As more and more companies grasp the impact of digital marketing strategies, the advertising industry has become more saturated, especially for e-commerce businesses. This has resulted in increased competition, which could mean higher costs to get your company name out there.
With many companies employing similar marketing strategies and best practices, making your business stand out from the competition can sometimes be challenging.
If you’re looking for a different marketing approach, why not try community outreach marketing? It could be a bit more subdued and grounded, but it is an effective way to build better relationships and improve brand reputation.
Community outreach marketing is a marketing strategy that involves partnering with other brands or organizations to help bring awareness to your products or services.
As the name suggests, it’s a way to strengthen your brand by building relationships with people and communities that could benefit from your business. Your business reaches out to organizations that relate to your brand, or they reach out to you. And you organize events or programs that have a positive impact on your brand and the local community.
Community outreach programs are an excellent and unique way to provide services to various groups or causes and increase brand affinity while maintaining customer loyalty.
Conducting community outreach programs for marketing requires some degree of philanthropy from your business.
It might not be an immediately profitable way to sell products or services, but it still provides unique and significant benefits you could rarely get from other marketing methods.
Below are some notable benefits your company can get from organizing outreach initiatives.
Conducting community outreach programs allows you to collaborate with different individuals, organizations, and institutions. It helps you build relationships you may not have explored before, thus expanding your professional network.
Your company can partner with many organizations, such as schools, charities, foundations, government institutions, and non-government groups like the Chamber of Commerce. These communities might often be groups you might not have reached yet.
Working with diverse groups helps you develop unique skills and strategies that will grant you the flexibility to work with groups from different fields and backgrounds in the future.
Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective ways to gain brand support. According to a 2020 Kantar study, 93 percent of people who speak to their friends and family before making a purchase trust these recommendations. People are more likely to listen to people they know than fall for traditional advertising.
Working with different groups on the ground helps generate better word-of-mouth to reach your target market. Community outreach initiatives enable your company to perform on-ground work that brings you closer to various audiences.
This direct interaction between your company and your audience develops better relationships, allowing people to speak with more authority regarding your brand. And if your community outreach program creates positive experiences for your partners, they will be more inclined to recommend your company to their networks.
Many individuals and organizations now maintain a consistent online presence, as it can be beneficial in disseminating information and promoting one’s brand and activities.
Working with these groups through community outreach efforts will likely put you on their social media platforms, providing your brand with a new and broader audience that may become potential customers due to your community presence.
If you want to guarantee this benefit, you might want to include online exposure in the agreement you establish with your outreach partner.
Online promotions are often a given when working with social media influencers, as it is their primary job. However, you might want to explicitly bring this up for other groups, such as schools or charity organizations.
Conducting community outreach initiatives helps curate a more diverse content selection for all your information channels. Most brands need a variety of content to keep their online presence engaging to a significant number of people.
Joining up with various groups and communities is an excellent way to change your content in a good way and show your brand’s versatility and outreach efforts.
You can also learn from your partners’ content strategies, especially if they have an active online presence and prioritize content creation. Their experience working closely with people will help inform your content strategy to show what people like.
At its core, community outreach marketing is about collaborating and building relationships. This strategy is a great way to humanize your brand and show you care about various sectors and issues in your community.
Community outreach initiatives allow people to personally connect with your brand and acquire a positive view of what you do. This allows your brand to gain the favor of audiences and possibly expand your market reach.
A community outreach program entails building relationships and often has several reputations on the line. For this reason, organizing community outreach programs involves proper planning, which will require your time and resources.
Here are several areas to consider when developing your outreach initiative. It’s essential to strike a balance between your company’s needs and the interests of your chosen community, individual, or organization.
It is most beneficial to businesses to have as wide an audience as possible. But, in practice, it is better to be more specific. Many people are different from one another and respond better to brands that acknowledge and target these differences than pander to a generalized entity.
Before anything else, decide on the audience you want to attract with your community outreach program. Recognizing your target audience will help inform your future steps in planning this initiative.
