1. Get a Truck Wrap
You’re missing out on a great marketing opportunity if your company vehicle is “unwrapped” or “poorly designed”. A truck wrap is a super effective way to build awareness with a moving billboard and large call-to-action. Make sure that your truck wrap is designed with vibrant colors that grab the attention of any passerby, and has a call tracking phone number on your truck to make sure you can track and count the number of phone calls that you received via your truck wrap.
2. HVAC Exhibitions and Trade Shows
Trade shows, when properly utilized, can turn out to be a great way to build your HVAC business’ brand. You’ll need to plan and execute it properly as it is an expensive promotional activity. Once you book your kiosk slots in advance, make sure you have your brochures, pamphlets, business cards in place. This is also a great opportunity to get to know your customers, so you can prepare surveys along with incentives for your potential customers. [Tip: You can get your printing done with 4imprint or Vistaprint.]
Make sure your business is listed on the average consumer’s online search radar. That is, you need to get your business listed on all relevant online directories like Yelp, Google My Business and Yellow Pages. You can list your business on niche sites like HVAC.com and other service directories like Angie’s List. You’re basically adding your business information – name-address-phone number (NAP), website, email address, business hours, etc. Although, make sure that your information is consistent and accurate across all your directories.
Reviews are a very effective method of building your business as a brand. Think of it as a way of building your business’ reputation through crowdsourcing. Enabling review management for your business branding activities can make a huge difference to your business image. According to a recent study, 97% of consumer read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, and positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business. Having your business listed is a great way to manage and generate reviews. Make sure that you are responding to reviews both good and bad ones. In doing so, you’ll leave a good impression on your customers; that you care about how your customers after sales experiences.
In this day and age, your business needs a digital presence, and having a website for your business is imperative. Ideally, a good website should be informative to consumers about your services, prices and local information like NAP details. In addition to this, you need to make sure your website is optimized for SEO, that is, your website needs to appear on searches that are conducted online. In doing so, those who search for keywords that are associated with your products or services will be lead to your website in the search engine results. (Read more about how to optimize your website for local SEO on this Local SEO guide.)
6. Run Email Marketing Campaigns
With an email marketing campaign can help you build your customer relations alongside your brand. According to the Brantley Agency, email generates $38 for every $1 spent. You can promote your business with newsletters, send out offers, quote a free consultation, send out DIY tips and tricks, etc. You can use an email marketing tool like AutoPilot or MailChimp to reach your contact list. Pay enough attention to your email copy. Keep the email brief and simple with a call-to-action to your business website, and a compelling subject line.
7. Create an Active Social Media Presence
Having a social media presence is crucial to your business online presence. The number of people who are on social media is exponentially increasing, and your potential customers are a part of this active demographic. Make sure that you create a Facebook business Page, and have profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. You can promote offers or website content on your social media handles. If your business website has a blog, make sure that you share your content on all your handles. You can use a social media management tool like HootSuite, Mention or Buffer.
8. Blogging and Guest Blogging
Blogs are a great way to connect with your target audience. Actively maintaining a blog will help you direct traffic to your website. It is an effective way to build an online business presence by focusing on keywords that are relevant to your business’, and writing blog posts around them. This will help you target search queries with significant search volumes. In addition to this, you can blog about tips and tricks that will attract your customers’ attention. To expand on your blogging efforts, you can write guest posts on high authority websites. Not only will it add to the domain authority of your website as you add links in your guest post, but you will reach a larger audience and subsequently build your leads. (Read more about guest blogging here.)
9. Give Your Brand a Face with a Mascot
If you don’t have one already, give your HVAC business a mascot. Mascots are very effective banding elements that can help consumers make positive associations with your business before they interact with you. It can help them remember your business, help you create effective advertisements, and enhances your business’ identity. The mascot you pick needs to be appropriate for your small business brand. You can start by picking on a quality that you want your mascot to represent with respect to your services. Hire a graphic designer to help you come up with the suited logo for your business. (You can find them on sites like Upwork or Fiverr.)
