Finding new customers is the lifeblood of your business, but it can be tough to find them in your local area. Competition can make it even more challenging. You may have a website, but you need to ensure you receive local customers. Your website often brings you a call from someone who happened upon your website, but they live well outside your service area.

This article aims to provide you with options and a marketing plan to help you find those local people. We’ll walk you through the best HVAC marketing strategy you should use. Best of all, most of it can be easily implemented in a few days and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. You need a digital marketing plan. Don’t break out into a sweat. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Follow our plan below and see the results as soon as next month. 

 

Your HVAC digital marketing plan

Today’s readership of the average newspaper has dropped drastically in the last ten years. Why? People are getting their news, entertainment, and information on the internet. That’s where your customers are; meet them where they are!

 While the internet gets a lot of shade these days for stirring social discord, it is also undoubtedly what brings us together. Here’s a great article from the Pew Research Center that explains how the internet plays a role in our lives. Connections are expected to grow to 100 billion by 2025. That’s a lot of people. The potential is limitless.

google local services homepage

1.   Get your business listed on Google

Google is the number one search engine used by mobile phone users. Very few people use the yellow pages anymore because they’ve got the world at their fingertips with their cell phones.

Google Local Service Ads make it quick and easy to be found when people use talk-to-text features on their phones and say something like, “Siri, find me an HVAC technician in my area.” If they are using an Android phone, they’ll just say, “Hey Google, find me an HVAC tech in my area.” The results will be the same – the businesses listed with Google Local Service Ads will pop right up.

How do you get listed? Go here. Google has made it incredibly easy and even provides a phone number so you can talk to a real person to walk you through it. Google allows you to set your budget based on the leads you’d like to receive each month. This way, you never spend more than you want to, and your Google representative will explain to you how it works when you target your ads locally. You’ll be able to track your ads to see how many times they are viewed and how many people click on them to reach you. This helps you learn how to word your ads to invite more people to click through and reach you.

 

2.   Use social media platforms like Facebook

You can target locally with this. Facebook advertising is set up very similarly to Google advertising but directed toward the people who use Facebook. You’re able to track your ads and see success with social media ads.  Utilize geofencing where you want the ads to be seen. This ensures the right audience is seeing what you want in the right location. Here are some statistics on Geofencing in marketing. Check out Facebook IQ’s Topics and Trends Report for 2020 and learn how to use Facebook ads to your advantage.

Don’t be intimidated. Geofencing works with GPS technology to ensure that ads are shown only to the people in your local area. It uses RFID technology in some cases, as well. This ensures that only people within specific boundaries – which you determine yourself – can see your advertising. That means you aren’t spending money to show an ad to someone 200 miles away.

 

3.   Build a website for your business

Create a website if you don’t have one. If you do have one, stop ignoring it. This is a huge mistake that many businesses make. Too often, businesses put a website up like a placeholder, with some contact information and never do anything else with it. Utilize local SEO by ensuring that when someone searches “HVAC business near me”, your business is the first one that pops up in their search results.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will help you get your website ranked on search engines like Google or Bing. If you’ve got the site with the best information, most keywords appropriately used, and regularly updated information, your page will rank higher in search results.

The example in the photo below shows how traffic is tracked on an optimized website. They also used a newsletter to drive traffic to their site. Look at the spike in traffic that was created! Orbit Media is one of many companies that work with their clients, building optimized websites that become funnels to catch leads and bring them right to you. Using blogs and newsletters is a huge way to gain new customers. Don’t forget to install a web chat feature so potential customers can reach out to you and get answers right away.  Podium is the best tool for this, as they also offer a free Webchat feature. Take advantage and use this tool!

 

4.   Check mapping tool advertising like Waze

Waze is a GPS driving app that gives turn-by-turn direction for travelers. What makes Waze very unique over other applications is that it encourages users to provide input by marking construction, accidents, potholes, and other distractions – even going so far as to tell others where police have been spotted.

Waze has on-map advertising for your local business that will show a clickable icon over the top of your business location whenever someone drives by it. This may seem insignificant, but it forms a subliminal message to call you when trouble arises for those who might see it every day on the way to work.

People are prompted to stop, and with a quick click on the map, they will be led to your business and its contact information. It’s a handy tool that is quite popular with millennials. It’s incredibly affordable to advertise your business as a pin on the map.

waze homepage image

 

5.   Don’t overlook iPhone users on Apple Maps

This is another really big place to make your business visible locally. Approximately 100 million iPhone users are driving around out there on any given day. Don’t overlook getting yourself in front of their eyes.

The app is growing and changing all the time, so this is a great place to ensure that you can get your place of business seen to local traffic— and it’s free. Ensure that you are listed because it’s free to get listed and will only take you a few minutes. For detailed instructions, read them here, at Entrepreneur Magazine (because they also think this is a must-do).

This is another form of geolocation marketing, and it’s one of the fastest-growing trends in marketing. If you didn’t read the data link above, go back and take five minutes to see why it has higher returns than most other marketing forms today.

 

Conclusion

 You are now armed with some of the best ways to boost your traffic. Some of these steps are free, and others are easy to set a budget that fits your needs. If you are spending money on the phone book or an ad in the local paper, spend it on one of these methods instead and keep track of the differences.

Overwhelmed by the things you’ll need to keep track of? Don’t be. You’ve got Podium’s free tools to build your HVAC marketing plan in your back pocket that you can use. They’ve even got review tools to prompt folks to leave you an excellent review by sending them a text message. All they have to do is click the link, rave about your service. Now you’ll build a long list of rave reviews in no time, which drives more traffic to your website by having great reviews. Your phone will start to ring.

Keep your messages all in the same place. You can even use it to keep in touch with your technicians out in the field. Send your tech an assignment as soon as a customer makes contact with you. Using the same inbox, forward their information to your tech on the road right now. He’s got their complaint, their phone number, and address instantly; you can confirm with the client that he’s on the way, and you only used your thumbs. Everyone is happy.

Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer Wilson Strategic Home Services Account Executive

Jennifer Wilson is a home services professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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