I’ve had the opportunity to talk with over 100 HVAC contractors about their online marketing over the past few weeks. A few "get it". Most do not.
Here are three false beliefs most contractors have:
Belief #1: That a Website Has an End Date
This is the biggest problem that HVAC contractors have with their website, and I hear it all the time. When discussing their online marketing program with contractors, they will frequently say that they’re in the process of developing a new website. The normal flow of a website includes:
1. Someone designs the site.
2. Once the design is done, someone is responsible to “go get the content” to replace all the filler text.
3. Website is complete.
When I ask owners what their plan is for growing the website and continuing to attract consumers (residential or commercial, doesn’t matter), there hasn’t been one situation in the past few weeks where a contractor had an answer.
A website is NEVER complete. A website is your living storefront. In order to continue to draw people into that site, we need to put interesting things out on our storefront. This includes ongoing educational information for customers.
Yes, contractors need to develop original information, just like what you read in magazines like Contracting Business, and that information needs to be available on your website. The easiest, most efficient way to do this is through a blog.
Belief #2: I Just Need Someone to Create My Facebook Page
If you don’t have a plan on how to: get people to “like” your Facebook page, or engage with people on your Facebook page, it’s best not to create a page at all.
Customers won’t just “find” your Facebook page. You need to tell them about it. Spiff technicians to talk about it on their visits. Put the Facebook page link on your website, on your employee’s signature lines, on your trucks…everywhere. Then, make sure that you are putting up daily content that your customers are interested with like Simpson Air out of Tampa Bay, FL. Simpson develops a combination of educational and interesting/fun content on their website page that engages current customers.
Remember, your Facebook page is about customer engagement, not prospecting. Be sure you use it that way.
Belief #3: Website Content Has Just One Purpose
Most contractors who develop regular content on their website do it this way: create content, put it up on the web, and then move on to next project.
If you are developing content for your website or blog site on a regular basis, that’s fantastic. Now take it to the next level by doing the following tasks:
1. Develop a monthly enewsletter to get customers focused on home comfort solutions. Spiff technicians to get signups to your “helpful, educational” enewsletter. Creating the content is the toughest part of developing an enewsletter, so if you have that complete, you are a step ahead. A regular enewsletter provides a great non-sales touch on a frequent basis.
2. Send your best content to your local paper. They are always looking for interesting content on home energy solutions and may accept your submissions.
3. Promote your content on your Twitter page. Google pays more attention to social media linking than ever before. If you are not promoting your content with a Twitter presence it may be hurting your search rankings.
4. Share your content on your Facebook page.
5. Develop additional “packages” with the content you have, like the “10 Ways to Save Energy in Oklahoma City this Summer” or do what PK Wadsworth from Cleveland did with their Home Comfort Solutions Guide. Repurposing content is one of the biggest opportunities that most small businesses don’t recognize.
Remember, whatever you do with your online marketing, you need to be thinking like an online publisher, developing consistent, original content in multiple forms and distributing it throughout the web. A website, no matter how good it may feel to complete it, is never, ever done.
Joe Pulizzi is CEO of SocialTract , a blogging/social media service for HVACR contractors. Joe is also co-author of Get Content Get Customers, which details how companies can publish content to drive revenues. SocialTract is a division of Z Squared Media, LLC . Joe can be reached at [email protected] . For speaking needs - http://joepulizzi.com.