We all have our eyes and ears pinned to the news headlines in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, and it is still unclear when the HVAC, home performance, and solar industries will be able to return to “business as usual.” How is all of this time at home affecting the homeowner mindset, and what can you do in the meantime to make sure your digital marketing efforts are primed for the return to what will be the new normal?
In addition to our COVID-19 resource page for tips on company communications, updates from our team, relevant industry news, and more, our CEO Peter Troast and the rest of the team at Energy Circle put together two webinars in recent weeks, uncovering The Homeowner Mindset During COVID-19 and How to Self-Assess & Determine Your Plan During the COVID-19 Crisis. Here’s what you should know.
What the Data Says About Homeowner Mindset
Throughout our industries, the “healthy home” movement has been near and dear to many contractors. But for the most part, this term has failed to take wind (though there has been a slow but steady increase). We are hopeful that coming out on the other side of this crisis, a healthy home may be of increasing importance to homeowners all over the country.
Google Trends has shown a steady increase in searches for “healthy home,” with a severe spike happening in early 2020. We think this can be safely attributed to COVID-19.
The idea of a healthy home is getting more press, but in our case the phrase “any press is good press” may not hold true. For example, back in 2016, Vogue reported that indoor air pollutants could have a negative effect on skin health, but the recommended solution was a $500 portable air purifier. The challenge presented to our industries continues to be converting the homeowner to think about whole-home solutions, instead of insufficient bandage fixes.
Searching Around IAQ
Digging deeper into homeowner awareness around the health of their homes uncovers that IAQ is seeing only modest interest:
A spike in searches for “indoor air quality” in early March resumed relative normalcy in the following weeks.
However, the rise in searches for air purification related terms, as well as cleaning and disinfecting, have gone up anywhere from 650% to 3450%:
So, where does the opportunity lie? Using a collection of our own data and calculations, we have found that the terms with the highest opportunity are in relation to a “test.” This is one way to bridge the gap between the health concern of homeowners, and the actual performance of their home. Here are the terms we found provided the most opportunity:
What Can You Do in the Meantime?
So, what can be done in this downtime to keep your business in the conversation, while homeowners are thinking about the health of their homes? We have seen a few interesting tactics worth mentioning:
- Virtual energy audits, quotes, consults, and IAQ monitoring
- IAQ monitoring: implemented now using no-touch or mail-in procedures
- Getting more aggressive about financing options
- Emphasis clever incentives (“same as cash, we’ll pay the first 3 months”)
- Focus on “zero contact” measures that can operate outside of the living space, like:
- Heat pump water heater installation
- Rooftop solar
- Crawlspace repair
- Pool pumps
- Exterior moisture control
The Healthy Home Customer Journey
We know homeowners are thinking more and more about the health and safety of their homes. We also know that there is a gap to bridge between understanding the difference between quick fixes and true whole-home solutions. So how does that fit into the customer journey, and where should you prioritize your messaging?
Here are a few ways to implement these concepts on your site, outside of the previously mentioned content topics.
Create Content that Connects
Blog or landing page topics that connect current health concerns with your services could include:
“Air purifiers and COVID-19”
“The air in your house - where does it come from?”
“Is your house making you sick?”
“The benefits of fresh air ventilation system”
“Your house, your kids, and asthma”
“Low levels of carbon monoxide - are you safe?”
“Pests in your walls - not just an annoyance”
Long Form Storytelling with Advanced Landing Pages
Connecting the dots can be done with the read and scroll method of these more advanced landing pages that guide the reader step-by-step through the process.
Case Studies and Testimonials
The voice of your customers is priceless. Finding an IAQ or healthy-home related customer quote, testimonial, or case study is a testament to the final product, not just the promise of health. Social media can be a prime channel for the emotion of stories like this, as it is a less aggressive form of “marketing”.
Update on the Suspension of GMB Reviews
The latest we are hearing from Google is that though they previously stopped processing and posting GMB reviews, they are rolling this service back out on a category-by-category basis. We will continue to keep you updated as this progresses.
Preparing for the Rebound
Though it may be a “new normal”, our industries will eventually be able to resume business as usual. If you are looking for other ways to prepare for the rebound, and the potential rubber-band effect of high incoming lead volume as health officials and government agencies deem it safe to be out of our homes, we have put together a comprehensive and updated resource guide here, in addition to our COVID-19 resources page.