Get ready to kick off the New Year with a can’t miss marketing campaign that gets results! These guerrilla marketing ideas help you get maximum coverage with a minimal investment of time and money.
What Is Guerrilla Marketing?
Guerrilla marketing uses unconventional marketing techniques that cost less than standard methods. The idea is to get more exposure for your product. Guerrilla marketing is especially beneficial to small businesses and start-ups that have virtually non-existent advertising budgets. The key ingredient for a successful guerrilla marketing plan is imagination. It often calls for striking a more personal and memorable note in your marketing. It doesn’t hurt if it also implements an element of shock and surprise!
The great thing about the following Guerrilla marketing ideas is that they’re just a starting point. Use your imagination to determine how you can spin them into unique ideas that are right for your business!
1. Write Some Graffiti
Love it or hate it, you have to admit that graffiti has the power to draw you in. Some real-life artists put their work on walls and fences as a means of expression or opinion with a distinctive artistic flair. But don’t run out for canned paint! Instead, get a variety of sidewalk chalk. It’s a great way to show your creative flair with something seasonal or temporary. People will see your message just by walking down the sidewalk. There’s no better platform for your creativity.
2. Go Big!
Even if your product is something small, it doesn’t mean your advertisement should be. Inflatable advertisementslet you present your products in ways that are larger than life. There’s always a component of fun while no detail about your product goes unnoticed.
3. Make Guerrilla Marketing Part of the Bigger Picture
Use these Guerrilla marketing ideas to get people’s attention and make them stop and ask questions. Once you get their attention, encourage them to take the next step. For example, use sidewalk graffiti to advertise your new flavor of latte. Once they come inside, encourage them to join your regular customers’ club. After buying their fifth cup of coffee, they get the sixth one free. Your Guerrilla marketing strategy gets them inside. The bigger campaign keeps them coming back to earn free stuff!
4. Keep It Surreal
People are exposed to multiple forms of advertising every day. When they occur in the same format and have the same presentation as all the others before them, they aren’t going to get the attention you want for your product. Give them something that makes it hard to believe their eyes. When IKEA crafted a set of stairs into a set of drawers with various items of clothing inside, it created a surprising sensation for everyone who walked on them. It also reminded them of how IKEA furniture works to organize your space.
5. Host a Party
Send out invitations to your friends, send out emails, and make an announcement on social media. Reach out to local news stations and ask for a mention on the air. At the party, arrange for props that will make some great photographs. Have your employees take photos and encourage your guests to do their same. Encourage them to share on social media with a common hashtag. It’s a fun time for your guests and it can grow your business in no time.
6. Hire a Flash Mob
Send them to a busy location where they suddenly break out in song, preferably one that is written about your business. Make it super affordable by hiring local drama students. They can wear t-shirts with your business name or sport signs that accomplish the same purpose. Make sure they perform in a way that appears spontaneous and engages the people in the area.
7. Turn It Into a Game
The most successful Guerrilla marketing ideas are those that encourage audiences to engage, not just observe. Sponsoring a game or competition with the goal of winning a prize will help bring more customers into your store. Adidas accomplished this by scattering blue ducks around the plaza where they were having a grand opening for their new store. Each duck had a message stating that it had swum too far from home and needed help getting back. Anyone who helped the ducks get back home got a prize. The store also got lots of visitors for their grand opening, adding to their opening-day sales.
8. Personalize It
People love to see their names on things, and there’s almost nothing you can’t add a monogram or digital print name to. Think about the success that Coca-Cola has had from printing names on bottles of their popular soft drinks. A tube of glitter paint works great for glass items, while markers or airbrush paint work on some fabrics. Find a way to personalize your products and watch them walk out of your store!
9. Create an Optical Illusion
Stairways and elevator floors have served as fun and sometimes frightening optical illusions. Do you want to advertise your local aquarium business? How about the exotic fish for sale at your pet store? Bring the fish to life with a digital image that will have people thinking twice about taking that next step.
10. Show Your Cleaning Power
Streets and sidewalks get dirty and, typically, stay that way. If you want to prove the power of your cleaning service, pick your spot and make it shine. A good place is a crosswalk with multiple white stripes. Clean one stripe off until it glows and then place a sticker for your product on it.
11. Open a Pop-Up Shop
Sometimes called flash retailing, temporary retail, or pop-up stores, a pop-up shop is a different take on selling without the brick-and-mortar store. These shops are great for selling all types of merchandise in any of a variety of temporary locations. These stores usually stay in business from a few days to a few months. Open yours in a high foot-traffic area where your target customers are likely to travel. It’s a great way to introduce a new business or product, reach out to new customers, and move inventory that might have been around too long.
