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How to Get Solar Leads with Facebook Ads

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Solar Leads

Solar Facebook ads are a great way to get a lot of solid solar leads. Learn how it all works with Facebook lead generation ad examples here.

Did you know that nearly 80% of marketers who utilize Facebook for lead generation see an average cost per lead of under $25? Not only that, but for many industries, the cost per click of Facebook ads remains well under a dollar.

So, what does this mean for you if you’re looking to generate leads with solar Facebook ads? If you’re a residential solar company, then it’s likely that you’re always on the lookout for new solar marketing tips.

With the above stats in mind, it means that if you’re not using Facebook ads and performing lead generation for solar. You’re missing out. In this article, we’ll show you how to create a Facebook ad campaign that targets homeowners interested in solar energy and incentives.

Transforming a Home Solar Company as Chief Marketing Officer

I’m Jim Alamia from Invention Solar, and making Facebook ads was a business and a personal goal. But it also became a “mission of mercy.”. After working for about 20 years, I discovered the residential solar business.  I was running my LinkedIn system and messaged a college friend. Who set me up as a marketing consultant for a home solar company in New Jersey. As their chief marketing officer, I brought new talented employees to the company and managed its rebranding. Eventually, the company became one of the largest residential solar companies in the Northeast.

During my tenure as CMO, the team accomplished various marketing deliverables and helped to grow and energize the company. There are various distribution tactics that residential solar marketers can engage with. The successful tactics we have found are door-to-door canvassing, call center outbound appointment setting, inbound digital marketing, buying various types of data, warm-transfers inbound, event marketing, and end-to-end CRM and lead flow systems.

Successful Marketing Tactics for Residential Solar Marketers

One of the keys to success in solar lead generation is executing marketing on all cylinders (omnichannel approach). Feed your lead and appointment data to a system that will monetize your lead generation and route calls, leads, and appointments—consequently, Re-hash records to the company’s appropriate call center team members.

Having 100% visibility into lead flow with marketing automation. Marketing operations are pivotal to your success in growing and scaling solar marketing.

This article focuses on key learnings about generating inbound leads using Facebook Ads. Remember, we have spent thousands of hours executing Facebook Ads because their Ad platform is consistently changing. This article speaks to the strategies and tactics at a high level so that this information doesn’t become dated over time.

At the bottom of the article, I also talk about other distribution platforms you should be testing and thinking about. This is all about doing and execution, and you can read all the articles.  You can watch tons of videos related to solar Facebook marketing. But you need to prepare and execute the ads in measurable and manageable pieces while exercising kinesthetic-tactile learning (by doing marketing hands-on).

How to Generate Leads with Solar Facebook Ads

Before diving into your Facebook Ads campaign, it’s important to start by formulating a cohesive Facebook lead generation strategy. This includes:

  • Conducting competitive analysis
  • Using tools to examine competition
  • Creating a detailed strategic plan with the tactics to back it up

When performing competitive analysis, you should know that successful marketers. Use a lead generation brand to generate leads instead of marketing as their proprietary solar company. You need to do your competitive analysis on these lead-gen sites and brands. You will get more success as a 3rd party lead-gen and a lower cost-per-lead (CPL) over time.

Competitive analysis is critical to your success. Before you analyze your competition’s Facebook and Instagram solar Ads, you should conduct an overall analysis from a business strategy and SEO perspective.

Here are 2 videos we shot that give you a detailed guide and footprint toward conducting competition analysis correctly.

Strategy – Performing Competitive Analysis – Video 1

Strategy – Performing Competitive Analysis – Video 2

After you learn from these videos, you can drill down and look at solutions to help you analyze competitor Ads and audiences. Attributes to the extent that you can. Here is a review site with a list of Facebook competitor analysis tools for marketers.

For example, you might want to analyze top lead-gen competitors in your geographical market. See what kind of Facebook campaigns they are running. Remember to do your homework and use free trial programs until you find something. That works well for you and your team’s process.

