The digital revolution has done so much to democratize marketing in the last few years. Now small, local HVAC businesses can compete with bigger companies on a much more equal footing.
Here, we’ll look at three low-cost, and in some cases, free, methods to get huge reach and effective targeting as part of your HVAC marketing strategy.
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Building sales funnels in HVAC marketing
Sales funnels are a widely used marketing technique that you can use to draw in new customers for your business. The basic premise in HVAC marketing is that you start by making people aware of your business and gradually draw them down the levels of the funnel, giving them the information they need, until they decide to become new customers. It’s called a funnel because it starts broadly – i.e. who are you? Then the information gets more specific as they go further along. What’s your full range of services? Then what’s a special offer specific to their needs? Then how do they contact you? The focus narrows until you’ve given them precisely what they need to address the issue they’re having. It’s important to keep this in mind as you design your website and build your strategy from there.
Awareness is key to good HVAC marketing
Awareness is the first stage in a HVAC marketing funnel. At this point, your main concern is with getting as many people to see your content as possible. You’re trying to convert people from general consumers to prospective leads. These people will remember you next time they need HVAC services. At this stage quantity is as good as quality, you want good coverage, but you also need to make sure that when people read your content or see your ads, they aren’t put off by low quality.
A big part of HVAC marketing is education
Next, you want to be putting out content that answers people’s questions. This shows them the problems they are having, even ones they don’t know they are having, and how you can fix those problems. We like to recommend that you include helpful advice on how people to fix these problems themselves. This breeds goodwill and helps make people trust you so that they remember you as a helpful, trustworthy business next time their A/C unit or furnace needs its annual service.
Read more: Is marketing the new sales?
HVAC marketing relies on engagement
The third stage of the funnel, when it comes to a good HVAC marketing strategy, is engagement. This really requires quality production. Every time someone clicks on one of your ads, or a link in one of your blogs, they will be taken to what we call a “landing page.” It is important that this is just as high quality as the ad or the blog. The purpose of all these ads, blogs, landing pages, and so on, is to get people to reach out to them, to walk into your metaphorical showroom.
The best part of HVAC marketing is conversion
Finally, we come to the thin end of the funnel, conversion. At this point, people are actively coming to you. They know who you are, they know what services you provide, and they have a good impression of your business. Now that, you’ve got them coming to you, you need to sell to them. Let’s continue our showroom metaphor. They want to buy a product that you sell or use a service that you provide. What you have to do is prove to them that they want to buy from your business, not your competitor. At this point, you’re no longer really doing digital marketing, but rather you’ve transitioned into sales.
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Social media is key to HVAC marketing
Social media is another incredibly powerful HVAC marketing tool that has made the job of small companies easier than ever before. Because platforms like Facebook have such huge reach, with more than 2/3 Americans using it, you can market directly to your most likely buyers. It’s an essential element of every strategy, because unlike the broad funnel of your website, waiting to catch interested customers, you can use social media more like the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner.
The advantage of social media, and advertising platforms like Google, is targeting. Social media platforms gather huge amounts of data about their users which allow them to model those people really accurately. This means that you can target ads to people and be confident that they are more likely to succeed than traditional ads. The real advantage with social media is that you can do this, while still advertising to huge numbers of people, which makes your sales funnel very effective.
Social media is useful in other respects as well. It allows you to create a community following around your brand, with real person-to-person interaction and gives your customers a direct line to your business for reviews. Some may see this as a benefit only for the customer, but your business can benefit as well, as long as this is done right. When you post content on your Facebook page, you open yourself up to the whole world, and anyone can say anything. This means that any negative reviews you receive can be responded to directly. When doing this, it’s important to do it well though! You have an opportunity to turn a negative review into a positive with a well-reasoned, polite response. We often find that these actually give a better impression of a business than great reviews alone.
Read more: Is your social media producing results?
Blogging can boost HVAC marketing efforts
We briefly mentioned blogging in our sales funnel walkthrough, and here we’ll discuss how to make sure your blogs have maximum effect. Blogging may not be an obvious HVAC marketing strategy, but it’s essentially a method to game Google’s search algorithms, known as Search Engine Optimization.
Whenever someone searches for something on Google, the search engine searches through everything on the internet to bring you the most relevant results. It works out what is relevant based on various criteria some of which we’ll list here, along with the way you can meet those criteria:
- Relevance: Google calculates relevance based on the amount of time users spend on the search results provided for a given search term. If someone searches “HVAC near me” and they click the first result and realise it isn’t what they’re looking for, they click the back button quickly and Google interprets this as the page having low relevance. You, therefore, need to make sure that your blogs are relevant to the title and keywords you’re using.
- Questions: You’re probably aware that Google searches are often used to answer questions. A great strategy for blog writing is to find out what questions are being asked, using services like Answer The Public, which allows you to find out what the most common questions are for certain keywords. Just type in the name of service or product you want to sell, find out what people want to know about it, and answer that question. Make sure you link to a page where people can either buy the product online or a contact form so they can get in touch.
- Backlinks: Google uses links on webpages as a sort of review system. If someone links to your site, it means they think it is good. However, getting other websites to link to yours can be challenging, so we use the practice known as backlinking. This involves linking between pages on your own website, to accrue multiple “recommendations” of your own content.
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