or parties that are very exclusive to their ambassadors, can be very effective. And so those ambassadors, typically who you’re looking for, is somebody with a reasonably strong amount of visibility and credibility in social media. So, certain of followers, a certain number of influencers that they follow or that follow them, so when they are shouting out your brand as an installer, people are hearing it, they’re seeing it, and it comes with a greater degree of credibility.

So there’s a bunch of tools you can use like Followerwonk and some paid tools, a few free tools to identify who are those bloggers or those folks on Instagram or Twitter that have a lot of followers, they post a lot, they’re highly engaged, they have a lot of influence or clout. Those are folks you want to bring into the fold, into your ambassador programs and give them the tools.

Ambassador quote Kent Lewis Anvil Media-1The challenge is, for most installers, they don’t have the content on a regular basis to feed their ambassadors so you tend to want to find ambassadors that create their own content, and then fold you into their messaging as one of your ambassadors. Knowing when and the best way to contextually get you wrapped into their status updates, their content, original or otherwise. So, I think that’s what a good ambassador program would be. And you may only start out with half a dozen or a dozen influencers in this space that are customers, peers, pundits in the solar world and nurture those relationships. And as it picks up you might open it up to more people.

Glenna: I think that’s an awesome idea, and I love the idea of taking sort of this bland referral program idea to another level of really nurturing ambassadors and advocates and on behalf of your company and what you’re doing in your community. They could be invited to special events, special ribbon-cuttings, all kinds of things. I love that. All right. So let’s bridge that.

SEO Do’s and Don’ts for Solar MarketingSEO Do’s and Don’ts for Solar Marketing
You talked about social media. Let’s bridge it into online. I’m thinking that it might be easier if we divide up paid and organic online lead generation. And, although installers use paid media online, the results that we’ve seen out of the Energy Trust surveys have seen that they review this as their least effective means of generating leads.

And I’m thinking out of your experience, Kent, you can tell us a little bit more about what kinds of missteps you see happening with online paid media. Maybe in sort of an umbrella way that would also apply to solar installers. And how can they get more clarity and effectiveness in this pretty major marketing channel?

Kent: So, it’s interesting when people say something works or does not work because they said they’ve tried it. And doing something doesn’t mean that you’re doing it well. So, I tend to laugh a little bit, sometimes…forgive the background noise you, hear. I’ll get in a quiet room in a second. But I tend to scoff a little when people make a unilateral decision on the efficacy of any particular marketing when, indeed, they haven’t necessarily done it right.

SEO Quote Anvil Media, Marketing Solar PodcastSo, SEO falls in that category where if you don’t do it right, it doesn’t work at all, and in some cases, if you do it wrong it can hurt you and hurt you a lot.

So, for instance, if your website is not responsively designed, then you are in danger of penalizing yourself with Google and losing your rankings. So, of course, SEO is not going to work very well when you don’t show up in the top ten for your brand, let alone for solar installer Springfield, Oregon. So, what you have to do is follow best practices with Google Search, algorithm best practices outlined in Webmaster Tools.

We actually have an SEO whitepaper and an SEO e-book that are free and downloadable through Anvil’s website, AnvilMediaInc.com. Also, the key factor with organic results, as determined by Google and the experts, is that you have to have very relevant content on your website, you have to have clean, accessible code on which your website is built. So, for instance, we recommend WordPress. And then, lastly, you need to have credibility signals. So, this goes back to social media.

Create Content “Social Signals” Google Can See
One credibility signal that is most commonly utilized by Google’s algorithm is the number of times any pages of your website have been shared on social media because Google can track all that, right? So number of tweets, number of shares in Google Plus, on Facebook, etc. So, you need to create these social signals that Google can see and appreciate.

So, that’s a credibility factor and that’s also who’s linking to you and how credible those organizations are. So, SolarWorld has a lot of credibility in terms of in Google’s eyes when it comes to solar, but so are trade organization that have a .org domain. I could go on and on but the bottom line is, if you have followed best practices with SEO it should be a top five driver of leads for you, period. And I’ve been optimizing client websites since 1996, so 20 years’ worth of data in my experience, thousands of clients, literally. I have yet to have a client do everything right and not be successful with organic search.

Now with paid search, it can be a little trickier, but also clear-cut. There’s also an algorithm that determines how much you will spend on a per-click basis based on the performance of your campaigns with something called quality scores. So, if you have bought the right keyword and have compelling messaging around solar installer Oregon, you have some copy about credentials, certifications, special offer.

