What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing refers to any type of online marketing or marketing that utilizes the internet. Businesses use numerous online tactics through their websites, social media, and other multimedia platforms to reach potential long-term clients and engage with their existing ones.
Every heating, ventilation, and cooling business should learn about HVAC marketing, a subtype of digital marketing. Today, digital marketing involves promoting your business’s services or products across multiple online channels. As internet usage and reliance on advanced technologies have increased over the years, traditional marketing efforts now give way to digital marketing methods and online ads.
The History of Internet/Digital Marketing
As the internet age started in the 1990s, more people began to recognize how useful finding information online was. In fact, 1993 produced the world’s first clickable online banner, while developers introduced Yahoo in 1994. Consider these key historical events in the digital marketing world:
- 2004—Gmail launches, and Google becomes public
- 2006—Twitter and MS Live Search begin
- 2011—Internet users surpass TV watchers
- 2015—Content marketing officially begins
The Goal of Digital Marketing For Your HVAC Contracting Business
You might wonder why your business needs digital marketing or HVAC marketing. It will help you reach more potential customers than ever before and establish a strong online presence. You want to target potential customers interested in the services you provide and establish a meaningful, long-term relationship with them rather than reaching anyone who happens to see your ads.
What Are the Different Types of Digital Marketing?
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Website Design
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to the paid marketing technique of running advertisements through popular search engines such as Google and Bing. SEM helps boost intended audience traffic to your company’s website, leading to their interest in your services and brand as a whole.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves strategically crafting and modifying your website to organically rank higher on search engine result pages. The goal of SEO aims to increase (for free) the amount of traffic to your site. Within SEO, multiple ways exist to properly optimize your site and achieve the best results, such as on-page SEO, off-page SEO, technical SEO, and local SEO.
Pay-per-click is when you pay a specific channel every time someone clicks on your ad. Popular platforms to run PPC ads include Google, Bing, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. These advertisements all have something in common: They aim to target your intended audience, whether on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn) or through the top few spots of search results related to your business.
Social Media Marketing
Social media makes an excellent place for brands to market themselves to potential and current clients, strengthen their brand awareness, and reach a larger audience. With millions of users across numerous social media platforms, it is beneficial for businesses to have pages on multiple platforms.
Related Article: Social Media Post Ideas for HVAC Companies
Content marketing consists of the production and distribution of content to generate leads, customers, brand awareness, and traffic for your website. The type of content you choose to produce can depend on your business and specific marketing strategy. Some types of content may include blog posts, infographics, videos, photos, audio recordings, long-form media like ebooks or whitepapers, and more.
Email marketing allows businesses to communicate with their clients or potential customers through their email. These email campaigns could include special promotions currently occurring, newsletters, visitor follow-ups, and informative content related to their business’s field.
Website design involves the creation of your business’s website to evoke specific feelings and emotions. Your website design should be easy to navigate and understand and provides an opportunity to be creative. You can customize the layout of your site, but it should have a homepage, service page, blog, about us, and contact page. You can also include a “Why Work With Us?” page to showcase the benefits of working with your HVAC business.
Related Article: How Much Does HVAC Digital Marketing Cost?
Search Engine Optimization
Google started in 1998 and remains the most popular search engine to get answers and reach your intended audience. Users often ask a question, and Google uses its ads and SEO to produce the most relevant results that offer answers.
How Search Engines Work
Search engines (like Google and Bing) use a process that involves crawling billions of pages and indexing them into their online database of information. When someone makes a search query, the search engine references their index and pulls out the best results. The goal aims to provide accurate and helpful answers.
The 4 Types of SEO
- On-Page SEO: This form of SEO involves optimizing all content on your business’s website, such as through keyword research or adding images.
- Off-Page SEO: This SEO type focuses on off-page activity relating to your site, such as using backlinks from good authority sites.
- Technical SEO: Search engines look for how well your site’s code is and see how valuable it is. Technical SEO might include modifying your site so that a search engine properly crawls, indexes, and leads viewers to your site.
