Guerilla marketing is a type of unconventional marketing method that involves utilizing unique tactics to build brand awareness. Because it errs on the unconventional side, it can be difficult for marketers and business owners to understand how it works and how they can implement it into their own strategic marketing and branding.
Though there are ambiguous definitions of guerilla marketing, there are a few key must-haves that can help you gain a better understanding of what it means to be guerilla in your tactics. In today’s digital landscape, a guerilla strategy can offer balance and fun to the overall plan. Here’s what you need to know:
The Element of Surprise
As previously mentioned, the element of surprise is a big part of guerilla marketing. The idea is to capture attention, spark conversation, and increase awareness. When you achieve this with grandiose displays, more people will take pictures and engage with your business. Essentially, you’re playing to the human side of the consumer. Through guerilla marketing, you’re sparking emotions in others and giving them a reason to take pictures and become active participants in your campaign. This is something to keep in mind as you brainstorm ideas.
Types of Guerilla Marketing
There are a few different types of guerilla marketing to keep in mind. Experiential guerilla marketing is a niche that involves face-to-face, branded interactions and creative public stories. Then there’s ambush guerilla marketing, which leverages the audiences that attend different events—without the brand asking for permission from event sponsors. This errs on the disruptive side and tends to gather large, curious crowds.
And lastly, ambient guerilla marketing involves placing ads or visual items in places they wouldn’t normally belong to encourage people to stop and take another look. Although each of these niches within guerilla marketing is related, they require different types of executions, and understanding your goals will help you decide which aligns with your business strategy.
Examples of Guerilla Marketing
It helps to take a look at how other brands are spearheading their own guerilla marketing campaigns to help pave the way for your own efforts. Fortunately, there are many examples of guerilla marketing out there. For example, paper towel company Bounty made a series of large art installations throughout New York City that demonstrated real-life messes.
The purpose of the campaign was to demonstrate how we can’t ignore the messes that we make on a day to day basis any more than we can ignore disruptive art pieces that are right in front of us. In a world where ad blockers are synonymous with online browsing experiences, brands like Bounty have to be creative in their approach if they want to get noticed. This particular campaign led to many social shares and plenty of engagement.
Brainstorming Guerilla Ideas
Now that you have an idea of what guerilla marketing entails, it’s time to think about how you’ll use it. Gather your team and start thinking about how you’ll execute your idea. As you think about different ways you can use guerilla marketing, there are a few words you should keep in mind.
The first is authenticity. Your campaigns should be authentic in order to truly connect with the people that come into contact with it. Other words include attention-grabbing, clever, and timely. Because engagement is such a crucial component of guerilla marketing, it does need to hook your audience, capture attention, and maybe even cause a little disruption. If you want your audience to remember the experience, you’ll need to create a campaign that actively involves them.
Measuring Your Success
Digital marketing campaigns are easy to measure, but guerilla marketing campaigns take a little more effort. These campaigns are intended to create viral opportunity and brand awareness, and because in-person engagement is a vital ingredient in the recipe, your audience’s reaction becomes a metric.
Because you can’t measure page views and impressions, website traffic and revenue become clear indicators of success. When possible, hand out informational marketing materials that list custom codes or specific landing pages that help you track how many visitors arrived at your business website as a direct result of your guerilla marketing efforts.
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