Although many companies use CEE solar leads, we have found that generating your own exclusive leads has a higher appointment set and stick rate.

Strategy – Performing Competitive Analysis

I remember having a Word doc on my computer for every solar ad and landing page. When I find a solar ad, I take a screenshot and add it to my document. When I was done, the document was 200 pages full of ads, landers, and form widgets. My team and I analyzed the document for many hours and just kept reorganizing and testing, and it helped me formulate an overall strategy. I also spent time learning from other marketers and refining the process.

From my experience, you don’t want to overthink your ad and audience creation; keep it simple. Use video ads and show them things they have never seen before.

Use that knowledge to create unique ads, messaging, and tactics to stand out. This might include targeting a specific demographic or offering a special promotion. Regardless of what you choose to offer, here are eight tips that can help you succeed.

The big idea in performing marketing is to deliver the right message to the right audience. Give them the reasons and make it clear for them to take the next step.

Create Your Own Landing Page Experience

When running FB solar Ads and Instagram ads, it’s important to make sure you have a well-structured landing page experience. This means using the AIDA formula to grab attention, create interestmake a decision, and ultimately take action. It’s a real-life sales funnel where page and data structure matter.

Your goal is to produce useful content that helps your audience as your visitors scroll and read down the page. They will be guided to the form widget. The form widget is a form mechanism that captures one piece of information from the users in various steps. This information is then recorded to your lead database, one piece of data at a time, and then marketing automation will take over.

As you get more sophisticated with your lead form widget and lead flow into your CRM and marketing automation system. You can engage with ‘progressive profiling’ where user data from various sessions is aggregated. For example, your lead widget can capture the homeowner’s utility bill amount in step 1, then in step 2, you can get their email, then in step 3, you can get their name, etc.

Here Are The Examples

In this example, if the user abandons after step 2, then at least you have their email address, you can start an email drip and nurture the user with useful email content, and then subsequently, you will engage the user and ascertain other information that is needed such as a street address, phone number and so on.

The landing page is where your audience will “land” after clicking on your ad, so making a good impression and guiding them through the sales funnel is crucial. By following the AIDA formula, you can ensure your landing page is engaging and encourages user action.

Always point them toward a lead generation form at the bottom of the page. It’s very important to have your social proof right under the form. Social proof will assist the user (homeowner) to complete the form widget. Social proof is usually a testimonial pull quote from a customer or a text string of social media comments.

Although many companies use CEE solar leads, we have found that generating your own exclusive leads has a higher appointment set and stick rate.

Make Your Landing Page Look Like Third-Party Lead Generation

As mentioned earlier in the article, make your landing page look like a third-party lead generation page when possible. This simply means that selling your business right now is not too important. Lead with federal initiatives and discuss the ITC – Investment Tax Credit benefits. You can also lead your messaging with state incentives if they are available in the markets you focus on.

You’re trying to sell them on the benefits of what you offer first. Then, strategically incorporate a lead form widget that requests one piece of information at a time from the user. Using content as a news article with a good angle has worked well for my team. This content model and framework is also known as an Advertorial.

Maximizing Solar Lead Generation with Effective Facebook Tactics

You would use the consideration lead generation tactics when running Facebook solar lead generation campaigns. Make your CTA (call-to-action) the landing page destination.

Regarding Facebook and Instagram lead-generation ads examples, this example from one of our lead-gen brands, Utility Book, is a great example of what a well-done 3rd party landing page looks like, so you can put this strategy into context.

You should also evaluate using other lead-generation Facebook tactics. For example, you can use the Facebook lead form method, where Facebook and Instagram Ads will have a pre-canned form that shows up under the Ad, on the news feed, and in other locations on the platforms.  Make sure you try both methods and keep testing.  Never stop testing.

Send Leads to Your Internal Team

Assuming your Facebook solar ads are optimized, and your landing page is converting, it’s time to streamline the process.

Having a plan for what happens after someone expresses interest is important. How do you verify and qualify them as a lead? How do you schedule an appointment for your sales team to follow up with them?

