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HVAC Marketing Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Effective Media Solutions

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February 9, 2017

 

Grow Your HVAC Business in 2017

If you are serious about growing your Heating and Air Conditioning company in 2017, and I know you are!  Let’s look at a few simple things you can implement that drive big returns for your company.  These techniques are simple, cost effective, and drive sales!

Develop a Referral Program

Referrals are a must for heating and air conditioning companies!  The average consumer knows very little about their home’s hvac system and even less on who to call for service or installation.  Studies show most home owners don’t even know the brand of the equipment that keeps them comfortable.  Word of mouth marketing is huge in our industry.

Take Advantage When You Are Top of Mind

Strike while the iron is hot!  Heating and air conditioning services are out of sight and out of mind to the consumer……except when they need you!  So capitalize on the opportunity when you come out and fix their problem…..You are their hero!  So, it’s time to use that to your advantage.  Here are a few simple things you can do to drive referrals:

  • Offer a coupon for future services
  • A gift card for their favorite restaurant
  • A donation to their charity of choice

Email Marketing

In today’s digital world, having your customer’s email is vital!  It’s probably more important than having their phone number.  Email marketing is a great tool to keep your company and it’s services top of mind with your customers.  Remember the average consumer is not thinking about heating and air conditioning.  Email marketing can be used in many ways:

  • Maintenance reminders and scheduling
  • Special offers during the slow seasons
  • Other services you offer (Ex. duct cleaning or indoor air quality upgrades)
  • Follow-ups from recent service, installation, or maintenance visits

This leads right into the last method to grow your business in 2017…..

Review Program

Effective Media Solutions helps our clients reach out to their customers on a regular basis.  The week after a service, maintenance, or installation visit, we send an email to each customer promoting how important customer service is to the company.  We ask the customer to rate their service experience.

  • If they had a great customer service experience, we have a link to send them directly to the contractor’s Google Reviews.  The link takes them exactly where they can leave a review, no extra steps or clicks……easy!
  • If there was a problem, we have a link to a hidden landing page on the contractor’s website.  The customer can leave comments which go directly to the HVAC company and are not seen by the general public

How This Helps Grow Your HVAC Business

  1. Referrals is an inexpensive way to gain new leads and ultimately new customers.
  2. Email marketing keeps you in touch with your current customers, prompts inactive customers to become active again, and promotes other services you offer.   It also is a great way to become more efficient in scheduling maintenance and service visits.
  3. Reviews are what help people rate your company in today’s world.  It also is a key component Google looks at for organic rankings for your website.

Sometimes it is the SIMPLE things that can matter the most!  Remember the three Must Do’s for 2017 for your HVAC company:

  1. Create and develop a Referral Program.
  2. Implement an Email Marketing Program to your customer base.
  3. Ask for and promote Reviews from your customers.

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October 31, 2016

 

Grassroots Marketing for HVAC Companies

Marketing can present a challenge to HVAC contractors, as many struggle to create brand awareness and effectively reach their target audience. Traditional marketing techniques are costly to implement and may not significantly connect with the intended audience. At Effective Media Solutions, we’ve found that grassroots marketing campaigns have been highly successful at increasing HVAC companies’ presence in their community. This combined with digital and traditional marketing efforts in the marketplace build stronger brands, while improving the bottom line.

What is Grassroots Marketing?

Typically, marketing efforts attempt to promote a product or service to a broad group in order to increase sales. Grassroots marketing instead focuses efforts on smaller segments, with the intention of creating excitement about the brand. The excitement is then shared with others and generates a positive response. This is often called a “buzz”, or word-of-mouth, and it’s one of the most intangible, yet invaluable forms of promotion a brand can have. Common examples of grassroots campaigns include handing out promotional flyers or merchandise with company logos to the public, online blogs that speak to specific issues HVAC customers may have, or social media posts that foster personal conversations and engagement between the consumer the company.

Why is Grassroots Marketing Valuable to HVAC Companies?

