Grassroots campaigns are about getting individuals together to influence a specific outcome, and these campaigns typically start from the ground up. Oftentimes, grassroots are thought of as political in nature; however, they can also be an effective approach in building awareness of public health issues. What makes grassroots campaigns unique is that they mobilize the masses and involve everyday people. Additionally, the communication speaks directly to every individual, who will then spread your message to a larger audience. When we apply this narrative to the pest industry and public health awareness, the results could prove fruitful.
So, how can your business create awareness in your community? Don’t just raise an issue, tell a story. People are more likely to remember a story than a statistic because stories capture the attention of your audience and often trigger an emotional response. They help in forming human connections, which is an integral part of grassroots campaigns. According to consumer research by Headstream, if people really love a brand story, more than half (55%) are more likely to buy the product in the future, 44% will share their story and 15% will buy the product immediately. Storytelling helps your audience relate to your message, and the key to ensuring people will talk about your campaign is ensuring that they’re able to emotionally connect to it.
In addition to stories, education is fundamental. Education is the backbone of any grassroots campaign as people rarely take action on a matter that they don’t fully understand. It is crucial that the information you share is factual, engaging and easy to understand. When implementing a grassroots campaign, the last thing any business owner would want is a game of telephone gone wrong, especially when it pertains to public health. There are a lot of myths and misinformation about the pest control industry, so it is important to combat these misconceptions with the truth that is easily digestible.
If you’re looking to mobilize a grassroots campaign to raise the public health issues of pest infestations and educate consumers on the benefits of contacting their local pest management company, start with the three strategies below:
NAVIGATE THE DIGITAL SPACE
In this digital age, an active social media presence and professional website are essential. The numerous social media platforms available offer plenty of channels for you to engage and educate community members in creative ways. Your website also allows a valuable opportunity for you to build a list of supporters whom you can reach via text messages and phone calls. According to a recent survey by VisualObjects.com, nearly half of consumers (44%) say they frequently use search engines to find information about businesses and services in a specific location. From creative hashtags, videos and infographics to educational posts and articles, establishing an optimized online presence can prove very effective in building awareness.
ENGAGE WITH PEOPLE OFFLINE
While a digital presence is vital, you must not neglect the impact of offline connections. Informal gatherings offer a great way for community members to get to know each other and the issues facing public health. A study by the Harvard Business School revealed that a face-to-face message results in 13 times more brand recall than a message delivered through other marketing pieces. Bulletin boards, door-to-door canvassing and age-old face-to-face conversations help immensely. These interactions are great opportunities to educate consumers about the pest control industry and establish your business’ integral role in preserving public health in your community.
USE THE RESOURCES AROUND YOU
In a way, grassroots campaigns could be described as an amplified version of word-of-mouth marketing. Join forces with community leaders who have significant influence and reach in the community that can further broadcast your message and, in turn, positively impact your business. Likewise, working with the local media and having positive rapport with journalists will be beneficial as they value expert opinion for their pieces, especially when pertinent to local issues. Additionally, articles from a news source are often viewed as more trustworthy in comparison to advertisements.
According to the World Health Organization, the quality of life we enjoy today is credited to three things: better health care, better medicine and better pest control. It has already been established that the pest control industry is pertinent to public health, and there are a myriad of strategies and platforms at our disposal to educate consumers about these issues. Using collective bottom-up action, grassroots campaigns are cost-effective tools that we can use to raise awareness and spread impactful messages. While these campaigns can be slow and may take time to gather interest, the results are rewarding once they gain momentum.