3 Creative Ways to Finance a Guerrilla Marketing Campaign

A 30-second commercial during this year’s Super Bowl could have been yours for only $4 million, Forbes reported. Luckily, local TV advertising rates aren’t quite as steep, but small business owners still struggle to level the advertising playing field, especially when their competitors are corporations with deep pockets.

Relax. A creative guerrilla marketing campaign can get your name in front of prospects at a modest cost. Case in point: The tourism firm Visit St. Pete-Clearwater has been drawing visitors to Florida all winter by advertising on inexpensive subway placards and stamping their website URL in the snow, where cold New York commuters are sure to see it. It’s a solid approach to targeted marketing without a huge budget.

Still, low-cost isn’t the same as no-cost. If your business needs the boost of a guerrilla marketing campaign, but you don’t have the money available to fund it, one of these options may do the trick.

Sell an Investment

If you’ve made smart investments that have appreciated over the years, consider selling. If you’re reluctant to let go of a stock that’s still doing well, think about this: You haven’t realized a profit until you’ve sold the security. Conventional wisdom has long held that the average annualized return on a stock is about 10 percent, but some analysts are now saying those days are likely gone—if, in fact, they ever existed.

Could locking in profits and putting the money toward marketing the business you own generate a higher return than the standard 10 percent benchmark? If the answer to that is question is yes, it may be time to sell. Certainly, there are taxes and the cost of the sale to consider; try using a discount online broker such as ETrade or ScottTrade to help minimize commissions and fees. If you hold your investments in the form of an annuity, you may be eligible to sell your future payments to get cash for annuities now.

Consider Crowdfunding

There’s a good deal of capital locked up in the hands of simple, everyday people. Through crowdfunding, small businesses and entrepreneurs can tap that pool of resources by promising premiums to those who pledge money toward the development, production, marketing and launch of their products and services. The top crowdfunding websites provide platforms to connect these businesses and interested consumers.

These sites offer some side benefits, too. Don’t forget that consumers browse these sites because they want to get in on appealing deals. That means the platforms themselves are a way to get your brand in front of people who are interested enough in what you have to offer to click on your listing and read your pitch. Even if they don’t contribute, you’re building brand recognition, and possibly a future brand evangelist.

Bootstrap Through Freelance Work

Once you’ve devised your guerrilla marketing campaign and know how much it’s going to cost, you can always bootstrap the project by taking on some freelance work on the side. Head over to any of the websites that connect freelancers with projects and offer your services. Take on enough work to generate the income necessary to launch your campaign, but remember: The site you go through will take a commission on every fee you earn.

5 Tips For Effective Online Guerrilla Marketing

One of the goals of the modern-day online guerilla marketer is increasing exposure. There are many ways to do this of course, but some are simply more effective than others. If you want to increase your online exposure as quickly and as efficiently as possible, here are a few ideas well worth trying out.

1. Create your own group in LinkedIn

Over the past few years, LinkedIn has really come into its own as one of the most effective social networking sites around. If you are interested in getting more leads, increasing your sales and basically gaining more exposure, LinkedIn groups are quite possibly the most effective platforms for doing so.  Best of all, LinkedIn groups won’t cost you anything.

2. Host an event on LinkedIn

While we’re on the LinkedIn tip, I thought I’d throw in another related tip, just because LinkedIn is so amazingly effective. This particular social networking site is also great for hosting events and drumming up publicity. You can even utilize the group that you had already built according to the first step and get even more participants in your LinkedIn event. This method will definitely pay off in terms of generating some publicity.

3. Give away your product as a freebie

This method might go against every goal you have set in place as an online marketer, but there are actually many benefits to giving away your product for free. Of course, you really should be getting something out of it. If you can get people to comment on your blog and receive a free sample of your product as incentive, you might be surprised at how many people you can pull in.

4. Host your own webinar

One other effective way to generate interest is by holding your own webinar. Online seminars are tremendously popular nowadays, and there is considerable mileage to be gained by connecting with your audience in this manner.