And then I click through and you have a landing page that continues that conversation or the spent is carried through from the keyword and the copy and the ad to the landing page, you’ll have a higher quality score which means you’ll pay less and have a higher position than others who are not as effectively managing paid search.

So, whereas SEO tends to be, if it’s typically, in my experience, most businesses have seen great success with SEO, or moderate success with very little effort. They have built a reasonably relevant website with decent content and they tend to rank. Those who have spent an even modicum of effort to go deeper into optimizing their sites see tremendous success, exponential success with exponential, if not incremental, effort.

Avoid Expensive Paid Online Advertising Mistakes
With paid search, that’s where you can get into big trouble fast. You could spend $1,000 a day and not drive any of the right people to your website by not accurately targeting and selecting keywords, having irrelevant or uninteresting ad copy, and again, irrelevant or poorly designed landing pages on your website.

All of those can leave you wasting a lot of money that to not generate any qualified leads. But the reality is, for our clients over the years, because this is what we do for our clients, we’ve perfected a process that helps us most accurately target potential customers for our clients and generate a qualified lead. And we track it all the way through.

That’s the beauty of this measurability theme for today is that anything that’s digital, that is out on the internet, basically, that has a pixel associated with it, can be tracked. And that’s why we call ourselves the “measurable marketing agency” because our focus in search and social allows us to stay focused on what can be measured.

So, you can track somebody whether they came through organically on a search. It may take some sleuthing to figure out which keyword they used if you’re not paying for the ad through AdWords, but through AdWords you know who came through, when they came through, did they follow through to an inquiry form or some sort of estimator form. What did they do? Did they complete some process or subscribe to your newsletter?

Whatever it is, you can track all those conversions and you can associate a dollar value and know exactly, down to the penny, what digital advertising is working so you can do more of it.

Bonus Content from Kent Lewis, Anvil Media
The most common mistakes I see with self-managed campaigns are as follows:

  • Incomplete strategy: not selecting the right platforms that map to target audiences, not developing messaging or offers that resonate, not creating customized landing pages to carry through the creative theme/concept.
  • Incorrect account/campaign configuration: understanding how the systems work and how to select keywords, develop ad copy/creative, audience targeting, landing page setup
  • Poor tracking: incorrect configuration creating erroneous data, not tracking the right metrics or not reviewing campaign performance for insights.
  • Low-touch management: not actively and regularly monitoring and updating campaigns for optimal performance: new keywords, creative/copy, offers, etc.

Three Tips to Use Google Analytics for Actionable Website Data Identity3 TwitterThree Tips to Use Google Analytics for Actionable Website Data

to Glenna: Well, Kent, first of all, I want to thank you for your absolute tenacity in helping us get this podcast together today. I feel a little bit like I’m an MPR so this is really great. All right. You are on Google, appropriately.

Let’s talk about Google Analytics for a minute because it can be a very cost-effective way to measure web and other online channels like social media. In its most basic form, it’s free. It just takes a little time and effort to figure out how to measure it so that it can help you build more effective marketing and more effective content and SEO. Thinking about the solar installers and all the hats they wear, what kind of advice would you have for them related to Google Analytics?

Tip 1:  Set up Google Analytics Properly
Kent: So, the key to Google Analytics, the first key, is setting it up properly. Because garbage in garbage out. If you do not set up this free measurement tool on your website, meaning dropping their code on every page in a specific location on your website, the bottom of your body copy, and make sure that it’s properly configured using a variety of testing tools.

And basically, what you’re doing is setting yourself up to make a bunch of ill-informed decisions. So you’ll create false positives. Certain marketing you’re doing seems to be winning the day, a billboard ad, smoke signals, skywriting or some sort of digital marketing, when in fact it’s not working or it’s not working well.

So, for instance, more specific example would be we had a client that said that Facebook was generating $30,000 of revenue a day, or a month I should say, with their advertising. They were spending a lot of money on Facebook. And we found that their tracking was incorrect and they were attributing all of their sales to Facebook when, in fact, it was only 5% of their leads were coming from Facebook.

So they kept doubling down on Facebook and spending dollars on the least effective platform. Now, Facebook can absolutely be a primary driver, especially for solar installers. It is unlikely to be the only or the very singular success platform. You need to make sure you have really good data integrity with your analytics. So, test your Google Analytics to make sure the data works.

