How to Master Grassroots Marketing | Fora Financial Blog
How to Master Grassroots Marketing
April 09, 2019

How to Master Grassroots Marketing

Grassroots marketing is the act of purposely targeting a small group of people in hopes that they’ll help you spread the word about your business.

It starts from the ground up and often uses unconventional methods of marketing. This can cost less than traditional marketing because it often utilizes free and low-cost campaigns. For example, in a traditional marketing campaign, a company would spend a large amount of money on TV advertising to reach the masses, but in a grassroots marketing campaign, they would use a street team to hand out flyers or target a specific niche on social media.

In this post, we’ll list five tips on how small business owners can implement grassroots marketing into their own marketing plan.

5 Grassroots Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses:

1. Foster a Community on Social Media

A survey by Globalwebindex found that 27 percent of people say they use social media to meet new people, and 34 percent of people use social media for general networking. This means many of your potential customers are on social media and looking to meet others just like them.

To capitalize on this, center your social media strategy around building a community for your niche with you acting as the community organizer. Post questions about engaging topics and respond to comments. For instance, if your organization offers vegan clothing, center the discussion around animal cruelty and how to combat it.

2. Sponsor a Local Event or Charity

Using philanthropy in marketing is powerful and consumers, particularly millennials, want to purchase products from a company that supports charity work. In fact, Engage For Good reports that 76 percent of young people said they have purchased or would consider making a purchase to show support for issues supported by a brand.

By sponsoring an event or giving money to a local charity, you’re showing consumers that you care about your community and the welfare of people around you. This may help you gain support from millennials who will tell their friends about your company and the good work you’re doing. If you’re strapped for cash, try purchasing a booth at an event or getting a lower-tired sponsorship instead of sponsoring the entire thing.

3. Setup Sample Tables Around Your City

Everyone loves a free sample, and rarely will people turn one down. Free samples can get a large amount of people to try your product and it encourages impulse purchases. Many of these consumers wouldn’t have tried your product without the free sample, so it also broadens your potential customer base. It’s important to comply with all local laws when setting up your table and giving out samples, and ensure you gain permission from the owners of the location to showcase your product.

4. Give Prizes for Referrals

According to Neilson, recommendations from friends are the most credible form of advertising among consumers. Setting up a program where people can win prizes for telling their friends about your products can help you earn new customers while retaining existing ones.

Incentives give people a reason to tell their friends about your product and become brand ambassadors. To get the most out of this initiative, conduct research and find out exactly what your customers want as rewards, instead of guessing.

5. Partner with Other Businesses

Even if you’re just starting your business, you don’t have to do it alone. More than 627,000 entrepreneurs start small businesses each year and many are looking for advice and partnerships.

For instance, if you sell makeup, you could partner with a local hair salon to provide makeovers. You could also partner with longstanding businesses or non-profit organizations like Boys and Girls Club or Make a Wish Foundation chapters in your city.

Conclusion: Get Involved with Your Community

There are many ways you can implement grassroots marketing, but all of them involve getting out in the community and meeting people (even if it’s online).

Fostering a sense of community is at the heart of grassroots marketing and getting your target audience to help you promote your product can help you grow your business on a smaller budget. In addition, by partnering with other local businesses or nonprofits, you can gain extra exposure and win millennials who want to purchase from companies who are doing social good.

Do you have any tips for using grassroots marketing? Tell us in the comments section below!

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].