Top 5 Guerrilla Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Online Business
For many fledgling businesses, one of the biggest challenges is marketing. On the one hand, you need to promote your brand so that you can build a following. On the other, you probably don’t have the funds necessary to create a significant marketing budget.
Fortunately, guerrilla marketing can help. Today we want to dive into this process and how it can build an audience without requiring a massive budget. Whether you’re a new business looking to break into your industry or an established company trying to streamline your marketing materials, these tactics will be valuable.
What is Guerrilla Marketing?
Simply put, guerrilla marketing is a term that refers to low-budget advertising methods that can capture attention quickly and efficiently. Usually, guerrilla marketing can be deployed both online and off, making it a versatile option for businesses of all sizes.
The great thing about guerrilla marketing is that anyone can use it to their advantage. Even if you do have a substantial budget, you will want to try some of these tactics to see how well they connect with your audience.
Top 5 Guerrilla Marketing Strategies
Contests or Giveaways
No matter what you’re selling, your customers will always appreciate getting it for free. While it’s not exactly cost-effective to give away scores of your items, you can get all the benefits of free stuff without hurting your bottom line. All it takes is a contest.
Contests work well for a few different reasons. First, they can help your brand get noticed a lot faster, as people will share the details of the contest with friends and family. Second, you can promote the features and benefits of your product(s) by giving them to people who will act as brand ambassadors after winning.
When drafting a contest, here are some tips to maximize its impact.
- Encourage Referrals – either you can incorporate referrals into the rules (i.e., you must refer five people), or you can offer bonuses to those who spread the message.
- Create Multiple Prizes – while your grand prize should be valuable, you can also have smaller items that encourage greater participation (i.e., branded swag).
- Spell Out the Rules Clearly – plenty of businesses have been put in a bad spot because they jumped into a contest without realizing how people would take advantage. Be sure that you avoid any potential disasters (i.e., multiple grand-prize winners).
Physical Media and Promotion
Although you’re running an online business, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of physical media. Stickers, buttons, and swag are all highly effective guerrilla marketing tools that you can use to improve your brand’s visibility.
The best way to use these items is to give them away, either individually or with purchases. The better they are, the more likely that people will use them, and the broader your reach. For example, you can hand out stickers at events or post them on community billboards. Be sure that each branded item sends people to your website or a targeted landing page.
Related article: How to Promote Your Products on WooCommerce
Viral Video Content
It’s no secret that video rules the internet. YouTube gets more traffic than Facebook or Twitter consistently, and users love to watch videos. So, use that to your advantage by creating something that could become trending. Here are some tips on how to maximize your clip’s reach:
- Be Positive – while it’s tempting to “hack” your way to viral status with a disaster video, inspiring clips get shared a lot as well. Better yet, a positive message will resonate with users for the long term, while a tacky video could make your brand a joke.
- Be Prolific – chances are that your first attempt won’t break the internet. Keep making videos and see what gets the most attention. Then you can focus your efforts on clips that get noticed the most.
- Be Authentic – most users are savvy enough to tell when a company is trying too hard to go viral. Rather than copying current trends, create something unique and authentic to your brand. Again, these attributes will resonate better and create a more positive outlook for your business.
As we mentioned, free is always the best price for new users. However, while contests can build buzz, a free trial will help you get more traffic to your site. For those companies that sell physical products, here are a few ideas of how to customize your “free trial” option to fit your business model.
- Free Upgrades or Add-Ons – when a customer buys a particular product, throw in a free accessory that enhances the experience (i.e., a memory card with a digital camera).
- Free E-Books or Tutorials – if you have extra information that can help your customers, offer that with purchases, or use it as marketing materials to build your authority within the industry.
- Free Swag – if you have stickers or other branded items sitting around the office, send them to new customers as a way of saying thank you.
Depending on the influencers you contact, this method can get a little pricey. However, the best part of using an influencer is that you can typically create a mutually beneficial plan. For example, you pay nothing up front, but you offer a small percentage back for every customer that buys a product.
Fortunately, there are so many social media influencers out there that you can almost take your pick. We highly recommend starting small with micro-influencers (those with around 1,000-5,000 followers) and see how well that does. From there, you can expand your reach.
Bottom Line: Get Creative!
Overall, guerrilla marketing is all about finding low-cost solutions to your marketing problems. In most cases, throwing money at the issue won’t build buzz. In some instances, a higher budget may even be problematic. Be creative and add more value to your marketing efforts by using one-click upsell and handsome checkout.