The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act kicks off the injection of $369 billion into the U.S. clean energy economy. After a decade of slow growth, reports indicate venture capital interest in clean energy soared in the first months following the bill’s passage. And with record levels of capital from other sources continuing to flow into the energy transition, the growth opportunity for energy and climate-tech companies is immense and competitive.
Anywhere there is growth and competition, marketing and communications play a major role in demonstrating a company’s potential and unique capabilities or approach to attract investment. In this case, these functions will be called on to reach clean energy investors and support funding initiatives. Here’s your communications and marketing playbook with four tips to do just that.
1. Build Content and Authority on Key Topics
What do you want clean energy investors to think of when they think of you? Does your content demonstrate your deep and unique expertise in these areas? Do you rank for these key topics?
To answer these questions with a solid YES, start by identifying the keywords and topic clusters you want to be known for with investment audiences. Identify what content you already have that supports these areas, whether it could use some refreshing (it could!), and what content you want to create in various formats.
To do this effectively consider building a content hub on your website. This storage-center of content can help educate on new technologies, discuss trends and industry news, and show how your strategy and products fit into the energy transition and meet market challenges.
Then take it one step further. To gain the most mileage out of every piece of content, use paid digital tactics to amplify your message to a targeted investor audience. Tactics like social, search, and sponsored content are all good places to start. Lean on your agency partners to advise you on budgets and channels, and to test, measure, and adjust along the way. And keep the fresh content coming!
2. Demonstrate Momentum with Steady News
Communicators may say the press release is dead, but investors didn’t get that memo — maybe we should put it in a press release!
Jokes aside, in a fundraising environment, a baseline strategy is demonstrating steady growth and momentum. And while releases may not generate media interest or unique coverage, they serve as a trusted conduit to investors to share progress, such as new customers, partners, strategic hires, and product updates, among other topics. These milestones demonstrate consistent progress and remind clean energy investors that the time to invest is yesterday. Distribute them on the wire, through email marketing, social channels, and directly to investor targets. Then, pitch the “news” as part of a larger solution and indicator of a growing sector of the energy transition.
3. Elevate Your Experts
As energy communicators, our focus is on the products and solutions driving the energy transition. But remember that people and strong leaders are the ones who inspire progress, and it is people who we ultimately invest in. It is also important to elevate your executive team’s strengths and showcase their ability to lead throughout the energy transition.
Creating a robust thought leadership program is essential to building credibility and establishing your company as an industry leader and visionary. Your thought leaders must present a unique point of view to garner the placement and engagement you desire. That’s what makes them thought-provoking and inspiring.
To get started, set up an executive thought leadership program that leverages the profiles of your executives across social platforms, earned media, bylines, and speaking and awards opportunities to position your company as an authority in the industry. Make sure your content is human-centered and captures the voices of your leaders so they become part of what your company is known for.
4. Go Beyond an ESG Report
When the goal is to attract capital in the energy industry, leaders must be prepared to address their strategy through an ESG lens. ESG-focused institutional investment is set to soar, with eight out of ten U.S. investors planning to increase their allocations to ESG products over the next two years. This means energy communicators will need help to prioritize and then explain how their company is addressing material issues along with the companies’ unique role in the energy transition.
Determining material issues often comes down to two questions. One, is it likely that this issue will impact the business significantly in terms of growth, cost, or risk? And two, do your stakeholders expect action on this issue? Once aligned on those value drivers across the entire organization, begin to piece together the complete sustainability story that speaks to your clean energy investors and differentiates you from competitors. From there, create a tailored and meaningful ESG report to communicate how your sustainability strategy relates to business goals, financial success, and the energy transition.
But don’t stop after you’ve published the ESG report. We often see clean energy companies release an ESG report once a year and then do little else with it. Instead, consider incorporating ESG messaging into your communications and marketing strategies. Use your other channels, such as your blogs, social media, and earned and paid media, to continuously engage investors with ESG information that is accessible, digestible, and contextualized.
Maximize Your Opportunity for Success with Clean Energy Investors
Now that you have the playbook in hand, you know that standing out and attracting investors follows many of the same strategies as an effective integrated communications program. Which means, with the right targeting and tailored messaging ready to launch, teams across your organization can quickly align and build on best practices already in place.
That said, in the face of rapid industry growth, it becomes incredibly difficult for one company and team to do everything. By leveraging an agency partnership, energy communicators can do more faster without sacrificing quality. Full-service agencies hyper-focused on energy communications are the extra sets of eyes, ears, and know-how to help you stand out to clean energy investors as a market leader in the energy transition.