HVAC marketing isn’t top of mind for most business owners. You’ve got far more important things grabbing your attention every day. But if you only focus on day-to-day operations you could eventually find yourself left out in the cold without any new customers.
Relax – we’re here to help!
These 13 HVAC marketing hacks to heat up your business will help you take control of your company’s public persona. We will show you how to craft a sharp business profile to make potential customers race to get ahold of you!
We’ve grouped these marketing strategies based on level of complexity and the lifecycle of your business:
Part I. Getting Started with HVAC Marketing:
The marketing fundamentals that all businesses should try.
Part II. Expanding your HVAC Marketing Reach:
For businesses that have already tackled the fundamentals, these tips will help expand your brand’s visibility and presence.
Part III. Going the Extra Mile:
These tips are for the real go-getters! For people that are excited at the possibilities of future technology and how to market your business on emerging platforms.
Part I: Getting Started with HVAC Marketing
1. Optimize Your HVAC Company’s Website
Your company’s website is essentially a digital business card that anyone in the world can see! But imagine if your business card didn’t include your name or any way to reach you. It wouldn’t be too effective, would it?
Your HVAC website is similar, but search engines require a few additional bits of information to help them understand your site.
You need to clearly state your site’s focus and who you’re trying to reach. You want to give search engines exactly what they need to rank you appropriately for your industry.
Also, make sure that your site is mobile-optimized so even smartphone users enjoy their experience on your website.
This all might sound confusing at first, but that’s why we’ve included this handy guide to highlight the process!
Not all information you provide is plainly visible on your website’s pages. Some bits only appear in a certain context. This is where your website’s metadata comes into play.
Think of your site as a delicious steak. Its metadata is the description you’d see on the restaurant’s menu. You don’t get that description with the dish, but you would use it as valuable information when you order it.
So, that blurb you see under your site’s link in search results? Yep, that’s controlled by the metadata description you provide:
You can’t directly change those Google Sitelinks that appear beneath your listing. But, you can optimize your metadata descriptions of certain pages to help Google decide which pages are best to share in that space. This article goes into much greater detail about sitelinks.
If someone shares a link to your site on social media, metadata populates that rich snippet, as they’re called. So, there’s value in updating those site files that aren’t directly visible to someone normally visiting your site.
If you’re running your site on WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin can help you navigate through your HVAC website’s necessary metadata fields.
Search engines crawl your site like someone lost in a mall. You’ll want to provide a directory, so the little web crawlers know where to go. That’s basically what a sitemap does. Best of all, you don’t have to manually create one!
The website XML Sitemaps has one focus, to autogenerate a sitemap for you for free.
Social Media Integration
Google now uses social media to determine the validity of the online presence of your business.
This affects how your website will rank against competitors. Later on, we’ll discuss each social platform individually, but when it comes to your HVAC website, here’s what you need to know:
Add links to your social profiles near the top of your site on every page. You can add them to your main navigation bar or include a little widget along the side of your page.
Include a link to your website on each of your social profiles. This sends out a signal to Google that you are a legitimate business and helps boost your positioning in relevant search results.
2. Use Social Media to Generate Leads and Increase Visibility
Yes, social media is useful for more than just photos of your food. There’s also more than just kids swiping through those feeds. Real business is done on social media these days. You can’t afford to ignore it.
As we said earlier, Google considers social media signals to be an influence in the legitimacy of your business. These factors help Google decide your listing’s rank in its results pages. But, specifics of each factor’s impact on your site’s ranking are a closely held company secret. Avoiding any presence on social media may not make Google issue a direct penalty, but it certainly will not help you get seen online. But from the outside looking in, it may feel impossible to know where to start. Let’s take a look at each platform one-by-one to see their unique strengths:
With a staggering 1.85 billion daily active users worldwide, it’s no secret why this is first on our list.
Facebook’s demographic skews older as well, with 70 percent of its users over the age of 25. So, this makes it a prime market for advertising and connecting with existing and potential HVAC customers.
Maintain a presence on this platform. Have an up-to-date business page with important contact information available for those seeking it. Also have a member of staff regularly check in to see if anyone is messaging you with questions, feedback or requests for service.
