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For this episode of E-coffee with Experts, Ranmay Rath interviewed Cary Blackburn, Partner at HVAC Grow located in Seattle, Washington.
Cary discusses his experience with social media advertising, particularly Facebook ads for HVAC businesses, emphasizing the effectiveness, cost-efficiency, and attention-grabbing nature of their approach.
Watch the episode now for some profound insights!
Facebook, Instagram ads: most effective and most cost-efficient right now, although lead quality can be a little bit lower at times because it is interruption marketing.
hey. Hi everyone. This is Ranmay back with your show E Coffee With Experts. Today we have Mr. Cary Blackburn with us. Welcome Cary to our show. Yep. Thank you very much for having me. Great. So Mr. Cary Blackburn is the partner at HVAC Grow marketing agency, headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Cary, before we move forward with the podcast, I would like you to introduce yourself to our audiences tonight.
Great. I’m obviously Cary Blackburn, and I’m one of the partners here for what. Originally was gonna be HVAC, HVAC Grow or HVAC grow. But because we moved into other industries, specifically roofing, we made the parent company results grow.
And I do have to correct my LinkedIn account to say that our headquarters is not in Seattle anymore. We’ve moved it to Austin, Texas. And that’s simply because my partner Steve, has a house there now, and Austin and Texas is a very business friendly place to be with a business.
We help out two main home service verticals. We’re moving into a third one is HVAC, so heating and air conditioning, or hvac, whatever you wanna call it. Roofing, and also artificial turf, which is one area that we’re finding that there’s a real growth. For in specifically the United States and the Southern United States with the water restrictions that they now have there.
And we help our clients with anything from paid advertising on social media, paid search advertising, search engine marketing, which is, your Google PPC website design. And also with a little bit of SEO, even though it’s not a big part of our indu or our business, we do help some of our clients at seo.
But we also help our clients with how to like automated setups for contacting leads as soon as a lead comes in. If we wanted to go over that, I can go over that later too. But the idea being is that a lot of these guys might be out there doing a job and don’t have a chance to contact that lead that comes in and get contacting a lead as quickly as possible is crucial in order to close that lead.
So I can go over that later if you want as well. So we’ve been doing business. Since the end of 2019. And we’ve grown from then where it was myself, Steve, my brother James, and then my son Ryan. And we now have over 20 employees, over 300 clients across the United States and Canada.
So that is where we have Named this podcast’s episode as HVAC edition because I’m sure we are gonna learn a lot about how the industry operates, how the lead comes in. Sure. How it is overall getting converted for the end business and all of that.
Super, I’m all up excited for that, so you have seen the HVAC industry from inside out in terms of working with. So many brands out there, if I were to ask you, how has the HVAC industry changed in terms of online marketing over the past few years and, what are strategies that you would’ve adopted or, try to get in terms with.
Over a period of time what is a trend that you have seen for the last few years?
I started working with clients in the HVAC industry about 2011, 2012. At that time it was, there was a big focus on SEO because you could get results within, yeah. Eight to 12 weeks for clients to get them on the first page.
The top of the first page, was it all? Completely white hat? Absolutely not. And I won’t say it was, but SEO was a huge thing to begin with. And there really the other way was PPC. Now you could do PPC and the clicks for PPC at that time were. Incredibly cheap. You could run ads, you could get clicks for less than a dollar, whether it be for heating or air conditioning, and you could throw up pretty much any landing page.
You could throw up any keyword that you want and you were gonna get leads from it. But then as time advanced IT, people became more savvy about how they needed to do their ppc, and it became more and more expensive and you had to really change when it came to the PPC side of things, how you. Optimize these accounts, but I can get into that further later on.
But it was Google was at the time, so it was Google SEO and Google Ads, and my business partner Steve, who was. Originally a client of mine, that’s how we met, is that he, his big thing was I got him into seo, but he was doing his own PPC at the time and he was making an absolute killing at PPC because it was less than a dollar and there wasn’t many competitors doing it, and less than a dollar quick is what I mean.
And he pretty much, he threw out every keyword you could think of, kinda like throwing out a big net into a river and catching everything. And because it was so cheap and he could, depending on the weather, so if he ended up with a cold snap where we are here on the west coast of Canada at the time, and you could throw up, you could say, I want to double my ad spend for a few days as everything starts breaking as it comes on, that worked very well.
