Historically, field marketing has been a one-way street. Field marketers target retail locations, events and communities with the objective of getting their emerging brand into the hands of the consumer. They work quite literally “in the field,” conducting product samplings or demos and engaging face to face with consumers.
The internet age has changed a lot about the small business world, and field marketing was not immune to these changes. While field marketers may or may not be the ones also in charge of online marketing within your startup, there are still a lot of ways that those in the field can engage online to better achieve your startup’s marketing objectives.
The increasing prevalence of social media has created new opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs to expand their reach via the digital space, as well as opened up channels of communication between company and consumer like never before. Combining field marketing with social media marketing is the best way to take advantage of that.
Many entrepreneurs wear many hats, and this is especially true for field marketers. Where field marketing was once a niche category of marketing, it is now completely intertwined with marketing as a whole. The field marketer still has to conduct their in-person merchandising, but they constantly represent their brand both in person and online, leveraging their own community ties to build brand awareness.
As a startup, figuring out how to integrate field marketing and social media marketing can be much more effective and efficient than conducting these functions as mutually exclusive processes.
Taking photos in the field to share on social media is a great way to let your customers know where your team is and engage on social platforms. Encouraging potential customers to follow, like and share content on social media during a field marketing campaign increases brand presence and raises awareness in a wider space than would otherwise be possible from a single field marketing location.
Hashtag campaigns are also helpful for generating buzz around a new product or brand. Adding hashtags to Tweets or Instagram posts from the field can help your content reach a wider audience, and encourages customers to get in on the action, contributing their own thoughts or photos to utilizing the hashtag.
Field marketing should in no way start and end in the field. In fact, the most important part of any field marketing campaign is following up with it online.
Perhaps your marketers organized a recent sampling event, or conducted a direct mailing. Someone from your organization (whether it is the field marketers themselves or another member of the team) should be monitoring online activity throughout and for a period of time after a campaign.
So what should this follow up look like? Monitoring the hashtags you use, checking for direct messages or mentions on social platforms, addressing any emails that were received regarding the campaign, etc. Remember, field marketing should no longer be a one way street. Consumers should be encouraged to engage with your brand in person and online, and they should be engaged with when they do.
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