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Grassroots Marketing is Dandy

Jun 21, 2008
Spring has finally sprung here in Northeastern Indiana. The sun is shining, a warm breeze is blowing, and my backyard has been overtaken by...dandelions. I would swear that they appeared overnight. I got up one morning to take my dogs out, and there they were.

So there I am, gazing out upon this sea of golden weeds when all of a sudden it hit me. Yes, I need a good weed and feed treatment, but you know what else?

We can learn a lot about "grassroots" marketing from those pesky little guys.

Think about all of the little "seeds" you could be planting-press releases, article submissions, direct mail, podcasts and more. Each on its own is certainly powerful, but consider how much more impact these little seeds would have if you were to employ them together. This unified marketing approach packs a punch; prospects will begin to notice that everywhere they look, there you are.

There are so many opportunities out there that can be leveraged for big returns, but you need to know where to look. To help simplify your search, here are a few of my personal favorites:

There are a great many free press release distribution services, but remember what your Mother always said: "You get what you pay for." PR Web offers an array of services at various price points. In addition, they offer some value-added services such as podcast interviews that you can use later as an additional promotional tool.

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a hundred times. Discussion forums can be a valuable small business resource. Once you've identified niche forums of interest, you can set about using them for market research, as well as promotion.

Scribd has been referred to as the YouTube(R) of documents, and with good reason. Make sure you read their guidelines for submissions carefully, as some overzealous marketers' abuses caused them to toughen up on what is deemed appropriate to share. You can upload your articles, ezine issues, press releases, and much more.

EzineArticles is a treasure trove for publishers in search of content, and this makes it a fertile ground for your article submissions. All article reprints require that your resource box remains intact, which translates to incoming links each time your article is used.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it offers a good place to start your grassroots efforts. And remember, the strength of this approach is in the combined efforts. The seeds you plant today will soon take on a life of their own, spreading all over the net just like those dandelions in my yard.
About the Author
Traci Hayner Vanover, The Promo Diva(R), is the publisher of Create the Dream magazine, http://www.createthedream.com, and the president of Market Outside the Box Trade Association, http://www.marketoutsidethebox.com. She also works with private clients as a publicist, copywriter and consultant.
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