Starting a business is one thing. Marketing it and finding customers is another. And this is one area that many entrepreneurs find difficult. Don’t get me wrong; there are more than a dozen marketing strategies out there, only that each one comes with its own setbacks. Some marketing strategies are expensive, some strategies only reach a small audience while others are equally ineffective. But before giving up, what if there’s a way out – a marketing strategy that incorporates everything you would wish for – inexpensive, high exposure, and effective. There is. I’m talking about guerrilla marketing combined with social media.
What Is Guerrilla Marketing?
The word guerilla brings to mind intensity, conflict, and war. But that’s not what guerrilla marketing is about. Although there is some aspect of correlation between the two.
In fact, guerrilla marketing as an advertisement strategy where a company uses surprise or unconventional interactions to promote a product or service.
The main goal is to create an element of surprise to the audience, thus the name ‘guerilla.’ Moreover, another goal of guerrilla marketing is to make people remember the product in a different manner from how they are accustomed.
How Guerrilla Marketing Works with Social Media
Facebook and Instagram have a combined 3.3 billion users. And I’m yet to add figures from Twitter and the newest kid on the block, TikTok.
Where many see this as a mesmerizing figure, entrepreneurs see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to interact with thousands of customers exchanging ideas and views. It’s an opportunity to increase product awareness; an opportunity to market their products and services to people across the globe.
Guerrilla marketing has for long been used with traditional advertising methods i.e., newspapers, radios, flyers, etc. But with their fall in popularity, advertisers and marketers have to find new strategies to get their commercial messages to the consumer. Social media provides a GREAT opportunity.
The process isn’t rocket science difficult, but it isn’t a walk in the park either. You’ll need an effective plan in place. One that announces your presence and keeps it that way for long.
Here are a few guerrilla marketing tactics that I’ve gathered over a few years. Speaking out of experience, they are quite effective.
Who doesn’t love free gifts? For one I do, especially when the product is great. A giveaway is a contest in which people participate and a random winner receives a selection of prizes. Organizing viral giveaways is one way to increase the awareness of your brand and products. How? Announce a giveaway to all your fans who follow your page, like, comment, and share your posts.
Of course, you can always introduce a special hashtag to get people to talk about your products on social media. Hashtags will also help you track new entries for the giveaway. One person shares the post with three of his/her followers or friends who then share it with three others – the same concept of ‘tell a friend to tell a friend.’ By the end of the day, one share gives rise to a hundred new followers. Research has shown that giving away free products increases sales by up to 30%.
Refer a Friend
A referral program is a marketing strategy where existing customers recommend a brand or product to their family, friends, and colleagues.
Where finding new and valuable customers is a hassle, the referral program comes into play. A reason for this is that 77% of consumers are more likely to purchase a new product if recommended by family or friends.
Referral programs are deemed successful because there is trust between peers and friends. You’re more likely to purchase a product if your friend tells you about it as compared to a total stranger. But there are a few tips to keep in mind for business owners.
First of all, you need to ask customers to tell their family and friends about your product at the right time. By the right time, I mean when the customer is completely satisfied with your product or service.
Secondly, ensure that you provide the right incentives. Whereas incentives aren’t compulsory since the new customers are being referred by trusted peers, they help to reduce the reluctance to purchase the product.
Finally, make your referral program as easy as possible. Don’t assume everyone is aware of the program. Place a tab or button at your homepage where it is easily accessible. Tell your customers via email. You don’t want customers searching for the program.
Show me a better PR than supporting a good cause. Organizing fundraising events for charity is a great marketing strategy that you can utilize when you combine guerrilla marketing and social media. What’s even better is that there are hundreds of fundraising events; from happy hours to amateur art exhibits. With a little bit of planning and ingenuity, you can turn anything into an opportunity to raise cash for a good cause.
How does fundraising help with marketing? Simple: Ensure that your brand is recognized. And every time people meet your products, they’ll be reminded of the good deeds that you’re associated with.
According to Multichannel Merchant, consumers especially millennials, gravitate more towards brands that make a positive impact on society.
When organizing an online fundraising event, send out invites through different social media platforms and encourage participants to bring along their friends. You’ll be surprised how much you can achieve.
Viral marketing is a marketing strategy that uses social networks to promote a product or service. The idea is that the users themselves choose to spread information willingly. They do so through messages that spread quickly, the same manner a virus spreads from one person to another.
The most popular example of viral marketing in recent times is the Dollar Shave Club video that generated 3 million views and resulted in 12,000 new subscribers.
Reaching a point where the message goes viral is difficult. Many companies try out viral marketing, but only a few manage to receive universal recognition.
The virality of this marketing strategy is its strength and weakness as well. It’s essential to know that with viral marketing, a huge part of the control falls into the hands of the users. There is the risk of the message being parodied or misinterpreted. Even so, a successful viral marketing campaign can work miracles for your brand.
Images and Videos
Did you know that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual? Yes, images and videos grab attention. A video is even better, as it processes 3600 images in two minutes. We’ve all passed by a billboard or flyer that got our attention straight away. If you haven’t come across one yet, here is an example.
A close look at the image and you’ll notice that this is an aerial view of a mall. And those aren’t flies, but real people. Do you get the point?
Such pictures make people appreciate your creativity and boldness. The creativity and uniqueness of this picture bring about a sense of surprise, which is the actual goal of guerrilla marketing images.
Marketing your brand on social media using such pics is an excellent way of capturing people’s attention. Every like and share on your post should imply positive feedback. With memes dominating social media, guerrilla marketing images are closely behind.
Videos are also a social media sensation garnering thousands of views in days. If you got extra time on your hands, you can also opt to go live on webinars or Facebook and Instagram Videos. Connect with your audience by answering questions, solving problems, and sharing new ideas.
Live videos do not only allow brands to reach customers, but they also offer insight into the minds of customers. We are at a point where customers expect brands to communicate directly to them. It’s transparent and allows for questions to be answered forthrightly.
The above strategies have been tested and proven. With proper planning and execution, you’d be surprised how much you can achieve. The goal of any guerrilla marketing is to capture the audience’s attention through surprise. So, it’s important to get creative and innovative. For the images and videos, there are hundreds of examples from the internet that you can hunt for.
The internet and social media have been a blessing in disguise to humanity. We ought to make the most out of them. Which social media marketing strategy are you using for your brand? Do you already use guerrilla marketing?