Nothing can be a stronger way to market to customers online than a grassroots marketing campaign. Regardless of what your business is, grassroots campaigns can come out of nowhere, go viral, and bring awareness to your brand that might have been impossible to generate otherwise, or at the very least at the same level. There are many ways to go about growing your dealership’s brand via grassroots marketing. It is also one of the most organic methods in which you can develop a brand. That said, it does require content that is captivating and original.
Unique and captivating content is one of the most critical aspects of grassroots marketing campaigns. These pieces of material can be funny, controversial, generate emotion, and more. Targeting emotion is an incredibly useful way to market. Humans are emotional beings, and we all respond to emotions if a campaign makes a customer feel a certain way it can be unbelievably powerful and hard to forget. Think of any advertisement, piece of art, or entertainment that spoke to you emotionally and how hard it was for you to forget about it. Cars can be hard to get overly sentimental about, but you can create that passion by creating campaigns around charities or the kinds of people who shop at your dealership and how you help your local community.
Be aware of trends, and be sure to talk to your young marketing staff about what is trending online. Lots of companies create smart Instagram accounts, funny Facebook pages, and generate amazing tweets on their company Twitter accounts. Fast food chain Wendy’s released a mixtape and posted tweets that insulted rival chains, and it became so popular people went online and talked about rival chains like Burger King and McDonald’s so they could receive a funny response. This kind of brand awareness is invaluable, and the controlled (none of the tweets were verbally or sexually explicit) yet non-corporate approach made the company seem down to earth and fun. These kinds of strategies are gold in a polarized and distracted multimedia landscape. It’s an example of the originality grassroots marketing offers and how useful it can be.
Along those same lines of creativity, starting a movement with a charitable cause or a stunt that brings attention to your dealership is another smart way to grow your brand organically. Red Bull does this well with videos of extreme sports and stunts like cliff diving to bring awareness to their products without having to go the traditional, often expensive, route for marketing. Starting a movement like the MeToo movement or Ice Bucket Challenge can bring brand recognition while also supporting a good cause. Most consumers would be even more willing to shop for a car at a dealership that has a smart way to bring awareness and raise money for a cause like cancer research or poverty alleviation in the local community. Sometimes even doing a free event or giveaway can engender support and sales.
Car dealerships often have promotional sales during holiday weekends where they will withhold an initial down payment or delay it, eat the additional money on a trim upgrade, and many other enticements to sell vehicles. In addition to that, it would behoove a smart dealership to host a free event at a local school, give away a free car to a local hero or heroine, or give money to a local charity. Why? These kinds of seemingly no-strings-attached gestures of kindness have a dual benefit. They are free promotion for your store, and the community will have a sense of appreciation and admiration for your business which has all kinds of benefits down the line. The key to grassroots marketing is that with enough originality and some fascinating content or marketing you can promote your dealership, generate buzz, and bring awareness to the brand you might not otherwise have. It is also relatively inexpensive and in today’s distracted world a great way to grab attention.