Think outside the Cage.
Guerrilla marketing is all about winning with your mind. Instead of paying for exorbitant ad campaigns, guerilla marketing means coming up with your own creative way of getting attention for your small business. You can mount some guerilla campaigns upon startup, or if you’ve been up and running for a while, can add them now. Some principles to follow:
1) Guerrilla not Gorilla—You are aiming not only to maximize your thin budget but also to make as big an impact as possible, growing your business in its crucial stages. That doesn’t mean the things you do should be tacky, juvenile, slipshod, improvised, or half-hearted. Be sure to plan these campaigns just as though you were spending a lot of money to do so.
This means finding key demographics, physical areas, etc., that are key, and addressing audiences in a way that makes sense, considering type of media, tone and style, etc.
2) Test and react—Before sprinkling business cards over several counties via crop duster, try out your guerrilla marketing technique on a small audience. If painting the logo of your business on a wall near the train station gets a few mentions, try hitting the train station with some flyers, or try painting another wall where targeting audiences pass. Don’t blast the whole city only to find out your logo unintentionally looks like a vomiting whale and is an eyesore.
Some examples of guerrilla marketing:
1) Finding partners—Say you’re startup is a microbrew. Partner with a local pub to produce shirts with their name and hours, etc., with your brew’s info, too. Split the costs. Or, if you’re making a youtube video, partner with a restaurant so that you mention them in your video and they mention you in theirs.
2) Follow the media—You’re looking for exposure. Instead of hoping they come to you, go to them. If a local radio or TV station has a booth at some event that makes sense for your product, drop by with some free samples or something fun. You can hand things out or, if you’re lucky, get the media personalities to do it for you. In any case, you’ll be sure to get some on-air mentions and present yourselves as go-getters.
3) Become part of the landscape—Try to get your product, or at least a representation of it, into the permanent landscape. For example, Folgers coffee has a campaign in which it paints a cup of coffee over a man hole, which means steam seems to rise up from a cup of coffee. Examples of this can include planting business cards for your finishing carpentry business in strategic places at a hardware store, etc.
4) Donation—Donate food, supplies, or services to some big charity event, gaining a good reputation in the process.
5) Humor—It goes without saying that you’ll be using social media such as Twitter, Youtube, DailyMotion, etc. One of the best ways to go viral is to do something funny. Network and get a hold of friends of friends, anyone with colorful or eccentric personalities, anyone who has some funny video of their cat, anything.
Thinking outside the box isn’t hard to do—start developing ideas and don’t go forward until something hits that you know is at least a little innovative and interesting.