A pop-up store allows you to connect more with customers so you can build relationships. People still do most of their purchasing offline. You will sell more and pay less overhead than with a real building. Spend as much as 80% less and increase your earnings while building customer loyalty and brand awareness.
12. Start Your Own Line of Collectibles
Adding a signature, number, or just the word “collectible” to items drives people to get the next one. It doesn’t have to be something as expensive as a glass figurine. Custom print stickers will do, especially for the younger crowd. Anything that brings customers into your store will help increase sales. You also have a lot of flexibility about how they can get the collectibles. Have them join a VIP club, include them as a gift with purchase, or offer them on a first-come, first-serve basis.
13. Make the Most of Every Holiday
Christmas might be the biggest retail holiday of the year, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the most of all the rest. The greeting card companies know how to sell people on all types of special occasions. Sweetest Day, St. Patrick’s, and Halloween are holidays most of us have heard of, but don’t always go out of our way to celebrate. Find ways to connect your product with every event that comes along. For instance, “Let your teacher know the impact she’s had on you with a porcelain apple paperweight on Teacher Appreciation Day”. You get the idea!
14. Put a Witty Sandwich Board Outside
You know those signs everyone posts on social media that are always good for a laugh? Brainstorm for some witty messages that relate to your business. For example, a boutique might have a sign that reads “Come on in and treat yourself to something nice. We won’t tell your husband.” A restaurant placed a sign outside that read “Eat here or we will both starve.” Signage is one of the oldest and most cost-effective advertising tools. It also remains one of the most effective ways to get your message across and get customers to stop.
15. Create Custom Business Cards
Business cards are another type of traditional marketing. If you think they sound like a boring approach to marketing, you’re partially right. But custom business cards can be an effective and attention-getting way to get your business noticed. It’s true, a lot of businesses today rely on digital advertisements. But nothing compares to the paper and print of a business card that goes where they go.
Some ideas to consider include putting real pop-up photos on your cards. Have cards created as a stencil with your business name. Turn cards into tiny envelopes with product samples inside. How about a usable tool that has a ruler built-in? The possibilities are as endless as the products businesses sell. Once you have your custom cards printed, leave them in key locations. Sister businesses make a good starting place. Another is to visit the local library, your doctor’s office, and any other place where you can place a few random cards for people to see.
16. Connect with Local Sports Teams
Be a sponsor, donate t-shirts, or supply a sports tunnel with your business name and logo on it. You’ll get the attention of all the team’s fans and create a positive connotation that will carry over to your business.
The Pros and Cons of Guerrilla Marketing
Low cost is one of the biggest advantages of guerrilla marketing, but it isn’t just for businesses on a budget. Many of the biggest names use these and other unique guerrilla marketing ideas to promote their products. That’s due to the effectiveness that these ideas have when put into play. They shout, “Look at me” and get people to stop and pay attention. Few newspaper ads have that kind of power.
Guerrilla marketing requires creativity in order to make ads that are relevant to a specific business. Although some of the ideas listed here have been used multiple times, a little imagination can turn them into something unique that works especially for your business, your products, and the customers who want them.
These advertising methods share a message with your audience. Some are obvious at first notice. Others require a little thought and analysis to understand, which can make them even more intriguing to your customers. Instead of having to shout your message to an unwilling audience, they’re making the effort to understand what you’re trying to say.
The process relies heavily on word-of-mouth to make your marketing strategy a success. For every person that sees your ad and receives your message, that message will be passed on multiple times. That’s what makes it work and why it’s so affordable.
Of course, everyone doesn’t have artistic talent or a creative mind. Business thinkers tend to stick with the basics. That’s okay. Even if you have to pay a little more to get the creative talent you need, your costs will still be less than most traditional methods of advertising. Most importantly, you’ll get the return-on-investment that any business professional wants.
Another potential disadvantage is that some people might not understand the message you portray. What seems like the best guerrilla marketing ideas to you might seem offensive or insensitive to some of your audience. An upbeat advertisement is less likely to cause problems than one that attempts to deliver a serious message. Consider the potential repercussions if you fail to hit the mark with your guerrilla marketing techniques.
If you need help realizing your guerrilla marketing ideas, contact Inflatable Gurus. We offer custom inflatable solutions that help you get your message across. Make your products bigger than life and create ads that will get more of your target audience’s attention. The primary goal of any advertising material is to get noticed and get your message heard.