Grassroots marketing has significant benefits that make it a powerful tool to HVAC contractors. Grassroots strategies often involve street level, face to face interactions with potential customer bases that TV and radio advertisements can’t provide. For instance, you might hand out coozies or t-shirts to fans walking to the stadium at a Panthers game. Not only do they bring your physical logo back into their home, reinforcing your image, they have a positive and meaningful association with your brand from a memorable experience. This kind of connection is priceless, as your unique branding will cut through the noise of all your competitors and be the first that comes to mind when that customer needs HVAC services. This is especially critical in metro markets like Charlotte, where countless HVAC providers constantly bombard the customer base with special offers and promotions. In addition, this kind of branding is extremely cost-effective. Compared to the cost of traditional advertising, grassroots marketing campaigns are very inexpensive, yet still make a meaningful impact on the intended audience. Publishing a blog or passing out merchandise requires negligible upfront investment, but it creates immediate brand association with the audience. Although this group may initially be smaller, grassroots efforts promote conversation, which grows your base. A social media post may not even need to be relevant to HVAC; a humorous picture or a photo of the staff at a popular local establishment can encourage people to tag others and share the content, spreading your brand at virtually no cost to your company.
A strong marketing strategy usually employs a diverse array of tactics to reach the target audience. However, grassroots campaigns offer advantages that make them ideal for any local HVAC contractor. Call or email Effective Media Solutions today to see what we can do for your brand.


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October 4, 2016

Why Marketing to Your Customer Base Is Important for HVAC Contractors

As an HVAC contractor, your primary goals most likely include providing quality installation, equipment maintenance, and customer service. Although it may seem secondary to these functions, marketing is a crucial component of any HVAC business strategy for growth. Marketing to your customer base is an effective way to enhance your business and keep it healthy from within.

Brand awareness and trust for HVAC companies

The HVAC industry is one built almost entirely upon the trust between contractors and the clients they serve. In order to foster and safeguard these relationships for your business, marketing strategies must be implemented to elevate your services above the “noise” that consumers are bombarded with from your competitors. A trustworthy, recognizable brand name and image that immediately connects with a customer is made possible by use of traditional media channels, such as radio, TV and print advertising. Tailored messages that are unique yet concise will keep your services above the fray of HVAC ads vying for your customers’ attention. As your customer becomes distracted by this competition, you must remind them of your relationship and their attachment to your brand. This association can then be reinforced through the use of social media and digital marketing, which create a more personal identity for your brand and stimulate a “buzz”, one of the most persuasive yet intangible forms of promotion. Here are a few tips to create “Top of Mind Awareness” with your customer base:

    • Happy Calls after service
    • Referral Program
    • Email Marketing
    • Newsletters

Just to name a few…

Attracting new customers in your service area

According to the Pareto principle, 80% of a company’s revenue is generated by 20% of its clients. This shows that although your bread and butter are the top-level customers who are loyal to your services, neglecting the larger customer base can eliminate a significant revenue stream for your business. Because this 80% of clientele are constantly searching for maximum personal value, many leave through a revolving door, and marketing can guide new ones back through it. Today’s consumer has a short memory and has to be constantly reminded. In particular, SEO can help you capture a larger market segment. The days of the yellow pages are gone, and the vast majority of people choose HVAC providers from search engines like Google. Rarely do internet users click past the first page of search results, so if your company comes up on the third or fourth page of a “Charlotte HVAC” search, you’re unlikely to receive any hits. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) advances content from websites to the top of the search results so that customers are organically directed towards your services. This is critical to increasing customer retention as well as growing the customer base.

Get the Marketing Results Your Company Deserves

Connecting with your customer base requires a comprehensive and distinctive marketing strategy. At Effective Media Solutions, we pride ourselves in a proven track record of generating leads for HVAC contractors in the Southeast. Call or email us today to see how we can help grow your business.
A focused marketing strategy is crucial for any HVAC business. Effective Media Solutions can help you build a brand that your customers know and trust.


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August 27, 2016

Branding your HVAC Business is Key

In today’s business environment, it may seem like digital marketing and social media are the solutions for any promotional needs. Indeed, these methods can provide innovative ways to connect with customer bases. But too often we see focus placed extensively on new media at the expense of traditional marketing. Contrary to what some may think, TV, radio and billboards have not gone out of style. These communication channels are effective tools to brand your HVAC business.

Building Brand Awareness

Perhaps the most important element to attracting new clients is building awareness of a brand. Creating an online presence is a great way to engage with people and draw in search results. However, traditional marketing provides initial exposure that has no substitute. When someone sees a TV commercial or billboard or hears the name of a company on the radio, a visual or audial association is created that can be called back through memory or sensory stimulation. Put another way, traditional ads make your brand memorable. This brand recognition is an intangible asset that heavily influences consumers’ decisions. If a consumer recognizes your brand name, they’re more likely to choose it over an unknown company that just so happens to rank high in search engine results.

