Literally, hundreds of millions of dollars in sales are generated mostly by the “stealth” marketing tactic of publicity. That’s a huge return on investment, because publicity is free.
Publicity can’t replace direct-response advertising as a way to generate leads. But it can certainly increase your HVAC market company’s name recognition, image and brand, and serve as powerful reinforcements to your customers.
Publicity sells. Publicity boosts image and is deemed “real.” It gets through the skeptical filter of paid advertising. If the media writes an article about you or your HVAC construction contracting business, it boosts your image. It offers differentiation. There are dozens of HVAC sales contractors in your town. How many are positively featured in the news? You can become an expert. Get quoted about green HVAC energy savings, water heaters, insulation and carbon monoxide.
An increased public presence keeps you at the top-of-mind among potential customers. This is where social media plays a big role. Being active, engaging and relevant across social media channels not only keeps your name in the front of each potential customer’s mind, but it also allows you to reach a larger audience. This could generate potential leads in the future while also establishing a strong presence with your current customers.
Customers feel good when their contractor is in the news. People want reassurance of their choices. What better way than for them to see you mentioned in the media? It reaffirms that they really do have an expert attending to their HVAC sales needs.
Publicity is not accidental, lucky or coincidental. Then how do you get it?
When industry-related news is in the air, make sure you’re the person reporters think of when they need a comment. If the story is about rising energy costs, you can offer simple steps for keeping your house energy efficient. If the story is about HVAC sales scam artists, you can offer important insight into finding a reliable HVAC construction contractor. These are both very hot topics, every single year.
The truth about publicity and media releases is that you cannot “promote” your company flagrantly. Let this be done by your mere presence. Let the fact you’re being interviewed or quoted be enough. The biggest failure with media releases is that if it even sounds like an ad for your company, they’re going to throw it away.
Another approach is to extend your expertise to the classroom. Presentations in front of college classes, at technical schools and home shows and workplace open houses are all chances to boost your business’ visibility.
Having your name in the news will improve your ad results. You get the additional “bounce” of being known and will aid your advertising results.
Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink, a national marketing firm for contractors. Snips readers can get a free report, “Five Things That Drive Your Customers Crazy,” by emailing to freeSNIPSstuff@hudsonink.com. You can also call Hudson, Ink at (800) 489-9099 for help or visit www.hudsonink.com for other free marketing articles and reports.