Around 84% of American homes have access to air conditioning, translating to over 100 million of the 130 million or so houses. Given a substantial customer base, it’s no surprise that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is a lucrative business. With things like climate change increasing demand for HVAC systems, the industry’s only getting richer moving forward.
As such, there’s never been a better time to open an HVAC business than today, considering that four out of ten households need a professional to maintain their HVAC systems. When done properly, regular maintenance can extend a system’s life by as much as 40%. However, a bustling industry also means fierce competition, so startups really need to work hard to compete in the marketplace.
Our tech-laden economy has enabled small- and medium-sized businesses to appeal to customers just as much as large ones. Below are several surefire HVAC marketing ideas for business growth in the ever-competitive industry.
1. A good website is a must
In today’s business climate, a business that doesn’t have a website is a business that practically doesn’t exist. People largely tend to go online to research companies, services and brands, perform price comparisons and troubleshoot how to fix certain issues. Without a website to provide this information about your business, they’re more likely to trust one of your competitors.
A website is the chance to showcase the heart of a business’s marketing operations. From producing online content to issuing updates and promos, a website can be as versatile as you want to make it. The more active it is, the more credible a business appears to customers.
Getting into the finer details of building a website—for an HVAC business, no less—is a separate article in itself. But the following strategies will justify why it’s that important.
2. Make communication easy
A typical homepage of a HVAC business is chock full of ways visitors can reach out to it via contact forms, phone numbers, in-website chat, etc. That’s not a coincidence; the abundance of contact info on the homepage shows customers that a business is reachable in multiple ways and wants to communicate and do business with people who need their services. With a prompt response from the company, customers will feel valued and that their business matters.
This strategy becomes more critical when communicating on social media, as exposure will draw significant attention from many users if done well. Have a must-read blog post on HVAC maintenance? Share it on social media to engage your audience. Existing customers and potential customers will get to know you and come to you first when they need your services.
Business management apps like the one developed by Jobber integrate social media, email and postcard campaign capabilities into their systems and make it really easy to communicate to your existing customers and target audience, and importantly, for them to communicate with you. As this specialized software is targeted towards HVAC businesses, it also includes the functionality to communicate directly to customers using SMS messaging which is especially useful if you want to let them know you are on your way, for example. An online client hub means customers can book, pay for and have access to resources 24/7. Having a centralized management system with everything in one place, makes operations streamlined and more productive as a result.
3. Focus on local marketing
It can be tempting, especially for startups, to market their business to as many people as possible regardless of location – however, for small businesses that don’t have a well-established nationwide presence, you may want to focus your efforts on your local area instead.
If recent search trends are any indication, the shift to local marketing can’t get any more lucid. Almost half the search queries done on Google are requests for local information; or, in this context, “HVAC service near me.” Even queries with the phrase “near me” have seen extraordinary growth: 900% over the past two years.
Local marketing also works in an HVAC business’s favor. It’s an essential service for making sure a home or office’s HVAC system is working as intended all year round. It’ll even be more advantageous if the marketing strategy focuses on an area within five miles of the business’s location, as according to research 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within that range.
One of the most effective local marketing strategies involves harnessing Google’s Local Service Ads. When people search for an HVAC service in their locality, the top of the search results will usually show high-rating local businesses. People won’t search for an HVAC service in the next state; they want one close to home because their noisy HVAC needs repairing fast.
4. Have a well-branded service vehicle
As HVAC repair and maintenance entails carrying plenty of equipment, a service vehicle should be a no-brainer. Many home services, not just HVAC, operate a couple of trucks (though they’re technically cargo vans sometimes), littered with their branding at every visible square inch of the vehicle. If it looks as if these vehicles are trying to grab attention, that’s precisely the point.
A branded service vehicle is basically an advertisement on wheels. Unlike a billboard by the freeway, it can promote the HVAC business no matter where it goes. Those who see it pass by may not necessarily be customers right now, but they see it anyway. The more they see it, the more familiar they’ll be with the business, later becoming customers or referring it to others.
Studies show that vehicular advertising can generate up to 70,000 website impressions a day. If there’s a compelling message on the service vehicle, the recollection rate by witnesses can be as high as 97%. Assuming the business uses the owner’s personal vehicle, branding will cost far less than the return on investment.
5. Quality service is the best strategy
Lastly—and perhaps the most crucial—remember that a business is only as good as the service it provides. The HVAC industry is no different, as people rely on professionals to look into issues with their systems. If customers have concerns or disputes, resolve them as soon as possible. A positive or negative impression can get around social media quickly. Invest time in a solid social media management strategy from the beginning.
Demand for HVAC systems will continue to rise as more people get them for their homes. As long as that remains the case in the future, substantial demand for HVAC services will always exist. These tips will help any HVAC business gain a competitive edge to survive and thrive in the industry.