Online advertising campaigns also known as E-Commerce, can be very cost-effective and highly targeted by demographics, areas of interest, or geographic. Ads appear on topic-related blogs, on search engine pages (e.g. Google) and on content pages utilizing what is known as search engine optimization (SEO) (e.g., when you search for information about a related topic and select a website to view):
Target ads by age, gender, income, language preference, zip code, or hot spots
Types of Searches:
Target ads by type of search conducted, based on key words
Ads are usually sold per “click”—the viewer has clicked on the ad and been sent to the CHCC - Energy Experts International co-branded website. There are four Ad types are used with online ad purchases:
1. Google ads that place ads both on its search pages and on hundreds of websites, targeted by the above
2. Networks that target specific sites and blogs that match our target audiences (e.g., Hive Blogs Los Angeles offers 350 LA blogs to choose from)
3. Directly through select publishers (e.g., Curbed LA, Green Girl LA, local papers online)
4. Online editions of local papers in pilot marketing areas
Social media can push information to our target audiences, increase perceptions of the program as community-based, reach those who will help generate additional buzz/independent marketing efforts about our program, and provide a mechanism for listening to what people are saying about the CHCC energy upgrade opportunity — and responding when necessary.
Twitter users are mostly college graduates, have attended graduate school and live in households making over $50,000 a year (nationally). Users are three times more likely to follow brands and companies on Twitter than other users of social networks, with 40% specifically using Twitter to learn about and provide opinions on brands.
Twitter can push the latest developments and news to people who have expressed an interest in the CHCC Program (they must sign up to receive our Tweets or have searched for tag words included in our Tweets.)
It’s also an easy way for those who follow the CHCC on Twitter to share Tweets with their friends, thereby generating buzz and helping market the CHCC Program.
Twitter can share the CHCC Program news in real time; drive people to the website, facilitate early adopters/buzz-makers, reach younger homeowners and increase marketing efforts at a low cost.
Twitter can be effectively used to communicate the CHCC Program and its milestones in a variety of ways:
· Tweet about press releases, major announcements, new items on website or blogs, media stories, and articles; especially about those that are time sensitive and tell our audience what is happening with the CHCC Program and encourages them to participate or find out more.
· Put a Tweet icon on the main website, allowing visitors to the website to begin to follow the CHCC energy efficiency, energy management program on Twitter with one click.
· Follow others who Tweet about the CHCC Program, as well as those who Tweet about related topics. This will provide an opportunity to directly respond to a person who has a question about the CHCC Program, and point them to a link to our website.
· 100 Los Angeles homeowners have signed up for the CHCC Energy Efficiency Program
· Read about California’s newest energy efficiency, energy management program at the CHCC (co-branded) website at www.newwebsite.com
· Want to save on your electric bills? Check out www.newwebsite.com
· Sign-up for the CHCC Energy Efficiency contest for a chance to win a free home energy efficiency retrofit at www.newwebsite.com
Setting up a Twitter account is free, as is using an application such as TweetDeck that helps follow others who are Tweeting about the CHCC Energy Efficiency/Management Program. The only significant cost is staff time, which can be limited to a few hours a week.
Facebook is a low-cost and easy way of both marketing the CHCC Energy Efficiency, Energy Management Program and supporting an online community of people interested in the CHCC Program.
It will reach audiences who are more likely to spend time on Facebook versus a website, and who may prefer to receive short, real time CHCC Program news via Facebook rather than emails or websites.
It is ideal for posting links to videos and photos related to the project. It complements the website; a place where fans of the CHCC Program can find information, ask questions and share ideas and excitement. These fans will generate buzz by telling their friends about the Program through Facebook.
A Facebook page should contain information about the CHCC Program, a link to the website, Program news, videos, photographs, and other information. When the page is updated, fans will receive links in email alerting them to the new posts.
Facebook is also ideal for sharing the story of an early adopter (who will also Tweet) through updates, photographs and videos. It lends itself much more naturally to this people-focused approach than a website, which is more formal.
· Encourage and perhaps reward CHCC Program adopters to share their experiences, ask questions, etc.
· Set up controls to determine what content fans and followers can post to the wall
· Monitor updates to the wall and take down inappropriate content
· Respond to issues, questions, and take part in energy-based informative conversations
· A designated staff person should monitor the site; it is also ideal if several staff members post content, and if partners are active participants, although the overall strategy should be centralized
Here are some examples of the types of postings for a Facebook page:
“Why did you decide to participate in the CHCC Energy Efficiency Program? Tell us how your energy efficiency retrofit is going and we’ll enter you for a chance to win a $50 Northgate Gonzales gift card.”