Or the other way around in the summertime when it got really hot and things started breaking, you could do that then. But then again, like it got way more and more expensive. And then around 2017, 2018 I started really getting into doing Facebook ads and Instagram ads. Instagram wasn’t as big at the time, but Facebook ads, and it was like, I think there’s a big opportunity here for heating and air conditioning companies to be running Facebook ads and simply because a lot of the target audience was going to be those people that are on Facebook, that are on Instagram specifically that they tend to skew a little bit more female.
So there were females. On that. And they were there and they were normally, a lot of times homeowners had a little bit of money and wanted to keep their home. They wanted to keep it making their homes better or whatever. Or you could hit them at the right time. And we saw that, jumped on it right away.
I jumped on it right away, tried to convince Steve to do it with his business. It took ’em a bit to want to do it because he was thinking, cuz he, he always says when I go to him saying, I called him one time when he was on vacation saying, Steve, You need to do Facebook. And Steve looked at me or answered like, what are you talking about doing Facebook ads?
Really. But then it clicked in and we started doing it and it really started to work for our clients. So that, the big thing was, again, so one of things that I saw was a so paid social media advertising was a lot cheaper than Google ads. And worked very well. But what.
Social media doesn’t do very well for social media ads. It is for service. So somebody needs a repair, right? So people aren’t gonna go to social media to look for somebody for repair, they’re gonna go to Google Ads. But if you interrupt them with a good offer for a new system, that tended to work very well.
So Facebook ads, we really, I think we were one of the business that we’re really at the forefront of doing Facebook ads for hvac right around beginning of 2020 into 2021. Now we see a lot of.
Businesses copying our format of ads, which is, that’s a, it’s a huge compliment when you see people co copying what we’re doing, but more and more doing that, so there’s more saturation of that.
And so that’s one another area that we see changing. Also, Instagram, advancing more on Instagram, making sure that you have ads that work on Instagram, cuz it’s a little bit different than Facebook still works, but you have to do things a little bit differently there. But then a move back into Google Ads.
You can do Google. Like we’re moving, like I said, back into doing Google ads. That the reason being is that it’s working as long as you do it correctly and all the different things that Google has done to make Google ads better. You can get affordable leads outta there, but it takes longer Facebook ads or Instagram ads.
We can get a client leads within about 24 to 48 hours from that Google ads takes a little long, a little longer because you have to teach the algorithm as to what. It is that you, who you want the ads to show to what areas are best to target, what keywords are best to target. Cuz it’s not necessarily the same for every area.
Espe, like we’re talking like the United States and Canada, it’s, and that’s the only area that we’ve really marketed into or we’ve done. For our clients is that in one area this keyword might work well here, this other one, it may not. It’s just a strange thing. We have to teach it, but because of all the data that we have with all our clients is that we can jump into a market and pretty much get leads fairly quickly and also advance that process of teaching the algorithm a lot faster.
So Google Ads, again, we’re getting Google Ads, is a bit of a resurgence we’re seeing in hvac, and some people may disagree with me on that. That’s never really went away. But based on what we’ve seen, and this is our own experience, Right or wrong is that we’re seeing that there’s a bit of resurgence in that.
We did see some people try to do TikTok, but we looked at it and we went, no, there’s really nothing there because the targeting isn’t as good in TikTok. And right now in Canada, the United States, there is a bit of a push to get away from TikTok for whatever political reasons. I’m not gonna get into that because I avoid that altogether, but you’re seeing less and less people on TikTok.
But. And some on YouTube. That’s what we’re doing right now is retargeting on YouTube for our own stuff, not necessarily our client stuff. So there’s a bit of that. And so that’s a big thing that we’ve seen is that it went from initially seo. Google P PC over social media advertising.
Social media advertising, working very well. Still like not organic, but actual paid advertising. And then Google Ads kinda resurgence there. So hopefully that answered your question. I know it was a bit longwinded, but. No absolutely.
Did you summarize the story in terms of, what all online marketing tactics you use or can be generally used for HVAC businesses to grow?
Any special tactics that you use in your agency to target the audience. These can be local audiences searching for, AC repair and summers, so any particular techniques that is being used in your agency to target the local audience or, the consumer base in general?
I’ll start with the Facebook, Instagram side of things is that we know the target audiences with all the data that we have because, at times, right now we have over 300 clients. We’ve had well over, a. A thousand clients over the history of this business is that we have so much data about what targeting audiences to use on Facebook.
