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HVAC Marketing Archives - Effective Media Solutions

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December 18, 2019

HVAC Branding – Tell Your Story – It’s Important!

Everyone has a story to tell, even heating & air conditioning companies! Many are a story of passion, sacrifice, and the will to succeed where others have failed.  People can identify with that and relate to it in their own lives.  They want to hear about success and what you stand for.  If you humanize your company, consumers will identify with it.  They will want to do business with you over your competition.  So, how do you Brand Your HVAC Business in 2020?

Separate Yourself from the Competition

What makes your HVAC company different?  Why should I call you over the other 50 companies in town?  Why are you better?  Why should I trust you?  These are questions you should ask yourself and be able to answer.  This is where branding yourself and your company are vital to your success.  So, how do I do it?  We all provide repair, maintenance, and installation services?  TELL YOUR STORY!

  • Why did you get in the business to start with?
  • Talk about your journey, your life.
  • Why you are passionate about your business and the services you provide?
  • Talk about the quality and expertise you bring
  • Guarantees your company provides

So What Really is Branding?

Branding; by definition, is the practice of creative awareness of a product or in this case a service that is easily recognizable as belonging to your business.  HVAC branding is critical to the success and profitability of your business.

Distinguishable brands typically command higher prices that ones that are considered generic. So what does this mean for HVAC companies like yours?

Let’s first identify what the consumer thinks about residential hvac.  The reputation of our industry is sometimes tarnished, and the consumer is expecting bad or poor service…..What if we turned that perception around for them.

The Perfect Service Call

  • Call Ahead to let them you are on the way.
  • Email or text them a picture of the service techician.
  • Show up on time, in a clean uniform (where possible, we know service can be dirty), in a clean vehicle, wearing a name tag.

The HVAC Equipment Purchase Process – “In the consumer’s eyes”

Homeowners think purchasing a new heating and air conditioning system is like buying a new washer and dryer, a refrigerator, or a tv.

Where to Purchase?

They look at the different retail outlets to make their purchase from, and in your case they are looking at potentially you and your competitors.  The consumer then moves to what options or features best will meet their needs.  (EX: A homeowner is purchasing a new tv.  They look at the picture quality, size, smart tv, etc….)

Feature set or performance

In our world that means:

  • Efficiency: SEER, HSPF, AFUE
  • Comfort level: single vs. multi-stage vs. variable capacity
  • Warranty

You notice we aren’t mentioning price here….?

This also applies to how you BRAND or SEPARATE your heating and air company from the competition….

Trust

Trust is paramount to the consumer.  They must trust your company and your technician before they will let you enter their home.  Branding around trust for your HVAC business is important…..consumers will weigh this before making a purchase decision.

Value

The average consumer only purchases HVAC 2.5 times in their lifetime, so it is an infrequent purchase.  It is the most expensive appliance in the home.  They are looking for value over price, but if we don’t present our value proposition they will ultimately revert to price.

Fixed Now

Timely fast service may trump all of the above.  We live in a “me too” society today, consumers refuse to wait for service.  Your HVAC company must have to ability to react fast to the consumer needs.  Long gone are the days of waiting two weeks for a new installation or 3 days for service. So….

What if your BRANDED around timely service guarantees????? Fixed today or your service call is free??? Guaranteed Repairs or your money back!

What would consumers think about your business?

Customers will Identity with You!

Your heating & air business has to face the basic facts…..Consumers/homeowners just don’t think about you until they need you…..So, by branding your hvac business with things they  identify with will create association with what they like.  Your ultimate goal is to become the “Kleenex” of heating and air companies in your area.  When they need your services, you are the first company that comes to mind……It’s a lofty goal, but it can be done!

HVAC Branding works in 2020!

It’s time to Tell Your Story!

Thanks and Good Selling!

We Speak HVAC!

will@myeffectivemedia.com


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September 18, 2019

Recap Your Summer

The summer was hot, did your hvac company capitalize? Every summer in the heating and air conditioning world it’s a mad scramble…..grabbing emergency service calls, taking care of existing customer’s systems, and finishing up the left-over maintenance agreements from the spring.  Does this sound about right???  Well the big question is, did you make enough money to make it through the coming slow months?  I had a hvac owner recently say, “he wished September didn’t exist.” That’s a pretty strong statement, but I bet many on you can relate.

Read on for some tips that can make the “in-between” months easier to survive.

Capitalize on the slow times or the “in-between months”

Let’s put on our thinking caps…..summer is over, but it’s not hot enough to drive a lot of service work and ultimately replacements.  Let’s face it, homeowners will suffer through a few more hot days before they’ll fork out big bucks on their A/C system. And the cold nights of winter are a long ways off….

So it’s time to get creative

What is our best lead source, your most coveted possession???  Your existing customers!!!  Hopefully you have a large number of maintenance customers on the books, and if you don’t that’s ok.  But, it’s time to start aggressively growing your maintenance base if you don’t. So, what can we do to keep your team busy and break even when the temperatures are mild?