What do you plan to achieve with this specific outreach program? What do you want your audience to take away from this initiative? Aside from knowing your target audience, this is the next essential step to accelerate all other decisions.
Do you want to sell more products? Do you want to be perceived as an authority figure in a specific industry? Do you want people to see your company as philanthropic or engaged in the community? Do you want to be seen as part of a particular network or circle?
Taking the time to answer these questions will help you craft a more cohesive and effective community outreach strategy.
Now that you have decided on your target audience and purpose, it’s time to create your plan. This can look different according to your industry but start by doing thorough research.
What are the needs of your target audience? Are they facing any relevant challenges that your company can help them with? How can you relate your business to a different industry? What actions can you take to achieve the goals you have identified?
With these questions in mind, you could probably shortlist potential partners and come up with activities, products, or services that would suit your prospective partners and their specific needs.
Accomplishing this will help you make initial plans and timelines you could propose to the rest of the company and your potential outreach partners.
Community outreach programs are partnerships, so it’s best to create a collaborative arrangement that benefits all parties involved. This will start with your partnership proposal, or the other party’s sponsorship proposal, as it could go both ways.
Examine your terms to see if both parties could benefit from the arrangement. What is your company willing to offer? What will your partner provide in exchange for it? As much as possible, it’s important to offer attractive packages to sweeten the deal and improve these new relationships.
In any outreach partnership, picking the right influencers or organizations is essential. Before settling into an agreement, it’s important to do a bit of background research on the individual or organization of your choice.
What do their peers think of them? Who is their primary audience? What services do they provide? How can your company assist them with their needs? Have they ever been involved in a controversy? Does their brand mesh well with yours?
Even though some money may be involved, it’s best to prioritize a culture fit. All parties should be passionate about this project and work well together. Each party’s actions often reflect on one another in these partnerships, so choosing the right people is vital.
For your outreach program to succeed, it’s critical to develop trust between parties and to have your target audience trust you.
How do you do this? Be sincere. Your research work will come in handy during this step. Nobody wants anyone to talk down on them, let alone some business. Even in educational scenarios, it’s more effective to relate to your audience.
Your approach should depend on the specifics of your event. Still, an excellent way to build trust is by maintaining a consistent line of communication with your partners and audience before, during, and after the event.
No matter how generous you might feel, a community outreach event should still serve your brand. You should be able to share your brand story during the event in a way that contributes to your marketing efforts.
You could partner with influencers or people within the organization to tell your story. Since your event partners are often more familiar with the audience, they would likely become better storytellers and organically promote your brand.
This could come in product or event reviews, blog posts, social media posts, or personal conversations.
Pro Tip: Leveraging community events is an amazing option to promote your brand to people who otherwise would not have heard about you. You can open the doors to new leads, sales, and people who love your brand when combined with traditional marketing strategies.
There are many ways to conduct community outreach initiatives to help market your brand. You’ll find opportunities to work with different people in your online and offline communities.
Of course, working with different individuals and groups will offer various benefits, but a working relationship with any of them will bring new people to your brand.
Engaging with your community is an excellent way to generate and maintain buzz around your business. A strong community presence and an engaged audience ultimately drive sales and customer loyalty.
In the age of social media, satisfied and loyal customers often create their content to express their support for your brand. These can take the form of videos, photos, and other social media posts.
You can easily leverage this customer-generated content using Archive. The app automatically collects brand-related content from your fans, allowing you to use them for your own advertising and marketing campaigns.
Aside from this helpful service, our blog is also a treasure trove of tips and tricks to improve your social media and digital marketing strategies. Visit Archive today for more resources and a free trial.
Community outreach is a potent brand-building effort. Leverage yours by using the Archive App today!
Businesses can improve their community outreach initiatives by building strong community ties, listening to their target audience, and assisting them with their needs and concerns like healthcare.
Community outreach programs help businesses connect with their local community, grow their professional network, and expand their market reach by appealing to people’s needs and providing essential products and services.
Strong community relationships help strengthen a business. Loyal customers and clients often come from communities that have built personal experiences and relationships with a particular brand. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to support communities and maintain good relationships with the people they serve.