- Local SEO: Local SEO implements SEO strategies so you can achieve higher rankings in local search results, such as your service areas or communities.
The Most Important Parts of SEO
- Understanding Your Audience
- Keyword Research
- User Intent
- Mobile SEO
Understanding Your Audience
A vital part of HVAC marketing includes understanding your audience. Who is your business targeting, and who are the people you should target? You should do some research to determine the demographics and commonalities of your audience and learn which questions they commonly ask.
Keyword research shows you which keywords related to your topic or business will likely reach more potential clients. Remember that you compete with other businesses using similar strategies, so you should try to rank for multiple and long-term keywords for greater results.
User intent refers to what users look for when making an internet search. What is the goal of their search, or what are they asking? You need to optimize your website and employ a digital marketing strategy that will address user intent.
Mobile SEO requires optimizing your website for easy, mobile-friendly browsing. Your site’s viewing size, images, text, and pages should experience no problems when users navigate your website on a mobile device. Your page organization and operating systems prove vital to mobile SEO too.
Various search engines use “crawlers” or spiders to travel through websites and make connections between them. It follows a pattern when searching for pages across the web before moving on to indexing. The search engine will use the index to provide users with relevant search results.
When indexing occurs, a search engine uses the information it retrieves from a crawler and stores it for future use. A search engine’s index acts like a library, and when users begin a new search, it uses its resources to quickly find the best webpage results. Crawling and indexing always go hand in hand.
Content is essential to your SEO strategy, and your website should have high-quality, meaningful, and well-written content. For example, your site can include HVAC-related blog posts, but you should try to produce your best work. Content is less likely to help your SEO if it has spelling errors or typos or lacks effective optimization.
Not all businesses realize the importance of including links on their website. You can include links to high-authority, HVAC-related sites rather than unreliable spam sites. The quality of the links you add can either help or harm your site, so you need to use a variety of good-quality links.
Internet browsing did not always involve the never-ending bombardment of online advertisements. Internet users experienced the first online ad in 1994, and advertisers introduced display ads in 1995 to reach target demographics and audiences. In 1997, pop-up ads began, but advertisers and users quickly learned how ineffective and troublesome they were.
Pay-per-click advertising emerged in 1999 and continues to be popular today. The paid
search concept eventually shifted into Adwords. Today, businesses use native ads or ads that seamlessly blend with the platform they appear on and reflect cohesion with material, appearance, and feel.
The Most Popular Types of Online Advertising
- Google Search Ads
- Google Display Ads
- Google Local Service Ads
- YouTube Ads
Google Search Ads
Google Search ads refer to the advertisements that appear at the top of the SERP (search engine results page). The top results consist of paid ads, and the organic search results populate below them. A Google Ads auction determines which ads will appear on the SERP based on the site’s user experience, keyword relevance, and other factors.
The quality score and amount a business bids can determine its Ad Rank score. If you have a higher score than your competitors, you are more likely to see your website and ad for your target search result. You can modify your site to achieve greater success with Google Search ads.
Google Display Ads
Google Display ads allow a business to reach more potential clients by appearing on popular websites, during video content, and within articles. The Google Display ads you see derive from the content you search for and consume, targeting you with the gathered information. These ads focus on visuals and work great for reaching your target audience of HVAC clients, hopefully within your service area.
Google Local Service Ads
Google Local Service ads help you connect with potential clients searching for your services in the area. These ads use your location to make prospective customers aware of your services. You will only pay once a customer connects with you specifically through the advertisement.
YouTube ads allow you to reach your target audience and quickly create a campaign. The six ad types include bumper, in-feed, non-skippable, masthead, responsive display, and skippable ads within the video. They often cost between $0.10 and $0.30 per view, and you can track the success of your campaign during and afterward.
Social Media Marketing
The first social media platform, Six Degrees, began in 1997 and encouraged users to make friends online. MySpace, similar to Facebook today, was the first social media site to achieve (in 2004) one million users per month. In the early 2000s, popular social media platforms included Friendster, MySpace, Flickr, Reddit, Tumblr, and YouTube.
