Will content power a renewables revolution?
Can creating useful, engaging content and investing in social media help power a revolution in clean power generation?
Sarah Lewis-Hammond, recent speaker at Brighton Sustainability Communications Meetup, shares some of what she’s learned about content marketing and social media during the rise of investment platform Trillion Fund.
What is Trillion Fund?
A crowdfunding platform offering peer-to-peer loans and other investments in UK clean energy. Our goal is to democratise both finance and energy, and to give the renewable energy revolution a bit of a kick up the backside.
How important is creating ‘added value’ content and engaging in social media for Trillion Fund?
Very. Our plan to take over the world of energy generation is largely based on harnessing the power of the crowd.
When we create content we’re thinking “how can we get this in front of as many eyes as possible?” and “How can we get people as excited about this as we are?”
Has this changed over time?
The overall plan has ultimately always been the same but the content we produce has changed.
We’ve been through a range of content types, from syndicating other people’s content to churning out as many blogs as possible a day to spending a month creating one super high quality article. As time has gone on we’ve produced increasing amounts of visual content.
Because our subject area is often quite, err, let’s say dry, we’ve found that infographics and other quick-bite images can have a much bigger impact than a 5,000 word thesis on the finer points of renewable energy finance policy (but seriously, it is actually fascinating. Just read the long-forms, ok?)
The most important things you’ve learned as the business has grown?
1. Intention is never as important as interpretation.
2. If you want to talk about climate change, remain apolitical and talk about everything except climate change.
3. Fess up when you cock up, quickly, in public, and like you mean it.
If you could have done something differently, knowing what you know now, what would it be?
Been quicker off the mark with in-depth statistics and using actual data to show what works and what doesn’t. And hired a designer from the get go instead of waiting however long we waited.
What’s the most engaging piece of content you’ve seen created to promote a renewables crowdfunding campaign?
Well I’d love to say it was one of ours and we do OBVIOUSLY have loads of great content (look at our blog! And our guides!) but I have to betray my team and say Solar Freakin’ Roadways, which took a project that’s been trying to raise money for years and turned it into a $2 million crowdfund in a matter of weeks.
It’s the perfect piece of marketing. It’s hilarious, it’s memorable, it explains the product, it’s positive and hopeful, and even though I’ve seen it 4,000 times by the end of it I’m still yelling “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY”. Everyone in comms can learn a lot from that video.
What next for Trillion Fund?
This year we’re going to raise £10 million for renewable energy projects across the UK. By 2020 we’re going to have helped 50,000 people put £1bn to work for renewable energy.
We’re sick of waiting, basically, so we’re just going to go ahead save the world.
Want to explore the latest ideas around sustainability communications with like-minded professionals? Join our sustainability meetup group for updates and invites.
Images courtesy of Trillion Fund.