That what people who are more likely. To need or want an air conditioning system or a furnace heating system, that type of thing. So there are specific targeting that we have for that. So we’re able to know that right away. We jump right in and we can get them leads right away because of that.
And, specific things about, people’s buying habits. We know their age groups, for example. It, we don’t target anybody under the age of 35. Simply because most people under the age of 35 in the United States and Canada can’t afford a home. So if they’re not a homeowner, they’re likely not going to buy a heating or air conditioning system.
Absolutely. So we’ll be targeting that. And then, we do have some of our own lookalike audiences that we can use for that based on the thousands and thousands of leads that we’ve generated for our clients. That allows us, again, to jump into another market to do that. And again, with the local targeting that you can do with Facebook and Instagram ads, we can say this, these are the areas that we want to target.
Right down to the zip code or postal code, depending on what country you’re in and say, Hey, we want just to hit this area. We have some clients that say some inner city areas they don’t want to go to, so we can exclude those. So write down the areas that they know where they get the most leads from.
We can even say to our clients as well, saying, Hey, What areas, based on all the clients you’ve had, have you had the, have you done the most installs or repairs for? And we can say, okay, let’s hit those areas with your ads. So that’s pretty much what we’re doing with Facebook and Instagram ads. But on the Google Ads is that, we have, again, we, we find out what areas they want to target, what areas they don’t want to target, what areas they have the most success in already.
If they have had some success, meaning if it’s a brand new business, they may not have that. But we also have the keywords that we know that work. Based on all the clients that we have and as well the ads, the headlines that work very well for that, along with the landing page structures that we use.
That’s pretty much, what our effective tactics are. And also the structure. I’ll going back to Facebook, Instagram ads, the structure of the ads we use. Is vastly different than any other company that we saw initially. Now we have others copying our style, but Okay.
The style that we did initially, people were like, what is that? That doesn’t look like anything on social media. And I would be like, exactly. That’s the idea. Cuz my background is when I started in marketing, I was hired right outta high school to work for a newspaper to do newspaper design. So the ads that we do, Or based on what I learned for advertising design to get attention.
So that’s a huge thing and I can explain that more later on when you write about what it is that we do. But I use that. Because social media is very much whether it’s a newspaper or a billboard that you may, might see on the road or highway, you’ve got three seconds or less than three seconds to grab attention.
And if your stuff looks like everything else on Facebook, what people might be eating right? Picture of their family, picture of their home. It’s just gonna blend in. Our stuff does not blend in. It stands out, it’s very much in your face. And that really helps cuz it grabs that attention.
So that’s, so to sum it up, is that Facebook, Instagram ads most effective and most cost efficient. Right now the lead quality can be a little bit lower. At times because it is interruption marketing On Facebook and Instagram, we do Google ads. Google ads are more expensive, but there is a, but you can get higher quality leads outta that, and that means making sure that your keywords are right, your targeting is right, your landing, your ads are right, and your landing pages are done right to convert as many of those visitors that come there, because those clicks can be super expensive coming from Google ads.
You better convert at a high percentage or else you’re gonna be spending a lot of money without getting any leads from it.
Absolutely know. Talking about content Cary, what role exactly does content marketing play in your overall online marketing strategy for HVAC clients, and then what, in your experience so far, what sort of or what types of content have you found to be most effective?
We found that nothing’s really ex that’s worked for content marketing for local businesses and we don’t really do it. And again, that doesn’t say it doesn’t work, but for us, it hasn’t worked. So give you an example for a national or international brand you can use content marketing to attract people to your website through blog posts, through videos.
For example, it gets ’em there. They know the brand the articles, are pertaining it’s articles pertaining to their focus, to those people that have gone to the website. And it’s supposed to build a relationship with audience. They feel connected to you. But local businesses like H V A C, You’ve got people with a, with a need they may not have for years to come after they use our client services.
So somebody might need a repair, somebody might need a new air conditioning system. Somebody might need a new furnace or hot water tank. So the content marketing doesn’t do anything for that, that we find, again, I’m not saying that it doesn’t work for others, but for us it hasn’t. So they’re a bit of these type of clients are all one and done.
I got my AC installed, I’m done. I’m not really gonna need anything for it for five years. Unless there’s something else the client might offer, whether it’s hot water tanks or a furnace or whatever. And so they might use them the next time. So for example, is it. When we see local businesses writing articles for things like how to tell your AC needs to be replaced what they end up getting, if the post even ranks.
