We’re officially reaching the 2-year mark of face masks, social distancing, and bumping elbows. Businesses learned to sustain themselves by relying on a mostly virtual world. But as we approach 2022, what does ground marketing look like in a near post-pandemic era? Are events and in-person meetings back? Or should we focus our marketing efforts online? To help you navigate the yes, nos, and “what do I do now” of ground marketing and growing your business post-pandemic, here is a look at how to ground market in 2022.
How to Ground Market in 2022
I get it. The rules feel a little iffy these days. But there’s an undeniable fact that the world is moving back into a sense of the familiar and in-person meet-ups and events will come back better than ever.
The truth is we’re all starving for in-person interaction and there’s no better time to kickstart your ground marketing efforts than right now. Here’s how you can strategize your ground marketing efforts to make the most of this boom in events, get-togethers, and gatherings.
Planning Your Ground Marketing Strategies for 2022
First things first, you need to come up with a plan.
Ever hear the saying “a dream without a plan is just a wish”? That couldn’t be more true than in this scenario. It wouldn’t matter that people are ready to emerge from their homes and mingle more than ever if you don’t have a plan to ground market effectively.
So what are your first steps to formulating your ground marketing comeback plan?
Start by creating your starter list.
We’ve gone over creating a starter list for your ground marketing efforts in the past (as seen in this post), but how will this change in a post-pandemic world?
Of course, the same rules of brainstorming the types of patients you want in your practice still apply. Think about your perfect patient. He/she:
- Lives in (neighborhood)
- Owns or rents
- Works in (an office, self-employed, etc…)
- Has kids/doesn’t have kids
- Shops at…
- Likes coffee/doesn’t like coffee (if so, which coffee shops are he/she going to?)
However, you could get more in-depth about who they are, where they’ll be, and what’s important to them in a post-pandemic world.
For example, are they eager to head back into large events? Or are they more cautious with event sizes and environments (outdoor vs. indoor)?
Create this starter list but go the extra mile to envision what life is like for your perfect patient in 2022.
Want to know the ultimate hack to finding where your perfect patients are and what they’re doing? Ask your existing patients directly! Feel free to make small talk and ask if they’ve attended any events, concerts, or gatherings. You can even ask them about their place of employment and if there are any fun work-related events from team meetings, employee appreciation months, and health fairs.
Once you have that, it’s time to dive headfirst into community research and your radius check.
Community Research and Radius Check
This is where you’ll find out what events, pop-ups, and gatherings are happening in your community. It’s also your opportunity to locate and figure out which businesses (or facilities) are perfect matches for your practice.
Knowing the location and business you want new patients from well in advance will help you strategize your plan of attack.
And while I know you’re eager to head out like the rest of us, doing your community research online and over the phone before actually visiting these locations in person will save you a lot of time and energy.
One thing you’ll want to make certain of is if these locations are within reach of your practice (and not 20 miles away). This will ensure convenience for your patients as you know your practice is located in an area that they frequent.
All you need to do is head to Google, search your practice’s location on Google Maps, and zoom in on your area to find nearby coffee shops, apartment complexes, gyms, and businesses. Again, the businesses you decide to reach out to will ultimately depend on where your perfect patient is spending his or her time.
Experiential Events to Look Out for in 2022
Like I mentioned earlier, your ground marketing efforts zone in specifically on business and facilities in your neighborhood. But as most of us are itching to get out and about again, 2022 will see lots of experiential events.
Here’s a list of the different types of events that you can look out for in your surrounding area in 2022:
- Art installations
- Pop up events
- Conventions and seminars
- Live spectator events
- Fairs and food experiences
- Non-profit and charity events
Taking a Hybrid Approach to Ground Marketing in 2022
Even though in-person events are starting to pick back up, your ground marketing strategies are strengthened having survived the past year and a half of operating in a virtual-only capacity.
And while there will be a handful of people who aren’t prepared to venture out into large crowds for a while, this means that companies are turning to a hybrid approach when it comes to event planning. This means you can expect in-person events to have a strong digital presence as well.
Couple your ground marketing strategy with your newfound social media ground marketing skills, and you’ll be prepared for any incoming marketing curveball in 2022.
Social Media Ground Marketing in 2022
Haven’t heard of social media ground marketing? Fear not. Here’s how you get started.
The same rules apply to traditional ground marketing research efforts. Except this time, you’re turning to location-specific Facebook groups and communities. Take to your search bar, type in the location/neighborhood where your practice is located, and find any relevant Facebook groups that you’d like to “ground market” within.
For example, if you have a pediatric practice in Beverly Hills, you can type in “Beverly Hills Mom Groups” in the Facebook search bar.
What you’ll generally want to avoid are groups that aren’t relevant to your perfect patients, as well as buy, sell, and trade groups.
You can even scope out how active the group is by seeing the average number of posts per day.
Once you’ve requested access to a group, you’ll want to be active. Share value and support your community. This will ensure that you’re building authority within this group while increasing your chances of interacting with other members.
To make sure that the value you’re sharing is relevant, you can type in your keyword into the group’s search bar to see if anyone has brought up a relevant topic in the past. For example, you can search for the word “dentist” or relevant services within the “Beverly Hills Mom Group”. (not a real group, just an example.) Answering any relevant questions under that search will get the word out on your name and practice.
The name of the game is simple: socialize and provide value. The more your presence is shown, the more ground marketing skills you’re going to have - whether you’re ground marketing via social media or in person.
Just remember to not come off as salesy and always come from a place of delivering value and support.
The Future of Ground Marketing Post-Pandemic
We’re reentering the 21st-century version of the roaring twenties, so buckle up and re-familiarize yourself with your ground marketing strategies. The popularity of in-person events, activities, and gatherings are on the rise, but so are hybrid experiences that tackle both physical and virtual communities. Couple your existing ground marketing strategies with the tools and knowledge you gained from virtual ground marketing, and your 2022 marketing plan will be a force to reckon with.
P.S. If you’re interested in leveling up your marketing skills to suit a post-pandemic world, watch by the wonderful team at Studio8e8.