Tip 2:  Set up Google Tag Manager Embeds
The next thing you do is you want to setup Google Tag Manager, or GTM, and that means after a question mark, you can create codes to know when you embed URLs anywhere. In a signature file, out in social media, out in your website, you can track specific campaigns. So if you have a Memorial Day weekend installer sale, you would create a landing page, create a tracking URL, unique tracking codes with all the text ads you put up in AdWords, and some promotional boosted posts on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.

They’d have that UTM code, that’s that Universal Tracking, I don’t know if the M is Measurement, something like that. But UTM is the Google vernacular, and that way you’d know which campaigns from which platforms were driving which leads, which conversions. So, setting up Google Tag Manager so you can create campaigns on the fly without touching your website analytics, just creating new codes and then going back into analytics and retroactively seeing how they worked, is really good.

Tip 3:  Set up Google Analytics Custom Reports
And then the third element is custom reports. Creating reports that help move your business forward, help you make informed business decisions, so that you might have it scheduled to send you a daily report of top referring URLs so you know if some of the partnerships you’re formulating with your various industry folks are paying off. Or top most visited pages. You know if certain new content you created is performing well.

You know, 99% of companies look at their analytics once a month or less. This is my statistic I pulled out from the back of my brain. But, I’d say far too many companies do not look at it on a weekly, bi-monthly, daily basis. Typically, that’s reserved for e-commerce companies and global Fortune 500s, but there’s no reason you can’t setup to have a daily report sent to you to get the information you need on what your website is doing for you. It’ll give you a daily reminder that your website should be the center of all your digital marketing including your social.

Everything should drive back to your site to some sort of ideal information capturing, email address, contact form. You can own those relationships and then nurture them with email, the old school way, which is just how most people still prefer to be communicated to, is email.

Gen X’ers and Solar
And certainly your target audience by and large. There aren’t as many millennials right now buying solar installations, so it’s going to be the Gen X boomers that tend to be comfortable with email and that’s still what you need to go. The goal of your website should be to capture email addresses so you can nurture and convert those leads, and that all starts with inbound marketing through search and social.

Glenna: Well, you’ve just touched on a really amazing point here which is the Gen X. If you look at the demographics and the buying power of Gen X, it’s just mind-blowing actually, and so I think that your point, that email is really important in terms of targeting them, is critical for solar marketers to hear.

And the other thing that I get from the information that you’re communicating is, let’s say, for example, that you put up a new blog post or you’ve got a bunch of blog content up there, but there’s some evergreen piece of content that keeps popping up on your Google Analytics as being really powerful out there. You could keep pounding away at that. You can find other content that you can pull out of that original piece and keep promoting that piece if you know that that piece is popular.

Recycling – A Content Marketing Strategy Identity3 TwitterRecycling – A Content Marketing Strategy
Kent: Well, what I like, what you’re saying, is basically…we’re in Oregon, right? So we are, generally speaking, even as a state, known as a bunch of tree-huggers and we love to recycle. And, in the digital world, that’s no different. We, at Anvil, like to recycle pixels and ideas. So the concept is, you take one 60-second video, you put it up on YouTube because that’s the second largest search engine by volume, you optimize its rank for solar installer tips or tips from a solar installer on how to maintain your new panels, or whatever it is.

Or, you could take a 45-second version of that and put it on Facebook, natively uploading it, a version of that. Because Facebook prefers videos to be uploaded to their platform. They’ll favor that over YouTube embedded videos. You take a 30-second version and put it up on LinkedIn as a commercial, an ad. You take a 15 to 20 second version on Instagram which, you can now provide up to a minute of content in video for Instagram.

And you can do a 6-second on Vine. You can do live streaming on Periscope or Facebook. You can take the audio out of the 60-second video and create a podcast, just like what you’re listening to right now. You could transcribe the conversation or the video itself to create a blog post or an article. And you could also strip out HD images from your HD video recording and put them up on Pinterest and Instagram.

So, there’s a limitless way to recycle great content and your analytics will tell you what people want to see. And not just your Google Analytics but the analytics on every social platform as it offers free analytics so you can look at it and see which videos perform well on YouTube. Which posts perform well on Instagram or on Twitter. All of that information is widely available and it makes a lot of sense for you to check in on that at least on a monthly, if not a weekly basis. Re-visit your content and get the most value you can out of every great piece, article written, every great video taken, or picture shots, that sort of thing.

Glenna: Well, we could even go one little tiny step further and say, or maybe two, and say, okay, now let’s take that great content in multiple ways that people can consume it, send it out on an email to our prime contacts in terms of whatever client persona that works for, and then measure it in our CRM, in our customer relationship management tool. and see, did they respond? What was the next step? And if they responded, then did the salesperson pick up the phone and call?

