August 12, 2021
Common HVAC Marketing Strategies
Running a business is never easy. Any entrepreneur knows going in that they're taking a gamble. However, certain sectors are a lot safer than others. HVAC is one of those. HVAC companies rarely suffer from the ups and downs that other small businesses do, especially in times of economic upheaval like, say, a global pandemic that shuts down the entire economy for a whole year. That's the good news.
The bad news is that no sector is without its challenges, HVAC included. When it comes to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, your biggest problem is going to be standing out from the crowd.
Think about it. What do you have that your competitors don't? You all have pretty much the same product line and offer the same services, and there aren't a lot of HVAC aficionados out there looking for the difference between air conditioner "A" and air conditioner "B". Most people just want something that works.
You can separate yourself from the competition by offering superior customer service and more reasonable prices, but that's difficult to draw people in with. Your customer service will bring back repeat customers, but how do you attract new ones?
This is where marketing comes in. You can offer all the coffee and donuts you want, but what's really going to bring people in off the street is a strong brand presence and dominant marketing. That's kind of the long and short of it. Nobody is going to care about your lower prices and firm handshake when your competitors are appearing above you in an "hvac repair near me" Google search.
Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to take your HVAC marketing to the next level and give yourself a leg up on the competition.
1) SEO Services for HVAC Contractors
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is something you've probably heard of before. As our world moves increasingly online, SEO has quickly become one of the most important parts of any marketing campaign, especially if you're on a budget.
Think of it this way. Every time you want to find a business, whether it's a place to have dinner or someone to fix your toilet, what's the first thing you do? If you're like most people, you just head on over to Google, type in what you're looking for, et voila! - there's a whole list of businesses for you to choose from.
The point of search engine optimization is to make sure your business is at the top of that list. There are a ton of factors that go into proper SEO, including
- Keyword research and targeting
- Page view optimization
- Information display and architecture
- Content creation and link building
- International vs local SEO
It's a lot to get through, and too much to really explain in this article. But the proper application of SEO techniques can be huge for your business, so it's something to read up on pretty much ASAP.
If you're not exactly a marketing guru yourself, however, you can also try idea #2:
2) Digital Marketing Companies for HVAC
If you're too busy running your business to focus on digital marketing, your best bet is going to be bringing in some help from the outside. Finding the right marketing company for your HVAC business can be a little tricky, but here are a few guidelines to know going in so you can find the perfect marketer for you.
The first thing you should do is figure out exactly what you need. Most marketing companies, especially smaller local ones, tend to focus on one or two areas of expertise, so knowing what you're looking for is a big help. Do you want to focus on search engine optimization? Do you want someone who can set up a blog to draw traffic to your website? Maybe you want to think outside the box a little and get your name out there with some viral videos? No matter what your approach to marketing is, there's a company out there that specializes in it.
Once you have your plan in mind, then it's time to actually find a company. When you're looking through lists of marketing companies, here are a few things to look out for
- A sizeable portfolio
- Experienced and specialized employees
- Reputation within the industry
- Core values and a company culture that matches your own
- A well-designed website
After that, all that's left is to set up a meeting. When you're meeting with a company, try to get a feel for how you think they'd approach your marketing plan. There's nothing wrong with meeting a few different people until you find one you gel with.
Of course, hiring an outside company is going to take a chunk of your budget, which might not be workable for some small businesses. The good news is there's still a lot you can do by yourself.
3) Focus on Local Search Engine Marketing Tactics
Proper search engine optimization can be time-consuming and costly, even if it is pretty much always worthwhile. If you're just getting started and don't have the time or energy to spend on something big, you should start by thinking small.
The truth is, for most small businesses, there's really no point in a wide-ranging marketing push. After all, if you're located in Temecula, who cares if people in Seattle are seeing ads for your company? It's not like they're going to drive over a thousand miles to get their air conditioning fixed.
Your focus should be on local search engine marketing first. When people in the Temecula area search for air conditioning repair, the first thing that comes up should be a listing for your company. That's the goal; that's how you bring new people in. So how do you accomplish this?
Step one should be working on your Google My Business profile. Over 92% of online searches go through Google, so sorry, Microsoft, but Bing optimization might have to wait. Your My Business profile is that little card that shows up when you search for a business name on Google. The profile shows your business name, location, hours, services offered, and anything else you choose to put up there. These profiles are also how Google recommends businesses to people searching for specific services, so they're extremely important. Here are a few things you should make sure are available on your profile:
- Contact information
- Hours, including holiday hours
- Reviews, especially positive ones
- A few different pictures
- A From the Business statement
- Questions and answers
- Services offered
A filled out My Business profile is one of the best single things you can do to draw traffic to your company and away from the competition - and it's free! If you're looking to flex your budget a little, however, Google offers another service that's even more useful.
4) Run Targeted Google Ads For HVAC
Building any successful business means is based on two things: finding leads, and converting those leads into customers. Conversion is something you can do yourself, with an optimized website and customer service, but finding leads can be a lot more difficult. Some of the stuff I've already talked about helps with bringing in people who are already looking for HVAC businesses, but what about the ones who aren't?
That's where Google Ads comes in. Google Ads is a PPC (pay-per-click) marketing platform that lets you create ads and target them to certain areas, demographics, and keywords in Google searches. This customization is huge for small businesses on small budgets because you can tailor your ads instead of paying to cast a wide net. Google Ads also has some other advantages over other ad platforms, including:
- Efficient cost and ROI - you only have to pay for the actual clicks you get, so failed ads cost nothing
- A level playing field with larger competitors - visibility is based on search engine rankings, not how much you can pay
- Wide-ranging data sets that you can use for analysis
- Highly customizable and targeted ads
If you're ready to move past free stuff like your My Business profile and basic SEO, Google Ads is a great place to start spending your marketing budget. It's efficient, offers a typically high ROI, and allows you to focus your efforts on the searches and demographics most likely to need your services.
HVAC can be an extremely stable and consistent sector for a small business, but finding and generating leads is a constant struggle.
Marketing is what separates the big boys from the rest of the pack, so this is really where you should be focusing your attention. Using the tips in this article, as well as anything else you can find on the whole wide internet, is the best way for you to stretch your budget and get the most bang for your buck while outpacing your competition. People staying at home has made digital marketing more important than ever, so don't waste your time with TV or radio campaigns. The internet is by far the best place for your company to expand and bring in the leads you'll need to grow and thrive.