Every industry has unique marketing requirements, struggles and best practices. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is no different.
Don't let marketing put a damper in your HVAC business's strategy!
Keep reading for a few key marketing tips to keep in mind.
Don’t Rely on the Season to Dictate Your Advertising Focus
A common misconception among HVAC companies is that no one thinks they need maintenance on their air conditioner when it’s cold outside.
While search trends do see relatively significant drops in those kinds of searches during North American winters, there are still a significant number of people who search for someone to fix their A/C in December.
This is very important to keep in mind when evaluating what you should be advertising for and where to invest your marketing dollars.
Though it is true that much of your advertising budget should be allocated towards heating and furnaces in the winter, your air conditioning ads need some of that budget as well. The why in this case is very important.
Users searching for A/C repair or maintenance, or even A/C installation, during cold months have research-intent.
While these searchers do not typically have an immediate need for HVAC services, their searches and traffic are valuable. These consumers are researching with intent to purchase at a later date, so being in front of them when they search gives you a two-fold advantage:
- Your business name is front and center, and they have a better chance of remembering you and choosing you when it comes time to make the purchase.
- You can add those users who click on your ads to a retargeting list, and follow them around, keeping your business top of mind until they make their decision.
Leverage Your Manufacturers
For an HVAC company, a partnership with major manufacturers can mean the world for your marketing campaigns.
Many manufacturers will actually cover some of the marketing costs for their small business dealer partners through co-operative (co-op) advertising.
If you put the manufacturer logo, maybe some specific product photos and branding on your website and ads, many manufacturers will reimburse your business for some of the money spent. The level of reimbursement will depend on the manufacturer and your standing with them.
Nevertheless, it is important to check if you are eligible for co-op reimbursement.
Manufacturers also routinely provide built-in seasonal promotions to the co-op advertisers. This can save you time and energy in developing your own promos.
This could also help you save even more money, as these discounts are usually covered by the manufacturer, without a hit to your bottom line.
Adapt to Changing Markets
Beyond the weather’s impact on consumer behavior, one of the HVAC industry's biggest external forces is the search page itself. In recent years, that’s changed considerably.
While Google Search Ads have adjusted how much text is available, what kind of extensions you can use and expanded into showing ads in the map pack, the biggest change for HVAC searches has been Local Services Ads.
They have pushed Search Ads down the page (in some cases, no search ads are present on page one at all), and they’ve pushed the map down the page.
In an increasingly mobile world, the space above the fold is shrinking, and Local Services Ads are a way to capture as much above the fold visibility as possible.
By ensuring your digital strategy includes a response to this kind of change is important, it is also critical to adjust your messaging.
With Gen X and millennials quickly becoming the target market for HVAC companies, it is important to adjust your messaging in order to connect with them. These new customers do not respond to the same messaging as previous generations, so it is not recommended to treat them the same way.
As we’ve discussed, long-term purchase decisions make off-season marketing for off-season services a strategic move, not an unguided one.
We’ve also discussed the importance of saving money by leveraging partnerships with your manufacturers and adjusting to changes in your market.
With these three concepts in mind, you can start to take your HVAC company to the next level.