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14 Helpful HVAC Contractor Marketing Ideas for 2024

HVAC Contractor Marketing Ideas (Blog Cover)

When brainstorming HVAC marketing ideas, it’s important to consider the differences between traditional advertising and modern promotion.

After all, marketing can be a loaded phrase. For a newer generation of contractors, it brings to mind digital marketing methods like SEO and Facebook Ads, while for traditionalists, it sparks images of billboards and newspaper ads.

Each of these things falls under the marketing umbrella, but which ideas are best suited for your company depends on variables like size, location, budget, and goals.

I’m Nolen Walker, founder and CEO of HVAC Webmasters, a digital marketing agency for HVAC professionals. I’ve been doing this for 10+ years, and the marketing landscape continues to change.

When I first launched this agency in 2013, marketing an HVAC company online was like the Wild West. Marketing gurus used black-hat tactics to make their clients appear first on Google search results and gain more customers through various marketing channels.

As consumers grew more aware of scams and misleading promotional techniques, Google and other platforms altered their algorithms to protect users against fraudulent marketing practices. Today, the marketing landscape better reflects the needs and preferences of consumers.

I’ve written this post to help HVAC companies hone in on proven marketing techniques that drive consistent results today. My insights are based on 10+ years of first-hand experience designing and executing marketing plans for local HVAC businesses across the United States.

The Purpose of HVAC Marketing

My experience working with thousands of business owners over the past decade has proven that most companies invest in marketing to generate HVAC leads and acquire new customers. While marketing has ancillary benefits, like building consumer trust, its true motivation is lead generation.

The Cost of HVAC Marketing

A standard marketing budget is 9.5% of your company’s revenue, which means the cost varies depending on how much you can afford to spend. Additionally, marketing costs vary depending on the type of channel you invest in, from Facebook Ads to a local radio spot.

  • SEO Services: $500-$3,000 per month
  • Website Hosting: $20-$100 per month
  • Facebook Ads: $150-$300 per month
  • Google Ads: $1,000-$10,000 per month
  • Billboards: $250-$4,000 per month
  • Print Ads: $250-$5,000 per month
  • Radio Ads: $800-$20,000 per month

Free Marketing Alternatives

Startup heating and cooling businesses can’t afford to invest 9.5% of nothing into paid marketing campaigns. While noticeable results will ultimately require financial investment, there are free alternatives you can use to lay a solid promotional foundation.

  • Google Business Profile
  • Social Media
  • NAP Citations
  • Word-of-Mouth

Top Marketing Ideas for HVAC Contractors in 2024

1) Search Engine Optimization

One of the most popular digital marketing techniques is HVAC SEO or search engine optimization. The strategy consists of refining web content, URLs, links, and user experience to rank more effectively on Google, naturally driving more traffic and business to your company.

SEO is a massive industry, and most local companies now invest in some form of SEO. There are right and wrong ways to execute search optimization, and HVAC contractors should invest in the right services to help them achieve their goals.

Importance of SEO (Infographic)

2) Pay Per Click Advertising

Advertising is a form of marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) ads are the most popular digital advertising method. Most novice HVAC companies gravitate towards pay-per-click ads because they produce quick results without much effort.

While short-term lead generation is appealing, a long-term PPC investment can yield negative ROI without careful planning. In most cases, PPC works best as part of a broader digital marketing strategy that includes SEO, reputation management, and remarketing or pixel tracking.

Screenshot of Google PPC Results

3) Social Media Advertising

In addition to paying for Google ad clicks, contractors can invest in Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads, and even NextDoor Ads. Every social platform has an advertising platform for local businesses.

For HVAC companies, in particular, Facebook Ads have grown in popularity.

With Facebook advertising, companies can target consumers with discounts, offers, and seasonal specials. HVACR professionals can even invest in lead-gen ads that capture the user’s contact information on the spot.

Social Media Users (US Adults)

4) Remarketing / Pixel Tracking

As traditional marketers know, consumers rarely buy a service or product at first glance. The levers required to boost conversions often occur gradually after repeated exposure to a brand.

In digital marketing, remarketing or pixel tracking helps companies achieve these goals. Users visit your website as their browser stores cookies that tag them to see your ads as they browse the internet.

Your target customers spend a lot of time on Facebook and other social media platforms, targeting them after leaving your website.