One solution is to have an internal team dedicated to confirming leads and setting appointments. This way, your sales team can focus on closing deals instead of spending time reaching out to unqualified leads or chasing down appointments.

The Critical Importance of Effective Lead Flow and Operational Systems

There is a science to delivering the right leads to your internal teams. After you scale and start to figure things out on the solar coaster, you will begin to understand that certain team members should be performing outbound cold calling and appointment setting, certain team members should be servicing the inbound leads, and certain team members should be performing call confirmations to ensure that homeowners are ready with their bill and spouse to meet with your solar specialist.

Lead flow is super important; you can do everything right and drop the ball because you are not using business sense. I have seen many companies screw up lead flow royally because they simply didn’t test enough and didn’t figure out that they had bugs in their lead flow and operational systems until weeks or months later.  Pay attention; the devil is in the details.

Pay Attention to Your Facebook Audience

Are you not seeing the clickthrough or conversion rates you’d like? One of the best things you can do is build out your audience targeting to include different demographics and niche buyer personas.

Creating multiple audiences allows you to create targeted ad campaigns that speak directly to each group’s specific needs and interests.

It is good practice and standard practice to run awareness campaigns to your audience first, then after a period of time use that same audience and run consideration or lead generation Ads, you will see better lead results after you had a chance to “warm-up” your audience.

And don’t forget about Facebook’s look-alike audience feature. This allows you to broaden your reach by targeting users with characteristics and behaviors similar to your current audience.

You must be highly organized and systematic as you test various audiences with your relevant copy. When you discover a variation that works well, test around the topic by shortening the copy and getting clever and creative.

Getting Creative with Audience Building and Messaging

Back in the day, we used to build audiences by geographical area; for example, if we were marketing to a home solar company in Middletown NY, we would build an audience of homeowners in Middletown, New York, and then create a video with messaging on it that said something like “The Federal Government is Paying Middletown NY Homeowners to Go Solar, See If Your Home Qualifies,” then lead them to a call-to-action to complete the form widget.

Since this time, Facebook has updated its audience tools by eliminating the homeowner selectors, so you need to be able to pivot and get creative while maximizing your spending and eliminating low-quality leads.  To succeed, you must be on top of the latest trends and best practices and test, test, test.

Create Short Video Ads

Short video ads with messaging on the video can be incredibly effective in capturing attention and generating more solar leads.

Movement is key. Think quickly, changing scenes or text overlays that flash on the screen. And don’t forget about your messaging. Lead with incentives, less is more, and structure your ad copy like a Q&A or problem-and-solution scenario.

It may take a little extra effort but building Facebook Ad videos with these elements can help boost engagement and conversions. People like immediate gratification and WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). Think of this when preparing your ad copy. What can you give them to get their information?

My team has used drone footage on home solar systems with messaging. You need to show them things they have never seen before. Video content is king.

Understand Your Budget

When running successful Facebook advertising campaigns, understanding your ad budget is crucial. It’s important to ensure you have enough funds to run your ad for the time you want and track any ad spend.

And when it comes to budgeting for your ad, experimentation is key. Try playing around with various times of day for ad placement and see what works best for your audience. Examine the data results and continually evaluate and refine your ad placements for maximum effectiveness. We have found that the afternoon into the evening is a suitable time to run Facebook and Instagram Ads, but this does depend on the geographical area.

Budget Considerations: Investing Adequate Funds for Campaign Duration

You can do this type of marketing with hundreds of dollars in a specific location, but to make this work, you must spend thousands of dollars and run campaigns for weeks. If you can get an appointment to sit for under $200, you are going down the right road. Remember, these are leads with intent, and these leads are exclusive to your solar company.

Our team does what it can to dial in leads at $25 and under, but this depends on the geographical area. Many US states are new to residential solar; in other states, solar has been around for 15 years. Also, depending upon the size of your audience and budget will determine how quickly your ad is pushed to the user. After you circulate through the audience with the same ad a couple of times, you will begin to see the degradation of ad performance. Therefore, it is important to have different ads and equitable audience sizes.

