Great HVAC Online Marketing IdeasBy Stephanie Gordon on Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Use these tips to embrace digital marketing for your HVAC company!
There was a time when a business owner could market their HVAC company entirely through traditional means: yellow pages, door hangers and flyers, direct mail campaigns, postcards, and—for those who could afford it—TV advertising. Back in the day, this list made up pretty much all the options those in the heating and air conditioning industry had to get people to buy their services and purchase new AC units.
Today, the advent of the internet has provided every single business in any given industry a marketing platform more far-reaching and cost-effective than any traditional marketing method. Digital marketing has revolutionized the business world, and savvy HVAC businesses have taken advantage of the opportunities afforded by the new online frontier.
If you’re an HVAC contractor and you have yet to market your business online, here are strategies that can help you make the transition.
You may have a physical storefront, but for all intents and purposes, your website is the face the world sees when deciding whether or not to choose your services. The first step to marketing your HVAC business online? Build a great website. A website allows you to showcase your products and services, and gives you a platform that supports not only marketing campaigns, but customer service, brand recognition, and client relationship building.
Good HVAC website design impacts your marketing results in a significant way. To reach your business goals, your website must be easy to navigate, feature plenty of whitespace (for the eye to rest), contain multiple calls to action, and feature well-written, easy to read content. More traffic will come to your site from phones than computers, so mobile responsiveness is another must.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
So! You’ve got a website for your HVAC company. Guess what? So do your competitors. You need to stand out, not just in appearance, but in search rankings. When a potential customer searches “HVAC service” in your city, you want Google to display your website as the first result, not your competitor’s. The difference between appearing first and tenth on a search engine results page (SERP) can mean millions of dollars in revenue annually. To achieve a high ranking, you must optimize your website for search engines.
How does Google determine search rankings? No one truly knows, but all of the following play an important role:
- Responsiveness – You need a site that works on mobile devices.
- Code – You need clean code that a search engine can easily read and interpret. This includes alt tags for images and other non-text elements.
- Content – In addition to the marketing/sales content your website needs to convince prospects to hire you, your site should feature informative articles on your area of expertise. (This very article serves as a fine example!) Good content helps establish your company as an authority on a subject.
- Backlinks – If a lot of external sites link to your site, search engines will view your website as significant/important and move it up in the rankings accordingly.
Did you get all that? If not, don’t worry! Anyone can teach themselves SEO with enough time and effort, but if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can hire an SEO company, marketing firm, or a full-time marketing employee to tackle SEO for you.
Have you done direct mail campaigns in the past? Email marketing works the same way, but offers greater reach at less cost. Mailers can cost a few cents in materials to send, while emails cost nothing. Better yet, you can easily track the performance of emails, measuring open rates, clickthrough rates, and conversion rates.
That sounds great, but how do I build an email list? Start with your customers. Whenever a customer calls, make sure you record an email address for them. If you don’t have email records for your existing customers, instruct your dispatchers and technicians to solicit an email address from any customer missing one the next time they interact with your company.
You can buy email lists (as a business owner, you no doubt regularly receive unsolicited offers from shady parties offering to sell you such lists), but this practice can cause more trouble than it’s worth. Sending to disreputable email addresses can flag your IP/domain as spam, hurting your efforts to conduct further email campaigns (or even conduct regular communication with customers).
Set up a referral program
Referral programs have always made for an excellent way to organically spreading the word about your HVAC products and services. Giving your clients incentives for telling friends and family about their positive experience with your company boosts your chances of getting new customers. You can feature your referral program prominently on your home page. You can also promote it more aggressively through targeted email marketing, a call-to-action button on your website’s blog, or on your social media account.
A social media account complements your website in so many ways. For one, you can share pages from your website on your Facebook or Twitter page to reach a readymade audience. Want to show the human side of your HVAC work? Instagram offers a superb platform to show your audience photos of your staff doing what they do best. Social media sites can also help you host any contest that aims to attract new followers and boost sales.
If you opt to spend advertising dollars on social media, you’ll find that you have the ability to reach a hyper-specific audience. Demographic targeting gets very specific, you can hone in on all kinds of parameters, everything from gender and location to interests and age.
For the HVAC industry, videos serve as an effective tool for showcasing what you can do as well as how your technicians and your company presents itself. The barriers to making great video content have never been lower (even a cell phone can record professional-level video), so you should jump on the video bandwagon to provide useful HVAC tips to your audience and demonstrate the capabilities of the HVAC systems that you sell. You’ll find that a lot of customers would rather watch a video than read an article about a given topic.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
You know those ads that pop up after you conduct a Google search for a particular product or service? Companies just like yours pay a lot of money to put them there. When marketing online, you too should consider going the search advertising (often referred to as pay per click or PPC) route.
PPC advertising brings with it a lot of benefits, including easily trackable and measurable results, a treasure trove of useful data, and of course, more traffic and revenue. PPC also works well with other marketing channels, and is an incredibly cost-effective form of advertising, since you only pay when a user clicks on your ad and reaches your website. If your website does what it should, this could mean a lot of easy money.
The strategies above represent only a few of the measures you can take to market your HVAC company online. Try them out, see what proves most effective, and adjust accordingly.
Stephanie Gordon is a content marketing specialist for New AC Unit. Aside from creating online content on energy-efficiency, Stephanie enjoys running and biking with her family and friends to stay fit.