How To Run Solar Ads As A Solar Company
With Facebook ads, you can generate leads, get attention for your brand, make people aware of something and so much more. Facebook is by far the most popular social media channel with over 2.79 billion users. In the U.S. alone, Facebook is expected to grow from 228.9 million users in 2021 to over 237.8 million users in 2025. With this knowledge, you can imagine how valuable Facebook ads can be, since you can target basically anything. It’s sometimes even scary how specific you can target. Therefore, it’s no surprise how often Mark Zuckerberg has to show up in the U.S. congress to answer questions. Often, Facebook removes or adds targeting options because of new rules or new developments. They’re also constantly changing the interface of the ads manager, so you have to stay up-to-date. As a result, it’s quite easy to miss a setting or preference. Constantly working on your ads and adjusting is a must to make it successful and most beneficial, resulting in a lower cost per lead.
When you create a new ad account, make sure to first start with a low budget (about 1000-1500 dollars for the whole month). When you set a higher budget, Facebook will start spending more for the same amount of leads. They do this to get more money out of you.
It works like this: If you set a higher budget and get a decent amount of leads, Facebook knows you’ll be happy and that you’ll use their platform for the next month as well (and use the same budget as well). If you set a lower budget, you’ll force facebook to do their ultimate best to get you a decent amount of leads because otherwise you’ll stop using their platform for the next month. They rather have less profit than no profit (obviously). Our friend Mark from Facebook already has more money than he can spend, don’t give him more when you don’t have to :)
The fact that Facebook works like this is why we always advise everyone to start with a small budget and scale over time. Sometimes, our clients think that they will get more results by going
all in the first month, we always tell them to just start out small, and scale along the way. When you scale like this, Facebook has to give you more leads for more money. Because if you get the same amount of leads for a higher budget, you’ll obviously will start spending less the next month. I think you have a clearer idea now of how Facebook works after this explanation. They don’t say it works like this, but from experience, we’ve seen it does.
General Solar Page
We use a general solar page for all our clients. What this means is that we don’t ask for access to their ad account, we just use the same general page to run all the ads. In the ads, we make sure to use our clients logos as well of course. Because we’ve spent a lot with Facebook, we get personal support when we have some issues. The more you spend, the more Facebook will like you.
How To Run Facebook Ads
Before you’ll be able to run your ads, you going to need an ad account (first a Facebook business account). In your ad account, you will see the ads manager. The ads manager enables you to set a budget for advertising and change and perfectioning the ad placement, copies (text in the ad) and more. You can use the ads manager to create relevant ads using specific interests of people on Facebook. The ads will then be shown to those valuable people exclusively. You can also set the ads to only be shown in a specific location. Facebook ads are divided up into three distinct levels: Campaigns, Ad Set and Ads. In the campaign level, you can choose from three different campaign objectives, with under every objective multiple options:
Brand Awareness (get your brand out there, will show to people that are most likely to remember your brand)
Reach (show your ad to as many people as possible)
Traffic (send people to a destination such as a website)
Engagement (get as much likes as possible)
App Installs (get as much app installs as possible)
Video Views (get as much views as possible)
Lead Generation (collect leads for your business or brand)
Messages (get more people sending your business messages)
Conversions (show your ad to people that are most likely to take action)
Catalog sales (Use your target audience to show people ads with items from your catalog)
Store Traffic (show your ads to people that are most likely to visit your store).
Ad Set Level
In the ad set level, you can choose the targeting of the ads, or pick an audience you’ve created (more about this later). You can also choose the budget and the placement of your ads.
In the ad level, you pick the creative (picture or video) and write the copy (the text in the ad). For lead generation, you want to go with lead generation as the objective in the campaign level (obviously). Sometimes conversions are possible as well. You can have multiple ads in an ad set, and multiple ad sets in a campaign. Because of this, you can test which ads work best. With this information, you can decide to shut down some ad sets or ads and scale others for better results.
Pro Tip: No Landing Pages
Don’t drive people to a landing page, this will decrease conversion rates because you’re creating an extra step. Use Facebook forms instead, and drive the submissions to your CRM. Make sure you’re asking questions that people actually have to fill out. Don’t use auto populated questions exclusively, because this will result in invalid leads.
Pro Tip: Automation
Automate the follow up. Make sure you’re using software that can do this for you, and have people call the leads as well after you’ve sent multiple messages. Follow up is key! Don’t wait. People will get quotes from the competition when you wait too long.
Pro Tip: Work On Your Offer
Work on your offer. This is the most important part of your ads. We’ve noticed that almost every single PV installer is offering the same extras like tax incentives or other financing options. Try to be a little creative with this. If everyone is offering the same benefits, leads don’t care where they buy. Go for like a coupon towards Home Depot, since people are often also improving other stuff on their house when going solar. We found that this will definitely help you generate
more leads and ultimately more sales. Even better, give people multiple options to choose from. So for example if they’re not shopping at Home Depot, give options like Lowe’s or Walmart. What's the number 1 thing that people will remember about your ads? It's the offer. "leads", or as I'd like to call them "humans", will only remember what's in it for THEM. They don't care about you. That’s the hard reality.
You can create so called custom audiences from existing customer lists, and Facebook will match their contact info to actual Facebook profiles. You can then create a so-called “look-a-like audience” from that list, which means that Facebook will search and find the top 1-10% (depending on your preferences) of people matching your custom audience as best as possible. You can probably understand that such a list is perfect for advertising, because those people are most likely also being interested in going solar. There are a lot of ways to create custom audiences.
Because we have clients all across the US, we can use the data we received in for example Florida for the ads in California. We can make audiences based on the people in Florida that we’re interested in going solar. Then, we can create a look-a-like audience with the region set in California. The more clients we have, the more data we can use to generate leads in other regions. Overtime, the leads for all our clients get better and cheaper.
Obviously, we don’t share any information about our clients’ customers with other solar companies.
Pro Tip: Local Company
Finally, in your ads, make use of the fact you’re a local company. Use pictures of employees, happy customers and more. When you’re a family owned business, let the world know! People like it when companies are local (or state wide is also fine, even when you’re active in multiple
states). They have more empathy for smaller companies than for bigger companies such as Sunrun for example.
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