Capitalise on the Green Homes Grant
The new Green Homes Grant scheme is being rolled out across the country. It’s sure to have a big impact on tradespeople and energy specialists, who will benefit from a big uptick in business over the next six months.
The Government initiative to ‘build back greener’, which went live in September, aims to make more than 600,000 homes across the country more energy efficient. It’s thought that this will also support 100,000 skilled jobs.
If you’re one of the businesses that’s eligible (either through the Trustmark scheme or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation) and you’ve registered and been approved to supply & fit home energy improvements, now’s the time to get busy and make sure that people in your local area know about your services.
Marketing your business in the right way now, and having a plan in place as the work starts to come in – and your time gets stretched – will help to ensure you make the most of the opportunity.
To get you started we’ve put together some ideas to help you make a plan of action. Take a look through & then get in touch if you have questions or would like some help to get your business in front of your target customers.
14 Ways To Boost Your Green Homes Grant Marketing
The scheme has (in theory) already started. Homeowners and landlords have already had nearly two months to understand what’s included and whether they may be eligible. For many, the Green Homes Grant will be a great way to get some help to pay for planned home improvements, and they will be keen to start finding the right people to do the work for them. Make sure they see your business when they’re looking.
Get accredited as an approved supplier. If you still haven’t done this then what are you waiting for?
There is predicted to be a shortage of qualified assessors and installers for the demand, so getting on the Government’s approved list as soon as possible means you’ll have a great head start on those that don’t have the right skills or qualifications. Then you can get started on promoting what you do best.
Make sure your site is easy to use and it’s clear what you do, how you can help and how to get started.
It’s a strange thing, but many people don’t often look at their site critically once it’s been built. Now is the time to take a look at it through your customer’s eyes to see whether it represents you in a professional manner, tells them clearly what they need to know and is easy to navigate around and get in contact with you. If it’s not up to scratch, or if you need advice on whether it can be improved, drop us a line.
Up your social media game
Social media is great for reaching a wider audience of people and targeting ads to very specific groups or locations. To start with, put some posts out showcasing your work and informing households about what they are entitled to & how you can help. Don’t try and spread yourself too thinly by trying to post on every social media platform. Instead, pick the one you know best (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and make sure you also share each post on Google My Business. Even though it isn’t strictly a social platform like the rest, it is still part of Google and goes towards helping the overall visibility of your company when people search online (more on this later).
Have marketing literature ready
Be ready for when people do enquire or when you are speaking to people while out & about e.g. business cards, digital and printed brochures, leaflets with a specific offer, signage to place outside client properties.
Make sure your branding is up to date & consistent across all your materials and that the message is specifically about energy saving products & services.
Keep an eye on your competitors
While you shouldn’t be overly concerned with what others are doing, it’s always good to know what competitors are doing to win business. Some basic research on what they are up to can help you understand how you can fit in & where you can improve your offer and differentiate yourself further .
If you only provide one of the services included in the Green Homes Grant, look for partners who install other solutions, or items in the other tier (Tier 1 or Tier 2) so you can work together and all benefit from sharing contacts and referrals.
Keep it fresh
Now’s the time to put some fresh content on your site about how your products & services can save energy, reduce carbon footprint & save money. Google rewards sites that feature up to date, informative articles, videos and infographics, which will not only help potential customers make the decision to get in touch, but will make your site more visible to others when they’re Googling for approved suppliers and installers.
It’s also worth including links to resources and trusted sources of information (Government & local authority sites, trade bodies, industry publications etc.) to back up / expand on your information.
Old school still works!
Step up your traditional offline marketing methods such as ads in local publications, flyers, and connections with local community eco & business groups. People still want to do business with people who are local and known to them. Plus not everyone is searching online or scrolling through Facebook all the time – newly retired and older homeowners are some of the most energy and environmentally conscious, but are less likely to spend as long searching online.
Print advertising will help create a ‘belt & braces’ campaign to supplement your online marketing, and get you seen by the widest community possible, so make sure it’s part of your marketing plan.
Show off your accreditations, qualifications and memberships of professional bodies in prominent places such as your website, email footers, quotes. These are ‘indicators of trust‘ which go to subliminally reinforce people’s opinion about your suitability and trustworthiness and can elevate your company above the rest who may not have (or display) such expertise (e.g. FMB, TrustMark, MCS). Even customer reviews from a trusted source (e.g. CheckATrade, Google My Business) or mentioning your longevity in trading can help.
Speak to your different customers
Be aware of customer motivations for taking action – environmental, cost savings, adding value. You can also play to the timing of their actions to encourage action sooner rather than later – to make bigger savings, limited time offers and to get informed to make the right decision.
Use behavioural psychology to boost your success
We all like to believe we think independent thoughts and make our own decisions, but actually we’re pack animals, so tend to conform to social norms & often take actions because others have done so.
One simple way of capitalising on this is to gain a foothold in a local area. Studies have shown that people are influenced to install solar panels by near neighbours who have already installed them (ref: Peer Effects in the Diffusion of Solar Panels) . So it could be worth cutting the first few customers a deal so that you get seen in a local village, road or estate.
You can take this up a notch by finding people who will sing your praises and actively promote you to their neighbours, family or work colleagues. Ideally they should be an existing customer, as advocates are most compelling when they themselves have undertaken the behaviour (i.e. installed solar panels or a heat source pump).
One study found that when an advocate related why he or she had installed residential solar panels, 63% more people followed suit than when the advocate had not actually installed panels.
Up your Google game
A whole industry has grown up around getting businesses seen at the top of the search engine results, but there is one no-brainer action that all businesses need to take: set up a Google My Business profile.
It’s completely free and Google My Business will help drive more local customers to your website. When set up correctly, it’s a great tool to let customers know everything about the services you offer, images of your team or work carried out, customer reviews and directions to your offices. Importantly, it’s used by Google across its other tools to verify and prioritise business information, so is essential to getting seen in search results & Google Maps.
How can we help you?
Hopefully there are a few nuggets in there that you can start using to increase the effectiveness of your marketing and win more business for people looking to make their homes greener as part of the Green Home Grant scheme.
If you would like help setting up your business essentials, or feel that you could improve your current marketing then please contact us.
Remember, the grant is currently only in operation until the end of March, so the next few weeks & months are a crucial period to grow your business. If you want advice on how to apply any of these tips, or would like help getting started, get in touch to have a chat with one of our directors.