Guerrilla marketing - 5 inexpensive ways to get noticed
I love guerrilla marketing. It can be a great way for small businesses to get some attention without a huge budget. All it takes is a little creativity and a sense of humour.
What is guerrilla marketing?
Guerrilla marketing is a non-traditional approach to marketing; a way to promote your business that's a little bit different from the norm. The reason it works is precisely because it is different. People are exposed to advertising and marketing almost constantly these days, so if you can do something to make yourself stand out you are on to a winner.
If you get it right people will sit up and take notice, and they might even share what you’ve done with others.
Guerrilla marketing can be about getting media attention, at a national level, with a big stunt. But it doesn't have to be. There are countless ways small businesses can get themselves in front of the right people and get a buzz going about their brand, without spending pots of cash.
What could your business do to stand out from the crowd?
5 'guerrilliant' ideas to get your small business noticed
1. Organise a flash mob
But that’s so 2010 I hear you cry.
Well it worked for these guys. Crazy Domains used a crowd-stopping uptown funk flashmob to get the word out about their new .Sydney domains a couple of years ago.
There’s nothing like some public singing and dancing to get people to sit up and take notice.
But what if you're not the public spectacle type? Here are a few more, shall we say low key, options to get your small business noticed without breaking the marketing budget.
2. Send personalised, handwritten postcards to clients
While this may take a bit of time, it will put you firmly at the top of your clients' thoughts. And will almost guarantee you repeat business.
I heard a (relatively highly paid) copywriter on a podcast the other day. She was saying that she handwrites beautifully designed, branded postcards, and sends them to her clients to say thank you for their custom. The idea is that they will stick the postcard on the fridge and she won’t be forgotten.
I just thought this was the loveliest idea. Who doesn’t enjoy receiving proper mail these days? And hand writing each one just makes it seem so much more personal and thoughtful. Relationships with customers matter more than anything in business - this is a great way to nurture yours.
Maybe you could keep track of your clients’ birthdays and send a card, or you could send a handwritten ‘how are you getting on?’ note a couple of weeks after they’ve purchased something from you.
3. Use your car to advertise your business
Shh! Don’t tell my husband I’m suggesting this as he’s massive car nut and if I ever tried this it would probably end in divorce.
But you’re driving around in it every day anyway, so why not get your car working harder for you? Especially if your ideal clients live in your local area.
We came across this beauty down by the south coast one day. There is no denying it catches attention. It's original, memorable and showcases the product perfectly. You can even have a feel of the artificial grass as you walk past it.
OK you might not want to go this far, but even relatively cheap bumper stickers and window decals can put your business and website in front of people who may need your services. You just need to end up in a traffic jam next to a driver who is looking for someone like you, and your car decorations will have paid for themselves.
I guess the only problem is you'll need to drive impeccably. People will know who you are and where to find you.
4. 'Accidentally’ leave branded goods everywhere you go
You have business cards, right? So leave a little breadcrumb trail behind you, Hansel and Gretel stylee. Whether you sneak to a tapas bar for lunch, take a trip on the train, or pop to the hairdressers for a trim, leave a business card on the side. You never know who might pick it up.
If you have branded pens, why not leave a few of them lying around? Surely it’s not littering if it’s useful.
Don’t count yourself out if you’re new to the game and don’t have your business cards sorted yet. Leave sticky post-it notes instead. These could have your website written on them, or perhaps your Twitter handle…Or maybe even a cryptic message. It depends how creative you’re feeling.
What have you got to lose?
5. Come up with an original offer
It's no secret that giving away free stuff works quite well. But if you can make it into a gimmick, or come up with an original idea that captures the imagination then all the better. Get your staff together and brainstorm ideas. You never know what gems might come out of it.
On March 1st (St David’s Day) this year, this Manchester bar offered free beer to everyone called David. Awesome. What a simple but effective idea. It caught the attention of the press and it went viral on social media (mostly shared by Daves I imagine). What better PR could you ask for?
There’s no guarantee that guerrilla marketing tactics will help you earn six figures over night. But they can be a lot of fun. You could even offer incentives to your staff for coming up with ideas.
Remember, often the simplest ideas are the most effective. And at the very least you should get some useful photos for social media, and maybe a blog post out of whatever crazy stunts you come up with.