Branding Builds Trust

The introduction between your brand and your consumer is not only important for awareness, but trust as well. The HVAC industry is totally reliant upon trust. Lifelong HVAC customers don’t pick their providers because of their cheap deals, but because they are confident in the quality of service. Advertising and marketing your brand through traditional media reinforces this trust. Studies have shown that consumers trust radio, TV and billboard ads considerably more than mobile marketing and ads driven by search engine results or social media. This doesn’t mean that digital and social media don’t have their merits. For instance, social media allows consumers to grow a relationship with a brand, encouraging conversation and word-of-mouth, which is the most sought after form of customer interaction. But in order to achieve this, a brand must be trustworthy, which is why traditional marketing is still essential.

Tying it Together

The real moment of truth comes when the 2% of the population needs your services. They come home to a hot stuffy house, so what do they do? They go to the internet and begin searching for quality, trustworthy contractors. This is where the branding portion “kicks in”. The consumer sees choices that their search engine has provided. The vast majority of people will not go past the first page, so it’s vital to be on the first page of search results. The branding of your company triggers them to create an association with your business. They may not remember if it was the radio spot, tv commercial, billboard, job site sign, or even your well lettered and wrapped vehicle; they just create an association. So, your company’s website is the one they visit. If your site provides them with what they need, then you get the phone call. Consumers who are in need of a heating and air conditioning contractor don’t want to call five companies for ac repair. They want to solve their need quickly. So, it’s important to tie the traditional brand building to the digital call to actions. This is what wins new customers in today’s world.
A focused marketing strategy is crucial for any HVAC business. Effective Media Solutions can help you build a brand that your customers know and trust.


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August 9, 2016

Attracting Millennials to HVAC

Well I’m sure no one reading this has ever had the problem of finding qualified employees in the HVAC world. By 2020 Millennials will make up half of the global workforce, so what does that mean? It means just like your customer base will shift, so will your pool of employees. Attracting quality help from any age demographic is difficult, so attracting millennials can feel more like herding unicorns than sorting through applications (probably because there isn’t any).  Why is this?  The pay is good and there are always positions open, so why aren’t smart people lining the sidewalk of your business for an interview?  There a few different factors to consider: 1. They don’t know  2. Lacking Appeal  3. Attraction…. Believe it or not your recruitment efforts better go hand and hand with your marketing. Keep in mind large outfits and large corporations are paying big bucks to capture the most qualified unicorns.

They don’t know

When my friends ask me what I do for work I usually say something  like  “I create marketing plans for HVAC companies” a common response I get is “What’s HVAC?”.  They just don’t know…  If I were to say, “I’m a Solutions Architect” or “Software Engineer”,  I wouldn’t  get asked what’s that?  I’d get asked for whom?  It’s hard to attract someone, must less the best candidate, when they have absolutely no clue you exist or what your industry is all about.  Which is sad because many of us are drowning in student debt and are underemployed. That’s all good stuff but how do we change it?

Appeal

This may come as a surprise to some, but what millennials want from work is not that different from what every other generation has wanted.

  • We want to work for a company we can be proud of, “An Industry Leader.”
  • We want to be the best at what we do.
  • We want be treated well economically and interpersonally.
  • We want work / life balance.

Mind blowing right? Think about each of these points, then think about how your organization fosters these within your company. If the answers come quickly and easily then your company will win the war for qualified talent in your market.

Attraction

This is where your marketing and HR efforts merge.  We simply need to show that these  rewarding opportunities are available through the proper channels. Where does one go to catch unicorns?  The internet.  A simple way could be to make a video demonstrating  how your organization fosters the points gnkmentioned above.  Then you could distribute that through Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with a link back to your career page further explaining the benefits of working with your company.  This kills two birds with one stone.  It creates awareness to potential customers, as well potential employees.  It creates a clear call to action. Many times we view HR and Marketing separately, however to gain the competitive edge they must be a joint effort.
The talented people are still out there….and you can catch those elusive unicorns…..You just need to know where the unicorns live and play today.
Dillon Collier
Account Executive
dillon@myeffectivemedia.com


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July 22, 2016

Have you looked at your reviews lately?

One thing I constantly see overlooked or undervalued in our industry is reputation management. Many times I see a contractor get a negative review and it just sits there. I’ve seen it justified in many different ways: I don’t remember the password to the review site, I just haven’t got the time, that person was crazy, or I have plenty of positive reviews. This is a bunch of Baloney!   How companies respond to reviews, whether they are positive or negative can have a huge impact on your bottom line. You will either manage your business’s reputation on those review sites or the crazy people and competitors (I know it happens! feel free to email, click on the link and read this story)  will manage it for you.

