Congratulations! You have managed to get your small start-up business up and running. You have an awesome product, a logo that catches everyone’s eye and a super website to show you mean business. All you need now are new customers. Nowadays there are several marketing tools that you can use to increase your visibility. And if you don’t happen to have a huge budget lying around for advertisement and commercials, a friendly way of getting the word out is by using grassroots marketing.
Conventionally you would want to get your products to as many people as possible, as fast as possible. Opposite to this, grassroots marketing works by delivering the information to a small, focused group that would take your message and spread it further by word of mouth. Connect with people, bring your service to their door and allow your message to be spread organically.
There are several reasons why grassroots marketing could benefit you:
- It is cost effective. Because you are targeting a small group, your costs will be greatly reduced in comparison to a traditional advertisement campaign; in addition, by using free campaigns such as posting on social media and holding contests or giveaways, you will cut your costs significantly.
- It makes small campaigns viable. Due to the specificity of the target group, you can get a higher impact with minimum resources. If you would offer your product to a top reviewer/critique, their positive review would attract more buyers.
- It offers a proactive approach to social trends. Brands that are socially responsive are perceived more favorably than companies that ignore their social fans. By engaging with your audience you leverage the desire for an interactive social experience.
When it comes to implementing grassroots marketing, the most important aspect is understanding what your target group is. The ideal is in having that group become your loyal base of customers who will promote your products. Once you have that figured out, the next step is figuring out what is the best way to reach them and have your message delivered.
We have figured out a list of helpful grassroots strategies that have proven to be more effective.
- Word of mouth. We all talk about what products we use – sometimes we praise them, sometimes we bad-mouth them. Getting people to recommend your products might take time to gain momentum, but once it does, it becomes a very powerful tool.
- Local community events. Offering support to your local community events by being an active participant or supporter, is a great way to raise visibility on your products. You could also pay a small amount to have your add printed on the hundreds of flyers being given at that event.
- Offer product samples. Make the most use of trade fairs to show off your product and services. It is a great opportunity for your message to reach your target group.
- Create or sponsor charity events. This will be a great opportunity to get your brand known and to also help those less privileged. People have a far greater response to companies that show social responsibility.
- Take advantage of social media. We live in an era where almost all the information is received through social media. It is the fastest and most cost-effective way to get your brand known. Methods vary from having a Facebook fan page and twitter account to creating articles on your blog and offering instant support of your website with a live chat.
Grassroots marketing is an incredible tool to use at the beginning of the road if you are able to identify your definite market segment. It comes as an alternative to spending time and money on big advertisement campaigns that would reach groups with no interest in your products or no influence with other groups. Although it may seem difficult to measure the impact of such a campaign, you can implement small trackers such as printing coupons for people to turn in, or keep a count on the number of visitors to your website.
You can check some tips on marketing for a start-up and grassroots strategies in our #behindcloseddoors episode here: