The COVID-Era Guide to Getting More Results from HVAC Marketing

Rogelio Rodriguez
Aug 2, 2021 12:33:23 PM

HVAC Marketing Hero

A successful approach to HVAC marketing, sales, and operations requires modern strategies. Sending cold emails and purchasing highway billboards no longer resonate with the modern homeowner. Why?

97% of users searched online to find a local business (Safari Digital). In other words, if your HVAC business isn’t optimized for local search, you could be passing up potential customers who need your services. Even worse, they find a competitor and become a brand promoter. 

A customer's speedy search habit means you can no longer afford to market your HVAC business passively. It’s time to embrace change. Start relying on the proven concepts below to collect better leads and earn higher revenue.

How the Homeowner Has Changed

In the past, homeowners relied on salespeople and outbound advertising tactics to become aware of local HVAC companies. It was a tedious process to call vendors listed in a phone book to learn about their pricing and services. Fast forward to today, and Internet users find answers to their questions in a matter of seconds.

Platforms like Google, YouTube, and Facebook have made information more accessible than ever. While this transformation has improved the customers' buying journey, it caused a significant reset in how to advertise HVAC services successfully. 

Here are some incredible statistics to showcase how much times have changed for local retailers and service companies:

  • The number of people searching "near me" to find a local business has increased by 500% in the last couple of years alone. (Safari Digital)
  • 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. (SEO Tribunal)
  • By 2021, mobile devices will influence more than $1.4 trillion in local sales. (Forrester)
  • 93.4% of consumers said that they read customer reviews before purchasing from an unfamiliar company. (Statista)
  • 36% of Internet users say social networks have become as important as other information sources for product choices. (Business Insider).

 

Getting More Customers From Your HVAC Marketing: Where to Start?

In today's marketplace, executing a successful marketing strategy can be a big challenge for most small businesses. It causes many home services marketing mistakes that are easily avoidable. 

The way consumers interact with companies has changed. Therefore, how you reach target buyers must transition as well. 

Where are these elusive homeowners looking for HVAC companies? You may have already guessed it: the Internet. 

In most home services verticals, over 55% of consumers run an online search before scheduling an appointment (Invoca). More specifically, mobile searches are growing year-over-year in many home services verticals. In fact, at a 20% increase, "HVAC repair" is the fastest-growing search term for mobile searches (Google). 

Therefore, the most significant component to attracting and converting homeowners is digital marketing. SEO, email campaigns, publishing local content, pay-per-click advertising -- it all plays a critical role in winning new customers. 

 

Strategy #1: Be a Top Hit in Local Search Results

Consumers can find information on just about anything with Google. In most instances, Internet users usually find what they're looking for within the first few websites listed on the search engine results page (SERP). That's why websites on the top of Google's SERP account for 67% of the traffic missed by lower-ranked websites (Monster Insights).

But, the question that you may be asking is, how can I get my HVAC website to the top?

If you can implement search engine optimization best practices, it won't take too long to claim that top spot and outrank your competitors. Here are a few local SEO strategies our home services marketing firm recommends following.

 

Create a Google My Business (GMB) Listing

The powerhouse of local search, GMB allows customers to quickly find relevant information about your business, such as hours of operation, address, and more. Because Google feels most comfortable promoting verified and authentic content, they created a tool that helps companies meet their standards.

 

Create Local Content

As a local business, it's more important to attract people from your target market than to attract users from across the country. HVAC websites can achieve this goal by creating helpful resources based on their community. 

For example, a blog post titled "Buying Guide for the Best Central Air in Miami" would be very appealing to South Florida homeowners.

 

Optimize Your Website for Mobile Users

With 61% of all Google searches performed on mobile phones, HubSpot said it best: local search and mobile search go hand in hand (HubSpot). Most consumers use their phones to research and evaluate potential service providers. If your HVAC website is not mobile-friendly, users will bail and likely never return.

 

Strategy #2: Build Content for Customers NOT READY to Buy

One of the main goals of HVAC marketing is to generate brand and service interest from prospective homeowners. However, just because someone is interested in your services does not mean they're ready to sign on the dotted line. 

For context, 50% of leads are not willing to buy (HubSpot). Additionally, 63% of these prospective customers will not purchase in the first three months of engagement (HubSpot). Herein lies the importance of lead nurturing.