So, that’s the kind of close the loop, and I think that those kinds of tracking results, those steps to break down the process of reaching out to your customer on the various channels that you actively nurture and that you’re actively measuring, and then close the loop with a sales process that actually brings them to that point of contract and project, is really what we’re talking about here. And it doesn’t have to be so complicated.

You just take the process that you’re already doing and break it down into the steps and make sure you’re measuring the results that you’re getting. Now, we’re highly simplifying it, of course, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

Kent: Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Three Steps to Setting up Solar Marketing Key Performance Indicators Identity3Three Steps to Setting up Solar Marketing Key Performance Indicators
Glenna: Okay. So speaking of…and I know not every company thinks of KPIs, or key performance indicators, but it’s a good way to start to think about these metrics. Are there any others that you can think of, Kent, that from your experience that solar installers, on the very minimum, should start to measure in terms of their marketing campaigns?

Kent: So, basically, KPIs, or key performance indicators, the ones I think that the solar installers should look at most importantly would be around…I’d go backwards.

Step 1 – Start with conversion. And conversions in this business typically, as I mentioned earlier, are completed inquiry forms, estimate forms, or a newsletter subscription.

You can have multiple KPIs that you track as conversions and you give them each a different value, all of that, that’s where I would start.

Step 2 – Go backwards. Then I’d go backwards out from the center of that bull’s eye which is the center of the target with conversions and go out to what are the typical assists. Did they download an e-book or a whitepaper, if you have any of those materials? Did they watch a video? Did they listen to a live or archived webinar? What are the typical steps online that help assist the conversion? And that’s the second ring out.

Step 3 – Count web traffic.  The third will just be, generally, did they hit your site or follow you on social media in some fashion? The idea, over time, is to cross-reference users to see if they’re following you on Instagram and like you on Facebook and on Twitter. Or, they tend to not do that and they just hit your website every so often. I tend to still think the highest value assist is going to be some sort of regular communication like a monthly email newsletter. At least, that’s my experience.

But, there’s also just, if you look at, for instance, just the blog side of things. There are KPIs just for blogging alone. And those can focus on, let’s say, the visibility. So, if I’m writing articles on my website or blog post, are they generating any visibility in search for relevant theme or topic of that blog post or article? So, are you getting any visibility? And then so you’d know what those keywords are that you targeted and you need to do search and see, if I’m not showing up pretty much on the first page, it probably doesn’t matter.

Then there’s the traffic that it generates. So, if I look at my Google Analytics, are these articles or blog posts generating readership? How many views are they getting or impressions per month? If you have a blog, are people subscribing to it, or subscribing to the RSS feed? Which is almost quaintly antiquated as a concept but people still do subscribe to blog feeds.

And then, lastly, are the blog post articles generating traffic to specific pages within your site? So, did you have a blog post about maintenance tips that then links to a service stage on your site? Did it drive any traffic to your service page? Or indirectly, did it improve your rankings for that service page because of the conversations that were had about it?

And then, also, any well-designed website should have shareable content. So that, like on our website, you can share any page on our site through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google Plus. And, so any given page has a counter or there’s an app you can use to see how many times this article has been shared, because that’s the part of the organic search, but it’s also the viral aspect of any content.

So, generally speaking, if you start with conversions, you can backwards to general visibility through traffic or engagement element and rankings on all your way outwards towards that concentric circle away from the bullseye. So those are some of the KPIs to look at for a website or a blog are around starting with conversion, backing it out to engagement to traffic, to rankings and general visibility.

Glenna: All right, listeners. Isn’t it a good thing that we follow Kent’s advice and transcribe our podcasts so that you can either listen to it again? Because that was a whole lot of information and great advice that he just provided for you, and you can read it in the transcript so that you can really get it and implement it in your solar business.

The Anvil Marketing Index Snapshot
All right. So, Kent, tell us about the services that you offer to help installers measure analytics and their success and opportunities online.

Kent: Well, so, basically there’s a couple things. So, we like to help installers in two different ways. One is we offer an Anvil Marketing Index Snapshot, which is a $1500 benchmark of your business’ presence online. So, what is your visibility? How is your brand? How is it seen online? Are people engaging? Are they finding you? What’s going on? What are people saying about you?

So it’s a complete benchmark against your top couple, two to three competitors, looking at the industry, benchmarking you against Anvil clients as well, whether they’re in the solar industry or not, and giving you, most importantly, an actionable roadmap. Basically, a prioritized set of specific tactical recommendations on what you can do to improve your presence and your brand online. And that includes helping tune your website so that it’s more visible, converts better.