So let’s say it’s a blog post that ranks that is a bunch of people from across. North America where we are sometimes internationally, they come to their site to read the article. Now, if the company is located, let’s say Dallas, Texas, as an example, cuz I was just there a couple weeks ago and the person reading the article in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
What’s the likelihood that a person in Winnipeg is gonna be to really ask a company from Dallas to install a new ac? And do you really think that company in Dallas is gonna want to go to Winnipeg to do that? So it’s with local, you have to be, it’s to us with content marketing is it’s a lot of work for, not a huge amount of results is, but, so for local businesses, for a national business, yes.
But not necessarily for a local business.
Absolutely. Yeah, I get it. I get it where you’re coming from. All right. It’s talking about, you didn’t mention about Facebook ads about Insta. So how do you approach in terms of, creating effective Facebook ad campaigns for h PSC businesses in particular, and, and what strategies do you find to be the most successful for Facebook ads in particular?
It’s a lot of it has to do with how we structure the ads. For the before when I first started in Facebook ads, I was reading stuff. This is what you need to do. You need to have people in your ads. You need to have their homes. They need to be sitting in their house happy about, Hey, look, my home’s comfortable because they have a great air conditioning system or a great furnace.
Yeah. Or things like putting animals in there like your pets, your dogs, your cats.
They’re also sleeping quite comfortably and all that.
Yeah, exactly. So everybody said you need to do that because that’s what everything else is like on Facebook. And as I was saying earlier, is that if it looks like everything else on Facebook, people tend to scan through.
And so what we stumbled upon was we had a client of ours who in Florida, who just decided, you know what? I want to try this. So he went and put up an ad on his own, really ugly. And, but it was like a headline, the equipment and the price, and he threw it up and we said, okay, let’s see how it goes. All of a, that, all of a sudden that thing just started bringing in lead after lead.
And I went, that’s exactly like the ads that I was trained to do when I was doing newspapers. To do your offer or your headline at the top, your product that you’re offering air conditioning system furnace or full H V A C system with a price. And so your product, or I mean your offer or your headline, your product, your price, those are the big things that work very well.
So when people are reading Facebook ads or Instagram, so they’re gonna, they’re gonna scan down and all of a sudden they’re gonna see a headline. So that headline at the top is very important. So for example, we’re here in, I know it’s March of 2023, and in North America it’s spring. So we might say preseason.
Air conditioning sale. Have a picture of an air conditioning equipment with a price, whether it’s a monthly financing price, whether it’s a full price, a price. We put it in the ad and we’ll brand it. So we’ll put like a, their logo at the bottom, their phone number in case somebody wants to call directly from the ad.
And, but the important points are your headline, your product, your price. You can have secondary offers. Whether it be your warranties or whatever on the ad, but make it simple. Make it colors that stand out. You don’t put people in that are sitting on a couch or whatever that, or, so you want that to be clear as to what the offer is.
So our the thing that we see the most leads from when it’s Facebook and Instagram. Are using lead gen ads where you’re using Facebook’s built in lead gen form and you, but you can’t just send them from, so you get the ad they click on, they go to lead gen form. Then above the lead gen form there’s another image and that image is a different shape.
So most of the time on Facebook, It’s a square shape. Like a 1080 by 1080 P image. Yeah. Above the form. It’s 1200 by 6 28. So we create another image that looks exactly like the ad, but that shape, so that there’s that consistency. They go from the ad, they see the lead gen form. Okay. It’s the same thing cuz if it’s a different image, people might get confused going, is this the same thing that I clicked on?
And then have the form there so they fill out the form. But we also from that point, from filling up the form, and before I get to that, is that we found that the lead gen ads work better cuz Facebook likes to keep everybody in their walled garden. We got more leads outta that than we, we sent them to a landing page because Facebook was like, we don’t want people to leave Facebook.
So the lead gen ads work better, but so people fill out the lead gen form, whether their name, email address, phone number, city that they live in, it goes, gets captured by Facebook and it gets captured. Into a place where you have to go download it. Yeah. Now, if you are an, a business owner and you get a lead, say I don’t know, one o’clock in the afternoon, and you’re out doing an install and you come back in the office at four o’clock and that lead’s sitting there, right?
You probably missed it because it wasn’t, you didn’t respond from quick enough, right? So our system then takes over and starts communicating with this potential lead. Right away. Whether it’s like, Hey, thanks very much. It’s like a text message that gets sent to them automatically tries to get them to book into a calendar call.
