The Beginner’s Guide to Grassroots Marketing That Works

What Is Grassroots Marketing?

If you want to stay in business long enough to reach the goals you initially made in your business plan, you will need to spend resources marketing to new customers. There are a variety of marketing strategies to consider for reaching new segments of the consumer population. Digital marketing professionals mainly go people by incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to draw search engine users to a company’s website organically. They do this by incorporating keywords into website content. However, digital marketing experts have figured out a new method for pulling crowds of visitors by combining the traditional technique of creating a grassroots marketing campaign.

Grassroots marketing is when an advertising agency or brand starts a message with a small group of people hoping the news will grow to a much more significant proportion. Instead of telling many people at once, marketing professionals tell a small group of influencers to spread the word to their respective audiences. It’s important to realize that grassroots marketing doesn’t have to be done on computers. It’s a marketing concept that has been around longer than the internet. Yet, marketing experts have seen its evolution by incorporating techniques to optimize grassroots campaigns for the modern age of digital marketing.

If you’re wondering what a grassroots marketing campaign is, you’ve come to the right place. This beginner’s guide goes into detail about the benefits of grassroots marketing. It discusses the key differences between grassroots marketing and guerrilla marketing. You’ll learn why grassroots marketing is essential today and discover how to build an optimized campaign for your business. Get ready to bring more clicks to your website and more people to your brand by utilizing the concepts you’re learning about grassroots marketing.

Benefits of Grassroots Marketing

Before you start gearing up for your first grassroots marketing campaign, remind yourself what you should expect to get out of this process. It’s important to reflect upon your business plan before deciding where to spend resources on marketing efforts. You might find that starting a grassroots marketing campaign cohesively aligns with your marketing plan, for it will often work to achieve customer loyalty, brand recognition, and other standard marketing goals. Incorporating this strategy and different digital and traditional marketing strategies is recommended to achieve the most growth for your business.

Benefit 1: Cost-Efficient Marketing Strategy

When running a business, you must make every dollar of your budget count. You impress investors with your frugal spending habits, and you’re making good on paying back your acquired loans. However, you need to spend money to make money. One of the ways you’re going to make money is by marketing your business with digital and traditional marketing techniques recommended to you by professionals.

The most significant benefit of experimenting with a grassroots marketing campaign is the low cost associated with this strategy. Most traditional marketing campaigns will take much of your budget, and digital marketing techniques require constant maintenance. However, a grassroots marketing campaign has the potential to bring in plenty of customers without being a drain on your company’s funds.

Benefit 2: Quickly Gather Large Groups of Loyal Customers

Finding a marketing strategy that can potentially gather large groups of loyal customers in such a short period is rare. Still, several companies have demonstrated how it’s possible through a grassroots campaign. When grassroots campaigns work as intended, the brand behind the movement does more than gain attention for their cause. The result is consumers gaining trust in a brand, and this type of relationship is the pinnacle of success in marketing a product or service.

By using grassroots marketing, notable brands have created conversations with consumers without actually being the voice that’s speaking to the consumer. This technique incorporates a common medium to which consumers will listen. If an influential individual or company recommends your product or service to consumers, more people will want to look at your company’s offerings.

Benefit 3: For the Love of Being Local

One of the appealing parts of starting a grassroots marketing campaign is the drive to work with local communities where your business has the most impact. Volunteering to work with non-profits is a great way to get involved in the community, and it will put you in touch with members of the business community who are in a position to tell others about your cause. In addition, community events are an exciting and engaging way to interact with consumers, and the cost of getting involved with local events is inexpensive.

Benefit 4: Spreading the Word Through the Voices of Others

The main reason that this strategy is such a successful marketing technique is that you are relying on the brilliance of those around you. Influential people and brands already exist, and crowds of followers continue to come back to them for more recommendations on products and services. In addition, there are influencers in politics, entertainment, sports, medicine, and other industries. These individuals continue to impact their audiences through their works, so getting one of their voices to talk about your company will put your brand at the tip of each of their fans’ tongues.

Guerrilla Marketing vs. Grassroots

What is Guerrilla Marketing?

One of the most common misconceptions about grassroots marketing is that it’s also known as guerrilla marketing. While grassroots marketing involves speaking to a specific group of consumers to market to a larger group, guerrilla marketing does something different. Guerrilla marketing involves communicating to consumers in an imaginative way that creates interest in a brand. Typically, guerrilla marketing is seen as a tactic, and grassroots marketing is a strategy. Of course, one could incorporate guerrilla marketing tactics into a grassroots campaign, but the grassroots campaign does not need to be made solely out of guerrilla tactics.