Facebook’s advertising tools allow for incredibly targeted ad campaigns, which make your HVAC marketing dollars stretch that much further! More on that later.
Twitter functions best as a direct communication tool for your existing customers and as an outreach tool to find fresh leads.
Since Twitter is primarily text-based and favors up-to-the-moment information, you can use this to your advantage. Your Twitter account can be used to rapidly share business updates to a wide audience.
This platform might seem a lot like Facebook at first glance. In fact, Microsoft actually edged out Facebook in acquiring LinkedIn back in 2016 for a princely sum of $26.2 billion.
The changes over the years have brought LinkedIn more in line with your standard crop of social media platforms. But the platform remains focused on business news, updates and connections while still catering to your standard scrolling feed of updates from followed businesses and workplace contacts.
LinkedIn is where you’ll want to share any of the blog content you’ve written on your site. This is also where you’ll want to make connections with candidates should you be looking to fill out your roster.
Since LinkedIn isn’t tied to a single industry, you’ll be able to find professionals from all walks of life. So, if you’re looking to hire office staff, field technicians, dispatchers, sales professionals, even receptionists – LinkedIn is a great place to start.
Keep your business profile up-to-date and share articles to drive continued attention to your brand.
Internet-marketing mastermind Gary Vee recommends writing blog posts specifically for the LinkedIn audience. “One thing that I’m seeing get a lot of traction on LinkedIn is native articles and text posts with content contextual to business,” he says.
Now we approach the more visual, and bite-sized social media platforms. Instagram pioneered sharing our world through square photos.
Use Instagram to peel back the curtain on the day-to-day operations of your business. Showcase your talented staff, and have fun with the Stories that delete themselves after a day.
Instagram is a place to have fun and let your hair down. Not every platform requires you to take HVAC marketing so seriously.
Either you’ve heard TikTok is a silly app where kids dance, or you’ve heard it’s something more nefarious.
All we can say is this one-minute-video platform is currently where you will find the most eyeballs of the young adult audience.
TikTok is built on authenticity. A simple one-minute video of you talking from the heart could generate tens of millions of views and hundreds of thousands of new followers. This might not seem like great HVAC marketing, but these days… This is what works.
Don’t be put off by the seemingly trendy mystique and youthful aura of this app. You’ll find all ages and professions represented here. You’ll find home inspectors, septic tank service owners, contractors and yes even HVAC professionals sharing what they know and love to millions of fans.
3. Content is King in HVAC Marketing
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re done with your website once it’s created. And most of the information and pages you create on your site will remain relatively static. But, Google loves sites with updates and regular additions sprinkled in over time.
This is where content marketing can influence your site’s ranking. Regularly publish fresh content to your site’s blog. It will send signals to Google that your site (and business) is alive and well!
You may have heard of the term thought leader. Content marketing is simple – write blog posts about your area of expertise. Whatever you’re passionate about, whatever you learn in your day-to-day, share it.
Provide insights and useful industry information to those looking for you and your business.
4. Online Reviews are More Important to HVAC Marketing than You Might Think
We all want to be loved. And every business strives to gather five-star reviews. But generating those reviews requires know-how, patience and incredible customer connection.
There’s many different websites for people to leave a review about your business. Keeping tabs on these sites will help you capitalize on each review. Be sure to regularly check Google, Facebook and Yelp for any new feedback left by customers!
Every review site has its own set of rules and guidelines. Knowing what you can and can’t do before and after those reviews are submitted is necessary to keep you from running afoul of those pesky terms of service.
Part II: Expanding your HVAC Marketing Reach
5. PPC (Pay Per Click) with Google AdWords vs Facebook’s Targeted Ads
Pay Per Click ads, or PPC for short, are the Internet’s equivalent of ad placements that you might find in a periodical or trade publication. A PPC ad is a listing that will appear in line, but above other relevant search results.
PPC means paying for your search result to get priority placement on a website. You basically get to cut in line for a fee every time someone clicks on your link. And sometimes that fee is astronomical depending on the competition for that keyword!
Google’s AdWords operates on a pay-per-click model. The Facebook ad platform works a little differently. It matches users that see your ad with the demographic, location and collection of interests that you define when you launch your ad campaign. You pay for reach and duration with Facebook, not directly per click.