Retargeting Ad Process Chart

5) Billboards

Research shows that billboards continue to produce substantial ROI in 2024. As a form of out-of-the-home advertising, billboards place your HVAC brand front and center for potential customers.

Like other forms of advertising, billboards work best in unison with different online and in-person marketing techniques.

The downside of billboards is the cost. After all, placing your company on a highway or main road will never be cheap.

Graphic Showcasing an Example of a Billboard Opportunity

6) Print Advertising

Newspapers and magazines have grown virtually obsolete in the past decade, and investing in advertising on these platforms might seem like a waste. However, those who continue to read newspapers trust them more than ever.

Research indicates that 82% of people trust print ads. If you can target local newspapers with HVACR advertisements, the ROI could prove surprisingly favorable.

HVAC Print Magazine

7) Radio Ads

While music streaming services seem to have replaced the radio, a surprising number of consumers still listen. A study shows that the average American still consumes 13+ hours of radio weekly.

Some of HVAC contractors’ most reliable clients have not entirely transitioned online and may need some coaxing to connect digitally.

Tracking radio ROI is simple and one of the reasons companies still invest in advertising.

8) TV Commercials

Let’s be clear: YouTube is now the top platform for video consumption worldwide. In 2018, digital ad spending officially overtook television ad spending. However, television ad sales increased by 5% in the same year.

The trend indicates that as the competition diminishes, the ROI increases. HVAC contractors looking to make a name for themselves in their local community may still benefit from a television spot.

More Ideas for a Succesful HVAC Marketing Plan

I am passionate about helping HVAC companies develop a marketing plan that leads to sustainable success. With this in mind, I started my own podcast called the HVAC Marketing Plan Podcast.

While I encourage contractors to check out those episodes, I also want to outline my ideas for a successful marketing plan by outlining strategic measures you can take for your business.

You can see my ideas below:

9) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Defining how you measure the success of your marketing campaigns starts with KPIs or key performance indicators. Establishing KPIs before investing in promotional channels lets you objectively measure success or failure.

Examples of KPIs include:

  • Website Traffic
  • Leads Per Month
  • Conversion Rate
  • Reviews Per Month

10) Brand Clarity

I advise companies to clearly define the main elements of their brand, like their business name and areas of focus. Differentiating yourself in the marketplace is one key to success and allows you to implement strategies that align with your brand.

Examples of brand clarity include:

  • Company Name
  • Business Address / Service Area(s)
  • Domain Name
  • Expertise or Specialty Services

11) Defined Target Market

One mistake companies make is failing to define their target market, especially regarding location. One client left our agency because they wanted to expand to a state on the other side of the country, which tanked their company.

Here are some examples of target markets:

  • Geographic Location
  • Pain Points
  • Seasonal Needs
  • Age and Living Status

12) Foundational Channels

No business can invest in every channel initially, so I recommend selecting a few “foundational” channels as part of your initial plan. There is plenty of room for flexibility moving forward, but certain channels are ideal for setting a long-term path to success.

Examples of foundational channels include:

  • Google Organic
  • Google Business Profile
  • Referral Program

13) Realistic Budgeting

Defining your current budget is different than projecting what you want your budget to be in the future. I recommend focusing on your budget today to determine which investments are realistic for your company.

Elements of a budget include:

  • Allocation
  • Cost Per Acquisition
  • Return on Investment

14) Adjustments and Flexibility

Think of your marketing plan as an evolving document with room for flexibility and adjustments. As you achieve wins and experience losses, you must adapt various aspects of your plan for sustainable success.

Examples of adjustment within a marketing plan include:

  • Analysis
  • Success Alterations
  • Failure Alterations

Ongoing HVAC Marketing Success

For newer companies, entering the marketing landscape can be overwhelming. My agency, HVAC Webmasters, will assist you with your needs. For those not ready to invest in professional services, I recommend starting by claiming your free Google Business Profile and building citations.

As your company grows, you’ll build a budget robust enough to invest in professional marketing services. Whether you target digital marketing channels like SEO or Facebook Ads or choose traditional forums like billboards and print ads, your company’s long-term success will involve strategic promotion.

I hope my HVAC marketing ideas prove useful for your ongoing success. While it’s a lot to digest all at once, remember to consult it whenever you need guidance on your next promotional venture.