Grassroots marketing involves a brand creating highly targeted content for a particular niche or audience. When an organization engages in grassroots marketing, it focuses on a small group of people with the hope that its marketing message is shared with a progressively larger audience.
Understanding grassroots marketing
In this way, grassroots marketing is similar to viral or word-of-mouth advertising. Each is primarily concerned with creating content the target audience naturally wants to share.
Social media is particularly important in grassroots marketing since the strategy relies on virality to succeed. By collaborating with an influencer or similar individual, the business has a cost-effective means of getting its message in front of a highly targeted audience.
Implementing grassroots marketing
Step 1 – Understand the target audience
An oft-repeated but vitally important step. Without a proper understanding of the target audience, consumers are less likely to share content with others.
Step 2 – Inspire action through creativity
From a single store to more than 60,000 worldwide, the social currency of grassroots marketing is responsible for the growth of coffee company Starbucks. It managed to foster an emotional connection with its customers through environmental stewardship, global responsibility, and ethical sourcing.
Businesses who need some creativity pointers should consider the following:
- Social currency – how can content be shared organically? Content should also be easy to share.
- Practical value – start small by solving the greatest challenges of one customer.
- Free samples – give limited quantities of the product away for free or incorporate a freemium business model.
- Triggers – or elements that reinforce the brand association.
Step 3 – Focus on the storytelling aspect
Good storytelling touches on emotions which are a powerful driver of the organic spread grassroots marketing relies on.
Storytelling helps the product create a user experience that inspires, delights, or amazes. Every story must be the story of the target audience. In other words, it must be something they can relate to and then feel compelled to share.
Step 4 – Don’t neglect reviews
Reviews are also an integral aspect of gaining organic traction online.
Businesses should seek to build their reputation through Google, Yelp, or whatever review site is most relevant to their product.
- Grassroots marketing involves creating highly targeted content for a small group of people. The ultimate aim is to produce content the group is compelled to share with others organically.
- Like viral or word-of-mouth advertising, grassroots marketing is most effective when used in conjunction with the virality and influence of social media.
- Grassroots marketing starts with a deep understanding of the target audience and then finding ways to creatively market to them. Telling relatable stories and using product reviews are also crucial aspects.
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