Let’s market to our existing customers

Everyone is looking for a bargain and save a little money these days.  There’s an old saying in this business…..”Just break even in the slow months”  and that’s a win for your heating and air conditioning business.  You already have a relationship with your customer, so let’s use that to our advantage.

So what do we market to our existing base?

  • Accessories:  (C02 detectors, UV lights, air cleaners, surge protectors)
  • Duct cleaning
  • New duct systems: Very labor intensive, and typically low profit in the busy season, but a great offer in Sept-Oct.
  • Savings off a new system

What we are attempting to do is simple.  We want to drive enough revenue to break-even with our expenses/overhead and have enough work to keep our staff busy.  And more importantly keep them on the payroll, we don’t want to have to lay off valuable employees during the slow months.  During the busy times, we may turn these types of jobs down or over price them, so we do not get the work.  These can become welcomed additions to your job board!

Special Offers

Special offers are a great way to entice existing customers; as well as, new customers that may be willing to take the plunge and invest in your services.  Remember, our goal here is to at worst break-even during the “shoulder seasons.”  So, what are we talking about?

  • Upgrades – offer the next higher SEER unit for the same price as the lower SEER unit. (Talk to your equipment supplier, they may work with you, they want to move boxes too during the slow times)
  • Rebates – the manufacturer typically offers rebates in the spring and fall.
  • Free A/C or Furnace – this one takes some creativity, but we are thinking “out of the box” right?
  • Free extended warranty – another adder to entice homeowners to buy, remember we’re trying to push them off the fence!

Additional Services

Adding additional services to your contracting business is a long-term commitment.  Many HVAC companies expand into related industries to help smooth out the peaks and valleys of heating and air’s seasonality.  These can be natural compliments to your HVAC business.

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • IAQ
  • Home Automation

Just Break Even!

We as contractors know we can’t push consumers to do something they do not want to do.  We all know our business is driven by air conditioners or furnaces breaking down.  What’s the statistic??? There’s only 2% of the general population ever in the market at any given time that needs our services.  That becomes even smaller when we are between summer and winter.  So, if we can just break even during these months, it’s a BIG WIN for your company!

The bottom line is the HVAC business is year round, not seasonal!

 

Thank you for taking interest in our article!

“We Speak HVAC!”

will@myeffectivemedia.com


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September 9, 2019

 

Summer is over, well almost!  It’s time to put your HVAC Co-op Dollars to work!

Things are slowing down even though it is still hot outside…..you’ve worked hard all spring and summer and have earned your co-op.  Deadlines for approval are approaching fast, but we still have time to put together a well thought out campaign that will maximize your funds.  Effective Media Solutions can help you make the best use of your funds and produce additional revenue for you company this fall.  Let’s talk!

So Don’t Let Your Co-op $$$ Go To Waste

Every HVAC Contractor wants to grow their business…..and every HVAC Distributor/Manufacturer wants to help their dealers grow. It’s time to put those HVAC co-op dollars to good use. Don’t waste them on shirts and hats, or a hastily produced campaigns at the last minute, or even worse…..don’t use them at all!  It’s Time to put your HVAC Co-op Dollars to Work for You!
Effective Media Solutions works with just about every HVAC brand out there, and we understand how your co-op dollars work. We can help your company make the best use of them to help you grow your business.

HVAC_co-op options

Here are a list of services provided by Effective Media Solutions that can be used for co-op:

Digital Marketing:

Traditional Marketing:

Print Marketing:

      • Newspaper
      • Direct Mail

Graphic Design:

It's Time to Use Those Co-op Dollars

 

  • Contact your local distributor/manufacturer or your territory manager to see what co-op funds are available.
  • Contact Effective Media Solutions directly.

It’s time to grow your business! We generate NEW LEADS that GENERATE NEW SALES! 

We Speak HVAC!

(844)533-HVAC – Office Line

(704)507-7858 Will Merritt or (704)661-8588 Dave Bowen

To read more industry related blogs visit: Effective Media Solutions HVAC Industry Blogs


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August 1, 2019

Google My Business Listing

These simple HVAC marketing tips will make you a “HVAC Superhero” in your local community.  Your company’s Google My Business listing is becoming more important these days.  Google is putting more and more emphasis on your profile. So, when is the last time you’ve really looked at your Google My Business listing?

What Should I Do?

