Traditional marketing techniques such as offering deals, sending marketing emails, and running customer loyalty programs remain popular year after year because they are a proven way to engage your customers day-in and day-out. Sometimes, however, your marketing strategy can use a shot in the arm to reach new customers that traditional techniques miss. That’s where guerilla marketing campaigns comes in—by definition, they’re affordable, targeted, and out of the ordinary, which makes them highly effective at grabbing people’s attention. Spring is a particularly good time for these types of campaigns since the weather is warming up and people are active and outside more often. With that in mind, here are four guerilla marketing ideas that can help you attract more business this spring.
1. Temporary Street Art
Hire a local artist to create a mural or graffiti art using chalk that in some way represents your business. If your place of business has exterior wall space alongside a sidewalk or street that gets a lot of foot traffic, do it there. Otherwise, pick a public location that gets a lot of foot traffic. Most importantly, make sure the street art is done with a medium that is temporary like chalk, so it can easily be washed away.
2. Interactive Installation
Guerilla marketing campaigns work best when they encourage people to interact with them, so get creative and build or repurpose something that represents your business and place it in a public place.
For example, if you run a music store, you could find an old piano, paint it with your store logo or name, and then leave it in a public place with a sign that says “Play me!” If you run a sports bar, you could do the same thing a ping pong table. If you have a vintage clothing store, you could build a stand-in with life-size cutouts for people to stick their heads in and take photos. The possibilities are endless.
3. Pop-up Event
A pop-up event is exactly what it sounds like: you pop up somewhere in a crowded public place and do something eventful. Your event doesn’t have to be extravagant. It can be as simple as giving away free samples and swag like bumper stickers, or hosting an impromptu quiz or carnival game. Like with the other ideas, the key is to make sure whatever you do ties into your business in some way.
4. Flashmob or Performance
You’ve likely seen videos on the news or online of people suddenly breaking out into a choreographed group dance in a public place. This a flash mob, and you can do it too, if you have enough employees and friends you can recruit. If a dance doesn’t make sense, maybe try a flash musical performance, puppet show, one-act play, or whatever else makes sense for your business.
Pro-Tips for a Successful Guerrilla Marketing Campaign
Once you’ve come up with your idea for a campaign, the key to success is how well you execute it. Here are a handful tips to consider.
Keep it Authentic
The ideas above are just starting points. Make them your own, so that they speak to what your business is all about.
Location, location, location!
If you’re business isn’t located in a place where it gets a lot of surrounding foot traffic, that means you’ll have to go find a crowded public place.
- Make sure to pick a place that will have people who hit your target demographic.
- Make sure to pick a place that won’t have a lot of other competing events going on. For example, a public music festival or street fair will have too much else going on, but the park on a Wednesday evening when people are done with work won’t likely have anything else going on to steal people’s attention.
Include Your Website and Social Media Handles
Thanks to mobile phones, people are always connected to the internet and looking for photo opps. Make sure your chalk mural or art installation or whatever you’ve created has your website and social media handles readily visible so people can find and follow you on the spot.
Livestream Your Event on Facebook or Instagram
Livestreaming is becoming more and more popular. Take a live video and stream it to your followers to really boost the reach and effectiveness of your guerilla marketing campaign beyond whoever happens to be there in the flesh.
Make Sure You Don’t Run Afoul of the Law or Private Property Owners
Guerilla marketing campaigns are by nature inherently risky since you’re doing something out of the ordinary.
- Make sure that whatever it is you’re doing is in a public place, and that you’re not trespassing on private property.
- Make sure whatever you’re doing is temporary. If it’s a mural or art installation, you need to be able to remove it immediately if someone of authority asks you to do so.
- Make sure you’re not endangering anyone, you and your staff included!
- Check with local laws and ordinances. Some activities like public performances might require a permit. Others, like selling or giving away food might violate your local health code. Ultimately, as the business owner, you are the one responsible for any guerilla marketing campaigns you conduct, so keep it safe and smart while also fun and engaging.