Lead nurturing is more than sending follow-up emails to keep your services top-of-mind. Your HVAC marketing strategy must go a step further by subtly displaying your expertise through content. Think beyond pushing sales sheets down their throats, but instead share information relevant to their needs.

Popular content for customers that are not ready to buy include:

  • How to guides
  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • Case studies
  • Video testimonials 

You can start this process by creating buyer personas to learn about their needs, hesitations, interests, and more.

 

Strategy #3: Get Better Customer Reviews

Have you ever stayed at a hotel based on their excellent online reviews? On the other hand, have you decided not to stay at a hotel based on their poor customer reviews? 

You're not alone. Studies show 97% of respondents agree that customer reviews factor into their buying decisions (Dixa). 

The same concept can be said for the home services industry. Online reviews help potential customers trust a business -- something that is especially critical when inviting strangers into their homes. 

As you can imagine, it is necessary to obtain a plethora of positive ratings. An efficient way to achieve this goal is by adding a referral process to your customer satisfaction surveys. 

Here is what this process looks like…

  • Step #1: A customer survey is sent to those who recently received your home services.
  • Step #2: Among other questions, the survey asks respondents to rate how satisfied they were with your services. 
  • Step #3: At the end of the survey, customers who provide a high satisfaction rating are automatically redirected to an online review site to share their feedback. Customers who give a low satisfaction are redirected to a “thank you” page. 
  • Step #4: Your HVAC business earns better customer reviews to encourage others to reach out for a consultation. 

Better yet, this entire process is automated so as not to add another task to your to-do list. Learn how our Rev Grow program can help.

Strategy #4: Make Reputation Management a Priority

You've spent years building your HVAC business. You've dedicated time, sweat, and tears to providing excellent customer service for your clients. While this may very well be the case, your online reputation could be presenting a twisted perception of the truth. 

A few bad reviews are inevitable, but too many could kill your business. For this reason, one of your top HVAC marketing priorities should be earning a 5-star online reputation.

All of your marketing and advertising efforts will lead prospective homeowners to learn about your services online. If they discover a terrible or even non-existent reputation after researching your name, they'll write you off immediately. 

No, seriously. 57% of consumers won't use a business that has fewer than four stars (Bright Local).

Not only is reputation management necessary for earning more business, but it also plays a role in how Google ranks your HVAC website. For instance, companies appearing in Google's top 3 local positions have an average of 47 Google Reviews (Bright Local). Therefore it is valuable to have both quality and quantity online reviews to support your brand.

 

Strategy #5: Unify Your (Many) Softwares Into One Productivity Machine

Your HVAC advertising and sales tactics require many platforms. Email software, content management system, social media tools, Google analytics -- the list goes on and on. 

The problem? These programs are not working together to create a cohesive strategy. 

The solution? At Rizen, we recommend using HubSpot to organize marketing and sales data in one unified platform.

Marketers and business owners can use HubSpot to manage many of the strategies discussed in this article, such as:

  • Keyword Targeting: Track local SEO keywords to learn where your HVAC website ranks in organic search engines. 
  • Website Optimization: HubSpot provides users with a page performance tool to analyze and improve on-page SEO.
  • Increase Online Review: Send surveys to your customers to measure and track satisfaction levels over time. Plus, redirect satisfied customers to online review sites to share their positive feedback. 

We've helped many companies in the home services industry successfully migrate to Hubspot. Our Rev Grow program is perfect for HVAC businesses looking to track their marketing and sales data in one unified platform.

 

Strategy #6: Speed Up Your Communication Times

Consider this. A website user fills out a contact form on your HVAC website, asking for information on your air conditioning installation services.

Your sales manager, Tim, receives an email with the form's information. After returning from lunch, Tim manually enters the website visitor's request into a spreadsheet. He assigns the contact to a member of his sales team, Bob. 

Bob sees the notification hours later after spending the afternoon on sales calls. As a result, he is not able to respond to the form request for a few days. 

Within those few days of zero communication, the website user received information from a competitor. Because of their quick response time and attention to customer service, your competitor wins their business.

There is a better way! With an automated web form system, assigning customer information happens instantly. 

As soon as a website visitor fills out a form, the data automatically uploads to your customer relationship management system (CRM). Then, the CRM assigns an available customer service representative to follow up. It is a hands-off approach that improves office efficiency and sales close rates.

 

Strategy #7: Build Unified Resources for Your Sales Staff

Take a moment to think about your customer journey. If someone is in the "awareness" stage, they will take value from educational resources about the home services industry. In contrast, someone in the "decision" stage will benefit from content that makes your HVAC company stand out from competitors. 

