Engaging and showing value through community outreach is key to developing relationships with your current and potential customers, spreading the word and enhancing credibility.
Outreach is personal and provides the opportunity for individuals within your organization to directly engage with potential customers. The face-to-face nature of this strategy also helps you start to build trust with your audience. This tactic can be conducted in many forms such as presentations, trade shows, demonstrations, lunch and learns and more.
A well-rounded marketing and communications strategy should include an outreach component, but ensuring your efforts are fruitful requires a great deal of planning and work.
Below are some simple tips to consider before you begin determining which outreach efforts may be best for you.
What is the message you will share with your audience during your presentation or community/industry involvement? Are you honing in on one specific product or service line or is your effort more of a branding initiative? Ensure your activity is aligned with the overall brand and message of your organization and your key focus is focused and concise.
Once your target audience is identified, determine the best way to promote your outreach effort to them. Every outreach event is not for everyone. Be sure to target the exact individuals you want to speak to. The mediums you use will depend on those you want to reach.
Do the individuals who are attending or presenting have experience in speaking and sharing the message? If not, train and coach that individual. We often see companies spending a great deal of time and money developing remarkable tradeshow booths only to find them sending junior company representatives or interns to staff the event. Oftentimes, this piece of the puzzle is forgotten, and an awkward presentation or qualified staff member doesn’t build loyalty or trust. It’s a quick way to lose potential customers.
Outreach opportunities can become public relations and social media opportunities, as well. Make sure to share your efforts with local media and on your social platforms. Invite the media to attend your event, take lots of pictures and share your organization’s activities to highlight your commitment.
Prior to or during your efforts, capture the contact information of your attendees or prospects so you can continue communicating with them. Add them to your CRM and get them in your funnel for your other marketing and outreach efforts.
Based on the goals and metrics you set for your outreach efforts, take the time to assess whether you are successful. Is your goal just to educate a certain number of people or to schedule free screenings? Whatever it may be, it’s important to measure your success to determine if you should continue.
Whether you are a physician in a specialty practice or a financial advisor trying to grow your book of business, community outreach can be an excellent strategy to build your brand and educate your audience on what services you offer. If you need help getting started, Chartwell Agency has helped numerous organizations with their efforts.