Google wants to see activity on your GMB page.  So, it will help your profile by doing the following:

  1. Make sure your basic business information is correct: Company name, website, address, and phone number. Tip: (Google in 2018 began allowing two phone numbers on your GMB listing, which now allows you to use a “trackable #” and your main number.  It’s a great way to see how many calls and leads are coming from your profile.
  2. Add pictures to your page on a regular basis.  Remember to properly name your picture, the internet search engines cannot see pictures only their alt tag description.  Example: You have a picture of all your employees, tag it ABC-Air-Conditioning-your city-your state.
  3. Provide a brief description about your business under the “about”section.  Tell your potential customers what your company stands for, a brief history, and what services you provide.  Tip:  Here is a great place to use some “keywords” about your business and the geographic areas your serve.  (Air conditioning, heating, ac repair, furnace repair, towns and cities you serve, and even local community names)
  4. Google Posts: Google allows you to create a post on your GMB profile.  You can create an offer, a contest or giveaway, or even a “feel good” post about your business.
  5. Service Areas: This is extremely important for heating and air conditioning businesses.  HVAC companies provide their services at the home or business of their customer. Tip: Hide your business address on GMB and list the towns or cities you service.  It will show as a map on your listing, so your potential customers will know if you service their area.

Social Media Profiles

Social media has become a part of the fabric of our society.  Your customer is addicted to their smart phone and is immersed in the world of social media.  As a local heating and air conditioning company in your community, you need to be active on social media.  Go where your customers go!

You may or may not be active personally on social media, but your customers or potential customers definitely are using it.  So, if you are not a big social media junky……no worries!  You can start with by creating one company social profile and go from there.  You may ask, what social network or networks should our company be concerned with?  There are more and more choices today, but Facebook still dominates the social media world.  Facebook’s fastest growing demographic is the older baby boomer generation.  Tip:  They own homes and typically have money for home improvements.

So Which Social Media Profiles?

Facebook is still the market leader, but many other social sites are catching up fast!  You can’t go wrong by making it the focus of your social media efforts.

Instagram;  which is owned by Facebook, is out pacing it’s parent company in new monthly sign ups. It has been tagged as the “young” person’s social media platform of choice…..it’s great for quick pictures or stories.  Remember the “millennials” are getting older……they are the 2nd largest demographic segment in the US after the baby boomers and are projected to overtake the “baby boomers” in 2019…..they are becoming your new target market!

Twitter has a proven track record, and is a viable platform for HVAC companies. It’s a great way to send out quick messages or specials to your customers or potential new ones.  You can even answer questions potential or existing customers may have about your services.

YouTube has become extremely popular by all ages, and YES it is considered a social media platform.  Did you know? It is the 2nd most used search engine after Google, and P.S. it’s owned by Google…..so it’s important!  Tip: YouTube is great place to post short videos, especially “how to” videos.  Consumers are constantly searching for problems associated with the air conditioning system and how to fix it.  You can quickly become a trusted source of information.  They will look at your business as an authority for heating and air problems.

LinkedIn has grown rapidly in the last couple of years.  It caters primarily to businesses doing business with other businesses or B2B……So, if your heating and air conditioning company does commercial work, building a LinkedIn profile could be well worth your time.

Our recommendation is to “start small” and you can grow your social presence one post at a time.  Have fun with it, social media for hvac companies is supposed to be fun!

HVAC Social Media Sites:

Here is a quick list of recommended social platforms for HVAC Contractors:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. YouTube
  5. LinkedIn

Reputation Management

So what is reputation management for a HVAC company and what does it involve?  Today your company has a ton of information on the internet.  Some of it is correct and some of it is far from the truth.  As a business owner, you want to make sure you are “painting the correct picture” for your customer.  There are a gazillion sites on the web that have your information.  It’s important to make sure your information is correct!

What Information you say?

  • Name, Address, and Phone Number (Often referred to as “NAP”)
  • Website
  • Business Hours
  • Geographic Areas Served
  • Years in Business

What Sites are Important?

Like we said above, there are a gazillion websites or directories with your information on the internet.  There are various forms of software that will help populate and correct the information online.  We have found there are a few main ones that your business should be concerned with, which can effect your online rankings.

  • Google My Business – It’s #1 by far!!!
  • Facebook and any other social sites you post to regularly.
  • Bing/Yahoo
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Yellow Pages
  • Yelp

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews….

Reviews are a hug part of your online reputation today.  Consumers who are unfamiliar with a particular service company are searching on the internet and reading reviews about your HVAC company and your competitors business.  In the years past, would-be customers would consult a friend or neighbor to find out who to call for air conditioning or heating service……or we would look up companies in the yellow pages.

Fast forward to 2019

So, what do we do when our A/C breaks, and we don’t have an existing relationship with a local HVAC company?  We still may phone a friend, but our habits have changed dramatically in recent years.  Consumers today will post something on social media, “the modern day word of mouth”:

Can anyone recommend a good air conditioning company?

Once they receive recommendations, the consumer will do a little online research.  Now is when online reviews have so much importance.

Here are the important things a potential buyer is looking for:

  1. How many reviews does your HVAC business have?  Tip: The more you can have the better, studies have shown consumers will downgrade your business if you have less than 30.
  2. What is your company’s star rating?  (5.0 is the best on Google)
  3. Do you have recent reviews?
  4. Have you responded to reviews?  Tip: You should respond to all reviews, but most importantly respond to the bad reviews! Consumers understand no business is perfect, but it is best to respond, be tactful, tell your side the story as to what happened, and apologize.