Remember, the goal of lead nurturing is delivering the right content at the right time. The same goes for creating unified resources to support your sales teams. 

For example, customer service representative Bob should not be using different resources than his colleague Michelle. Doing so institutes a lack of unity and deters your team from closing deals.

Instead, create a discover playbook that includes critical components such as:

  • Predetermined questions to ask prospective customers at the initial consultation. 
  • A printed handout that details the unique advantages of your HVAC products and services to homeowners.
  • A bulleted fact sheet on what homeowners can expect when partnering with your HVAC business.

Depending on the customer's stage in their journey, your sales team will know where to go next after the first meeting.

 

Strategy #8: Make Sure You’re Doing More Than Just Google Adwords

There is no such thing as a "get-rich-quick" marketing strategy. If it did, every business would be doing it. 

Nonetheless, many digital marketing firms love to promote a similar sentiment about Google Adwords. They claim, "We have grown companies from $0 to $1,000,000+ on the back of AdWords campaigns." 🙄🙄

Regardless of what articles float around on the Internet, your HVAC marketing will require much work and different tactics to flourish. Successful, lead-generating marketing is an art and a science. It takes more than throwing money at a paid search ad to earn high-quality leads.

On average, consumers encounter approximately 6,000 to 10,000 ads every day (Higher Visibility). We’re becoming more equipped to scroll past sponsored content because we hate the feeling of being sold to. That’s why organic search drives 53% of website traffic, while paid search drives only 27% (Higher Visibility).

While Google Adwords can create a nice revenue stream for service companies, it should not be the sole marketing strategy implemented. In addition to paid ads, your HVAC advertising strategy needs a reliable content plan, quick communication, social proof, and more.

 

Strategy #9: Keep Expanding Your Marketing Budget

No matter how good your HVAC services are, local homeowners need to hear about them first. Marketing is the most significant way to increase brand exposure and, in turn, generate more revenue. As your HVAC business increases in sales, so should the amount you are investing in marketing -- but be strategic about it. 

For example, examine how an HVAC business can calculate the ROI from an email marketing campaign.

  • The email marketing campaign costs $100.
  • The HVAC business sees a $200 increase in sales sourced through the email campaign.
  • Therefore, the HVAC company saw a 100% return on investment.

Now let's say the HVAC business executes a paid Facebook advertising campaign that also 

costs $100. Their revenue increases by $150 as a result of the HVAC advertising. In the future, it would be wise to increase their spending on email marketing and less emphasis on paid social ads.

 

Strategy #10: Don’t Stop Print Marketing - But Track What’s Effective

Contrary to popular belief, print marketing is not dead, especially in the case of local businesses. For instance, studies show consumers open 80-90% of direct mail but only 20-30% of ad emails (SmallBizTrends). Additionally, consumers consistently rate print advertising as one of the most reliable channels, with 82% of consumers agreeing they trust print ads (INMA).

Looking at these statistics, it's hard not to make a case for combining both print marketing and online efforts. However, like most HVAC marketing strategies, it's essential to track what is effective closely.

Here are a few ways to track print advertising campaigns:

  • Create custom URLs specific to print materials.
  • Include call tracking on the print advertisement.
  • Use discount codes such as "Print" for recipients to use when inquiring about your services.
  • Create a social hashtag.

Tracking how prospective customers interact with your HVAC business will help you understand ROI and spend marketing dollars more effectively.

 

Rizen’s Unique Approach (and Success Stories)

At Rizen, we believe our clients deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We pride ourselves on offering honesty and transparency in an industry that does not always do the same.

Whether you're a small business owner or a professional marketer, we can help. Our system starts with the basics and delivers HVAC marketing strategies that produce results. 

How are we different from other home services marketing firms?

We don't sell our home services clients an a la carte approach to marketing, advertising, and sales tactics. The contribution of each of these efforts should not be treated individually. To be successful, they must work together and support one another.

The proof is in the pudding. We've tested and streamlined it with installers, technicians, contractors, and other HVAC service businesses.

In short, our success is based on the success of our clients. It's why Rizen promotes shared viewpoints and collaborative efforts. If you're ready to say goodbye to traditional HVAC marketing and hello to future success, we're prepared to help.

Contact our team of certified marketing professionals by calling 305.548.8464 or completing a contact form here.

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