Image credit: Automacao Industrial

5 Stepping Stones For Winning HVAC Marketing Efforts

Whereas traditional marketing approach is not enough in this changing business world, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel with your HVAC marketing. Let’s hit the ground running in this year with our pick for top 5 brilliant marketing strategies.
By Kaley Nguyen | EnvZone Staff
on August 21, 2019 | 12 min read
Image credit: Automacao Industrial

Marketing can define a business and your HVAC company is definitely not an exception. With increasing competition as well as fast changing customer behavior, your one-size-fits-all marketing strategies are no longer compatible. No longer can you rely on ineffective Yellow Page Ads, unscalable cold calling, or even radio and commercial advertising that falls on the distracted deaf ears of the modern society. The sad truth is that it’s not enough to do what you always did, and the marketing tactics you adopted in 2017 and 2018 aren’t going to cut it in 2019 or 2020. Seem a little bit scary, right?

However, the good news is that you don’t have to be a marketing expert to excel at your marketing management. We’re here with 5 bulletproof HVAC marketing strategies that will help you measurably generate leads and booked jobs this year.

Before diving in these specific marketing strategies, let’s start by “picturing” your ideal target customers in this 21st century.

The Modern HVAC Customers

Long gone are the days you could rely on word of mouth referrals to fuel your leads and booked jobs, and so are the days where customers would stay loyal to a company just for loyalty’s sake. Instead, modern homeowners are impatient and used to instant gratification. The digital transformation has enabled consumers and sparked an I-need-it-now economy. These days, your customers expect an immediate response to appointment requests and phone messages, a frictionless customer experience, and top-notch, next-day service. Let’s take a look at some striking findings of Blue Corona for a deeper insight into your future customers:

  • Around 60% of American customers say they’ll consider switching companies following two to three instances of poor service
  • About half of loyal customers have left a company for a competitor who was able to stay more relevant and better satisfy their needs
  • Modern consumers spend averagely 8.8 hours a day engaging with digital content
  • The average web user will only wait up to 3 seconds for a website to load before hitting the back button
  • 92% of consumers look at a company’s website when choosing an HVAC contractor
  • 75% of online customers expect a response to an online inquiry or message within five minutes
5 Stepping Stones For Winning HVAC Marketing Efforts - Fig 1
Image credit: Arctic Mount

HVAC Marketing Strategies To Be On The Crest Of A Wave

Now you must figure out some key behavior of the modern customers, it’s time to turn your attention to our pick for top 5 HVAC marketing strategies which are going to help you adapt to these new consumer expectations and then outpace your competitors.

#1. Ignite Your Online Presence with A Well-Designed Website:

If you don’t have your own website already, it is high time that you got one up and running. If a potential customer can't find you online, you are already left behind by other competitors with an established HVAC website. For do-it-yourself (DIY) website creation, try Squarespace, WordPress or Wix -  all of these have drag-and-drop functionality so you can create a site that fits your brand without hiring a professional developer or a designer.

5 Stepping Stones For Winning HVAC Marketing Efforts - Fig 2
Courtesy: SquareSpace

It’s essential to create your own site, but it’s more than essential to get it well-designed and properly functioning. When it comes to design, it’s okay to sometimes follow the herd! The key to designing a stunning HVAC is understanding where it pays to follow the industry leaders and where you should dare to be different. To take a specific example, as regards the position of the company’s phone number, the vast majority of the top sites choose to put them in the top-right corner. As a result, this is where consumers expect to find it the most. Getting “creative” by placing the phone number at other positions of your site can possibly turn out to be a gigantic mistake. If you bury your phone number in the middle of your pages, all you’re doing is lowering your website’s lead conversion rates and frustrating your customers and prospects.

5 Stepping Stones For Winning HVAC Marketing Efforts - Fig 3
Courtesy: Day Heating & Cooling

After all, while it’s okay to have a killer, unique “Contact Us” page, or one banner image that really illustrates your “wow,” or a whacky “dirtiest furnaces” blog feature, don’t try to differentiate yourself with a logo or contact number weirdly positioned on your homepage.

Besides an eye-catching design, mobile friendliness is a “must” for your site. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re behind the times. In fact, mobile-friendliness has been a ranking factor in the Google algorithm since 2016, and more than half HVAC website visits currently come from a mobile device. Such a large number of your customers are accessing your website through their smartphone or tablet, which means your site needs to be perfectly designed for mobile viewing. Neither should your customers “hunt” for information nor they have to zoom in to see your text. Plus, it’s more than vital that you enable your customers easily contact you and use your mobile website seamlessly—almost effortlessly.

5 Stepping Stones For Winning HVAC Marketing Efforts - Fig 4
Image credit: Blue Corona

Additionally, you probably know that your page loading speed is crucial. If it takes more than three seconds for your site to load, most people will navigate away.

In addition to these fore-mentioned factors, there remain other elements of site design that can impact the success of your marketing efforts are:

  • Simple navigation

Your site should have an easy-to-find menu with clear contact information front and center. You definitely don’t want your potential customers to get lost in your own site, right?

