ABOUT EMPORIA ENERGY
Emporia was launched in 2018 in Littleton, Colorado, by a team of developers, designers, engineers, energy geeks, and customer support staff with a vision of starting a truly different kind of company. A company that believes in putting others first – starting with our customers. A company that believes that capitalism, when done right, can have a huge positive impact on society. A company that believes it can truly make the world a better place.
Emporia exists to revolutionize home energy with smarter home energy management technology that helps its customers save on electricity costs. Its team strives to understand the impact of energy use, where it comes from, and what it costs; and they want to empower customers to understand it too.
The brand’s goal is to save customers money by making their homes more energy efficient through its Smart Home Energy Management technology. They aim to create this technology at the lowest cost and the highest quality, ensuring it’s affordable to as many people as possible. By reducing their customers’ energy use and saving them money, Emporia is helping people create a healthier planet and build a brighter future for us all.
The Emporia Energy team wanted to engage with GreenRoom with the understanding of the synergies between the PR practice and the Digital/Social team to help shape their online presence and grow an audience of evangelists. With the emphasis on a category that wasn’t fully mainstream with EV charging at home as well as a focus on energy management, the agency had to remain constantly nimble and evolve the program with greater agility than in more established sectors.
The public was just beginning to gain awareness of a newer category of tools available to better understand their power consumption by which Emporia was leading the charge with its Vue product. Getting insights from the circuit level through a device installed in a home’s electrical panel offered unique insights that were quite surprising to many.
On the other hand, the public possessed a functional understanding of smart plugs but most products on the market simply work with voice assistants like Google and Alexa. Emporia’s fundamental value proposition is that on top of those voice control convenience features, customers can visualize their energy usage which informs their decision making into how to better use and ultimately conserve electricity and save money.
With a multi-faceted approach to garnering earned media in different vertical markets for Emporia products and partner announcements, mounting an education campaign on why consumers should want to monitor their energy use while publishing social media content, paid media and engaging the brand’s community, GreenRoom began message testing and continually iterating with the client to produce results.
The PR practice understood some of the inherent challenges with installation given that professionals were needed and the need for an EV to test, severely elongated the review process. While focused review opportunities were secured in marquee publications like CNET, Wirecutter, MotorTrend and Car & Driver, the bulk of the activity was focused on thought and brand leadership through editorial briefings with journalists, podcast appearances by the CEO and crafting bylined articles on the latest trending topics.
To maximize the briefings, the agency identified Motor Press Associations in different parts of the country which enabled the CEO to not only share brand messaging but answer questions directly on the issues the growing category faces. Each engagement was also tailored as some groups asked for units for evaluation which had the bonus of being part of the testing bench for competitive products while some were more interested in the brand participating in their event programming or simply having a virtual conversation. In doing so, the brand solidified their expertise in the space and maximized the coverage opportunities among the writers.
The team also leveraged the YouTube space to partner with a myriad of channels showing the power of the metrics in the platform and illustrating the key brand message of savings. The content creator’s visuals also helped to demystify the category for those looking to learn more. By working with the brand’s affiliate program, the YouTube influencer’s sales incentives kept robust content on a rolling basis which also aided the brand’s SEO value.
The Digital team’s program began in a more traditional way with content creation, consistent publishing, and management of a growing community. Noticing a consistent flow of product questions and community feedback on social media platforms about the Vue Energy Monitor, Smart Plugs and EV Chargers, the team realized there was an opportunity to test shifting the program lighthouse toward community engagement. The team set up active monitoring for brand and product mentions across the web and on Reddit, to have an opportunity to proactively respond to any brand mentions as an extension of the Emporia Support Team.
As the EV product line became more of a priority, the team began to make note of a tremendous amount of activity in brand-specific EV owner forums, opening up new avenues for connecting and educating. The team decided the best course of action was, like on Reddit, to make an Emporia account wherever the brand was mentioned to respond authoritatively to any brand mentions in these forums — including everything from Ford Mach-E Owners to Rivian R1T/R1S owners, and others.
Almost like clockwork, with more alerts of mentions rolling in, the brand’s visibility continued to grow with each passing month whether via a simple product question or detailed support request. Unlike other brands, if Emporia is mentioned on EV enthusiast forums, the brand will be there as a part of the community – a natural extension of their best-in-class support team for best-in-class products. This has proved helpful when consumers are researching pre- or post- EV adoption. Rather than take any sort of sales approach, many community members mentioned the brand’s products first with the brand only joining in the conversation to answer questions or clarify statements.
With their business doing very well on Amazon, one of the other goals that evolved was to also grow the brand’s owned retail channel as well via Shopify. With a price of $399 for this review-confirmed best-in-class EV Charger, GreenRoom realized there was an opportunity retarget a subset of previous website visitors who didn’t purchase.
To maximize Emporia’s presence in the consideration stage for potential EV Charger buyers, GreenRoom opted to serve display ads programmatically through the November and December holiday shopping season. This allowed the brand to have premium placements on websites for these previous visitors, including some of the aforementioned forums and top tier media outlets our PR earned placements were featured. There was a clear correlation that some of these visitors were seeing the ads and then purchasing later, showing this was a part of the path to purchase helping with revenue.
On the PR side, there has been major marquee coverage that the brand had never seen with coverage in outlets like in MotorTrend, Newsweek, CNET, Inside EVs, TechCrunch, Wirecutter, ZDNet, Automotive News, Digital Trends, PCMag, and Better Homes & Gardens. The varied approach enabled the agency to tackle different vertical markets to supply a wide swath of coverage reaching many audiences. With the lift in brand visibility from a steady stream of marquee earned media, the brand gained more opportunity to be discovered by and trusted further by many consumers.
On the Digital Ads side, the team’s social media content and Google Ads support in the early months of the program let the team have refined messaging and creative ahead of spearheading a programmatic ad spend (display and native) with AdRoll. This resulted in a ROAS of 16.3x tied to website sales.
On the Community Engagement side, Reddit and forum members consistently expressed appreciation for the organic and informative approach. This proved to be a crucial step in setting the foundation for Emporia to become both a category and thought leader.
The third-party media substantiation from GreenRoom’s PR efforts combined with an adaptive Digital program have helped grow Emporia’s reputation and sales. In Q4 of 2022, they achieved an over-arching brand goal and were the #1 EV charger on Amazon!
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