6. Use your Service Van as Mobile HVAC Marketing
Van Wraps with Head Turning Designs
You’ve no doubt got some company branding on your service van. But we suggest you take it to another level.
Find a local printer that specializes in creating and applying vehicle wraps, and boom! Instant moving billboard. Most printers can help you create a bold design with bright colors and high levels of contrast that covers the entire surface of your van.
Vehicle wraps can be far more eye-catching than just using your standard logo and phone number. Consider the value of having a head-turning colorful van parked outside your service calls. Anyone passing by can’t help but notice your brand’s bold choices!
These wraps can be a bit costly but it might just be worth it.
This is an investment that can last for years. “Under normal conditions, the average lifespan of a vehicle wrap is about five years,” notes Pixus Digital Printing, a Louisiana-based company that creates custom vehicle wraps for businesses.
Large Logo Magnets Afford Versatility, Lower Liability
Logo magnets are smaller but a more affordable option. Using one also gives you a few key benefits over the more permanent vehicle wraps.
The easy removal allows service techs, or anyone using your service van the ability to remove all company branding from the vehicle should they need to drive anywhere after hours.
7. Direct Mail with a Contemporary Twist
There are a few reasons we suggest continuing with direct mail marketing. For starters, it’s still very much an effective strategy.
A 2019 poll by Sagefrog Marketing Group found respondents allocated around 19 percent of their entire marketing budget to direct mail and print ads. That number dipped to 11 percent (PDF) in 2020, likely due to COVID related cutbacks. But we should see direct mail spends begin to increase again in 2021.
There’s also a renewed groundswell of support for our trusty USPS. So, leveraging that good will with your marketing dollars can only help the public perception of your brand.
QR Codes. Easy to Use. Easy to Track.
Tracking the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign has never been easier! Those little QR-code squares afford you a few great benefits over writing out a standard website address with all its slashes and dots. For starters, the design of your mailer doesn’t need to adapt to each market’s unique landing page URL.
So, if you want different zip codes to land on different pages on your site, you don’t need to adjust your design. You can just add a different QR code in the allotted space, and each code can point to a different landing page on your HVAC website.
Nothing changes for the recipient, they scan the code and follow the link like usual.
This way you can more easily track how well your mailer does. You’ll have a more granular look at who is responding, and more information to use when targeting your next direct mail campaign.
Send Useful Information with a Soft Call to Action
Let’s be honest. Most mailers we receive feel like junk before we even read what’s written on them.
It may be worth your time and HVAC marketing dollars to create something of value. Think about it this way: If you make something worth saving, you’ve now extended the value of your marketing message indefinitely.
When we say value, we mean more than just the quality of the mailer. The quality of the information needs to also be something worth saving.
If you create a large sticker or magnet that includes valuable HVAC emergency information. Like what to do in the event of an earthquake, power outage or other natural disaster. Add in a suggestion to place this valuable information in or near your customer’s HVAC closet.
You want to empower your customers to feel like they can manage some amount of control over their equipment in an emergency. But, you are also able to provide your contact info for additional support as well.
8. Your Best Sales People Might Just Be Your Customers
Your sales team does great work. But your existing customers can be a helpful addition to your outreach efforts.
Help grease the wheels by creating a referral program. New customers who let you know who referred them can get a small break on their bill, and the person referring them can get a deal on an upcoming service.
The cost to value of this type of program is difficult to pin down. But, happy customers are easy to spot, and you’ll want to evangelize as many of yours as you can.
Be sure to qualify each lead by asking how they heard about you. Get that referral front and center before sending out your field tech. If you can identify who referred this new customer, you could find a new way to connect while on the first call.
9. Scheduled Maintenance Plans for Existing Customers
Speaking of the value found in your existing customers… Create custom scheduled HVAC maintenance plans to help turn your one-time customers into regulars!
The benefits of getting your one-time customers to sign an HVAC maintenance plan contract include:
- More consistent work throughout any slow seasons.
- Reliable, steady stream of revenue.
- Happy customers who see you as an ally more than a sales person.
- Less 3:00 AM emergency calls for your technicians.
