How it works, why it works, and where to find the right influencers

Grassroots marketing focuses your efforts on a small group to launch a message that will appeal to many people and produce big results. One creative marketing tactic is called influencer marketing. First, you identify people who are influential in your desired community and ask them to spread the word about your product within that community. From my experience, this type of small-scale campaign has proven to be low-cost and quite efficient when it comes to marketing efforts to a defined audience.

Connecting with Influencers

I believe connecting with influencers is a critical component of grassroots marketing. For example, when I used to work for Humana and sell health insurance plans, I would connect with doctors that I identified as influential. Connecting with doctors was an essential part of my grassroots marketing strategy. Indeed, a very influential doctor is a good person to have on your side because they can spread the word about your products. Their patients will follow their lead and trust the products they endorse.

Whatever business you’re in, there are influencers out there that you can tap to help you grow. But how do you find the right people?

Creating a Symbiotic Relationship

I looked for influencers who would benefit from having a relationship with me as an insurance broker. Educating doctors about my products ultimately turned into a symbiotic relationship. For example, doctors can benefit from endorsing a health maintenance organization (HMO) that provides health services for a fixed annual fee because they receive an initial compensation every time a new patient signs up for the plan. Therefore, educating the doctor about this type of service would enable me to achieve my sales targets and it would enable the doctor to receive an additional compensation.

For your business, think about those who stand to benefit from the growth of your business. Make a list of related and peripheral professionals connected to your field, and reach out to them. One way to reach out is to send mailers using a targeted list, and make sure the content on your mailers spells out the benefits of collaboration. Follow up with those you have sent mailers to tkeep the connection warm–it takes multiple efforts to grow a true relationship. One mailer alone won’t do it.

Final thought (for now): add influencers to your grassroots marketing strategies. The concept revolves around finding the most influential people in the industry and entering in a symbiotic relationship with them. This mutually beneficial relationship is geared towards inspiring the influencers to spread the word about your products within their community and offering a benefit to them in return.

Eric Bernstein

Eric is The List Broker, an Orlando-based marketing expert with unique authority in list marketing. His blog posts offer insight and observations that will empower your marketing efforts.

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