Brand Awareness for HVAC Companies
As an HVAC contractor, you know the importance of being known in your local service area and reaching potential customers.
Brand awareness campaigns can help you achieve that.
But doing marketing for the sake of “getting your name out there” often results in frustration, more uncertainty, and even tossing your hard-earned money in the wind.
In the space of digital marketing, brand awareness campaigns have a time and a place in your overall strategy.
They can be done effectively and efficiently, but in my humble opinion, you can also opt to bypass them.
It all circles back to your main objective.
In this article, we’ll do some pushing and pulling, with the objective to understand if brand awareness is worth your investment, as well as exploring three digital advertising platforms that can help you reach your local service areas effectively.
What is the Awareness stage in HVAC marketing?
The awareness stage is the initial phase of the HVAC marketing funnel where potential customers begin to recognize the need for heating and cooling system services.
During this stage, individuals realize their HVAC unit requires maintenance, repairs, or eventual replacement.
They may have experienced issues with their system, or they might simply be proactive in ensuring the efficiency and longevity of their HVAC equipment.
An example can be a homeowner getting ready to go through their winter in the new home they bought over the summer.
He may not require HVAC service right away, but the homeowner is actively thinking about keeping his family comfortable through the winter.
The role of your brand awareness campaign should be to reach the homeowner with your HVAC digital advertising.
In an ideal world, the homeowner either takes action to learn more about you or remembers your brand for future consideration.
Setting Measurable Expectations in Awareness Campaigns
What Can You Expect From Your Awareness Campaigns?
When it comes to awareness campaigns in HVAC digital marketing, their primary purpose isn’t necessarily to generate immediate leads or phone calls.
In fact, a potential customer can swiftly move through all the key stages of the sales funnel in a single instance. It’s possible that they came across your awareness campaign and were compelled to reach out to your company right away.
In such cases, your campaign has truly exceeded expectations.
However, it’s important to remember that not all customers are prepared to make a purchasing decision when they see your advertisement.
From a digital marketing perspective, the ultimate goal of your campaign is to create a lasting impression. Consequently, you may witness an increase in overall website traffic and Google searches for your brand.
The generation of leads will typically occur at a later stage.
Define Clear Objectives for Awareness Campaigns
Setting clear objectives is crucial for the success of your awareness campaigns.
Without well-defined goals, measuring progress and determining if your efforts are effective becomes extremely blurry.
Are you seeking to increase your website traffic or simply have more eyeballs in your city? By clearly defining your objectives, you can align your marketing strategies accordingly.
Establish Specific Metrics to Measure Success
To evaluate the effectiveness of your HVAC marketing campaigns, it’s essential to establish specific metrics that can be measured objectively.
These metrics will provide valuable insights into the performance of your campaigns and help you gauge their impact on your target audience.
For a top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) campaign, we recommend measuring CPM (cost per mille, or cost per thousand impressions), your website traffic, and your Average CPC. You can also get a bit more granular and measure your brand searches.
An example would be an HVAC contractor seeking to reach 20,000 homeowners in their local service area.
In this hypothetical campaign, the success metric would be the number of homeowners reached. The impact of reaching 20K homeowners may also increase internet searches for your brand, and in some instances, some homeowners may have reached out for your services on the spot.
Balancing Your Budget Across the Funnel
When it comes to allocating your advertising budget in HVAC online marketing, it’s crucial to consider how you distribute your funds across different stages of the sales funnel.
A well-rounded approach involves investing in each stage of the customer journey, from building awareness to generating leads and driving conversions. By diversifying your budget, you can maximize your return on investment (ROI) and ensure that you’re reaching potential customers at every touchpoint.
However, it’s essential to strike the right balance. While it’s important to allocate sufficient resources to each stage, diluting your budget too much can hinder the effectiveness of your campaigns. If you spread your funds too thinly, you risk not making a significant impact in any particular area.
If on a shoestring budget, It’s OK to pass
You do not have to be everywhere, all the time.
Awareness campaigns can be highly beneficial for expanding your business and reaching new customers, but it’s important to acknowledge that it may not always be feasible when operating with a limited marketing budget.
Instead of diluting your advertising budget across various platforms and strategies, it might be more prudent to prioritize certain areas of your business and even stagger your efforts.
Create a roadmap from start to finish and pinpoint where you are in your journey.
Is your HVAC company in need of a better logo and branding in itself? Then it can be a good idea to invest in the visuals before the digital ads.
Perhaps your brand is great but your website is now a few years old, then it can also be a good idea to invest in upgrades before investing on digital platforms.
It’s essential to adapt your strategies based on your current situation.
While investing in top-of-the-funnel marketing is valuable for long-term growth, it is also OK to start with a calculated approach, pass on opportunities, and concentrate all your resources on a more compact strategy.
Effective Brand Awareness Tools For HVAC Marketing
Traditional mediums like radio, TV, residential magazines, mailers, and even billboards can be effective strategies. However, they are not widely accessible to every HVAC contractor and they also do not have the dynamics of digital advertising.
Digital advertising offers a more flexible and targeted approach. With the ability to define specific parameters such as audience demographics, geographic location, and daily budget, digital channels provide HVAC companies with greater control and cost efficiency.
Now, let’s delve into three powerful brand awareness strategies that can significantly benefit HVAC businesses:
1. Google Ads
As one of the most widely used digital advertising platforms, Google Ads enables you to display your ads on search engine result pages, partner websites, and various online platforms.
This extensive reach ensures that your brand message reaches a vast online audience of homeowners in your specific service area that are even possibly in-market for HVAC services.
For the purpose of this article, we’re pointing specifically to Google Ads Display, Discovery, PMax, and Video, and Audio campaigns.
Keep in mind these campaign types can be purposed differently for other stages of your funnel, while we will also discuss Paid Search campaigns in the Consideration and Decision stages, which tend to require a more significant investment.
2. Facebook & Instagram
With the capacity to target homeowners in your service area, Meta ads are certainly a valid option for awareness campaigns.
Keep your creative assets relevant to the season, and location, and engage in the conversation with your audience for best results.
3. Try the Parallel Economy
Want to break the HVAC marketing mold and test new strategies?
The digital landscape has expanded beyond traditional platforms, and parallel economy advertising taps into this trend.
While these parallel social platforms do not have some of big tech’s audience targeting capabilities, such as homeownership status or household income brackets, they have two key advantages:
- The CPM tends to be much less than big tech’s, meaning you can reach more users for less.
- The base of users is highly supportive of brands that are part of the parallel economy.
As the digital marketing landscape continues to evolve, adaptability and strategic thinking will be key to staying ahead of the competition and achieving your business goals.
While reaching a large online audience with your brand may seem enticing, it can be a wasted effort if there is no clear direction or objective behind it. In contrast, targeting a specific audience of 20,000 homeowners in your service area during a scorching heatwave can yield exceptional results.
It’s more valuable to possess the ability to define your objectives and select the right tools for the job rather than spreading yourself too thin and attempting to be present everywhere simultaneously.
This strategic approach allows you to capitalize on opportunities that align with your business objectives and deliver tangible results.