Plumbing and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors have unique challenges when it comes to marketing. You’re working in hidden spaces, and potential clients usually don’t know much about you until something goes wrong.
Even then, your work is often invisible, with the only evidence being a bill or the lack of one. In other words, this isn’t exactly a field where word-of-mouth works as well as it does for hotels or restaurants.
So what can you do to grow your business?
The answer lies in digital marketing strategies that will get you more leads, clients, and sales in today’s connected world. But, the trick is knowing which tactics are worth your time and which aren’t.
In this article, we’ll give you some essential digital marketing tips for plumbing and HVAC contractors so that you know how to market yourself effectively online. If you’re ready to dive in, read on!
#1. Go Social
With more than 4.6 billion users worldwide, social media platforms are an ideal place to boost your online presence and gain more eyeballs. That said, social media marketing can be tricky, but it can also be extremely effective. You have to be careful not to fall into the trap of posting to your social channels just to publish something.
You should be using social media to engage with your audience and build relationships with people who might need your services. Use the right social media channels for your business. If your industry is visual, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest might be a better fit than Facebook.
If you’re an HVAC contractor, Facebook and Instagram are great places to start. If you’re a plumbing contractor, you might want to try a combination of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
#2. HVAC Contractors: Start With Lead Generation
The best way to generate leads for your business is to offer something for free. Whatever your industry, there are likely organizations that could use your services but don’t have the money to pay for them. You can help these organizations by offering your services for free, and in exchange, they’ll give you something: their contact information.
This type of marketing is called lead generation, and it’s a great way to attract new clients and grow your business without spending any money. There are organizations that could use your services just about everywhere.
Start by thinking about your local community and the places you spend time: your kids’ school, your church, your gym, your sporting events, and more. Throughout the year, these places celebrate birthdays, host fundraisers, and hold other events. You can offer your services for free, and in exchange, you’ll get the contact information of everyone involved.
#3. Invest in An Engaging Content Marketing Strategy
You might not be a content marketing pro, but chances are that you have something to say. And if you want people to pay attention to you, you need to say it in a way that’s easy to find, read, and share.
Most businesses should have an editorial calendar, which is a schedule for publishing content. Your calendar should include topics that are relevant to your industry, your clients, and your business.
Organize your calendar by topic and make sure to include content for all of your marketing channels. If you’re an HVAC contractor, for example, you might create a blog post about how to choose the right type of air filter, publish a how-to on installing solar panels, or create a HVAC salary guide to help HVAC business owners hire top talent.
Or, if you’re a plumbing contractor, you might write an article on how to winterize your water heater or create a training video or tutorial video showing how to unclog a drain using a plunger. Whatever your industry, there are topics that will interest your clients.
#4. Take Advantage of Local SEO
Local SEO is the art of making sure your business is listed on the best local directories and maps. It’s also about optimizing your website and social media profiles for local search. You want to ensure that when potential clients search for your services in your area, your business appears at the top of relevant searches.
That way, you don’t need to go door to door to find new clients. Depending on which state you’re in, your clients may also be able to find you through state-level directories like Angie’s List. If you’re a plumber, you should add your business to Yelp, Google My Business, and Plumbers.org.
If you’re an HVAC contractor, your business should be listed on Yelp, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, and Local.com. Make sure that each of your local listings has accurate contact information, including a telephone number. You can also use your listings to add information about your business, including hours of operation and specialties.
#5. Set Up a Responsive Website
In today’s digital world, having a website is a must for businesses. It’s safe to say that your website is the foundation of your online marketing. Think of it like your 24/7 online store. It’s where potential clients will learn about your business, see what you can offer, how to contact you and decide whether you’re right for them.
This also means that your site needs to be accessible on any device and optimized for search. You don’t want your potential clients to have to squint to read your content every time they open your site and try to learn more about your service.
#6. Leverage User-Based Advertising
Social media advertising is growing in popularity because it’s one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. You can target users on Facebook and Instagram based on their age, location, interests, hobbies, and more.
When you run a social media ad, you’re paying to get your ad in front of an audience that Facebook has identified as relevant to your business. When you’re advertising on Facebook, make sure that you’re creating your ads with the right mindset: you’re trying to get people to click, not to buy.
#7. Plumbing Contractors: Try Display Ads and Podcasting
If you’re a plumbing contractor, you might be ready to get more inventive with your marketing strategy. You might have the best marketing strategy in the world, but if potential clients can’t find it, you’re wasting your time.
You can use display ads to get your message in front of a more general audience. You can write an article or create a video and then promote it with display ads on social media and on major websites.
You can also try podcasting. Podcasts are a great way to engage your audience, and they’re growing in popularity. You can talk about your industry and answer your clients’ most pressing questions. You can even interview experts in your field or conduct interviews with your team members.
Your business is unique. That means you need a unique marketing strategy that works for you and your clients. These digital marketing tips will get you started, but don’t forget to experiment to see which one works and which one does not at the moment.
In this fast-paced world, you may find that a strategy that doesn’t work for your business today could be your secret sauce tomorrow. Keep an eye out for trends and try new things. With a little effort and these essential digital marketing tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful business.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).