Many small business owners don’t have the budget to sponsor massive advertising campaigns.
That’s why they rely on grassroots marketing to help them get their message across to their target audience in the most cost-efficient way.
Grassroots marketing simply refers to “starting from the ground up” which is where most brands begin.
Although grassroots marketing is particularly well-suited to small businesses, it can also be used by larger brands as an effective strategy to make smaller, more targeted campaigns viable.
In this article, we take a look at 5 effective grassroots marketing strategies that you can use in 2020 and the coming years.
Implement each of the strategies to help you spread your message organically and grow your business without exhausting your marketing budget.
1. Host a Local Event
If you own a brick-and-mortar business, a great way to get customers through your doors is to host a fun event.
Invite popular local performers to keep the crowd entertained and organize giveaways that you can hand out to the people who attend.
This strategy works even if you don’t own a physical business.
You can still participate in local events, such as craft shows, church fundraisers, school events, etc., which are all great places to inform your neighbors and community about your business.
Look in the paper, on Facebook, and on bulletin boards, or ask around to find nearby events.
The goal when implementing a strategy like this one which involves networking at local events is to integrate yourself into the community and develop a strong presence.
The more your potential customers see you, the more they will trust you, and that ultimately translates into more business.
2. Use Tear-Off Flyers
Tear-off flyers are among the most cost-effective ways to market your business today. They work particularly well if the focus of your business is predominantly local.
Although some advertisers don’t use them in grassroots marketing campaigns because they believe this type of advertising is most suited for yard sales and offering dog walking services, the truth is that flyers are still relevant in marketing today. Many companies offer flyer templates to assist in making your flyers look professional.
Large brands like Weight Watchers and Bosch have used this flier-based marketing tactic successfully to spread the word about their business.
You can also use this strategy to get your message across right into the hands of your target customers in a very affordable way.
In addition to being cost-effective, flyers also offer you customizable content and delivery.
You can customize them for the appropriate audience in terms of the message contained in the flyer, as well as the way the flyers are delivered.
Whether you deliver them on the street, at events, or to your prospects’ homes, you can target the people who are most likely to be receptive to your brand’s message.
3. Offer Product Samples
This is an easy one. People love samples. Giving out free samples is a great way to market your product or service to your audience without being too pushy or draining your budget.
And, the more prospects who sample your product or service, the more likely it is that you will grow your base of advocates who are willing to help you promote it.
For instance, if you:
- Own a hair salon, you might offer free haircuts to the homeless or to the seniors at a senior community center near you.
- Run a restaurant, you could give samples of your products to potential clients.
- Are in the pet industry, you might organize free animal checkup services.
This doesn’t have to cost you a lot, but you will get vast benefits in return.
In addition to connecting with your community, you also instantly get raving fans who love your products and are thrilled to refer more business to you.
4. Get Behind Causes
The world we live in is socially conscious. Both consumers and companies are striving to become more socially aware.
According to CSIC, 9 out of 10 millennials say they would be willing to switch to a brand that is associated with a cause. That’s why a lot of brands are partnering with large-scale causes or nonprofit organizations.
By doing so, they get opportunities to be present at their events, be seen as a sponsor for the cause, and possibly even get access to the organization’s media channels.
Partnering up with a charity is a great strategy to adopt as it will help you build on the trust you have with your audience, as well as spread your message to an entirely new one.
And, if it’s a well-known charity, there is a possibility that the press will cover the event giving you even more exposure.
When attending charity events, make the most of it by wearing T-shirts with your logo and company name on them.
Take photos of you and your staff of volunteering, and then share them on social media and on your blog.
This is a great way to boost your marketing efforts while giving back to your community.
5. Word of Mouth
Last, but certainly not least, you can use word-of-mouth. This has always been the most effective form of marketing because, by nature, humans trust recommendations from friends, family, and acquaintances.
So, use this to your advantage and incentivize customers to become brand ambassadors and share your products or services with their friends.
Reward them with discounts, freebies, and special insights into great new things that are coming.
Give them a feeling of being connected and an important part of the community, and they will happily spread your message and amplify your reach.
The key to running a successful grassroots marketing campaign is to think big but start small.
Use the strategies listed here to build your brand and get your products in front of new customers.
Remember to monitor your results so you can see which strategies work best to help you meet your business objectives.
Have you tried any grassroots tactics in your marketing? If so, let us know in the comments sections below!
Featured image: free grass image from Pixabay via Pexels; edited in Canva.
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