Advertising Your HVAC Business in 2020 and Beyond
How your local business can benefit from today's advertising options
For service industry businesses like HVAC, making changes to your advertising strategy can feel daunting. These companies serve a local market, and they often lean on word-of-mouth, direct mailings, and other forms of traditional advertising to build up their customer base and drive steady revenue.
But even if you’re leery of investing into your digital presence, it’s having an impact on your customer relationships—for better or for worse. About 88 percent of consumers conduct online research about businesses before they make a purchase or hire their service. If you want to stay competitive in your local market, you can’t just settle for yesterday’s ad strategies. It’s time to look ahead and seek out HVAC advertising ideas that leverage new opportunities and take advantage of today’s advertising trends.
Looking for ways to jump-start a fresh approach to HVAC advertising? Here are some of the top trends and opportunities to keep in mind:
1. YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE WATCHING TV
Specifically, home improvement TV. Nearly two-thirds of all consumers plan to make a home improvement or repair in the near future. Whether that’s replacing a furnace unit or installing new ventilation as part of a basement remodel, HVAC companies can lay claim to a large share of these home improvement needs—as long as they’re able to reach these consumers.
Cable TV, including popular channels like HGTV, DIY Network, TLC, and others, is a good place to start. Of the American homeowners planning home repairs or renovations in the near future, nearly one-third plan to get at least some of their ideas from HGTV alone. HVAC companies can target their cable ads to specific channels, TV programs, and ZIP codes to ensure their ad dollars are only being spent on highly relevant ad exposures to their local customer base.
At the same time, HVAC businesses can use digital channels like TV Everywhere to enhance their targeting capabilities and reach a niche local audience, at a price they can afford. This TV advertising option is relatively new to the industry, merging the benefits of traditional TV and modern digital advertising to create even more value for small businesses making their first foray into TV ads.
About 69 percent of all consumers have procrastinated on home maintenance and repairs in the past. For that reason alone, it makes sense to place your business advertisements on digital channels that can not only reach a local audience, but that might be watching TV about home renovations instead of tackling those projects themselves.
2. TARGET LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS FOR VOICE SEARCH
When customers go online searching for HVAC service, they likely have specific requests or questions. Their air conditioner might be making a strange noise they can’t understand, or they’re trying to figure out how to move an old furnace out of their basement.
While basic search engine optimization (SEO) targets broad keywords relevant to your customer base, today’s consumers are using voice search with more regularity. Forty percent of adults now use voice search at least once every day, and the numbers continue to rise. The use of voice search is also extending the length of keyword search terms, creating an opportunity for HVAC companies to target their audience through long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords offer a few advantages to local businesses. First, they’re much more specific to a customer’s search intent, which makes it easier to target consumers based on what you think they’re looking for.
And since more searches are taking place through the natural language patterns of voice search, long-tail keywords helps your business position itself high in these search results, building online exposure through a search channel that continues to gain steam.
3. BUILD A STRONG SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Social media isn’t exactly the same as traditional word-of-mouth, but it shares some important characteristics—along with other powerful advertising tools that can benefit any local business. HVAC companies should create social media accounts to collect reviews from customers, share updates about their company and seasonal service promotions, and even support paid social ads that target a local audience in need of your business.
The advertising platforms found on Facebook, Twitter and other channels offer advanced audience targeting tools that can help you narrow your target audience to a select, highly relevant group. Use these platforms to create ads that are delivered to relevant consumers based on where they live, their demographic information, and whether they’ve mentioned HVAC needs in any of their social content in the past.
You can even target consumers who follow your local competition, offering promotions or other messaging to steal away their business.
4. RETARGET YOUR WEBSITE VISITORS
When local customers are searching for an HVAC company, they’re likely to visit your business website among other options in your area. Half of the battle for winning new customers is getting those potential customers to remember your name and reach out to your business, so it’s crucial that you use advertising to keep your brand on the minds of customers as they consider their options.
Retargeting is one way to get this done. Through ads on social media, search, and display ad networks, your business can retarget past visitors to your website and use continued advertisements to remind them of your business and increase their likelihood of hiring your HVAC services. Retargeting is widely regarded as one of the highest-value ad campaigns you can run, focusing your ad spending on consumers who have already shown an interest in your business by visiting your website. This puts you in better position to be the business those customers turn to when they’re ready to hire an HVAC service.
The local business advertising landscape is changing fast, and even long-established businesses need to take a close look at their ad strategy and make changes to keep up with the times. By embracing the strategies listed above, you can keep up with the times and erase any advantage sought by your closest competitors, preserving and growing revenue for your business in the years to come.