How the average consumer behaves….

When I am making a purchase I always look at the reviews, and I’m not the only one. In a recent study92% of consumers read online reviews. In this day and age, Americans have become almost accustomed to poor customer service. Great service has almost become the exception rather than the rule.  If you don’t believe me call your cable company, bank, or even one of your competitors. Here are some fun facts about consumer reviews.

  • 40% of people form an opinion of a business after reading just 3 reviews.
  • When consumers were asked which type of business is reputation MOST important: Tradesmen(Plumbers / HVAC) were ranked 4th out of 19 types.
  • 88% of people have been influenced by an online review.
  • The Star rating was considered the #1 factor in judging a business.

How can I use this to my advantage?

Chances are your competitors are feeling the same and many will not take the time or effort to handle the business’s online reputation. No one wants customers to have a negative experience but chances are some will.  Many just don’t understand the nature of the business.  When someone writes a negative review it doesn’t have to be a blemish on your record. It can be the stage on which you display your business’s devotion to customer satisfaction and service. By responding to negative reviews in a creative, (this does not mean getting into an online argument) solution oriented way, you can actually boost other potential customers confidence that your company will do what’s in the their best interest.

Putting it into action

To continue to grow your HVAC Business, you must stay on top of what the customers are saying. Some strategies to give your business the competitive edge is of course responding to the negative reviews in the way mentioned above.
Also, after a negative review is left online offer a spiff to your service techs or customers encouraging promote and leave positive reviews. By doing so, this it will force the negative out of the top 3 reviews that people see on Google. Feel free to email me any questions or future topics to write about!

Dillon Collier
Account Executive
Effective Media Solutions
dillon@myeffectivemedia.com


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April 1, 2016

During any given time only 2% of the population has a need for your service. So, the question then becomes……how do I make sure they will call me?  We all know how competitive this space is, so my goal is to give you some useful tips that both business owners and territory managers can use to help grow their business.
1. Clear Path to Success:

No matter what form of media the dealer is using to advertise, it is important to have a clear and unified plan on where to direct the potential customer.  Many times I see and hear advertising jingles promoting only the business phone number. While it is great to have people calling the hotline, when is the last time you heard a radio or television commercial and stopped what you were doing and wrote down the phone number?  Unless maybe you’re J.G. Wentworth who has customers actually remembering their phone number when a need arises, but this may be difficult to achieve.  We have found it to be most effective to direct customers to your website.  This accomplishes multiple goals for your business.  For one, the customer can find your number and call you from your website, and second it generates more traffic to your website which helps to increase your organic ranking on Google.  And being on the first page Google today is tremendously important…..There’s an old saying, “The best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google”.  You can also can market other services to your potential or existing customer.  Today’s busy consumer doesn’t have the time to call multiple contractors for the other services you offer.  They will be glad to have a “one stop” shop.

2. The Correct Offer:
Construct an offer to cater to your customer.  Often times I see advertisements focused on the brand of equipment the contractor sells.  And an offer saying “call today for “X” amount off a new system”.  While the offer from the manufacturer may be “great” the last thing the average homeowner wants to think about is investing the money on a new system. “Call Today For a Free Diagnostic with Repair” or “After Hours Repair at No Extra Charge” are better examples.  Something free always catches people’s attention, it also appeals directly to the customer’s need.  They don’t know what’s wrong…..they just want it fixed. Companies can spend huge amounts of dollars on advertising and target all the proper  demographics, but if the offer is off the mark so will your ROI.
3. Measuring the Results:
Probably the most difficult yet most important part of growing your HVAC business is measuring the effectiveness of your advertising and marketing efforts.  There are a few ways to achieve this, one is by assigning trackable phone numbers to each campaign. But remember, as stated previously most consumers simply grab your number off your website so you have to look at the tracking results with that skew in mind.  So another way to measure the effectiveness of a campaign is to use Google analytics to compare your website traffic before and after a major campaign.  It is also important to take the weather into account when making the comparison. Our knowledge of the HVAC industry allows us give valuable insights to our clients that help them maintain a competitive advantage against their competition.
What are some ways you have found helpful to measure a campaign’s ROI?  If you have any questions or suggestions on another topic for our next post please comment or inbox me.
Dillon Collier
Account Executive
Effective Media Solutions
dillon@myeffectivemedia.com