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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If you want to stay in business long enough to reach the goals you originally made in your business plan, you’re going to need to spend resources marketing to new customers.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 reach people through incorporating search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to organically draw search engine users to a company’s website. 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 incorporating 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 in hopes that the message will grow to a much larger proportion. Instead of telling many people at once, marketing professionals concentrate on telling a small group of influencers to spread the word to their individual 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 important today, and you’ll discover how to build an optimized grassroots marketing campaign for your own business purposes. 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, take time to remind yourself of what you should expect to get out of this process. It’s important to reflect upon your business plan before making any decisions about where to spend resources on marketing efforts. You might find that the concept of starting a grassroots marketing campaign cohesively aligns with your marketing plan, for it will often work to achieve customer loyalty, brand recognition, and other common marketing goals. Incorporating this strategy along with other digital and traditional marketing strategies is recommended to achieve the most growth for your business.

Benefit 1: Cost-Efficient Marketing Strategy

When you’re running a business, you need to make every single dollar of your budget count. You impress investors with your frugal spending habits, and you’re making good on paying back the loans you’ve acquired. 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 biggest benefit of experimenting with a grassroots marketing campaign is the low cost associated with this strategy. Most traditional marketing campaigns will take a large chunk out of your budget, and digital marketing techniques require constant maintenance to achieve success. However, a grassroots marketing campaign has the potential to bring in plenty of customers without being a drain on your company funds.

Benefit 2: Quickly Gather Large Groups of Loyal Customers

It’s rare to find a marketing strategy with the potential to gather large groups of loyal customers in such a short span of time, but several companies have demonstrated how it’s possible through the use of a grassroots campaign. When grassroots campaigns work like they are intended, the brand behind the campaign does more than gain attention for their cause. The end 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, major 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 are going to want to take a look at what your company has to offer.

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 in which 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. Community events are an interesting 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 they have crowds of followers that continue to come back to them for more recommendations on products and services. 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 a little different. Guerrilla marketing involves speaking directly 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. 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 in a creative way that seems unorthodox to outsiders. People might see a grassroots campaign that’s taking place at a local event to speak to influential moderators, and they might think that the campaign is an effective guerrilla strategy because it’s highly imaginative, but the campaign is actually 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 you present information to your team. You might even want to address this misconception with your team members to make sure that everyone is on the same page when you move forward with your next marketing campaign. The key difference is that guerrilla tactics can be used for a variety of marketing strategies, and grassroots can implement a variety of marketing tactics. They are not terms that should be used interchangeably. For example, a grassroots campaign that relies upon local sponsors to spread the word for 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 popular individual. However, the term was first coined three decades ago. The name was developed by Jay Conrad Levinson 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 purchase without the influence of another individual.

This marketing technique might sound difficult to master, but 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 that you’re delivering to influential people, but there are a variety of 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 own grassroots campaigns, or hire a third-party marketing company to help you get started. Having the knowledge of the intricate nature of this marketing strategy will make those conversations with your team much easier.

How to Start a Grassroots Marketing Campaign

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

  • Step 1: Research your target demographic to figure out trends.
  • Step 2: Make discoveries of the desires, pains, and personas of your audience.
  • Step 3: Create informative content that appeals to the emotions of your audience.
  • 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 in order to perform as intended. If you want your brand to receive recognition through your efforts to organize a grassroots marketing campaign, you need to pay close attention to what marketing professionals are saying about using SEO to draw more people to your content. When you launch your first grassroots campaign, you’re going to want to see that your content is reaching 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

Every time you add something to the internet about your grassroots campaign, you need to make sure that those web pages are being treated in the same way that you would treat any other page of content for your business. Don’t be shy about announcing the activities that your brand is taking 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 that you need to include in every grassroots webpage is making sure that mobile users don’t get left out of the experience. Many of the people that your brand is trying to attract prefer mobile devices over using a desktop computer.

Step 3: Incorporate Other SEO Tactics

Incorporate other SEO tactics onto your web pages for the grassroots campaign that 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 convince the members of your board.

  • According to Neil Patel, visual content in grassroots campaigns gets 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 attention from a few groups of consumers that shared it with their circles. It ended up receiving nearly 50 million views.