The Power of Grassroots Marketing
Viral videos, Facebook memes, YouTube celebrities, social marketing, Instagram, Kickstarter, GoFundMe — what do all of these have in common? They are all mechanisms for grassroots marketing!
Today, there is no business, small or large, that can ignore the power of social media for promotion of commerce. Big companies have big budgets for marketing and promotion, but even they cannot stand up to the power of a well-done grassroots campaign.
With today’s tools and the right campaign, you can level the playing field and even up the odds in getting your product noticed over the Goliath, no matter what industry you are in.
Serif, for example, is a software company in Europe that has taken the design community by storm. They have introduced two Mac-exclusive software solutions that, by all accounts, could give Adobe a run for its money. One of the software programs measures up very well against Adobe’s flagship Photoshop product, carving out 20 years of bloat and even supporting their plugins! With their Designer product that is more intuitive and flexible than Adobe Illustrator, they seem to be poised for greatness. But how did these tools get recognized? How did people find out about them?
World Of Mouth
Serif is only one example, and to be honest, a GREAT product will always bubble up to the top. However, Serif played its cards right by offering a free beta to the public and promoting it via social media. Soon, every design blogger on the planet was writing about its benefits and wondering aloud about how it might be the killer of giants.
Recently, fan-film production Star Trek: Axanar raised more than $600,000 on Kickstarter to help them produce a web movie about one of the most exciting events in Trek-lore. But more than raising the funds to produce the film, they gained a community — a rabid community now poised and ready to buy into the whole project. Of course, the film can’t actually produce a profit as these fans are not the owners of the copyright — but there is a ton of money and awareness that has been raised here. It’s all a result of word of mouth.
There are examples all over the web about these success stories of small startups leaping past the usual journey of pain and loss to be successful moguls of whatever industry they represent.
Colby Caillat and Justin Bieber were both discovered on YouTube. Spend a few minutes on YouTube and will find some familiar names and notice millions of views — all for the YouTube celebrity. There are even conventions and conferences held yearly for YouTube celebs where you can go meet your favorites and even get a photo and an autograph. It is big business now.
It all starts with a GoPro or an iPhone and it is easy to see the draw — personality. That’s where it’s at.
I have met a lot of business owners in my years of working my magic with the web. And they all have one thing in common — personality. They don’t all have the same personality, no. But they all HAVE a personality. Just like every business, their personality shines through… and it is as unique as a thumbprint. Every single one of them has a personality and they are all different.
Launching Your Own Grassroots Campaign
How can this help your business, you ask? Easy, follow these 11 steps.
- Be sure you have a great product or service
- Plan — Develop a plan for your themed approach across several social media channels
- Build — Develop social profiles and be sure your website is up to par with your profiles — consistency is key
- Community — Develop your communities! These are a must. Spend the most time doing this upfront
- Video — Video is going to do best at presenting personality and reaching your communities
- Script — Write a script for what you are going to say — then throw it away! Be candid, smile — show your personality! Be yourself!
- Leverage — Build relationships within your communities and LEVERAGE them! You will gain FREE Brand Ambassadors — use them!
- Engage — You must post every day. Don’t overdo it because people will tune you out — but be out there and available — talk, share, promote
- Don’t Sell — Promote without selling. Write up some helpful tips and techniques specific to your industry and then promote it and put a small blurb at the end of each selling yourself. Don’t overdo it!
- Don’t Be Selfish — Share the content of your community as well! You have a lot of original ideas — but like any conversation, your followers want to be heard, too! Let them speak! Share their stuff!
That’s it in a nutshell. This is all you have to do in order to be successful with a grassroots campaign online. Do you need help? Do you have any thoughts about the approach? Reach out, let us know. Engage!