The Simple Things Can Have a Huge Impact!

As a trusted local heating and air provider to your community, take the time to review and update your Google My Business listing on a regular basis. Take a look around the internet…..Google your company and see what you find. Keep an eye on your online reviews. Make sure you are responding to them and take action when you have a negative review.  Be proactive and take charge of your online presence and you will gain more customers!

 

Thank you and good selling!

”We Speak HVAC”

will@myeffectivemedia.com

 


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June 13, 2019

and put on the consumer hat!  We have a lot going on running a heating and air conditioning business…..but do we really know “The Homeowner’s Frustration?” They have a problem with their A/C system, and they just want it fixed.  It’s time to take off the contractor hat and put on the consumer hat.

Let’s make it easy for them

Remember the consumer is not very familiar with this process.  They don’t call a heating and air contractor every day, and remember from our recent article (Why Did We Lose the Sale?), the average homeowner only purchases a new hvac system on average 2.5 times in their lifetime.  So, they don’t speak our language of SEER, AFUE, and HSPF.  Think of it like this; we speak Spanish and they speak French……we don’t understand each other.

It’s not an easy process for the consumer…..

Ok, you’re now the homeowner.  You walk in your house after a long day at work, and what do you find?  Your house is HOT, the A/C is out!  So what do you do? …. other than go into panic mode!!!

  • You check your thermostat, does it have power, batteries?
  • Check your breaker box, any tripped breakers?
  • Is the outside unit running?
  • Is there cold air coming from the vents?

If the homeowner determines it’s time to contact a professional, then what?  Some may have a relationship with a local air conditioning contractor, but many homeowners do not.  In the old days, you went to phonebook and looked up air conditioning companies.  But when is the last time you even laid eyes on a phonebook?  Or you called a neighbor to enlist help, uh oh it’s 2019, you may not know your neighbors that well…..sorry but it’s true.  So, today’s consumer uses the latest technology at their disposal:

  • They post their problem on social media: Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter asking for a reputable contractor
  • Maybe they check the neighborhood app: Nextdoor
  • Of course there’s Google and other search engines….

The Next Step after the initial search phase

Alright, here is where it gets good.  Your next potential customer has gotten some information via a recommendation and has decided to search on their smartphone.  Remember they are still in the “Oh S**t” moment of, “I don’t have air conditioning” in my home.  That’s not a good place to be, and they want to move away from that place as soon as possible.  Now that they have a recommendation or two, they start the rapid research phase…..

A Quick Judgement is Made about your heating and air company

The distressed homeowner looks up air conditioner repair or another related search, and they find…..we’ll call them company “A” on their favorite search engine.  And let’s see what their search returned….

Contractor “A” – Here’s their stats:

  • They have a website, but it was built in 2002.  It has limited information, it’s not optimized for mobile,  has outdated coupons, and kind of “hang the open sign in the window” approach.
  • Google shows only 3 reviews, and their rating is 3 out of 5 stars.
  • The company has a Facebook account, but it hasn’t been posted to since 2016…
  • And they are registered with the BBB or Better Business Bureau, but do not have any reviews.

Hmmm…..let’s look at the 2nd contractor.

Contractor “B” – “Our shining star”:

  • Their website is modern, mobile optimized for the smartphone(which the distressed homeowner is using), it has “Call to Action” buttons to schedule service and it promotes coupons for savings on service calls, and it screams fast, reliable air conditioning service.
  • Contractor B has over 100 Google reviews, many of them recent, and a 4.7 rating out of 5 stars.
  • They have active Facebook and Instagram accounts that show recent job site pictures and happy homeowner recommendations.
  • The company is BBB registered, rated, and has many positive reviews.

Contractor “C” – Remember we were taught by our parents to get “Three Estimates” right?

  • No website to be found.
  • A Google listing that shows the picture of a house, and the listing has not been claimed.
  • There is an old link to a “My Space” account.
  • I know this getting a little ridiculous…..

Who do think they called…….

Broken Promises, told one thing and…..

Congratulations you are the lucky contractor that gets the chance to win over this customer for life.  The homeowner just wants their A/C fixed asap.  So, we tell them we can have a service tech at their home tomorrow afternoon……the new customer begrudgingly says “ok, that will be fine.”  Fast forward to the next day, and the homeowner takes the afternoon off of work in order to meet your technician.  It’s about 2:30 pm and no one has contacted this excited new residential customer.  So, they decide to call your office, and the receptionist answers and checks with the dispatcher……They come back on the line with their “shiny new” customer and says, “We should be at your home by 4:00 pm.”  The homeowner feels somewhat relieved…..Now it’s 4:15 and still no knight in shining armor to fix the air conditioner.  Now the technician contacts the homeowner, and says that their current call is taking much longer than anticipated…….“Can we come tomorrow morning?  You’ll be the first stop!”