How Is Guerrilla Marketing Similar to Grassroots Marketing?

The main reason why so many marketing professionals confuse guerrilla marketing with grassroots marketing is that these two marketing terms involve speaking directly to consumers creatively, which seems unorthodox to outsiders. For example, people might see a grassroots campaign taking place at a local event to talk to influential moderators. They might think the movement is an effective guerrilla strategy because it’s highly imaginative. Still, the action is a grassroots strategy because the intention is to have the targeted group spread the word about the brand.

What Are the Key Differences?

Knowing the key differences between these two marketing strategies will help you feel more confident when presenting information to your team. You might even want to address this misconception with your team members to ensure everyone is on the same page when you move forward with your next marketing campaign. The critical difference is that guerrilla tactics can be used for various marketing strategies, and grassroots can implement different marketing tactics. They are not terms that should be used interchangeably. For example, a grassroots campaign relying on local sponsors to spread the word about a brand is not using guerrilla marketing tactics.

Why Is Grassroots Marketing Important?

This technique has been around since businesses started convincing customers to buy products based on the recommendations of a famous individual. However, the term was first coined three decades ago. Jay Conrad Levinson developed the name in a book about guerrilla marketing. Levinson rallied for this marketing strategy because it created loyalty in customers that might have never heard of the brands they purchased without the influence of another individual.

This marketing technique might sound challenging to master. Still, it is possible to start an effective grassroots marketing strategy that works to accomplish some of the goals you’ve set for your business. It might take time to perfect the messages you deliver to influential people. Still, there are various methods to help your brand make a clear transition from your voice to theirs, and a little effort has the potential to prove its worth in profits for your company.

Understanding the benefits and learning about the history of grassroots marketing is vital to appreciate this concept. However, your business will never grow from these ideas if you don’t take the time to put them into practice. Work with your marketing team to develop your grassroots campaigns, or hire a third-party marketing company to help you get started. Knowing the intricate nature of this marketing strategy will make those conversations with your team much more accessible.

How to Start a Grassroots Marketing Campaign

Each marketing strategy requires a solid plan to reach the goals that will drive consumers to your business. There’s no way to create a worthwhile grassroots plan without taking notes on how it’s done. Work with professional marketing experts, and read tips about how powerful brands put together their marketing plans to find the motivation to create your grassroots campaign.

  • Step 1: Research your target demographic to figure out trends.
  • Step 2: Make discoveries of your audience’s desires, pains, and personas.
  • Step 3: Create informative content that appeals to your audience’s emotions.
  • Step 4: Spread this information to target groups, asking others to share your content with their social circles.

How to Optimize a Grassroots Marketing Campaign

According to SEO experts, everything on the web should receive optimization to perform as intended. For example, suppose you want your brand to receive recognition through your efforts to organize a grassroots marketing campaign. In that case, you need to pay close attention to what marketing professionals say about using SEO to draw more people to your content. When you launch your first grassroots campaign, you will want to see that your content reaches enough people. If you don’t spend time optimizing your web pages, images, and videos, you might be disappointed with the results of the marketing campaign that you spent so much time perfecting.

Step 1: Grassroots Campaign Webpages

Whenever you add something about your grassroots campaign to the internet, you must ensure that those web pages are treated the same way you would treat any other content page for your business. Don’t be shy about announcing your brand’s activities to get involved with events and work with local community organizations. If it’s important enough for your company to make an effort to connect with customers, you need to put information on your website to help generate buzz for your business.

Step 2: Make Pages Mobile Friendly

One of the most important SEO tactics you must include in every grassroots webpage is ensuring mobile users aren’t left out of the experience. Many of the people your brand is trying to attract prefer mobile devices over desktop computers.

Step 3: Incorporate Other SEO Tactics

Incorporate other SEO tactics onto your web pages for the grassroots campaign you’re setting up, such as using location-based keywords and creating compelling content.

Stats About Grassroots Marketing?

Even if you are convinced that this marketing strategy is right for your company, you might need a few stats about the efficiency of grassroots marketing to help persuade your board members.

  • According to Neil Patel, grassroots campaign visual content is shared more often. In a survey conducted in 2017 by eMarketer, organic graphics have the highest engagement of all visual content, as indicated by 41.5% of survey respondents. Data visualizations came in second at 25.7% of respondent votes. Videos and presentations received 20.2% of respondent votes.
  • An example of a grassroots campaign that had phenomenal success by optimizing its strategies with digital marketing techniques is the promotion that a small brand called WestJet launched during the holidays in 2013. The video was emotional enough to draw the attention of a few groups of consumers that shared it with their circles. It ended up receiving nearly 50 million views.