How To

Grassroots Marketing: How brands are building awareness with niche influencers

by Lucy Burns |

Grassroots Marketing or Hyper-local Marketing?

Whatever you might choose to call it, it all comes back to one core approach – engaging niche groups and turning them into your very own brand cheerleaders. People relate to people, and with a growing call for transparency between brands and influencers, giving your brand a ‘relatable friendly face’ and positioning it as trustworthy has never been more important.

Why grassroots marketing?

When it comes to grassroots marketing, more often than not, the first thing that springs to people’s minds is a campaign with a political or social agenda – for example the recent Peoples March campaign – but it is also a highly effective approach perfect for helping to spread the word about your brand. So, if you want drive awareness but also want to build trust then it might be time to take a closer look at reaching out to the ‘grassroots’ of your audience.

Particularly suited to local campaigns and smaller brands, engaging with hyper-local audiences can offer you a cost-effective way to tap into trends and showcase your offering to niche groups of people that, generally, are harder to reach. However, bigger brands are increasingly using this approach too. By connecting with the local ‘blogosphere’, you can use geographic or topic-specific instagrammers, bloggers or facebook groups to spread positive brand messages allowing you to authentically engage with consumers at ground level.

Does it really work?

As with most things, there’s no one size fits all approach to carrying out a grassroots campaign, but when carried out effectively it can produce great results, as our outreach for Vintage Inns has shown.

Armed with the task of launching their new Vegan menu, this was a golden opportunity to engage a niche audience at a local level to drive awareness of delicious new dishes available and cement the pub chain as offering a credible and tasty Vegan menu.

We supported the launch by inviting trusted Vegan bloggers down to their local Vintage Inn to try out the menu as well as hosting an Instagram takeover. By tapping into local audiences and the wider #Veganuary movement on social media, we were able to establish the brand’s credentials as well as some great PR and social media coverage.

Supporting the launch of the Vintage Inns vegan menu by tapping into local audiences

Unsurprisingly, the key to ensuring success often lies in excellent social media listening and here at spottydog we’ve always got our puppy-dog eyes on the lookout for the latest national and local trends. That’s why we’re not only a Corporate Affiliate of CIPR but we regularly head out on our walkies to local events including Birmingham Digital Cities and Leicester Business Festival. Our Snap Spot event – held on 1st November 2018 at Phoenix Leicester – was a great opportunity for us to connect with local business professionals.

spottypups Alice, Seb and Sabina at our Snap Spot event for the Leicester Business Festival