Today, popular social media sites that continue to grow include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Users can utilize these platforms to find a community with their interests, stay in touch with friends and family, and enjoy entertainment via public figures and content creators.
Most Popular Social Media Channels To Utilize for HVAC
Facebook is a social media platform with a wide range of years and a great way to reach potential customers. You can host live streams and run Facebook ads geared toward your target audience. Many baby boomers use Facebook, which could be important to your client base.
Although it began as a photo-sharing platform, Instagram now has IGTV, Reels, Stories, and Feed posts, which provide several ways to showcase your HVAC business. You can purchase Instagram ads to connect with your clients and create human connections that increase brand awareness.
Although we often view LinkedIn as a professional platform, it offers a fantastic way to expand your network and foster critical connections. You can boost your brand’s online presence and personality with frequent posts on the platform. You may also generate leads with an effective strategy.
YouTube’s video-based platform offers a place where you can create informative (how-to) HVAC videos related to your business. People looking to learn more about the field you understand will find your business and services while searching. Using YouTube for HVAC marketing may involve adding value by creating original content and running YouTube ads.
Growing daily, TikTok is an informative and entertaining platform. Many users have found their niche or category on the app, and your business can also reach more users with it. Your brand can appear relatable and accessible by creating targeted content or running TikTok advertisements.
Content marketing shows potential clients why your business and services are worth pursuing. You essentially pitch your brand and business based on the sales stage the client is at (awareness, consideration, and closing). You can produce how-to videos and articles to interest your prospective consumers or blog posts and case studies to inform, but you must have a strong content strategy first.
Creating a Content Strategy
Blog posts help many HVAC businesses increase their leads and attract clients. Your blog may show how you can answer the questions and needs of these prospective customers. You can break down complex HVAC topics or explain how-tos related to the industry in detail.
You may also spread awareness or link to your social media pages on your blog, driving traffic back and forth. Keeping within your niche and sharing valuable information with your client makes an excellent strategy.
Planning, creating, and sharing videos offers another phenomenal way to employ HVAC marketing. Since your focus lies in the HVAC industry, videos allow you to showcase your years of experience and expertise. You could film yourself explaining the differences between multiple types of air conditioners or show how you perform an annual heating inspection.
Repurposing or formatting this content for other social media platforms helps spread the word about your business and offers valuable information. Your business can post videos on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, or other places and establish relationships with viewers. Make your business more human and show off your creativity with videos!
Appealing photos and graphics help break up text content on your social media, blog, or website and could attract leads. Infographics break down complex topics into readable, easy-to-digest bits of information that help users. HVAC-related infographics and photos make an excellent marketing tool for your site.
HVAC email marketing is a smart strategy that HVAC businesses can utilize to make the most of their existing clients and keep them coming back. Your business may use email marketing campaigns to spread awareness of local happenings, promote maintenance plans, and reach current customers. We advise your HVAC company to use email marketing in these three key ways.
How To Utilize Email Marketing
- Re-Engage Existing Customers To Cross-Promote Services
- Email Reminders for HVAC Maintenance Plan Memberships
- Email Blasts for Local Involvement/Charity
Re-Engage Existing Customers To Cross-Promote Services
As the warmer months creep up, use this as an opportunity to promote your cooling or ventilation services. Current customers will recall your business if you strategize an email campaign to target them. Similarly, you can encourage your audience to prepare for fall and winter with emails about annual inspections, fall maintenance, and ensuring they prepare their heating systems for colder days ahead.
Email Reminders for HVAC Maintenance Plan Memberships
Your customers might have signed up for a maintenance plan with your business, but what happens when the plan ends? Many HVAC companies lose out on potential business through clients that don’t renew their plans. Encourage follow-up and continuous activities with email marketing.
Email Blasts for Local Involvement/Charity
If your HVAC business is involved in a charity event or takes part in a community-wide activity, share it through your email campaign. Clients like connecting with businesses in their area and will enjoy seeing what you care about. You could include information, photos, and videos about the event and encourage client participation.