Our client gets notified on their phone right away. It starts sending emails to them. We’ll even try to phone them to keep that touching going, and it’ll start touching them for seven days in a row until they opt out. Just to make sure that we’re hitting them, we’re not missing that possibility. So it’s not only just having a great structured add, it’s what you do after that lead comes in to close them.
If you’re not contacting ’em with their first two minutes, you likely will lose them. So that’s why we use that the automated system that we have afterwards. And so that’s the structure that we see. So it’s, again, it’s very different. Very bright colors, very, big images, big headlines.
Big prices on the ads.
And then how do you select the demographics? And what factors do you consider when selecting the demographics of the prospects or the prospect buyers
Mostly the demographics are age, so over 35 Mentioned 35. Facebook. Yeah. Facebook has really pulled back.
Some of the targeting options that you have for whatever reasons. I don’t necessarily agree with them all, but things like targeting income levels, that, that type of thing. So it’s mostly ages and then also locations that our clients are targeting. And then we have the different targeting when it comes to what their interests are, but that’s not demographics.
So it’s mostly 35 plus. Because and in some areas, even like Florida, we’ll go 40 plus because it tends to skew a little bit older in a state like Florida even California, the same thing as, it tends to skew a little bit older because the home values are that much higher there. And we have pulled them back down to 30 years old depending on the area we’re targeting.
But it’s mostly 35 plus. 30 plus, yeah. Mostly men and women both. But nothing in terms of income anymore, income targeting or saying top 30% of people, whatever we found that just ends up being really expensive. So it’s pretty simple what the demographics are that we’re targeting.
And then do you use any tools for tracking the conversions?
Yes. Obviously we use. Facebook’s own built-in tracking with the lead gen. But we also use I dunno if you’ve ever heard of it, high level, which is a Yeah, absolutely. High level’s. Fantastic. So with the, with that we have.
The leads come in, go right into high level. We have a high level agency account that we bring our clients into. Correct. So there, they’re able to track, it’s even a CRM for them as well, is that they see the leads, what, what stage their leads are in. And it also tracks the phone calls that come in from it, the lead forms that come in, and they can move them around depending on where they are in that stage of from lead to closing to install everything there so we can, so everything that we look at is tracked.
Length of the phone call, what was in the form, Phil? And even our system that we use to contact these leads, with the questions that are initially asked to them with making sure that we can keep them in that process is all within high level. So our clients can look at that and if necessary, they can use the app on their phone to contact those leads as well.
So it’s we find for us at high level is the one tool that we use the most of. And I don’t think it’s it’s something that we really couldn’t live without as well. If we have a big client, For example, who has multiple locations. We’ll probably encourage ’em to get their own high level account so that they can have all of that there themselves.
Absolutely. And right and as well as that nobody ever keeps a client forever, unfortunately. I wish I could say that. We do. It just doesn’t happen for whatever reasons. And it’s at a client that size, it’s a good idea to have their own high level account so that they can keep everything with them, whether they like us or they don’t, at least they have everything themselves.
Absolutely. We’ll, all, we all talk about, legacy clients, but there is always shell life to it as well.
Exactly right. We’re nobody’s perfect.
Yeah. In this particular segment we all know that reviews play an important role. Online reviews, me offering for an AC repair, always look into the reviews for that particular business.
In your system, in your agency, how do you acquire or, manage online reviews for that matter, and how impactful do you feel are those reviews for any particular HVAC business?
Obviously reviews are important. And we know that because some people will do reviews for it.
Some of the ads that we do will have their Google reviews or their a or their Better Business Bureau rating, or even home advisor in the us their reviews there to get those reviews and to get happy people to leave reviews is very difficult. And most people who are happy don’t leave reviews if people are upset.
Right? Absolutely. They’re gonna go leave bad reviews. As, as much as they can. That’s just when people are upset, they’re like, I’m gonna go tell ’em exactly what I think. Whereas somebody’s happy, it’s I’m supposed to be happy. So they don’t leave reviews, they have paid for it, exactly. So what we have to do is we have to try to. Get them more reviews. And one of the ways that we found over the years that works well is a review management system that I came up with where, okay, so let’s say an installer or repair tech goes into a home, installs an air conditioner, furnace, or repairs it.