Need help preparing your HVAC business to sell maintenance plans? Download our FREE Service Agreement Sales Kit to get everything you need to start selling today!
Part III: Going the Extra Mile
10. YouTube and Affordable Video HVAC Marketing
YouTube isn’t just another social media platform. Favoring longform, informative video content, this an ideal spot to upload any video content you have kicking around the office.
Your YouTube page is a great place to archive webinars, customer testimonials, employee training videos and any tutorials you’ve made in the past.
When you’re first starting out on YouTube, consider the videos you post as digital breadcrumbs for Google’s bot to use to tell if your business is legitimate. Make sure you include relevant information in the video’s description, and any related hashtags for easy searching and indexing.
Also, allow other users to post comments on your videos. It may open you up to the occasional insult, but you will also begin to see how your videos are received, which ones resonate and how to proceed with a video marketing strategy moving forward.
As you grow your online video library, you can begin finding ways to increase the overall quality of each upload. Remember that viewers think audio quality is actually more important than visual quality. So make sure you’re not posting any videos with annoying buzzing or other audio quality issues.
11. Track Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Take advantage of the greatest strength of the digital age. The amount of analytical data that is available on your current online HVAC marketing campaign might just make your head spin!
Many online advertising platforms give you insights into:
- Demographics / Psychographics
- Open Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Tracking Across Sales Funnel
- Continued Tracking Across Campaigns
A far cry from the old spray-and-pray method of marketing. Tracking the response to your digital HVAC marketing efforts will help you inform your next campaign. Knowledge is power. And leveraging this available data will only help save you time & money and strengthen your conversion rates!
12. Create a Killer HVAC Podcast
We are in the goldrush era of podcasting. At first glance, it might seem the market is oversaturated. And while it’s true that there’s thousands of podcasts released every day, the number of listeners continues to climb as well.
We recommend podcasting because the barrier for entry is so low. There is no expensive equipment required. You don’t have to even look presentable when recording! No crew, or lights, just you and a recording device. And maybe the occasional guest or two.
You’re also in the perfect industry for a podcast!
Because HVAC is a tightly focused topic that appeals to a wide audience. Industry professionals, business owners, even average folks with central air. Your audience has an appetite for your expertise! All you need to do is package what you know with a little enthusiasm and you could find yourself with a hit podcast.
Grab yourself a recording device and get chatting. Throw your logo on it, upload it and call it a day! There’s no website to build, no tricky coding or metadata. Release it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify and watch how well it does! For inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite popular HVAC podcasts.
13. Embrace the Future of HVAC Marketing with an Alexa Skill
Computing has come a long way. From point and click, to pinch and swipe, we’re now entering the era of just ask! An invisible helpful voice that chirps from a corner in the room will become our new entry point to searching for information and marketing our services.
Amazon’s Echo devices are the market leader in the smart-speaker space. And Alexa is quickly becoming synonymous with the voice-assistant phenomenon.
It’s now time to consider the huge benefits an Alexa skill could give your company. Aside from being early to the space, you could position yourself as a leader in your industry with a popular HVAC Alexa skill.
Automated Troubleshooting at Any Hour
Consider the future where you corner the market on HVAC troubleshooting via interactive voice command.
It would sound something like this: “Alexa, ask [your business name], why my AC rattles when it turns on.”
Alexa’s response would be created and maintained by you. You could provide a few quick tips for the user to check. This would help educate your potential customer, which allows them to discover any useful diagnostic information that would help them communicate their problem to your staff.
You could program Alexa’s response to include the mention of your phone number, hours and availability to help further assist your potential customer resolve the issue with their HVAC equipment.
Let’s Wrap This Up!
Wow, what a journey we’ve been on here. We understand if you needed to bookmark this page and come back a few times to get to this point.
These 13 HVAC marketing tips involved a broad cross section of tactics and platforms. That’s because we believe there’s not one silver bullet to marketing your HVAC business.
We hope a few of these tips sparked some inspiration in you to try something new and shake up your HVAC marketing efforts. After all, you need marketing to increase awareness of your business and ultimately acquire new customers!
Ready to take your marketing and reporting to the next level? FieldEdge can help! Book a demo today to see how FieldEdge can support your marketing goals.