Now you might be thinking that hosting a webinar costs money, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. There are actually a number of sites that provide free webinar trial packages at no cost and at no risk. If you want to keep using the service after your initial run, there are many good reasons why you should pay for a quality service. Even if you don’t want to pony up for the monthly costs later on however, the free publicity that you will get from the trial run should pay off in more ways than one.

5. Put out your own videos

For most people, videos are the new medium of the Internet world. In fact, you probably utilize them yourself. You don’t really need all that much equipment or funds either. With a little bit of creativity and imagination, a halfway decent video camera and some easily learned editing skills, it is entirely possible to come up with videos that measure up to the best of them. Furthermore, the benefits that you will get with very little effort will pay off immeasurably.

Article by Eric Pangburn

Why Small Businesses Should Use Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is quite the phenomenon in the advertising world. Coined in 1984 by Jay Conrad Levinson, this form of advertising relies less on big marketing budgets and more so on creating a message for consumers that is creative, interactive, and most importantly, of little cost to the company.

The technique has been employed by companies such as Nike, IKEA and many others over the last few years but was initially geared toward those with less name recognition. For the newcomers and upstarts out there, guerilla marketing can be risky, but certainly worth the reward and exposure.


Above all, guerilla marketing campaigns, in their purest form, are inexpensive. Rather than spending millions on billboards and other big budget adverts, small companies can make use of stickers, custom wallpaper, and in some cases, graffiti to get their name out to the public.

If you and your company don’t condone the use of graffiti, or simply can’t afford more grandiose installations, there are still plenty of safe and cost-effective guerilla marketing tactics that will suit your needs.

  • Reverse Graffiti: Graffiti artists like Banksy have guts. They’re willing to risk life and limb for their art, but if you’re unable to, reverse graffiti is a great alternative. All you need is a power washer and some imagination to makeover the dirtiest of walls with your logo.
  • Yarn Bombing: Knitting may seem pretty tame, but through the art of yarn bombing, you can resuscitate areas that need a little life. It is still technically illegal, but unlike other graffiti that’s permanent, it’s easily removed if necessary.  
  • Projections: Projections are fairly new in the guerilla marketing scene but are undeniably effective. You will need a permit in order to broadcast in a lot of areas, but when it comes to drawing a crowd, projecting images or a video on the side of a building is a good way to do so.


Going viral is all the rage in the 21st century. Whether it’s a clever YouTube video, or a well-crafted tweet, producing media that is widely appreciated and shared is an excellent way to reach your target audience. You can’t promise that everything you put out will automatically be trending all over the world, but you can better your chances by getting to know the niche you’re a part of.

Guerilla marketing should always represent the population it intends to reach. In other words, it should reflect those that are creating it and those that are consuming it. This usually requires a great deal of research and a sense of immersion in a particular niche. If you’re trying to take your brand to the next level, spending the time to understand the culture that is attached to your company is important.

  • Bloggers: Bloggers get a bad rap sometimes, but they’re often tastemakers in their particular niches. Read what they’re writing about and reach out to them. If you can get a shout out on a popular blog, expect a lot of attention from others in the scene.
  • Competitors: Before establishing yourself or your company, look at what others are doing around you, especially your competitors. You never want to blatantly imitate someone, but if something seems to be working for them, put your own spin on it and see where it goes.
  • Predecessors: History has a way of repeating itself. Study those that came before you and where they went wrong. If you can avoid certain mistakes they made early on, it will only lead to bigger gains later.


At the end of the day, guerilla marketing is fun. It’s hands-on, it’s a worthwhile creative endeavor and it’s an opportunity to breathe life into your brand. Campaigns are challenging to complete at times due to the amount of work required, but are definitely worth the extra effort.

It may seem like a daunting task to break into a market as new blood. Nobody wants to be the new kid on the block, especially in a business setting where money is on the line. But, there is always hope for the little guys so long as they’re able to reinvent the game.

