Online marketing is a huge and profitable industry which causes people to come out of the woodwork to sell you unattainable promises at discount prices! It’s really NOT a waste of money but there are LOT of pitfalls along the way. How do you avoid them? Learn about it – that’s the best way. Find a good consultant to help – that’s the second best way.
Once you have the basics of your business down pat, your Brand Promise, Consistent Referral Strategy, and an Off-Season strategy (I discuss these in episode 8); if you’re still not getting enough customers OR you want to grow beyond where you are, you should consider online marketing. Where to start? I recommend Google AdWords.
The old best way of advertising for an HVAC business was in the Yellow Pages. I’m sure someone, somewhere still uses the YP but I haven’t seen or used them for at least the past 5 years. Almost everyone has a tiny computer with an Internet connection in their pocket called a SmartPhone these days and that’s how they connect with the world. That’s also how they’re going to attempt to find you to hire you.
Fundamentals of AdWords
- Everything starts with a Search
- Two types of results show up – paid Advertisements and Organic Results
- Customers (searchers) click on your Ad (or someone else’s)
- On Desktops, they go to your Landing Page on your Website
- On Mobile, they can call you directly from the Ad
- You can target your Ad on Location, Time, and Keyword Matches
- Your placement in the results depends on those criteria PLUS your bid for the keyword
- If a customer clicks on your Ad, you pay for the click.
- Optimize for Conversions – For HVAC, a conversion is typically a phone call to you.
- Use split testing to optimize your Ads and your Landing Pages. Always have a champion and a challenger, measure the performance of both, and regularly throw one away and create a new one.
How do you compete with bigger companies with bigger Ad Spends?
Companies with bigger Ad spends used to be able to do very well by buying giant Yellow Page Ads and sweeping a market just because they were bigger. That’s no longer the case. It’s harder now for them to compete than it ever was. The battle for a customer’s attention happens one by one now in Internet marketing and it’s the business that’s doing the best job at converting them that will win. For the price of a good book on the subject and some time spent learning, you can handily beat the big guys using AdWords.
My book recommendation for doing this yourself is the Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing by Perry Marshall and Talor Zamir.
Where does Facebook Advertising come into this?
The Facebook Advertising platform is wonderful! Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great place to advertise. But, it’s NOT as good as Google AdWords at addressing the “bleeding neck” problem. When customers have an issue they need solved NOW, they use search. My recommendation is to master Google AdWords first then try your hand at Facebook Ads using similar strategies.