Solartive is a 100% Northland-owned and operated solar power business, with teams based in Whangārei and Mangonui. Owner Ella Te Huia-Phillips had been working in the renewable energy market and saw an opportunity to create her own business offering affordable solar solutions to whānau and communities across Te Tai Tokerau.
Ella and the team at Solartive see the need for solar power in rural Northland communities and the challenges individuals face when trying to set up solar themselves without access to the latest technology.
When we first met Ella in late 2021, the fact that we were local was really important to her and we were quickly inspired by the team’s fierce passion to help make solar more accessible and affordable across rural Northland, particularly for those families facing financial challenges. To date, 60% of their business has been supporting Māori communities, specialising in off-grid solutions with a vision of supporting rural papakāinga solar setups.
We connected Solartive to the Regional Business Partner Fund through Northland Inc, which supported the development of Solartive’s marketing strategy. We enjoyed working closely with the team to understand their business goals, define their target audiences and develop strategies on how best to communicate with them. The result was a comprehensive marketing plan to not only grow their customer base but also strongly position them as a local company, with a strong commitment to supporting the local community.
In a nutshell, we helped to communicate Solartive’s vision, passion and service to their community.
With the marketing strategy completed, the first priority was to design and build a new user-friendly website for Solartive to help the team engage with potential customers, generate leads and share knowledge and information about solar.
Educating communities was very important to the Solartive team so we designed a whole section around ‘Understanding Solar’ which covers everything from how solar can reduce power costs to understanding each element of a solar system and how it is installed in homes.
To produce a high-functioning website for a small business, it’s important to think about how your website can help you work smarter, not harder. We also developed an online quiz to help quantify leads for the team at Solartive, asking pre-qualifying questions that made sure each lead that came through the website was engaged and informed from the outset.
Once the new website was launched, we then worked to improve the wider digital presence of Solartive. We helped to make the website more visible with a Google Ads campaign to encourage leads from potential customers and firmly position the SEO performance of the new website.
We also created Meta campaigns through Instagram and Facebook to help tell Solartive’s stories to more customers. We were able to utilise the many happy customer testimonies that Solartive has accumulated throughout Northland to highlight their amazing customer care and service options.
We then saw an opportunity to further engage with Solartive’s potential customers once they had submitted an enquiry form or completed an online quiz on their new website, especially as there is often a long lead time between enquiry and sales conversion. As a result, we supported Solartive to set up a series of automated e-newsletters that talk about Solartive’s unique selling points, which help to build trust and rapport with potential customers.
Based on the company’s unique needs and internal resources, we have empowered the Solartive team to continue with their marketing activity in-house. We have worked alongside the team with regular meetings and training sessions to give key staff the skills to update the content on their website, create content marketing that is shared across social media channels and create automated newsletters.