If you’re doing any paid search or social, what to do better. If you’re not, here are places to start. Your overall social and content strategy. How is that working? Are you engaging people? Are they understanding who you are and the value you provide?

So, it’s very holistic and it’s quite a value at $1500. There’s a larger version for exponential more than that, but we realize that budgets are tight for most installers. But for those of the, let’s say, maybe not in multi locations but large volume installers, might be more interested in our Anvil Marketing Program, or what we call AMP.

And that’s where we have an all-inclusive, all-in. We do all your search and social plus have a modest ad budget for three grand a month. So, that’s 36 grand a year, but the goal is that we’re driving hundreds of thousands of dollars in installations with that investment. Otherwise, there’s no reason to do it.

So, basically, our turnkey outsource digital marketing partner for our solar installers. And this is a new service that we have been refining literally in the last month or two. I’ve tried different versions of this over the last 15 years and I feel like we finally have a really solid service offering for those that are really serious about marketing. But for the cost of a very, very junior college person with virtually no experience you can actually have a full turnkey solution and ad dollars for Google AdWords and some social sites built in. So those are the two ways that we are best designed to help our solar installer partners.

Glenna: I do want to mention here that if you’re an Energy Trust of Oregon contractor ally, you can utilize their business development funds to help offset this already amazing analytic tool that Kent is talking about. And I’m sure that Kent offers his services for installers that are in other parts of the country as well.

So, Kent, you are a very frequent speaker and online trainer. What do you have coming up on your schedule that our listeners can tap into and hear more from your amazing kinds of insights?

Event: Social Media Increase Your Marketing Effectiveness
Kent: Thank you for asking. I feel bad because the timing is odd, a little off in May, it’s going into the summer hiatus for my professional speaking career. Typically, it slows down in May and picks back up in September. But, my next engagement or learning opportunity that’s in the under $60 range is a social media three-hour workshop, hands-on workshop at the Portland chapter of SCORE, which is a national program. It’s a step-by-step, what you need to do to build a social media presence for a small business, and that’s at SCORE on June 1 here in downtown Portland. You can find more information at SCORE PDX or at Anvil Media on our event section or at pdxMindshare.com.

I’d also recommend keep checking out pdxMindshare.com for other events ideas. We have an event calendar as well as monthly workshops the third Wednesday of the month, which I believe is tomorrow, or next week, for Mindshare. But they’re more career-oriented events versus specifically marketing. And then SEMpdx. If you’re particularly interested in digital marketing and growing your brand that way then I recommend checking out SEMpdx.org and see what their upcoming learning events are. They maybe a little on the advanced side, for many installers, that’s still worth a look.

Glenna: Well, absolutely, solar installers, please, if you’re in the Oregon Portland area check out Kent’s June 1 crash course in social media. That is a no-brainer right there. Thank you for sharing all of that, Kent. And one more thing, you’ve mentioned the Anvil Media website. Can you just give it to us one more time?

Kent: Yes, AnvilMediaInc.com. A-N-V-I-L-M-E-D-I-A-I-N-C.com.

Glenna: Excellent. All right. I’m Glenna Wiseman with Identity3, and today we’ve had the pleasure of talking again with Kent Lewis of Anvil Media, an award-winning integrated marketing agency based in Portland, Oregon.

Subscribe to the Marketing Solar podcast series for more tips and advice to build your solar installation business.

This series is supported by Energy Trust of Oregon at EnergyTrust.org

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Glenna Wiseman is a solar industry marketing veteran who brings the installer’s point of view to marketing communications. Her solar marketing expertise dates from 2007. For five of those years, she led the marketing initiatives for a California based solar installation firm. Glenna Wiseman has worked to build integration companies for more than 10 years, resulting in a holistic and enterprise-level perspective on marketing for solar installers. She is the principal of Identity3, delivering vibrant marketing to empower a sustainable world. Find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

By | 2016-05-19T15:50:44-07:00 May 19th, 2016|2 Comments


  1. […] Read the full transcript or listen to the podcast online. For more information about applying for Energy Trust business development funds for the Anvil Media Marketing Index Snapshot and other marketing activities, go to EnergyTrust.org/BusinessDevelopment. […]

  2. The role of graphics in a strong solar brand December 1, 2016 at 9:57 am

    […] need for consistency includes the use of social media graphics, especially because social media is so driven by visual elements. But being consistent doesn’t […]

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