  • Whitespace

Sites with short paragraphs are much easier to read than dense blocks of text. Thus, it’s advisable to break up text into well-organized paragraphs and illustrate them with striking images and headlines.

  • Internal links

Building a system of internal links gives your site structure. Once you create a link to related pages, you simplify navigation and then enhance the user experience. The longer a potential client stays on your website, the more significant chance they consider your services.

  • Multiple calls to action

When you create a landing page, make sure people know what to do. If you want them to subscribe to your email list, put the call-to-action above the fold, then put an additional link on the sidebar or at the bottom of the page.

#2. Optimize Your “Google My Business” Listing

Using Google My Business is a “must” for every single HVAC company. A properly optimized listing can increase your online visibility and as a result, generate qualified leads for your business.

Below are the steps you should strictly follow to completely optimize your business listing.

  1. Choose the categories that best suit your business: Keep in mind not to overdo it. It’s advisable to select only those categories and subcategories that accurately describe what you do – 2 or 3 are highly recommended!
  2. Upload images to round out your profile. You can add:
  3. A profile picture that well represents your business
  4. Your company logo
  5. An interesting cover photo (Make sure the image you choose has a 16:9 aspect ratio)
  6. Additional vivid images of the inside and outside of your business (Bear in mind that the goal of these images is to exhibit your professionalism and then establish the credibility of your HVAC business)

Any photos you add should be original yet bright and compelling. They can be in either JPG or PNG format. Also, they should have great quality with a minimum size of 720 by 720 pixels.

  • Link to your website: You will probably want to link to your homepage!
  • Establish your service area: It is based on the registered address with Google. If you make the area too large, you will likely see diminishing returns. Thus, let’s get started with clients at around 15 to 20 miles and optimize accordingly.
  • Add other relevant information such as opening hours as appropriate.
5 Stepping Stones For Winning HVAC Marketing Efforts - Fig 5
Courtesy: Mission Heating & Cooling LLC

#3. Boost Your SEO

Do you know that these days around 97% of consumers go online to find local services? In addition, 82% of smartphone users are using a search engine when they are looking for a local business. So how are you, as an HVAC business, going to tap into this huge opportunity? The perfect solution is local search engine optimization (SEO).

When homeowners need HVAC services, staggeringly 97% of them go online to find a contractor, and 93% of them start their online experience with a search engine, typically Google or Bing. And when it comes to such search engines, if you’re not on the first page of searching results, you may as well not even be there at all. So what should you do to master this marketing strategy?

a. Local SEO

Actually, there is a myriad of ways to improve your local SEO so you’re more visible to users in your service area. However, there remain some simple yet super powerful practices for a winning SEO optimization strategy:

  • Fine-tune your website structure

By making sure your site has an XML map (a type of list marked up with XML - Extensible Markup Language), title tags, meta descriptions, and other site structure essentials, you make it easier for your site to be crawled and then indexed. In turn, this will result in improved rankings and an easier time of getting into the local pack.

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

As above-mentioned, mobile-friendliness has been a significant ranking factor in the Google algorithm.  Mobile search isn’t going anywhere; rather, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic is conducted on a mobile device.

  • Associate your website with local directories

When these sites update online business listings, typically Google My Business, you want to make sure your own site’s information is up to date and you’re in good standing with users. In fact, local searchers love using directories to find services near them, so be sure to use them to your advantage.

  • Make sure you’re in proximity to the searcher

“Local means local”. No matter how simple it may seem to be, it's the undoubted fact that the closer you are to the search, the higher chance you have of appearing in the local pack.

  • Keep your business information wholly consistent across social media profiles

Your social media profiles are instrumental to the success of local SEO, as long as they’re regularly updated and have the correct information. This includes having a consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP)

b. SEO in Multiple Cities

The past year saw the shrinking of the organic search results page and the rise of mobile. One of the consequences is that it gets harder and harder to rank in cities in which your building isn’t located. If you have a large service area, the problem may arise. The question is: Can your business rank in multiple cities or states? And the answer is yes! It is very possible for you to get your pages ranking in many places; however, it will require some additional time and effort on your part.

Have you ever heard of a geo-targeted page before? If not, then these guys are going to be your best friends during your SEO efforts to increase listings across multiple cities. As search engines, like Google or Bing, all rank individual pages, instead of whole websites, it’s vital that you build out pages specific to each city you service. These pages will use the unique city name along with the service you are offering to generate the specific listings you are after. Filling out each city page with unique content, including well targeted keyword, coupled with using relevant illustrative images are stepping stones for a successful search engine marketing.

#4. Fill Out Your HVAC Marketing Plan with Social Media

The importance of social media marketing is no longer a matter of controversy. Gone are the days of one-way communications from the marketer to the consumer. Social media allows for engagement with a brand’s community, through which every single business, like your HVAC company, will stand high chances of receiving:

  • Brand loyalty
  • Website traffic
  • Lead conversions
  • Sales conversions
  • More business for your company
  • And a lot more!

To excel at social media marketing, you need to truly grasp the integration of social media with content and online marketing. And here are some handy tactics to do that:

a. Customize Your Platforms for Your HVAC Company

Every single person or business can create an account on one of the several social media platforms, but what is better is customizing the sites for your consumer base and community. A customized tab at the top header, "Coupons & More" for instance, turns out be a lot more appealing and then more likely to convert to a lead or sale than an unused events tab.