Do what you say you’re going to do

We have to be courteous, respectful, and do what we say we are going to do.  I know we are stereotyping the HVAC industry, but I’m just trying to convey some common issues homeowners experience with residential service providers.  I’ve personally had some awesome  customer service experiences and some that have been less than stellar…..and that’s putting it mildly. There are so many outstanding service companies today, and the consumer is taking notice!  Today’s consumer is expecting you work around their schedule and provide the highest quality service and workmanship……or they will find someone that will provide it.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Think like the consumer and not the contractor, “walk in their shoes.”  They are unhappy and uncomfortable…..They just want an easy solution to take them back to their “comfort zone.” Make is simple and easy!  Remember, often times they don’t know what kind of system they have, they may think their air conditioner is a Honeywell or White Rodgers……I’m being serious!  Make the scheduling process easy from the start to finish. Live operators answering the phone even after hours……Forms to schedule service on your website……and stick to your appointment time.  Also, be flexible with your service times.  Early evening and weekends work great for consumers!  Throw your contractor hat away and wear the consumer hat……You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your sales!

 

Will Merritt

Effective Media Solutions

will@myeffectivemedia.com

 


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May 22, 2019

As contractors, we wonder about this constantly……from quote to quote, why did we win this job and why did we lose that job?

They had a lower price?

That’s what we think in the heating and air conditioning business.  The other company won the job because their price was lower. And we all know pricing for replacement jobs can be all over the board.  The price can range from $5000.00 to $15000.00…..even for same brand of equipment.  So what does the consumer think?  It’s confusing for the homeowner!  Remember the average person only purchases a new heating and air system 2.5 times in their lifetime.  Let’s make it easy for them.

They provided the solution the buyer was looking for…..

It’s more than price these days.  Would be buyers have become very tech savvy.  They have so much information at their disposal regarding the products we sell today. Often times the buyer doesn’t really know what they want, we have to lead them down the path.  The consumer may mention a particular brand they want, but studies show they still trust in the contractor’s recommendation.

Are we as contractors asking the right questions on the sales call?

  • Do you have hot and cold spots in the home?
  • Have you considered zoning?
  • How does your ductwork look?
  • How long do you plan to live in the home?
  • Do you have allergies?
  • Would you like to be able to access the system remotely?
  • Did or does your current system keep your home comfortable?
  • How are your utility bills?

Sometimes the competition is asking the “right” questions and really getting the homeowner involved in the purchase process.  Yes, homeowners can and will get excited about the buying process.  We just have to undercover what their true needs are, and we must satisfy those needs for them.  Often times, if we ask the right questions, we may uncover needs they didn’t know they had!

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The Competition is Fierce

The consumer also has a multitude of options beyond the local contractor today:

Today’s consumer thinks buying a new heating and air conditioning system is like purchasing a standard home appliance.  They think it’s just like buying a new tv or refrigerator.  They look at different brands or manufacturers, look for similar specifications or features, and then they compare price.  The consumer doesn’t understand it is more about you “the contractor” than the brand of equipment.  They are ready to buy on features and price.  We all know that is not how it works.  We have to come out to measure, check ductwork, see if the electrical matches up, check installation limitations, etc….you know the drill.   But Look out!  The times are a changing!  The outlets listed above are catering to how consumers operate today.  Look at how the home selling market is changing.  You can simply list your home through an online service, or have the real estate company or agent buy your home outright. You don’t even have to list your home and worry about showings!  Same goes with the car market.  You can buy your car online and have it delivered.  Have you seen the Carvana ads?   And wait there’s one more, the food delivery services.  Think about Door Dash and Uber Eats.  They will bring food from just about any restaurant to your doorstep.  The point is…..Times are a changing!

They worked around the customer’s schedule

For many years, we contractors had “contractor” schedules.  This didn’t really align with the consumer’s schedule.  We went to work early in the morning, so we could leave in the afternoon.  The old mentality of “the early bird gets the worm”.  This worked well for us, but not so much for our potential customer.  The average consumer is very busy during those hours.  It is often difficult for them to take time off of work to be home to meet us.  And heaven forbid, we cancel an appointment or delay it!  So, many of today’s  heating and air companies are beginning to work around the consumer’s schedule.

  • Weekend appointments
  • After Hours
  • Whenever it’s convenient for the customer

Try it sometime, you may be surprised how well it works!  I bet you’ll increase your closure rate!  And, even your employees may prefer the non-traditional work hours.

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They made it easy to do business with them

This may one of the biggest reasons we lose sales in the residential HVAC business.  The other company made it easier to do business with them.  This can accomplished in many ways.

