Analytics are essential to a good solar marketing campaign. This article covers what solar marketing analytics is, why it’s important, how Apple broke the system, and how to best implement it today.
What is solar marketing analytics?
Solar marketing analytics is a method of analyzing your solar marketing efforts via data.
You track the ways users arrive on your website and the actions they take once they are there.
By implementing robust marketing analytics, you can assess which solar marketing channels are providing the most visitors, inquiries, and ROI.
Why marketing analytics are necessary for solar companies
Marketing analytics are incredibly helpful for all B2C companies, but they are especially helpful in solar lead generation.
Margins are tight in residential solar. It’s critical to know how effective each of your marketing channels are.
Each dollar you save on marketing goes right to your bottom line.
Why the old way of solar marketing analytics won’t work anymore
It used to be easy to market to solar customers on Facebook. You could show them whatever ads you wanted, they’d come to your site, and you and Facebook would see exactly what actions they took. This made it easy to optimize for users who would ultimately call or submit an inquiry. It made it cheap to generate a bunch of leads.
It worked because Facebook was given free reign to collect as much data as they wanted about your users and feed it directly into their complicated algorithms that are creepily prescient about your every desire.
Most people have heard the example of Target knowing a teen was pregnant before her father did. Unfettered data access made it possible.
No more, at least not digitally.
Apple upended solar marketing via Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) and iOS 14.
With ITP, Apple blocked all third-party tracking, preventing sites like Facebook from following users every move. Overnight, Facebook’s tracking stopped working.
With iOS 14, users were presented with an easy and obvious way to opt out of data collection.
Facebook adapted of course but they lost a ton of data. Cookies expired in just 24 hours! They cobbled together their aggregated event measurement system – a fancy way of saying “we don’t know exactly what’s happening but this is our best guess.” But the damage was done. For the most part, form submissions and phone calls were disconnected from the actions users took beforehand.
While this is great for web users’ privacy, it made marketing to solar prospects more difficult.
Inquiries have plummeted. Ad costs have gone up. Facebook’s stock has been decimated.
But Apple shared a way that websites could still capture analytics data. Enter server-side tagging.
Solar marketing analytics toolkit
Server-side tagging is the newest, completely kosher way of tracking user behavior. Essentially, you create an intermediary between Facebook’s data tracker and their data servers, monitoring and approving what gets sent.
By doing so, the data you collect becomes first-party, allowing you to use it to your heart’s content.
As an added benefit, your website will load faster leading to more conversions.
Google Analytics 4
Google is shutting down the current version of Google Analytics. You must switch over to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by July 1, 2023.
That’s reason enough to switch to GA4, but it does provide some additional benefits to solar marketers such as automated event tracking.
Facebook’s Conversions API
If you’re marketing solar services on Facebook, it’s essential to use the Conversions API. If you don’t, you’re wasting money.
How to implement solar marketing analytics for 2023
You could try to figure this all out on your own. There is a ton of information out there and you’re smart enough to run a solar company. If you want to go that route, we recommend starting with Analytics Mania.
However, you may be the type of person who pays for expertise. In that case, consider contacting Solariety.
We specialize in solar marketing analytics. Schedule a 15-minute call to discuss how we can help you set up your analytics toolkit, saving you money on your solar marketing spend!