We have, we, we get a pi, a bi, like a postcard done for them that has their name on it, has a QR code, and it says, Hey can you go and leave us a review by scanning this QR code to, and if you leave the review, we’ll give you a gift card, whether it’s to Starbucks or some other place like Home Depot or Amazon, like a really inexpensive one because those, those reviews are valuable.
Let’s even a. Even a five or $10 Starbucks gift card for most businesses to get a review. That’s a steal, right? If you give that away, so they get this card, they scan it, and then they’re brought to a site that. We control. So what we do is we have a list of their reviews that they’ve had before. We this client and also their star rating and said, Hey, can you leave us review?
We’ll send you over a $10 Starbucks gift card. What the idea seeing is that they see the good reviews. We’re gonna inspire them to give a good reviews so they can leave the review if they leave a four or five star review. The system will then send them to another page that says, Hey, thanks very much for this great review.
Can you go leave this on here, Google my business home advisor or whatever else, and we’ll send you an additional gift card if you go leave this review elsewhere. So then we’re trying to get them to leave that other review. If they don’t, they can still be put on their website, right? That they can have that review.
We want to get it on those other sites. But if it’s less than a four or five star review, It says, Hey, we’re story. We didn’t give you a five star service. We’ll be contacting you to see what we could have done better and it doesn’t give them the link to go somewhere else so we can manage that.
You can’t control your online reputation, but you can try to manage it. And we found that this was the best way to manage it, to try to avoid those less than four star reviews going on any of their important sites. So again, it’s that you have to bribe. These people to leave reviews if they’re happy it’s a shame that you have to do it, but it’s just the fact, right?
I know for me, I’ve probably left more bad reviews and I’ve left good reviews for places I’ve been because if I’m happy, I feel like I’m supposed to be happy. And that’s the wrong way of thinking, but the bribing works well and making sure that we’re not sending them directly to a Google My Business listing saying, Hey, go leave a review.
We don’t really know what kind of review they’re gonna leave. And the other thing we try to do is that try to convince these business owners that when they send their texts there, have a monthly contest, whoever can get the most reviews posted. And get like a bonus or a gift card themselves so that they have a reason to leave that postcard to try to convince them to leave a review Now.
So that, and we want to get those reviews because again, it looks better when people are doing research, right? Absolutely. There are other things when it comes to, the factors that they have in terms of seo, but that’s obviously another, that’s another whole other question.
Absolutely. It is also important on the part of businesses to take care and actually work upon the bad reviews or negative reviews that they care, so that they actually look upon those reviews and try and rectify their mistakes so that, the particular consumer was actually giving that review.
If he or she comes back and, lets the people know that, hey, this is the mistake that they committed. Initially there was some sort of disagreement that in terms of the service that I had received. But so and so business actually went ahead and rectified or, covered up for that Misty’s.
So that’s right. Gives me, me as a prospective buyer, more confidence that even even if a business is not. There are every chance, like you mentioned earlier, no one is perfect, right? So there is that, there is a possibility that things might go wrong, but if in case that does, then this particular business versus other businesses have higher chances of, Taking care of their own mis doings versus people who actually just let it go, and focused on just positive reviews.
So yeah, that is also one aspect of that where ownership lies with the businesses to take care of negative reviews, work upon them make sure that these customers are satisfied at the end of the day.
Exactly. And the other interesting that we found, and just on our own and also through research, most people don’t believe.
When you have a five star review for your business, they don’t. Yeah, absolutely. And if they see 4.8, 4.9 uhhuh, a lot of times they wouldn’t go. Okay. That seems more realistic to me than five. Oh, absolutely. Because they, a lot of ’em will look at five. Oh and think and I don’t know if you’ve ever heard this term before, but years ago when you could fake Google reviews a lot easier, they’ve really fixed it.
Yeah, absolutely. It was called astroturfing. Right where you go in and you put up your own reviews. So people have this feeling that they don’t necessarily believe it unless they see a few bad reviews. Like I know for myself is that when we’re traveling with the business, when we’re going to trade shows, we’re gonna, we’re looking for places to go eat that have a lot of reviews and aren’t necessarily five stars.
Because if it’s five stars, they, we just go, ah, we know that isn’t real. Yeah. Because not everybody’s happy. That’s again, no business. Yeah. Nobody,
no. Something like a 4.23 ish to 4.67 ish is more realistic Yeah. In terms of review versus a five starter.