"Wondering whether the CHCC Energy Management Program is right for you? Check out this video of the Smiths installing new insulation and windows-- and receiving a $3,500 rebate!”
Relatively few direct costs; staff time will fluctuate during busy/calm periods, with high activity at the beginning as the CHCC Program kicks off and a fan base is established.
Ongoing staff time needed to keep page fresh with 3-4 posts per week, daily maintenance required to monitor postings from fans and followers.
Blogs reach target audiences who are already interested in related topics and who have high potential to participate in the Program. There are many existing blogs that can be used in further marketing efforts.
Identify bloggers who will likely write positively about the CHCC Program. Send PR Newswire press release, fact sheets, and CHCC Program information to bloggers who write about topics such as the environment, energy efficiency, home improvement remodeling, real estate/housing, bargains/saving money, as well as to companies that sell solar panels, contractors, etc.
Bloggers are looking for topical stories to write about, and we will make their next blog post easy. Because the CHCC Energy Program is a high reward/optional Program, bloggers will write favorably and help tell the story in a friendly, accessible and easy-to-under- stand way (although we don’t have control over what they write).
People who are dissatisfied will write negative comments, but we will monitor blogs and actively correct misperceptions.
To monitor what others are writing about the CHCC Energy Efficiency – Management on their blogs, we will use free programs like Technorati or Google Reader to scan all blogs and websites that mention the Program.
Green Girl LA Blog (http://greenlagirl.com).
This independent blog is focused on environmental happenings in Los Angeles. A recent post was about a green networking event featuring The Building Doctors, presenting ways to make your house more energy efficient. Previously a reporter/blogger for the LA Times, the writer is active and covers a wide variety of environmental/green topics happening in Los Angeles.
LA Times Home Blog (www.latimesblogs.latimes.com/home_ blog)
focuses on topics related to houses, and has several recent posts about green remodeling. One advantage of a major newspaper is that the reporting is accurate and the readership is larger. They recently wrote about auditions for This Old House, which is featuring a Los Angeles area house for a summer remodel.
Bargain Babe (http://www.bargainbabela.townluxe.com)
Features Los Angeles bargains. You can search for bargains by area of LA (Westside, etc.) or by topic. This blogger recently wrote about appliance rebates.
LA Times Green Remodeling (www.latimesblogs.latimes.com/par-donourdust/green_remodeling)
Writes about all topics related to remodeling in Southern California, with several recent posts on green topics. A recent post reviewed the different advantages of installing various tank-less water heaters. Pitch that the blogger follow a home energy retrofit and help tell their story, as well as announce basic CHCC Program information.
Other Blog Options
· Home Remodeling: www.kathysremodelingblog.com
· Energy Efficiency: www.lowimpactliving.com/blog/
· LA Creek Freak: https://lacreekfreak.wordpress.com
· LA Observed: www.laobserved.com
· LAist: https://laist.com
Post all videos related to the project on YouTube. We will work with our partners to develop a contest for early adopters to film their experience and let website visitors vote on the best. Winner receives a prize to be determined.
Develop an engaging, informative 6-8 minute video, focusing on contractors and homeowners that can be used during presentations and presented on multiple media formats. The video should be shot both in English and in Spanish and cover:
• How the rebates and incentives work to create a sense of urgency about doing the energy upgrades sooner rather putting it off, to take advantage of said incentives and rebates.
• The “seal then enhance” whole house concept
• What the Program elements actually look like and how they are installed, to overcome barriers such as that one might have to move out of the house or the energy upgrades are “ugly.”
• Working with a contractor, what being licensed and certified means.
• Financing options
• Doing the paperwork
From That Video, Develop:
• Three individual 2-minute videos for use online, each focusing on a specific topic— again in both English and Spanish
• A :15 and a :30 spot, each in English and Spanish, for use on television broadcast stations
· Customizable fact sheets: Information sheets (one page, front and back) in English, Spanish that can also be posted on the website as PDFs.
· Program brochure: More highly designed for placement in CHCC Offices and at CHCC Events.
· Customizable Brochure. Branded with Energy Experts International for contractors and realtors to hand to customers.
· Signage: Banners for events, posters for Posters for CHCC Offices and small events, and potentially signage for bus sides/transit shelters.
Statewide and Regional CHCC Staff should receive kits to ensure everyone is familiar with key messages and has information to give to constituents. These can be sent directly to their CHCC offices or distributed through the Internet. Kits should contain:
• Talking points
• DVD of the Video
• PPT presentation for public meetings
• Printed brochures for regional offices, to include with welcome packets for new Hispanic homeowners