Guerilla marketing is creating and using novel or unconventional marketing methods, different from traditional marketing approaches. Brands and companies do this to deliver new or surprising marketing approaches that make stronger impact and attract interest.
Jay Conrad Levinson popularized the term Guerilla Marketing. It was inspired by “guerilla warfare,” which is a form of warfare that uses fast-moving, small-scale actions, often carried out by non-military combatants. This is similar to how guerilla marketing is done: through small, elaborate marketing methods that are often low to no cost. This can come as physical or digital marketing campaigns.
Guerilla Marketing, when done right, is an effective tool to boost a brand’s presence. It is mainly rooted in providing consumers with a memorable experience that they can spread through word of mouth or social media. The more creative and unique your campaigns are, the better chances you have of boosting your marketing campaign and reaching more people. It can also result in higher customer loyalty and generate higher ROI, even with minimal investment. This makes it ideal even for small and medium businesses.
Here are four powerful guerrilla marketing ideas for small business owners.
- Buzz Marketing
Buzz marketing is a technique where you aim to make your product or brand go viral. It maximizes the word-of-mouth potential of your offering, which means you are making people talk about your brand and do the marketing.
This strategy focuses on starting conversations among people or discussions on social media platforms. Buzz marketing online leverages influencer marketing, which is driven by influencers or social media users who have gained a strong following, especially on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
These influencers have their curated set of audiences. A few posts and tweets from them can be seen by their followers and can easily go viral. Working in partnership with influencers to create buzz has been effective, making it easier to target specific demographics and consumers with similar preferences.
- Experiential Marketing
Experimental marketing strategies revolve around the consumers’ experience with the brand or product. It often involves face-to-face communication and primarily aims to provide customers with a remarkable real-life experience. It establishes a more in-depth relationship with customers, tapping into their emotions to develop loyalty.
The goal of experimental marketing is to leave a memorable experience for customers, which they can share with others. It should also be relatable and believable. You want your audience to share their experience with more people through word-of-mouth so that you can boost your brand’s presence.
An example of experimental guerilla marketing or street-level marketing is by sending off brand ambassadors to events, festivals or crowded places to offer free samples or services related to your brand or product. If you are selling toothpaste, you can offer free dental check-ups and provide them with samples.
Moreover, you can also still carry out experimental marketing online, through social media and mobile apps. Creating polls and surveys makes people feel that you are listening to them. This can still offer them a realistic experience, which can help you connect better with them. If you have the resources, setting up an easy-to-use mobile app that can offer customers an experience similar to shopping in-store is an ideal experimental marketing approach. Offering exclusive rewards through digital platforms can also help foster customer loyalty.
- Ambush Marketing
Though controversial and tricky, Ambush Marketing is also a powerful guerrilla marketing strategy. From the name itself, this is done by ambushing another campaign. Or when one brand tries to play directly off another’s marketing campaign. It can be broken down into two types:
Indirect ambush marketing
Includes subtle referencing of another brand’s campaign. This does not aim to directly harm the other brand, but rather leverage its campaign’s momentum. In social media, many brands subtly reference other brands through memes and other digital content. Some attempt to make connections by replying wittily to posts, especially trending ones.
Direct ambush marketing
Designed to be aggressive and aims to overpower other brands’ campaigns. One prominent example is when a brand sponsors a participant in an event to steal the spotlight from the event’s official sponsors. This predominantly happens at major sports events.
Despite its risks, ambush marketing is legal, so long as you are not infringing upon another’s intellectual property, or are breaching advertising regulations, which depends on your location. This makes such a marketing approach really tricky because if you are not creative enough and haven’t done your research, there are high risks of facing lawsuits rather than ROIs.
Should you consider this type of marketing, SEO tools now have efficient functionalities to help you ensure that your ambush marketing is not ambushing your own company negatively. For instance, Ahrefs features a content explorer, which can help users reverse-engineer competitors’ content marketing strategies. Get to know more about this tool and how it can help your marketing strategies by reading Ahrefs Tool Guide: Using Content Explorer for E-Commerce.
4. Street Marketing
Street marketing is literally putting your marketing campaigns on the streets. But as today’s market has been competitive more than ever, it is no longer just putting up posters on the street or giving away flyers. It has to be strategic, creative and remarkable to be effective.
Street marketing is a guerrilla marketing strategy, where brands and companies use creative ways to put their campaigns in public spaces to leave a lasting impact. Eye-catching or intriguing billboards or graffiti, as well as intriguing art installations, paintings and out-of-the-box messages on posters, are some examples of effective street marketing. With today’s new technology, interactive ad boards and smart street furniture pieces are also being used for marketing purposes in public spaces.
Attract More Through Effective Guerrilla Marketing
Guerrilla marketing may sound risky and intimidating at first. But it can be a very powerful tool to establish your brand’s presence and make your company and product known to more people. It focuses on uniqueness and creativity.
It targets people’s curiosity and aims to provide a fresher approach and newer perspective that will make a significant positive impact. As long as you go by the best practices, you can trust that guerilla marketing can help you win on today’s marketing battlefield.