And on top of that, if the volume of the reviews are more and it, it is a mixed bag. Of reviews wherein, you are getting fi five stars, you’re getting four stars and overall, averaging out comes out to be somewhere in 4.5. 4.4. Yeah. Then it seems more realistic, exactly. No business is perfect and these five star, less number of reviews, let’s say 10 or five, eight reviews, everyone’s saying, brilliant service, good service, good product. That does not make that amount of sense, yeah, I can completely relate to that. Okay. Okay. Before we let you go, carry, looking ahead, what trends do you see emerging in the world of online marketing for HVAC businesses and at HBS E Grow, how are you preparing to adapt your strategies to stay ahead of the curve?
What we see right now, That is the big opportunity and the things that are train are changing or trending is AI and use, for example, is that one of the things that we’ve done in the last two months is that we are using ai, meaning specifically chat, g p t, correct to on our own website for saying, Hey, text us 24 7.
And so if somebody wants to text us to ask us questions about our own service. They can click on it and they can start a conversation. And it doesn’t matter what time of the day, we have set up chat, g p t with the AI to answer questions the way we want it answered. And the stuff it does is absolutely blowing me away at how well it answers these questions.
So we’ve had people who are looking to get or interested about our services, go click on the button, start the chat. Ask a question to it. Say, Hey, do you do this? This? What do I gotta do? And chat. G P T just starts answering these questions. It’s just wow. It’s like a real person answering it.
Yeah. We’ve even said, yeah, we’ve even set it up so that, if somebody asks a question or starts interacting with it, is that it doesn’t answer right away. There’s a delay because a real human is not gonna be able to answer a three or four sentence response. Absolutely. Okay. And we get people that start interacting and then we’re trying to push them into scheduling a call with us, and then they go schedule a call and we’re like, wow, this is really working well.
And one of the things that shocked us is that we had somebody go there the first time, and we’ve seen it now multiple times. They asked a question in Spanish because in the United States, There are a lot of Spanish speaking people. Now, me being an idiot from the west coast of Canada, I speak English and I don’t even speak English very well.
I don’t even speak any of the language. So we looked at this and went, and then they asked a question in Spanish chat, G P T responded in Spanish and we were like, what the right? And it Caryd on a conversation with this person until they booked a call with us and we’re like, We had no idea could do this.
Now the thing that, the trend that we see is that what we want, what we’re doing is that this is something that we’re rolling out in the next week here, is we are going to offer this to our clients so that they can have 24 7 chat, like via text message, sms. From their website, so they don’t have to have somebody sitting there manning watching the chat to make sure that they can respond, that we can have that set up for them for a very small cost each month to have that interaction happening if somebody comes to their website in the middle of the night with a question and try to get them to book them into a call from there.
So ai. I think even in the next three months is gonna be massive. And I think over a long period of time it’s going to be and not just for the chat side of things is that, I know the SEO side of things for creating content that chat, G p D and AI is gonna be creating content for that.
And I know Google’s right now realizing they really have to do a lot to fight this because, they don’t want people creating content in five seconds for a website. So that’s pull the rank. So to me it’s number one, ai. Number two is there’s a big opportunity, I think in Google, P C right now because there’s a lot of businesses that are not managing their PC well, and what we’re finding is that if you can hang on for 90 days, get that algorithm learning and then teaching it where you want your ads to show who you want your ads to show to.
That cost per lead goes down and down Uhhuh, and you can really get that thing powerful if you after 90 days, that if you can get to that phase where you’re through maximize conversions to total cost per action saying, Hey, I want leads at $80 a lead from this. That you can just turn it on and have leads coming in one after the other. It’s so many times, and I’m sure you’ve seen this, That people do PPC and they bail after 30 days because they think this isn’t working and Right. So it’s a matter of, getting that PC set up correctly for long-term results and not bailing out in the first 30 days.
I, social media ads are not going anywhere. I don’t believe they’re doing, still doing very well for us. Number one, ai. And number two, getting back into P C and doing it correctly to get the most. Now there are other things like YouTube and such, but that’s a whole other story Yeah. That we don’t have time for.
Great. Great. So thank you. Thank you, Cary. Thank you for taking out time for this episode. And I’m sure our audiences will have benefited a lot. Hearing about it from the master of HVAC online marketing, if I can put it that way. So thank you so much for your time. It has been a real pleasure posting you, Cary, and we’ll try and get hold of you for another one and then your future.
sure. Thank you very much. I appreciate you having us on. Having me on here yeah. Thanks.
Thank you, Cary. Have a great day. Yeah, cheers. You too.
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