BY GUEST AUTHOR NATE VICKERY
To draw attention to your brand in today’s turbulent entrepreneurial ecosystem, you need to have a solid marketing strategy. However, this usually requires making massive investments, which is something most startups cannot afford. Luckily, by implementing guerrilla tactics, you can create low-cost and yet equally successful marketing campaigns.
Guerrilla marketing is an innovative and unconventional marketing strategy that allows businesses with virtually any budget to promote their brand and generate significant ROI. This is exactly why it gained momentum as one of the most powerful marketing tools for startups and small businesses.
Let’s see how new businesses can make the most of guerrilla marketing without going into the red.
1. Give away Promotional Products
Even though companies have shifted their marketing efforts to the digital landscape, promotional merchandise is still recognized as one of the most effective marketing techniques. Namely, promo items give your potential customers the opportunity to find out about your brand, understand its purpose on the market and meet the people behind it. On the other hand, you get the chance to get your product into the hands of your target audience, prove how much you value their attention and make more customer conversions in the future.
There are several things you need to keep in mind when employing this tactic. For instance, make sure that your promotional products are relevant to your customers. B2C businesses should focus on custom products, such as t-shirts, umbrellas, and mugs with their logo, while the companies targeting corporate niches should give away desk supplies, stress balls and computer accessories. Additionally, make sure that you provide enough information on your company in a subtle way, so that your consumers can find you online and learn more about you.
2. Make Use of Street Art
How many ads did you see yesterday? 10? 20? Maybe 50? So, the real question is- how many of them do you actually remember? Today, customers are exposed to tens of brands on a daily basis. Therefore, to draw their attention, you need to do something unconventional. This is exactly when street art shines.
It’s raw, unconventional and, as such, it’s a great way to build buzz around your brand. Most importantly, it provides you with an unlimited number of brilliant ideas, including graffiti, posters, window clings, uber-cool 3D art, you name it. However, most of these street art types require hiring an artist. If this is something you cannot afford, you can always go with more affordable and yet equally effective options such as sticker printing.
Apart from being cost-effective, stickers are authentic, creative, powerful and, above all, easily customizable. According to some recent statistics, the companies using them as their only method of advertising have experienced a rapid business growth by 550%. Given this astonishing number, it’s not surprising at all that many famous brands like Apple, Cillit Bang, Durex, and Labello have already made use of stickers.
In order to boost your street art marketing campaign, you need to deliver a seamless user experience. Inform your social media followers about it and inspire people to visit it, take photos and share them on their profiles. You could even create a unified hashtag and promote it on all social networking sites.
Pro tip: Before you hire a street artist and launch your campaign, you first need to get permission from local authorities.
3. Stage a Flash Mob
Flash mobs involve organizing a group of people to perform an action (usually they start singing and dancing) at a pre-determined location and time. Even though some larger companies hire actors, you could simply ask your employees to participate in this project and, in this way, save money. In order to promote your brand effectively, they could wear branded t-shirts, caps or even face paint. The most important ingredient of every successful flash mob is spontaneity that’s exactly what drives people take part in such a random event. Of course, you need to invest a great deal of effort in planning this event, as well as sharing videos and photos once it ends. It will definitely create a ton of buzz from both the participants and those who weren’t lucky enough to be present.
4. Organize Publicity Stunts
For years, companies that need to boost their presence on the market resort to publicity stunts. They’re best defined as organized events that aim to draw the attention of the public to a brand or their cause. Most importantly, they can be set up by amateurs and, as such, represent a perfect marketing option for startups and small businesses with tight budgets. A well-planned PR stunt can bring tons of good press, increase brand recognition and, above all, differentiate you from your competition.
One of the most famous publicity stunts was organized by Red Bull in 2012. Namely, they sent an Austrian extreme-sports athlete, Felix Baumgartner, above the stratosphere and set a world record for the highest skydive. The Stratos project proved to be a great success, generating tens of millions of likes on Facebook and over 10 million views on YouTube.
As you can see from the previous examples, guerilla marketing is affordable, creative, intriguing and, above all, easy to execute. By employing any of these tactics, you will attract more customers, improve brand awareness and, most importantly, gain an edge over your competitors. Tell us, what guerilla marketing strategies do you use?