When we think of marketing and advertising, our mind often jumps to those big gestures that draw the eyes of hundreds. Posters and billboards in busy city streets, TV spots, digital marketing campaigns and more. For established brands, building complete strategies around their marketing efforts is often the best approach. They have the budget to afford to be seen en masse and can work with professional ad agencies to help them develop ground-breaking campaigns.
For smaller businesses that don’t have a large budget available to them, ad agencies and dazzling campaigns might feel far out of reach. For those just getting started, the right approach might look very different. Small businesses can do the opposite instead of starting from the top down by marketing to as many people as possible and hoping the target audience comes through.
By utilising grassroots marketing techniques, they can first target small, niche groups and inform them about a product hoping that the message will spread to a larger crowd.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the principles behind Grassroot Marketing.
What is Grassroot Marketing?
Grassroot marketing started off as marketing via the communications between one person to another person. As a result of the internet, things have changed since then. The principle, however, stays the same:
Grassroot marketing suggests that you start at the very bottom with the people you can easily access, therefore keeping your marketing budget to a minimum.
Everything about grassroots marketing comes down to the power of personal relationships. Brands target clients that could benefit from the product or even seek it out directly. Nowadays, brands can use the internet and targeted messages to aim for their content to go viral, boosting the effectiveness of word of mouth.
All grassroots marketing messages should have some things in common. They need to be easy to read and spread and take advantage of a customer’s existing motivation. It also usually required giving something away first, like a free sample or product.
Examples of Grassroot Marketing for Small Businesses
Here are a few marketing methods that fall into the category of Grassroot Marketing:
Product Samples and Demos
Demonstrations and samples are a great way to show off products and promote their worth. A sample can lead to a craving or an appreciation for something a customer might otherwise never have tried. Samples also feel thoughtful and make customers excited for new products and offerings. For example, suppose your products are not consumable or perishable. In that case, you can use demonstrations to showcase how functional, reliable, or well-designed your product is. Customers that get to have hands-on experiences with your products will be much more likely to revisit the idea of buying.
Showing up at local events is a great way to solidify your presence in your community, which might just be the first audience to become your loyal customers. In addition, you can leave a mark on events with inexpensive promotional products like pens and bags. Suppose you can’t attend for logistical reasons. In that case, you can also consider establishing a sponsoring partnership with event planners to get your name out there.
One of the best ways to get customers to share their love for your product with others is by incentivising them with real benefits. Referral benefits could include discounts and coupons, free products, exclusive content, etc. By rewarding referrals, you are guaranteed more word-of-mouth marketing. You will also get repeat business from customers that look forward to turning in their referral perks.
Every small business needs a website, but get started for free on social media like Facebook and Instagram if you’re not there yet. Being active on social media helps customers get to know you, hear about new products and offerings, and share your content. Nowadays, audiences often prefer to contact small businesses via social media rather than by phone or in person.
Let Your Customers Advertise for You
If you sell a photogenic product, you could benefit from user-generated content. Encourage your repeat customers to post about your business on social media and, in turn, feature them on yours. Including your customers directly in your social media strategy is a great way to establish an authentic, customer-friendly and intimate brand.
What comes next?
Grassroots marketing is an excellent way for small businesses to get started with advertising. But to start reaching more people, it is never too early to think about more far-reaching ad campaigns.
ZAK agency is an ad agency in London. We work with authentic and innovative brands to get their message across to the right people, encourage good customer relationships, and understand what your audience wants. Get in touch today to discuss what the next step for your business might be.