Like guerrilla soldiers forced to use limited resources to fight mightier opponents on the battlefield, guerrilla marketers rely on strategic strikes to gain a foothold in the digital marketplace. While traditional billboards and magazine ads might prove to be a few-million-dollar drop in the bucket for some companies, smaller businesses can reach huge audiences with a refined approach to basic internet tools like YouTube and other social media sites.
While many business people have heard of the concept, not everyone has led a quick, sexy, interactive guerrilla campaign. It requires a simple marketing message made into an unmistakable experience. Entrepreneur magazine defines guerrilla marketing as “any promotion that’s unconventional, unexpected and usually evocative of a unique, memorable reaction from or interaction with the viewer.”
That’s exactly what the approach takes: an unconventional method, led by imagination and an innovative spirit to craft messages that resonate with audiences.
Here are a few things to consider before you launch a guerrilla campaign:
Brionna Kennedy of Creative Guerrilla Marketing suggests that “partnering with a neighbor” is effective for many small e-commerce businesses since “clients who put trust in one business are more likely to put trust in another business that is recommended.”
For example, a boutique hair salon with many competitors in the local market might consider hosting a styling event in the lobby of a partner resort or hotel, offering colorful free hair style sessions to guests. An olive oil tasting room could do splashes of its products at a local restaurant, pairing its products with a new menu item.
Guerrilla marketing is designed to entice the average consumer by imprinting an experience in their mind, leaving them to differentiate your brand from others in the same category by associating it with the actual experience or public event.
Topdesignmag.com listed 30 examples, ranging from KitKat bus stop benches and a Nivea “goodbye cellulite sofa,” that showcase how businesses have creatively used public spaces to encourage consumers to interact with their products.
Flowers can also add vibrancy to public displays or events around guerrilla campaigns. FTD.com offers seasonal specials and packages with quick delivery for marketers seeking to add a dash of color.
Create a viral video
In 2012, a small online disposable razor delivery service shocked its much larger competitors with a simple and hilarious video that has since generated more than 14 million views on YouTube. A small ecommerce business could benefit greatly from just a fraction of the audience that DollarShaveClub.com has.
The beauty of DollarShave’s “our blades are f***ing great” video was its clarity in folding the message about its efficient, cost-effective men’s razor delivery service into a truly creative grassroots video.
Any small business can create a video and post it on YouTube. But making the video unique enough to catch fire with online viewers is the challenge, and it takes a comprehensive digital media strategy to ensure that a variety of audiences see the video enough to share it across the Web.
Solidifying your brand with strong, active pages on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, for example, provides more opportunity to circulate your video.