  • All around great customer service
  • Installing around the buyer’s schedule (nights and weekends)
  • Offering financing
  • Accepting Credit Cards
  • Online scheduling

Appearance is Everything

Have you thought above some of your personal buying habits?  Why you do what you do as a consumer?  Why do we go to Starbucks?  They are not the cheapest coffee.  Maybe we perceive it is better, there’s a sense of belonging when you go there, and maybe it’s just better coffee.  Appearance is huge when it comes to the residential HVAC business.  The general public sometimes has a stereotype when it comes to contractors.  Please don’t get mad…..but sometimes consumers associate certain traits when it comes to the contracting world.  They have become accustomed to bad service, poor quality, poorly dressed, and generally unprofessional business practices.  What if we change all of the consumer’s misconceptions?  We provide great service, show up on time, uniformed, and deliver beyond their expectations.  What do think would happen?  Here are some other things that influence consumers buying from you:

  • Uniformed employees
  • Spotless vehicles
  • Great online reviews
  • Community involvement
  • Background checks and drug testing
  • Employee photo ID’s

So their price was Higher after all

Often times we find out the other contractor awarded the job did indeed have a higher price.  Studies show that only a small portion of the population buys on price.  The vast majority make purchase decisions based on the highest perceived value.  Let’s spend our time and energy working on how we can deliver higher value, versus seeing how we can cut costs so we can do the job cheaper.  If we all work on what matters to today’s consumer; we will all win more jobs.

 

Will Merritt

Effective Media Solutions

will@myeffectivemedia.com

 


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July 3, 2018

Maybe You’re Fishing in the Wrong Place…

Where do you look for new customers today?  The same places you’ve looked for years? Maybe they’re not there anymore, they’ve moved! Effective Media Solutions specializes in helping your company find and capture HVAC leads!

Is Your Phone Not Ringing Like it Used to?

Are you losing leads to your competition, maybe they have a shinier bait than you? Consumer habits have changed drastically in the last few years due to changes in technology.  Google has replaced the phone book….Social Media has replaced word of mouth….YouTube, OTT, and Streaming have replaced traditional television.

So where is your HVAC company marketing and advertising to find new customers?

So why is your phone not ringing as much??

Schedule Your FREE Consultation Now!

You Have to Go to Where the Fish Are… (or the Leads in this case)

Today’s consumer lives, works, and plays differently than the ones before them.  We live in an immediate gratification society.  Everyone has their smart phone in hand and is ready to search and get answers.  Currently 77% of Americans own a smartphone.  (Source: Pew Internet) Studies show the average person touches their smart phone over 2,ooo times each day!

Google, Yahoo, or Bing – Consumers use search engines for everything!

Google processess over 3.5 billion search queries each day.  They are responsible for almost 80% of all search traffic.  (Source: Internet Live Stats)  Are potential customers finding your HVAC business on Google?  Or are they finding your competition?

Social Media – People are social today, it’s their source for conversation and information

YouTube

Does your HVAC company have a presence on YouTube?  Did you realize YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine used after Google?  Consumers today are constantly searching “How to’s” to fix things and learn more.

OTT or “Over the Top Television” – “The Cord Cutters”

More and more consumers today are cutting the cord from traditional television.  People want to watch what they want when they want, so they have so many new options to choose from over standard tv or cable.

  • Smart TV’s
  • Gaming Consoles
  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire Stick
  • Netflix
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Hulu

The list goes on and on with choices today!  Did you know you can advertise on these platforms?  The bottom line is, we need to be where the consumer is today.

Old Fishing Techniques Can Still Work?

Old habits are hard to break.  For many years, the phonebook or yellow pages dominated advertising budgets for heating and air conditioning contractors.  The same with direct mail, billboards, radio, and television.  These are still great branding tools for HVAC companies!  But we have to include the new fishing spots….

Our team at Effective Media Solutions can help you best allocate your marketing funds.

Schedule your FREE consultation now!

 


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February 25, 2018

Watch Our Vlog

Top 5 Reasons You Should Use Vlogs to Market Your HVAC Company

When it comes to marketing for HVAC companies, blogs are a crucial piece of the puzzle. Blogging enhances SEO, which essentially means that your webpage is more easily found by people browsing online. However, in order to reach your target audience effectively, you need to use video blogs, or vlogs, as well. Here are the top 5 reasons your HVAC company needs to start vlogging.

Vlogs increase brand presence

Blogs are excellent for attracting site traffic from people searching for specific HVAC information. However, if you want to cast a wider net, vlogging is the key. Vlogs are easy to share and watch, so viewers of your content are naturally inclined to spread your message and recipients are likely to open your links.

Vlogging creates a brand identity

Many HVAC companies struggle to establish a brand identity, and blogs don’t necessarily help the issue. Blogs are inherently information-dense, whereas video allows for more entertainment value that can give a face to your company in the mind of the consumer. In addition, vlogs fit seamlessly into the social media landscape, whereas traditional blogs are mostly limited to your website.

Brand promotion through vlogging

Once you’ve built your brand identity, you can use vlogs to promote it. A short video touring your offices and interviewing team members can be a powerful recruitment tool for potential employees. Also, filmed customer testimonials are even more compelling than written reviews and are invaluable promotional assets.