10. Partner with Other Local Businesses
Your marketing capabilities can extend to the local businesses in your community. Partner with the local grocery store, hardware store, meat shop, etc, and co-promote the businesses with promotional material like posters or pamphlets. You can share the benefits of a store presence this way. And the bonus, you get to reach a larger audience that can familiarize themselves with your business. The best time to collaborate is during holidays and festivities.
11. Leverage Traditional Media for Promotional Opportunities
Make sure that you build marketing plans around the traditional media vehicles like television, radio, and newspapers. You can source out press releases when you have product/service updates and announcements, and reach out to your local newspaper. You can even source out some press releases through Help a Reporter Out (HARO). Pitch an idea based on your expertise to your local TV or radio station for a talk show, or build a TV commercial with an impressionable message and a catchy jingle. It will be very effective for your business if you hire a PR firm to find such opportunities.
12. Build a Connection with Influencers
Influencers or thought-leaders in your industry can help boost your business and its services, and promote it among consumers. This can complement your online marketing efforts. Once an influencer promotes your business, you can build your credibility. You need to have a well planned out outreach strategy. As a rule of thumb, people mostly go with email as a medium to reach out to influencers. You can use tools like BuzzStream or NinjaOutreach to find people to work with.
13. Participate in Charities and Local Events
Giving back to your society can only prove to be good for you. You can host events like marathons, flea markets, conferences, etc, and engage your community. In case you can’t host these events, you can always be a sponsor. You can even donate money, food, clothes, etc. This is a brilliant branding exercise as it can help people create positive associations with your business. It will contribute to your sales.
14. Video Marketing
Video marketing is an effective method that is taking ground in the realm of online marketing. It is bound to pique the interest of your audience. You can develop content around tips, explainers, Q and As, customer testimonials, interviews, your business’ story, etc. In addition to making creative and compelling content, this can add to your SEO efforts and help you rank higher on search engine results. In comparison to textual content, videos are a great way to create a narrative for your business website.
15. Direct Mail Marketing (Flyers and Letters)
Sending out letters via post seems like an ancient method with the internet rampantly taking over marketing practices. But there is still some merit in reaching out to your potential customers. Make sure that the contents of the envelope you give out is appealing. Offer special perks to your recipients like a promo code and similar incentives for referrals that they make to the business. With direct mail, you need to make sure that it is worth your recipient’s time, and that it doesn’t end up in the trash. Make sure that your use vibrant colors and images in your ad copy, and make sure that you have a very good incentive to offer.
16. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Methods
Showing consumers that your services are environmentally conscious is super important in today’s world. Consumers are often looking out for services that they can use to make their homes more comfortable without posing a risk to the environment. According to a worldwide study conducted by Unilever, 78% of consumers in the US stated that they felt better purchasing products and services that were conscious of eco-friendliness and sustainability. By catering to this consensus by adopting eco-friendly methods, you can expect a positive impact on your sales and your brand image. (Read about eco-friendly technologies that are up-and-coming in the HVAC industry here.)
17. Advertise on Local Bulletins and Notice Boards
Make a list of all the local bulletin boards and notice boards in your locality and pin them up with your posters advertising your services. Make sure that your promotional material has a clear, creative advertising message and correct contact details of your business. You can promote offers and discounts that your potential consumers can avail when they need your services.
18. Google My Business Page
Creating a Google My Business page for your business needs a special mention on this list. Google My Business is a dashboard that gives business owners like you the power to manage your Google listing across the Google ecosystem (Google+, Google Reviews, Google Posts, Google Maps, etc). It is an effective contributor to ranking higher on Google searches, and adds to your business’ online presence. When people search for your business, they will be led to a crisp and informative presentation of your business details like NAP details, directions to your business, working hours, reviews, etc.
Spend More Time Running Your Business
And, less time obsessing about your local presence.