Guerilla marketing is a way to do this; it helps you stand out among the competition. By creating memorable advertising, you can reach audiences that you never thought possible. It may be a lot of work at first, but your labors won’t go unnoticed.

Photo by crochetlatte

Chris Garrett is a freelance writer who has worked in marketing for many years. He currently writes for MegaPrint, producers of high quality commercial décor.

What You Can Learn From Three Smart Guerrilla Campaigns

When you’re organizing a guerrilla marketing campaign, your number 1 goal is to get attention for you or your client’s product. The very last thing you want is a problem that derails the entire campaign or, worse yet, attracts negative attention. For example, a campaign that failed to secure the proper permits before starting or ticks off people in authority by doing something inappropriate is doomed before it starts.

Here are three really smart guerrilla marketing campaigns that did it right, and lessons that you can take from each of them.

McDonald’s Coffee Light

The shape of a streetlight inspired a great campaign from McDonald’s a few years ago. It placed a coffee cup (with a note advertising free coffee) around the bottom of the light. Then it attached a faux coffee pot to the top. That made it appear as though the “coffee” (really the base of the light) was being poured into the cup.

The lesson: make a direct visual connection between the product and the offer.

McDonalds Guerrilla Marketing Campaign

Fed Ex Kinko’s Street Crossing

Fed Ex Kinko’s set a super-sized (fake) bottle of white out on a corner, with the top placed next to the bottle, dripping with white-out. The bottle was located right next to a cross walk with the white stripes on it, making it appear as though the bottle had just finished painting the stripes. The bottle had a note saying “Go to Kinko’s for all your office supply needs.”

The lesson: look at things in a new way and you’ll find inspiration for a campaign, whether it’s set on a street corner or you do viral marketing like the Harlem Shake at the Dover Downs Casino.

Fed Ex Guerrilla Marketing

Fitness Company Weighted Subway Grips

Fitness Company Barbell Marketing

The bars at head level that riders hold onto on subway cars were transformed into weighted barbells by Fitness Company. The company placed faux weights a few feet apart on each bar. When riders clung onto the bars, it appeared that they were effortlessly lifting a very heavy weight over their heads. The Fitness Company logo was placed nearby so that it was clear who had sponsored the clever visual.

The lesson: promote results. Obviously the visual trick was meant to make it appear that when you use Fitness Company products, you become so strong that you can lift heavy dumbbells over your head with ease. It’s a very effective illusion, and it definitely draws attention: the goal of any good guerrilla campaign.

Creative Examples of Guerrilla Marketing

With today’s oversaturation of advertisements and marketing, you need something really creative to catch people’s attention. Guerilla marketing seeks to be subversive, new and interesting, taking advertisements away from traditional expectations into something really interesting. These examples of creative guerilla marketing show how thinking outside the box can capture the attention of even the most jaded consumer.

Guinness Logo

Guinness Under Your Feet

Guinness, with their iconic branding that to some reads with Dublin, used template graffiti to further tie their motif with the cobbled streets of their birthplace.

Guinness Ad Campagin

Guinness also had these great pool cues reminding players what they should drink to quench their thirst.

Guinness Pool Cue Ad

Korova, Liverpool

Made famous by local hipsters as the place to be seen, Scouse indie club Korova used generic graffiti stencils planted within broader pieces to market their unique take on urban culture.

Korova Stencil Icons


The Maybes Graffiti Tagging

2005 was the time for The Maybes? to hit the rock ‘n’ roll scene. This occasion was prophesied by their ramshackle ‘tagging’ of everywhere and anywhere in an all-out assault on the metropolitan aesthetic.

The Maybes Graffiti Tagging


Who Watches The Watchmen?

It’s not known if Warner Brothers was behind this or not, but the question was plastered around the world in the run up to the film’s release. If it wasn’t them, they were certainly lucky.

Watchmen Graffiti

Are you feeling inspired? Next time you’re looking to market a product, whether it’s nunchucks or dump trucks, consider giving some guerrilla marketing a try.