Remember to customize your profiles in some certain ways that provide the best resources, tools or links to your fans or followers and prove yourself as the industry authority in the area.

b. Promote Live Interactions on Your Social Platforms

In such an interactive web era, it is crucial to prove that your brand is run by real humans - not just automated responses. It’s advisable to monitor social media channels and news outlets in real time to respond relevantly and rapidly within their circles and communities.

c. Understand Each Social Platform’s Purpose

To take an example, it might seem odd that an HVAC company has a LinkedIn page. However, such a social platform turns out to be a super effective channel to reach out to external contractors to expand your business workforce.  A simple call-to-action, for example, “Send CV to…” will match many of the Fortune 500 companies that also use LinkedIn to tap into the vast number of people looking for employment.

There is little likelihood that your Facebook followers will engage as well with a job posting than those connected with your brand on LinkedIn so understanding and making use of the relevant social platform for a particular marketing purpose is more than essential.

d. Create Compelling Content for Your Target Audience 

As a business on social channels such as Facebook, you're competing against limited space in the news feed to show up and grab your audience bases' attention. Actually, sharing and curating content directly for them can enhance your engagement rates and visibility of your profile on the social network. HVAC companies like you can speak to their target audiences on social media by providing resourceful and helpful content such as DIY videos on how to replace your air filters or informal reminders of warning signs of a broken furnace. These keep you in the top of mind for both previous and potential customers and can help drive business when they do end up needing your service.

e. Mix Up the Types Of Content You Post

Throughout various social channels, your content can range from blog posts, contact forms, internal/external links, photos, HVAC guides, e-Books for homeowners, contests or even other relevant references to media/new. Mixing up several pieces of information will allow you to test the type of content that has the highest level of engagement, conversions, and return on investment (ROI). If photos speak a thousand words, then videos can be priceless. Get an attractive combination of distinct types of content is always essential for a winning traffic-generating strategy!

f. Run Paid Ads and Campaigns to Expand Your Followings 

Whereas we’ve often found that most HVAC companies spend a certain amount of their budget on promoted posts on Facebook to get their content in front of more people, one major benefit is how affordable clicks and engagement is. Besides sponsored posts, you can also run paid campaigns to get more “likes” or “follows” to grow your following. And the fact proves that these posts or campaigns are quite cost effective and have high retention rates - truly growing the base of Facebook fans out of homeowners in the company’s exact service area.

#5. Embrace Video Internet Marketing for Your Company

If you haven’t used video marketing for promoting your HVAC business, then it is high time that you started. It is among the most effective tools to broaden your online presence and stay outstanding.

5 Stepping Stones For Winning HVAC Marketing Efforts - Fig 6
Courtesy: DIY Creators

Contrary to popular belief, making videos does not necessarily have to be expensive. These days, video production costs get lower and lower thanks to technological advances. Many top-rated companies use video to:

  • Demonstrate the details of the cooling, heating, and air systems they sell
  • Provide tips for maintaining units or provide a resource
  • Include video in your blog posts
  • Post video on social media channels

Additionally, posting videos on YouTube will give your HVAC SEO marketing a boost. YouTube has excellent features, including tags, display advertising, on-screen call to action buttons, and automatic transcripts, which can be useful in improving your search standing.

Do you know Youtube is the world’s second largest search engine? Or staggeringly 80% of customers say they would rather watch an explainer video about a product than read an article? These facts speak volumes for the importance of video marketing.

Bonus HVAC Marketing Ideas & Strategies:

  • Set Up A Referral Program

Actually, people are four times as likely to make a purchasing decision if they get a referral from a trusted friend. References are a form of social proof, which helps remove buyer objections and earn trust.

  • Generate More Online Reviews

Online reviews are a direct ranking factor. Delivering excellent customer services and then tactfully asking for online feedback not only build customer retention but also reach out to more prospect customers.

  • Opt-In to Email Marketing for HVAC Companies

Looking for a great way to keep in touch with your customers and inform them about special promotions? Email marketing is a great way to generate leads and sales from your existing customer base

  • Master HVAC Content Marketing with a Lead-Generating Blog

Blogs are perfect for bringing in qualified traffic for specific services. For instance, a blog called “Do I Need a New Air Conditioner” fits perfectly into an air conditioning marketing plan, targeting people on the fence about getting a replacement their air conditioner.

The Bottom Lines:

We’re in the Digital Age. The old days of phone-book and newspaper advertising have long come and gone! These days, to thrive in this competitive world, your HVAC business needs a modern marketing approach and adopt several marketing strategies to win more customers.

Actually, marketing tasks can be complicated and frustrating at times, especially when you’ve already racked your brain trying to focus on the day-to-day duties of running HVAC business. If the above tactics sound too daunting to handle by yourself, we are more than willing to lend you a helping hand. Should you need any help with a dedicated team to get your services exposed to the digital world, don’t hesitate to get an online presence manager.

This article is also credited to Bradley Shaw and Betsy McLeod.

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