A Less Confusing Approach to HVAC Digital Marketing
As traditional marketing continues it’s spiral to irrelevance for most industries. HVAC dealers should pay close attention. Gone are the days of a simple yellow pages ad or sending a postcard as your only marketing actions. If you want to remain successful, it’s time to start utilizing digital marketing. This article will help give you an overview of what each piece does. We’ll later dive deeper into each of the moving parts and explore the best way to optimize your time spent, your money invested, and what you can expect from your returns in each of the major (and some of the money) places your business can live.
Social Media – Organic
Facts, tips, and pictures. This is your bread and butter. Social media is where your audience lives. The secret here that most fail to recognize, is that it’s less about selling, and more about relationship building. That’s why the 3 main pieces of content are Ads, Ads, and more ads. Organic social media growth and organic social media marketing is the “smoked” meat of the advertising world, it requires consistency and it requires patience. Your job with this content is to imbue a sense of trust and respect for your knowledge.
Start with content. You’re the expert here and you have knowledge to share that can either save people money or improve their quality of life. Share that wealth of knowledge. These tips should make up about half of your organic talking points on social media, and it’s ok to recycle them every few months, the information doesn’t become any less valuable just because you’ve shared it once before. Just don’t get lazy and try and use 5-10 posts all year round.
The other half of your content is facts and pictures. Facts are simple, how often do people forget to change their filter? Are the expensive filters actually worth the price? What can I do to help combat all the dust and dog hair in my house? Pictures can get more interesting. This can be everything from a shot of the leaking coil under the UV light or a crack heat exchanger to a picture of a dog in October that’s getting ready to shed all over the place.
Social Media – Paid
If you’ve visited Facebook’s advertising page or tried to navigate through Twitter’s promotional network you’ve likely left confused. Don’t feel bad. We were there once too. It gets overwhelming fast. So most people settle for just generic boosted posts. Click the button, pay Facebook $10 and see your reach grow by the second. This works great. But if that’s all you’re doing you’re missing out.
When you follow our plan for your organic content your audience is gaining value and sharing your content. The boosted posts can expand that reach and get you in front of even more people that are looking for your content. But ad campaigns should be more encompassing than this. The goal of a piece of social content is to get value in your customers hands, the goal of the paid content, is to do something different, something more.
But what? Like everything else that’s important in life, it depends. Page views, content reach, website views, or phone calls are usually the goal. When first starting out, page views and content reach are a great way to start, but it’s important to grow beyond that. Growing into more sophisticated advertising doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to be handled purposefully or you’re going to end up throwing money away. Generally our advice for HVAC dealers is to setup a simple funnel to move homeowners through, and use social ads to start them down the funnel.
We sell websites. Obviously we love them and we find value in them, else we’d be wasting our time trying to get customers to use them. But they’re not an end all be all. You’re not going to get rich with nothing but a great website. Plenty of companies operate just fine with bad websites, but they’re missing opportunities to grow. Credibility, knowledge sharing, and work showcasing are just a few things we advocate that our customers use their website for. Your customers are coming to your website, you need to give them some value for showing up. Free knowledge, signing up for an email list or a filter change reminder, or even a coupon would be a perfect way to reward your visitors and keep them moving through your sales funnel.
Short of college level calculus this will likely be the most confusing thing you encounter in your digital marketing journey. Google has done their best to organize things and lay it out in the best possible way. There’s just a ton of options available and no easy way about it. On the surface the easiest thing to do is generic ad, target some keywords, and push everyone that sees it to your homepage. But, like everything else, easy and best are rarely the same thing, and this is no exception.
Focus your ads and focus where the customer is landing. If they’re asking about fall maintenance, put them on the page that talks about fall maintenance. If they’re trying to figure out how often to change a filter, you guessed it, content about changing your filters and how to find them. The challenge here is that content like this is nearly limitless. So it’s important to pick a few specific topics, build some content, then start funneling people in. If nothing’s working don’t worry, keep trying and keep promoting, and eventually something will stick and you’ll start getting traction.
The last piece of the puzzle, the fun part: Data analyzing. Figure out what keywords get the most engagement, what keywords keep customers on your site the longest, and, most importantly, figure out which keywords get customers the closest to the sale. That data is boring, complicated, and requires more than piece of scrap paper and an adwords account. You’ll need to keep careful records and ensure you understand where your customers are coming from. Once you’ve got that figured out double down on your strengths and focus your efforts on the things that are working. It’ll seem, like everything else in your business, overwhelming at first, but once it’s setup and running smooth you’ll wonder how you got by without it.