by Nate Vickery, editor-in-chief of Bizzmarkblog.com
New businesses are usually strapped for cash, which means that they don’t have enough money for costly marketing strategies. Left to their own devices, they have to be as creative as possible and come up with some fresh, non-traditional approaches to promote themselves. This doesn’t have to be bad at all. Quite the opposite, guerrilla marketing tactics offer the factor of surprise, which is exactly what it takes to generate buzz, draw the attention of a target audience, and improve visibility.
The fact that guerrilla marketing is low-cost doesn’t go at the expense of its quality. We’re going to suggest a few guerrilla marketing strategies to jazz up your promotional activities:
1. Undercover marketing.
Also known as stealth marketing, this clever tactic advertises a product in such a sneaky manner that people aren’t even aware that they’re being subjected to advertising. A usual scenario is to infiltrate marketers into their target audience and have them start building hype around the product. This tactic works great for new movies, books, or gadgets.
One of the most memorable campaigns was launched by Sony Ericsson back in 2002 in the early days of cell phones with a digital camera. The company famously hired actors to pose as tourists and ask random people to take pictures of them with this cool, new device, sparking their curiosity in the process.
2. Pay it forward.
This tactic relies on small acts of kindness done for complete strangers. It would be a good idea to buy a coffee or movie ticket for a person behind you and ask a cashier to hand them your business card. Although not each of these nice little gestures will result in acquiring a new client, they will definitely help you spread the word about your business and tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
3. Flash mobs.
There’s no better way to capture the attention of a great number of people at the same time than staging a flash mob. These public performances have been used for different purposes such as marriage proposals, raising awareness for various social causes, or simply as a form of artistic expression. Flash mobs can be useful on several levels for promoting a business, since these seemingly random, but actually well-orchestrated dance acts will undoubtedly generate interest, not to mention that you can film it and go viral with your video clip.
Giving out free stuff to your potential customers surely has the intention to show them the functionalities of your product, and it allows them to see all of its benefits for themselves. But, there’s something more important than advertising for the sake of it. Namely, cool promotional items, such as T-shirts, pens, bags, or calendars trigger another, an even more important psychological mechanism known as the principle of reciprocity. Basically, people who receive free samples from you feel the impulse to return the favor, and they’re subconsciously obliged to purchase something from you, and an interesting study tried to explain this phenomenon. Stats say that freebies can boost sales by as much as 2,000%, and this percentage makes all your investments worthwhile.
Street art is an act of rebellion, and as such, it can be a perfect vehicle for guerrilla marketing. Creative, colorful, or even provocative graffiti can garner much positive publicity, and if you think that spraying marketing messages on walls and pavements is an act of vandalism, you can opt for so-called clean or reverse graffiti. This basically means that you can find a dirty wall, and by using a stencil with your logo, simply clean parts of it to create the desired image. And voila, you get all the benefits and visual appeal of graffiti minus their environmental unfriendliness and illegality.
6. Social media.
It would be unfair to skip social media platforms as the most obvious and easily utilized channels for guerrilla marketing tactics. Ever since Facebook introduced its Live option, anybody can create an event, invite people, and stream it. You can interact with your followers, offer a sneak peek of your new product, organize an online contest, or give your target audience a chance to get an inside look into your business. There’s a good reason why 51% of marketing professionals claim that video is the type of content that generates the best ROI.
Derived from the notion of guerrilla warfare, the eponymous marketing method relies on ambushing and surprising your target audience as the most effective ways of winning their attention.
Nate Vickery is a business technology consultant mostly engaged in management and marketing for SMB and startups. Nate is also the editor-in-chief at a business oriented blog Bizzmarkblog.com.