Track Your KPIs

When running Facebook ads for solar leads, tracking your statistics and key performance indicators is essential. Testing different ad variations will help you fine-tune your approach and find what works best.

To track all your campaigns and the overall lead-generation strategy, you must ensure you have your Facebook pixel installed correctly on your website. Many details are involved with correctly installing the pixels on your website and form widget step location. Make sure you really understand how the tracking pixel system works and lay out the marketing funnel with pixels in the right locations.

Now it’s time to calculate your marketing spend alongside your sales. These are the major buckets you should be tracking:

  • Marketing Spend – how much you have spent
  • Impressions – the number of ads served to Facebook and Instagram active users
  • Leads (CPL) – the number of complete lead form submissions
  • Appointments Confirmed – the number of leads you could contact and schedule an appointment.
  • Appointments that Sit – the number of appointments that sit/attend your solar presentation (in person or via Zoom track separately)
  • Appointments that Close (CPA) – appointments that you sell. Also known as cost per acquisition
  • Appointments in nurture – appointments that go ghost, trying to reschedule, put these through a nurturing process, and rehash these records into appointments that sit.

Tracking Leads, Appointments, and Conversion Rates

Calculate how much it costs to get an email opt-in, what it costs you to nurture these opt-in records into progressive profiling, and what it costs to build a complete solid full-record solar lead.  You should push to implement and improve upon these types of things as you grow your lead flow and marketing automation processes.

However, it’s always important to keep an eye on your cost per lead, as getting it in a good place will increase the longevity of your Facebook and Instagram marketing strategy.

Finding the right formula for cost per lead concerning cost per acquisition (CPA) will ensure your investment in Facebook advertising pays off.  You are doing well if you consistently get your CPA under $1000.  Again, this depends on the geographical area.

Get Creative and Try Other Distribution Tactics

Facebook ads are a helpful tool for driving traffic to your business but relying solely on them can have drawbacks. Facebook algorithm changes can cause ad activity to decline over time, and it’s important to have a plan B in place.

Therefore it’s important to mix things up and try different forms of solar marketing. We had a client in Mount Vernon New York who made custom solar canopies, we made cool videos with visuals of this canopy solution and actionable messaging.  Homeowners loved it, and we crushed it with the marketing.  Something like this goes a long way because the reality is that not every campaign is going to work well.  You need to know when to test and when to cut bait on an idea.

For instance, creating an advertorial has value with other distribution tactics. Likewise, you might try exploring YouTube, as it can also help drive traffic to your page.  We have succeeded with Native ads, targeted banners, and real-time bidding (RTB) distribution while driving traffic to your Advertorial content-rich page.

Target Solar Demographic Ads on Facebook

Are you wondering how to target solar demographic ads on Facebook? First things first, try targeting a larger geographical area. This will give you more potential customers and prevent your ad from getting exhausted in a smaller target area.

You can also target geographical areas with high adoption rates of solar panels. You could also target people who have “liked” pages related to renewable energy or sustainability.

We have found that targeting individuals who have expressed an interest in home improvement or going green does not convert good leads. This selector has never worked for us, but it may be worth a test.

We hope this article helps you understand the terrain of running Facebook solar Ads and Instagram solar lead generation.  Use this article as a starting point, and contact us if you have any questions.

Get Help with Solar Facebook Ads for Lead Generation

Are you a solar company struggling to utilize the power of Facebook ads for lead generation? Trying to navigate the world of online advertising can be overwhelming, but that’s where we come in.

Our team has specialized experience crafting solar Facebook ads that yield results, from targeting the right audience to utilizing tracking and analysis tools.

Plus, with our help, you’ll have more time to focus on delivering top-notch solar services. Click here to schedule a free consultation today.

Thank you for spending time with Invention Solar,

Jim Alamia

Residential Solar Mad Scientist



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