What Are the Best Platforms for Email Marketing?
- MailChimp: MailChimp lets you send newsletters, manage subscribers, and track the success of your campaign. It’s affordable and great for small businesses.
- Constant Contact: Constant Contact helps you generate more leads without requiring manual email management. It also has 200+ templates to utilize.
- Campaign Monitor: Campaign Monitor produces auto email responses, encourages transactions during your emails, and has an easy-to-use process.
- ServiceTitan Marketing Pro: ServiceTitan Marketing Pro helps businesses create returning and engaged clients and send targeted emails and direct mail.
Scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposed the World Wide Web in 1989 and turned it on in 1990 after developing the code. In 1991, he released his WWW software, and the United States came online through the WWW in December.
After a plea to other developers, tech professionals came together, leading to 10,000 online servers by late 1994. However, many believed the web should be free for everyone to use and enjoy. Many internet browsers popped up over the years and grew in popularity, including Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Chrome.
How Do Websites Work?
You type in the domain you want to reach, and the website address directory (or DNS server) changes the domain into an IP address. A main server receives the DNS request and responds to you by allowing you on the site. Communication between servers and your device makes websites work.
How To Purchase A Domain Name
Domain names are essential to your business’s website and include the terms before the “.com” section. However, having a domain does not mean you have a website yet. Your domain name may consist of your business name or terms related to the HVAC industry. You will often pay an annual subscription to a domain registrar, giving you access and ownership to that domain until you renew.
How To Choose The Right Hosting Provider
You need website hosting to get your site online, and it often allows you to build your site through a linked platform. The cost of website hosting can range from $1 to $100 a month, depending on the provider and your hosting needs. Choosing a reliable hosting provider is a vital step to getting your site up and running, so think about your site’s needs and purpose.
First, you should research some of the most popular and reputable hosting providers and weigh the pros and cons of each. Next, you can see how their features differ and which ones would benefit you. You also want immediate and accessible support in the event that your website has an issue, so partnering with a hosting provider that has 24/7 support is a great idea.
What Is a Content Management System (CMS)?
This software lets you create, manage, and publish your digital content without needing to do any coding yourself.
Different Types of Website Builders
- WordPress: WordPress is a free website builder that many users find simple to learn, customizable, and ideal for all types of sites. WordPress is the preferred platform we use for our clients at Rival Digital.
- Webflow: Webflow lets you drag and drop to build a beautiful website without any coding. You can freely design your site as you like.
- Squarespace: Squarespace has stunning website templates and makes a cost-effective option.
- Wix: Wix proves faster to grasp than WordPress and does not require a lot of time to build a site.
- Weebly: Weebly has fast loading speeds and flexible designs, but customer support could be better.
Is It Better To Hire Someone To Build a Website or DIY?
Consider the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a professional website designer or going DIY. Think about your budget, timeline, personal skill set, and goals of launching your website before deciding.
Pros of Hiring a Web Development Agency
- Appealing design
- Expertise and experience designing sites
- Saves you time
Cons of Hiring a Web Development Agency
- Costs money. While hiring a web development agency will require funding, Rival Digital works to meet your budget.
- Chance of not getting what you want. This problem occurs due to lack of communication. However, we prioritize effective communication at Rival Digital to ensure your needs and wants are exceeded.
Pros of DIY
- Save money (and sometimes time)
- Allows for more creative authority
- Convey exactly what you want
Cons of DIY
- Lack of professional design expertise
- Time consuming and learning curve
- May not achieve your desired results
How Long Does It Take an HVAC Website Design Agency To Build a Website?
An HVAC website design agency may take six to 12 weeks to build a new website for your business. The process length depends on the complexity of the site, the agency’s abilities, and the business’s needs.
Contact Rival Digital to find personalized marketing plans for your HVAC business. As a reputable HVAC marketing agency, we work specifically with HVAC businesses to help them gain leads, dominate their local community, and reach more clients than ever before. Schedule your digital strategy session online today, or call us at (800) 674-9823 to learn how we can help you.