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Kai Prime

Guerrilla Marketing Tips for Small Business

Part of our #HereComeTheHolidays Series

You’ll want to be standing out amongst the crowd during the busy festive season. With everyone trying to sell, how do you differentiate yourself from every other small business? Simple: by being memorable. And that’s exactly what guerrilla marketing does. For a short and sweet time, your marketing takes the spotlight, and leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

What Do We Mean By Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing gets its name from the guerrilla warfare that was in use particularly during Vietnam in the 1970s. The vital aspect of this tactic was surprise, catching soldiers out before they were prepared for fighting. Guerrilla marketing takes that same fundamental aspect but without the battle. The surprising nature of guerrilla marketing means the audience is going about their daily lives, and isn’t expecting to witness—or be part of—your marketing campaign. 

Isn’t Guerrilla Marketing Used By Product-Based Businesses?

Yes, it’s true that guerrilla marketing is well-suited for product-based businesses. It’s easier to describe a product than it is to demonstrate a service—but it’s not impossible! Service-based businesses can absolutely equip guerrilla marketing for their campaigns, most notably by demonstrating the problem that your business is the solution to. No marketing campaign is the same, and that applies to guerrilla marketing too. All you need is the idea to pull it off.

Wanting to to use a guerrilla marketing campaign, but not sure where to start? We’ve got a few tips to help set you on the straight and narrow.

top-down shot of three looking at images on laptop with a notebook in one person's lap, planning a campaign, for guerrilla marketing article
Windows on Unsplash

7 Tips for Using Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns

1. Identify Where Your Audience Are

This one is really important, but it almost goes without saying. Guerrilla marketing works by targeting the people that will be interested in your business, in the places they will gather. You need to put yourself in your leads’ shoes and figure out where they’re likely to be. Is there any particular common ground between them? This works especially well if you’re thinking of a very local target group.

2. Identify What's Popular

Of course, in order to get the conversation going, you want your audience to be interested in what the conversation is about. Selling your product or service on its own isn’t enough. When researching the different ways to implement guerrilla marketing for your company, keep an eye on what’s popular, and what people are talking about. If you can contribute to the conversation, then why wouldn’t you?

3. Be Unexpected

Don’t be conventional. Guerrilla marketing needs your best creative brain!

The best guerrilla marketing campaigns are the ones that the audience isn’t prepared for. It shouldn’t be anything alarming, but pleasantly surprising your leads will keep you memorable. Do everything you can in that moment to make sure they’re aware it’s by you, they’re aware what you’re selling, and they’re aware of how they can reach you. That means when the moment is over and you can disappear, you’re not just some odd occurrence that happened to them. It’s something they’ll want to talk about, and follow up on.

Red Bull took their popularity to the next level with their guerrilla marketing campaign. The ‘Red Bull Stratos’ campaign, with Felix Baumgartner, took the brand to the very edge of space. Baumgartner smashed the world record to hold the title of the tallest freefall jump, at 127,852 feet above the Earth.

Not only was it greatly discussed at the time, but currently the YouTube video of the jump has 47 million views. You can watch it below.

Obviously we’re not asking you to break a world record every time you need to market your business. But what can you do to get people talking about you?

4. Keep Your Budget Low

The whole point of guerrilla marketing is that it doesn’t cost the Earth—or your entire marketing budget—to implement it. It’s affordable, flexible, and if done correctly can make you memorable. What it does hinge on is your ability to choose the right location, and how creative your ideas can be.

jar of money, loose change, article for guerrilla marketing
Josh Appel on Unsplash

5. Make Use of Your Social Media

Most of the time, by ‘locations’ we mean physical spaces that exist within the world. But the cyber world is also a huge asset, especially as you’ll want to see news of your marketing spread amongst the right people. You can create a guerrilla marketing campaign solely on social media if you know you have enough automatic reach (this is usually for bigger businesses), or you can drive your audience to interact with your social medias. If you cash in or even create a new trend, there may be accompanying hashtags or phrases related to what you’ve created. But don’t expect it.

One successful example of a social media guerrilla storm was the #FijiWaterGirl at the Golden Globes in 2019. Handing out water to the celebrities, model Kelleth Cuthbert photobombed so many celebrities’ photos with her plate of water bottles that she became the biggest talking point that night.

6. Make Use of In-Person Events

This gets a little more complicated with Covid-19, but as we’re slowly seeing a return to normal events, this is becoming more relevant again. Physical spaces are the norm for location-based guerrilla marketing, and if you’re a B2B company, the locations you’re most likely to visit your customers face-to-face are either in your office or at exhibitions. So make use of it! You can find yourself interacting with the crowd way more with a guerrilla campaign than if you were to simply have your stand and stick to it. Be creative, respect the guidelines of the hosts of the in-person event, and make your brand stand out amongst the crowd.

7. Gamification

Guerrilla marketing relies heavily on audience interaction, and there is no better way to solidify this aspect in a guerrilla marketing campaign than by leading your audience through a sort of game. Often, this is expressed as a series of clues that lead to information about what you’re selling, but of course there are many other ways you can interact with your audience. It is up to you how involved you want the audience to be, but do keep in mind that people like taking part in campaigns—especially if there’s a satisfying conclusion or reward at the end. We all like to be included, so including your audience will show they’re your priority.

Enjoyed this post? Comment below or read through our blog for more sales and marketing insights.

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