3 Impressive Guerilla Marketing Ideas
[toc]There are many ways to promote a business, (I mean thousands). Online and offline, high end and low end budget methods (ATL and BTL), and what all successful marketing campaigns have in common is how creative they can be. This is why people look for guerilla marketing ideas. They are clever and creative and don’t cost much to use. The person usually credited with inventing the term is Jay Conrad Levinson, whose influential book Guerilla Marketing came out in 1983.
A lot has happened since the concept of guerilla marketing was introduced. Among other things, the internet has become a major force in business. Many contemporary guerrilla marketing ideas make use of the internet, though not all. In this article, we’ll be looking at both online and offline guerilla marketing ideas to promote your business in unconventional yet powerful ways.
credit photo: In A Gorilla Costume
1. Partnerships and Joint Ventures
Let’s start off with a strategy that can be applied either online or offline. The concept of forming partnerships, sometimes called joint ventures or JVs, is not new. Yet there are always fresh ways to apply this concept.
What’s great about partnerships is that they can be utilized in so many different ways. You have to come up with an approach that’s suitable for your particular industry and goals.
Form Symbiotic Relationships With Other Businesses
The concept of symbiosis comes from biology, and refers to situations where two different types of organisms benefit one another. The same can be true for businesses.
When you think of forming partnerships, your first thought might be to look at companies within your industry. This can work, but it can often be even more advantageous to look at other types of businesses. One good thing about having partners who are doing completely different things is that they are not competing in any way.
For example, suppose you provide SEO services to online businesses. There may be cooperative ventures you could form with other SEO specialists, but why not look at industries that are peripheral to yours? One possibility would be someone who designs websites.
To someone who is new to the internet, web design and SEO may not sound that different, but they are in fact quite distinct. While there are people who do both, they are focused on very different aspects of the internet universe. A web designer is someone who builds sites from scratch and gives people an online presence. An SEO specialist is someone who uses various techniques to help these sites rank in the search engines.
You can see, however, that these two types of businesses could form a partnership. Anyone who is paying to have a website built presumably wants traffic. This is something most website builders aren’t directly concerned with (though they might throw in a few SEO friendly features, such as a WordPress plugin or two).
“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”-Seth Godin
What type of partnership could you, as an SEO specialist, form with a web designer? There are many possibilities. If you want to focus on local businesses, you could call up web designers in your area and tell them what you do. Offer them a referral fee for everyone they send your way.
This wouldn’t take much work on the web designer’s part. He or she could have a banner or blurb on their website saying something like, “ask me to recommend a great SEO person to help you get a high rank on Google!” or something similar.
You could do the same with web designers who work primarily with long distance clients. Send some emails to people who look like they know what they’re doing, and ask if they’d be interested in a little JV of this type.
Other Possible Partnerships
That’s just one example. Here are a few other possible “symbiotic” partnerships that can exist across industries:
Photographers -If you photograph or videotape weddings, think of other services people planning a wedding might need. Wedding dresses, caterers, music and party planning, for example.
Personal Coaches and Fitness Trainers -you could partner with businesses that sell supplements, sporting goods or exercise equipment.
Real Estate Agents– People buying or selling homes are often looking for home improvement services such as contractors, landscapers or interior decorators.
As you can see from these examples, you are looking for businesses that are distinct from yours yet share some common ground. This presents many opportunities to collaborate on some profitable guerilla marketing ideas.
2. Online Guerilla Marketing Ideas to Position Yourself as an Expert
In this section, we’ll look at a few guerilla marketing ideas that allow you to position yourself as an expert in your field, niche or industry. While there are ways to do this offline (more on this in the next section), the internet provides you with many easy and effective possibilities of this type.
Create an E-book or Course
Whatever your specialty is, create a report, e-book or course about it! This may sound intimidating at first. You may think you don’t have the expertise to do this. If you think this, you are almost certainly wrong.
If you are qualified to run a business or perform a valuable service, you know enough to provide people with some basic information on a topic they care about. You can also do a little research or even interview someone else if you need additional information.
