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Do you have an audience you are trying to reach that defies traditional segmentation? Looking for a low-key way to reach niche audiences that doesn’t involve blanket mass media advertisements? Have you failed to meet target engagement goals for months on end utilizing your standard outreach techniques?
In case you answered yes to any of these questions, a grassroots marketing campaign may be just the solution you’re looking for.
Grassroots marketing can take many forms: from reaching audiences where they live, work and play to building up a loyal following that promotes your brand by word-of-mouth and social media to developing local partnerships to target your outreach efforts at a community or even personal level.
Should you still be unsure about the value of grassroots marketing strategies or if it makes sense for your latest campaign, here are 3 situations where these marketing strategies could prove successful:
1) You need to reach a small, niche audience
There are times in every marketer’s career when the audience they are trying to reach is such a small, non-traditional segment that typical communication channels just don’t make sense. If you are trying to reach males under 40 who are more than six feet tall with green eyes or need to recruit applicants for a Japanese and English bilingual retail position in Omaha, you may want to consider grassroots marketing strategies. While these niche groups do exist and may even congregate online or in person, they are too small to justify buying traditional media placements. Instead of broadcasting to an overly large group, try interacting with your target audience in the communities where they work and live. Find the tall guys playing pickup volleyball at the beach or the bilingual applicants at a meeting of Nebraskan Japanese movie fans.
2) You have a limited marketing budget
Grassroots marketing typically involves a lot of time and effort from your team members but relatively little payment to outside vendors. It is all about getting creative. Setting up tables at small community events takes time but usually costs only a couple hundred dollars (and can even be free) while similar exhibits at large trade shows can easily run into the tens of thousands with sponsorship packages. You pay your staff for their time as it is and sometimes it’s nice to get out of the office and meet people face to face. Partnerships with local businesses and non-profits can also be great ways to get your name out in front of people for relatively little investment. Sponsor your employees to join a charity run or walk supporting cancer research and provide them matching company-branded shirts. Everyone loves to feel like part of a team and hundreds (or even thousands at larger events) of other participants, volunteers and spectators will see your group and get a positive impression of your offerings at the same time.
3) You have a strong core of dedicated fans
Your biggest fans can be your strongest promoters. People are most influenced by their respected, close friends and family. When you have followers that love your products make it easy for them to spread the word. Give them discount codes to share with friends through social media or sneak peeks of upcoming releases that they’ll be eager to write blog and forum posts about. By delighting your customers and providing perks to your biggest fans, you can turn them into brand ambassadors who will work for free to endorse your offerings to everyone they meet.
Grassroots marketing works best when it is creative and personal, two things that many traditional strategies lack. To learn more about what you can do to improve your marketing efforts, download our free ebook with tons of tips to maximize your reach online with all audiences.
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