“How to” HVAC vlogs

There are some topics that are more suited for the written word. For instance, highly technical or complex HVAC subjects are better understood when the reader can learn at their own pace. On the other hand, “How to topics” can be best covered in video format.

Millennials and mobile video

According to Google, over 80% of millennials own smartphones, and roughly 98% of those individuals watch videos on their smartphones during the day. Therefore, the answer is simple: If you want to reach millennials, you need to incorporate vlogs into your website and social media presence.

Blogs + Vlogs = A healthy HVAC marketing plan

Don’t go deleting the Blogs tab from your webpage just yet! Blogs are still fundamental for your SEO marketing efforts. Still, vlogging allows you to use similar tactics to influence new marketing channels and untapped audiences. The key is to discover the equilibrium that works for your company.


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October 20, 2017

Marketing an HVAC company is a continuous process that, by its nature, is never finished. Whether it’s the season of the year or the state of the economy, internal and external factors will shape the way you promote your business to your target audience. However, there is one facet of your marketing strategy that should remain constant. Your business may grow and your customer base may evolve, but your core message will stay the same. Read on as we explore the most compelling ways you can communicate your business’s message to the world.
 

Why is a core message so crucial?

Do you know what your core message is? This may seem like a simple question, but it can be surprisingly hard to provide a simple, honest answer. Well, let’s start with examining the meaning of “core message”. Think of your core message as the “theme” of your business, or the “It Factor”. If you had to define your business’s purpose in a few words, you would eventually discover its core message. The core message is how you would describe your company to your customers if you were only allowed to use the same sentence each time. It’s the sum of all your values, strengths, and differentiating attributes that set you apart from your competitors. When viewed this way, we like to think of it as your “USP”, or Unique Selling Proposition. What do your customers need to know to choose you over the competition? That’s your core message. This message should resonate throughout your marketing strategy. It should inform all your promotional efforts, whether implicitly or explicitly.
 

How to convey your HVAC company’s core message

Your USP should be the subtext of everything you communicate to your customers, whether it be advertisements, blogs, or an informational webpage. But how do you convey a core message to your customer base? Well, that depends on what the message is. At Effective Media Solutions, we’ve found that most HVAC company’s USPs fall under three broad categories: Trust, Value, and Fixed Now.

Trust: The emotional appeal

This is perhaps the most powerful way to attract consumers to your business. As humans, we’re guided by our emotions, and the way we feel greatly affects the choices we make. This is particularly true in the world of HVAC. The success of your business depends on the trust that you cultivate between your company and the people you service. As a result, pulling back the curtain and relating to your customers on a personal level is a great way to strengthen that connection. Are you a family business? Have you served the same community for decades? Is there a charity you’re passionately involved in? Does your company focus on green, environmentally friendly comfort solutions? Be vocal about what drives you, and consumers will identify with and gravitate towards your business. If trust is a major part of your core message, social media is critical to your marketing strategy. Social media allows consumers to get to know the people behind your company, reinforcing the sentiment conveyed through your core message. In addition, blogs provide an excellent space to illustrate your company’s USP. Choose topics such as “5 Tips to Save Energy and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint” or “Jones Heating & Air: Serving Our Community for 50 Years” to build a bond with your audience.

Value: What all consumers want

While trust is important, there is a significant demographic that considers value above all else when choosing an HVAC provider. If your business satisfies their needs, then your core message is simple: “We provide the maximum value for HVAC services in our area”. Of course, you must be able to back up a core message centered on value. Today’s HVAC customer will use any and all resources available on the internet to make an informed, shrewd decision as to which contractor is most valuable to them. Furthermore, if they don’t believe your value lives up to your core message, they’ll make sure the world knows it via online reviews. Remember that value isn’t synonymous with low-priced. You want to maximum your customer’s perceived value so they feel their dollars have been well spent. Excellent HVAC service at a moderate price is much more valuable than mediocre service at an “unbeatable price”. If you offer more value than your competition, then all you need to do is spread the message far and wide. TV, radio and digital ads all reach large customer bases in various geographic areas. Whether your focus is quality service or unbeatable HVAC repair coupons, the goal is maximum exposure.

Fixed Now: The simple, effective HVAC message

At the end of the day, people want fast, reliable HVAC services. At Effective Media Solutions, we specialize in raising “top-of-mind awareness” among your customers. Nonetheless, the fact remains that many consumers only think about HVAC when they need repair. They want their furnace or air conditioner “fixed now”, plain and simple. If your company excels at quick response time and efficient repair, then fixed now should be at the heart of your core message. Your slogans and taglines should be phrased to reflect this USP. In addition, promote preventative maintenance plans which offer priority or emergency HVAC service to preferred customers. Prompt service is one of the most effective USPs an HVAC contractor can boast.

Trust, Value & Fixed Now: The Keys to HVAC Success

The three tenets of Trust, Value and Fixed Now provide an intuitive, straightforward template to help you craft your business’s core message. However, they also serve as guideposts for a healthy HVAC company. While you may find that your USP mostly aligns with one of these principles, the fact of the matter is that you need all three in order for your business to be successful. Promoting quick service is a great way to attract customers, but if they don’t feel a sense of trust with your company, or their perceived value is low, they won’t be coming back. Broadcast your strengths, but make sure your whole house is in order!