Don’t try to tackle too large a topic. Hone in on one problem, issue or question that many of your customers or prospects have. If you’re not sure what subject to choose, you can do a little research and find out what people are searching for. Check out sites like Yahoo! Answers, Google Keyword Tool and Amazon.com, where you can check out bestselling book titles in your specialty.
Most of your potential customers aren’t seeking to become authorities in your field; they only want to know how to solve one or two problems. Here are a few examples of books, reports or courses that people in different fields could focus on.
“No matter what, the very first piece of social media real estate I’d start with is a blog”-Chris Brogan
Landscaper -Controlling pests, having a greener lawn, creative gardening ideas, best planting times, best types of trees to plant, etc.
Chiropractor -How to avoid sports injuries, tips for improving your posture, preventing neck pain, etc.
Real Estate Agent -Tips for finding the ideal home (you will want to advise them to find a real estate agent, of course!), increasing the value of your home, how to de-clutter your home (the latter two will appeal to people who want to sell their homes).
SEO Specialist -How to increase website traffic, SEO mistakes that can harm your ranking, social media marketing tips, etc.
When you put together your e-book, report or course, you don’t want to blatantly market your business. The point is to provide free and helpful information that leaves the reader wanting more. At the end, of course, you can make a pitch and give people your contact info.
If you don’t like to write, you could create videos. Having your own YouTube channel where you share tips is a great way to establish your expertise. You could sometimes have guests whom you interview, though you want to convince people that you are a real expert as well.
Another way to provide your audience with useful information is to create podcasts. This is simply an audio file that you can upload to your website, social sites or services such as iTunes. Podcasts can be just you talking or they can be interviews.
All of these are gifts that you should give away to your audience. You can use an e-book or e-course as a way to build an online mailing list. Videos, of course, may be shared on social media sites, as can podcasts. These are all guerilla marketing ideas that let you reach a large audience online.
3. Offline Guerilla Marketing Ideas For Establishing Yourself as an Expert
If you prefer to work offline, there are some very powerful strategies for promoting yourself locally as well. There’s no reason, naturally, why you can’t use both online and offline guerilla marketing ideas.
Giving Live Presentations
There’s no better way to share your expertise than to give lectures or presentations. This is not easy for everyone, and it certainly helps if you are sociable by nature and don’t mind talking in front of people. This is, however, a skill you can develop with practice. Remember, you don’t have to be a brilliant orator. You are only sharing some simple information with people.
It’s not hard to arrange speaking engagements locally if you can come up with a topic that will be of interest to a good number of people. Some of the places where you might be able to do this are town halls, community centers, public libraries and coffee houses.
If you want to take this to the next level, you could give an entire course. This could be done through an adult education center. These type of non-credit courses are now quite popular in many places.
When you give lectures or courses, it’s similar to what you are doing when you create online courses. You aren’t doing any outright promoting. Yet it’s almost a certainty that if you are giving people helpful tips on information that they are seeking that some of them will want to know more about your business!
“Marketing isn’t magic. There is a science to it”-Dan Zarrella
To become more active in local events, join business associations such as the Chamber of Commerce. Go to meetings and network. This alone can be worthwhile, and it can help you come up with more ideas for promoting your business.
If you enjoy giving local presentations, you might eventually expand this and attend conferences and arrange speaking engagements out of town. This is how you can build yourself up as a genuine authority.
Finally, you may want to consider sponsoring an event in your area. This could be to raise money for charity, or to simply increase awareness about a certain issue. This could be a concert, sporting event (such as a mini-marathon or walk) or an arts-related event.
This would give you a chance to collaborate with other businesses in your area. If you are organizing an event, you can’t help but talk to lots of people and tell them about your business!
Conclusion: Be Creative in Developing Guerilla Marketing Ideas
There are endless ways to apply guerilla marketing principles. You can see what your competitors are doing, but don’t limit yourself to that. See what people in other industries are doing. Come up with your own methods and tactics for getting the word out about what you have to offer.
You don’t have to be a marketing genius, a brilliant copywriter or a great speaker to come up with some amazing guerilla marketing ideas. You only have to identify some areas where you possess some valuable knowledge and then think of ways to share that with your potential customers.
These are some offline creative guerilla marketing ideas. Enjoy!
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