Once you determine your core message, the rest of your marketing plan will fall into place. In fact, you may even discover a direction that breathes new life into your business! Are you ready to identify your USP and craft a distinct core message for your HVAC company? Call Effective Media Solutions today, or click here to get in touch with our marketing team!
 
844-533-HVAC
 
Will Young
Digital Content Manager
wyoung@myeffectivemedia.com


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October 3, 2017

Today’s Consumer Wants Three Things From You

If you read our last blog, you know that there are now more ways than ever for HVAC contractors to reach their target audience. However, getting the message out there is only half the battle. Without a message that speaks directly to your customers’ desires and needs, your marketing efforts could be falling on deaf ears. Read on to see what your target audience looks for in an HVAC contractor.

HVAC Knowledge & Credibility

First and foremost, consumers look for credibility when choosing an HVAC contractor. No matter what the product or service is, people want to know they’re getting quality for their money. So how do you prove your worth as a heating & cooling provider? For starters, you should be easy to find. If you’re not on the first or second page of Google’s search results for AC services in your area, your chances of being found are minimal. Online shoppers rarely consider search results past the first or second page as the top choices for services. Advanced SEO tactics will improve your search engine rankings and increase your credibility. In addition, post blogs that demonstrate your industry knowledge and provide helpful HVAC tips to today’s information hungry consumer.

Convenience

For today’s consumer, convenience is invaluable. People will often pay a higher price for services if it means less stress and time spent shopping. There are various ways to make things easier on your customers. Your website should be simple, easy to navigate, and most importantly, mobile-friendly. If consumers can schedule AC or heating repair from their smartphone instead of having to open up their laptop, they will. Also, you should be easy to contact. Is your business info listed on different directories and social media pages, or is it only on your website? Finally, you should have a quick response time to customer inquiries on social media. A prompt response to a customer’s message will give them great incentive to contact you again.

Superior Customer Service

At the end of the day, nothing beats reliable customer service, especially when it comes to HVAC. It doesn’t matter if you have the best rates or the most experience. If your customer service isn’t better than your competitors, you’ll lose business. Do your customers have multiple ways to reach you when they have an AC emergency? Can they expect a quick, friendly response when they reach out on social media? Do they feel like they’re your #1 customer, even when your phone is ringing off the hook? These are the differentiating factors that separate you from your competitors in the eyes of a consumer. Elevate your HVAC business with superior customer service, and the results will follow!

TRUST

HVAC is an industry founded on and rooted in the trust that exists between contractors and their customers. Your technicians enter people’s homes and provide their families with year-round comfort and safety. They need to trust you like a neighbor, which means they need to know you like a neighbor. And there’s no better way to give your business a human face than with social media. Some of the most trustworthy HVAC contractors out there have no brand image, making them easy to overlook. Why not break through the noise with a social media presence unique to your brand? People like doing business with “Real” people, not companies, and social media gives your company a personality that will connect with your target market in ways other advertising methods can’t. Social media is also a great source of word-of-mouth marketing, one of the most valuable sources of leads for HVAC contractors.

VALUE

The modern consumer has a unique ability to compare several providers at once, all without leaving their living room. They can research the scope of services provided, service areas, and prices to determine which contractor meets their individual criteria. So how do you ensure that your business out-competes the countless other HVAC contractors that your target audience encounters? One word: Value. Offer maximum value for your services, and you’ll generate new leads while retaining your current customers. Keep in mind that value isn’t the same as “low-cost”. You know that most low-cost providers offer subpar services to match their cheap prices. Nonetheless, you have to show your customers why you’re worth the price. You offer excellent HVAC services, so your rates, while fair, reflect your quality. Let people know they’re getting the most bang for their buck, and they’ll be happy to do business with you.

FIXED NOW

Effective marketing strategies can expand your brand’s presence, even when people don’t necessarily have HVAC on the brain. However, when the AC goes out during a scorcher, or the furnace shuts down during a snowstorm, your customers will come running to you, not the other way around. When this happens, it’s absolutely essential that you can provide fast service with a rapid response time. The easiest way to turn away a lead is to tell someone it may be days before you can repair their equipment. On the other hand, fast response time to a service call is more than likely to earn you a repeat customer. If you can say, “Yes, we can do that!” while your competition says, “No, we can’t”, you’ll earn a rock-solid reputation as the go-to HVAC contractor in your area.

Consumer Thinking

Remember to take your “Contractor” hat off and think like the consumer thinks. They want to “Trust” your company provides them with “Value” in a timely manner, they want it ”Fixed Now!” Modeling your HVAC business around these core beliefs will help you outpace the competition.
Follow our blog for more upcoming HVAC marketing tips.
844-533-HVAC