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There is a ton of buzz about guerrilla marketing. It seems to be popping up everywhere, but what is it exactly? If you haven’t noticed, more traditional forms of marketing aren’t always the center piece of a campaign anymore, in fact, more grass-roots tactics are sprouting up all over the place.

The trademark of a guerrilla campaign is creativity. These campaigns find new and exciting ways to encourage audiences to learn more about brands in ways they might not expect. Done correctly, this type of marketing can create a large amount of publicity, website traffic and profit.

How can you utilize guerilla marketing? Here are nine simple ways to integrate guerrilla marketing into your strategy.

Partner with Local Businesses

How can two mom-and-pop shops with similar demographics spread the word about their presence in a community? By joining together! Take for example, a juice bar partnering with an indoor cycling studio. The juice bar can provide riders with samples of free juice after class to generate brand awareness to health-conscious consumers. The cycle studio can also post flyers and coupons for the juice bar in their business and vice versa. This method is one of the easiest to pull off, because it creates a win-win for both parties and their like-minded consumers.

Incentivize Engagement 

This is probably the most expensive method of guerrilla marketing, but it generates great word of mouth. Instead of just sending one-way messages to the public, you are engaging with them. This call-to-action will inspire consumers to actually do something when prompted. For example, in Rakuten’s recent campaign they set up booths and handed out money to those that could pronounce their name correctly. It gave consumers incentive to not only engage with the brand in that moment, but to remember their name in the future. Now, many more people are aware of Rakuten… and able to pronounce it!

Utilize Social Media

This requires a little research as it’s important to have a pulse on the latest viral trends and what will thrive in the current marketplace. One way to get noticed in the sea of social media is by posting engaging content with snappy captions. This could be something as simple as getting into a faux brawl with a competing company. A great example is when Wendy’s, a company known for its witty social media, replied to Wingstop’s tweet referring to Migos’ song, “Bad and Boujee.” This started a rap battle of epic proportions. Neither company spent any money on this method, but this “feud” generated thousands of replies on both Twitter accounts, which is pretty awesome.

Attend Demographic-Inspired Events

What is your target demographic doing? Where are they spending their time? Doing the research to find out where these events are taking place, attending them, and creating buzz about your brand is an easy way to draw organic traffic. Take Tinder, for example. Before the app was garnering attention by 57 million users worldwide, the creators would attend college parties to show the demographic how easy the app was to use. They knew that if they could get the app to resonate with sociable college kids that other people would find value in it as well. Word-of-mouth continued as college students went home during breaks and told local friends about the app that has since become an institution for online dating.

Create Street Art 

Yes, art around a city, like billboards, can cost a huge chunk of change, but this method does not involve much financial backing. The only kicker here is that the art cannot be permanent—that’s where the money starts to stack up. Companies could do something as simple as grabbing some colored chalk and writing a catchy line with a bright image to peak curiosity. You don’t have to be the Picasso of chalk art to utilize this method, something as simple as a strategically placed inspirational quote can grab the right person’s attention. There really is no right or wrong answer. Just make sure it is located in a place with heavy foot traffic.

Work with the Holidays 

Ever notice how people highly anticipate Google’s daily doodles for the holidays or even low-key events like Thomas Edison’s birthday? This is because Google takes it upon themselves to create something that keeps the user engaged with their brand. Utilizing on-brand design to engage loyal fans is a great way to spark conversations with your audience. Another example of this is Starbuck’s holiday cups; people get emotionally invested in the brand as the holidays draw nearer. This small change inspires people to take photos of their festive beverages to share on social media.

Key into Trends

You know when something becomes popular, because you see it everywhere. Remember the days of the fingerboard? These were something as simple as miniature skateboards you would use your fingers to ride around with. There were even skate parks available to buy and “skate” around on, they were so popular. During this trend, many skateboard companies honed-in on the trend and produced boards branded with their logos. Another, more recent, example is fidget spinners. It is cheap and easy to slap a brand on these small gadgets, and it proves to get the word out effectively.

Hand Out Flyers

This might not be the most exciting method of guerrilla marketing, but it still proves to be effective. The trick here is to hand out the flyers in a high-traffic location. Typically, you can expect a response rate of 2-3% for this type of advertising. So, for every 1,000 flyers you pass out, you should get about 20-30 customers responding, depending on your industry. While actual “sell” rates from those replies may vary, your probability increases if you are reaching your ideal clientele. Physical therapists, for example, may choose to hand out brochures or flyers to local gyms or nearby hospitals.

Integrate Charities

Another creative way to boost your public image and give back to the community is through charitable marketing. Take BOBS shoe company, for example. A percentage of profits from each pair of shoes sold goes toward animal shelters and helping animals in need of a good home. Pet lovers are easily drawn into this campaign, because it sparks an emotional connection. Charitable marketing campaigns tend to strike a chord with a particular demographic. Can you guess which one? If you said millennials, you’re correct! According to CNBC, millennials respond favorably to charitable corporate programs and are likely to share about ideas that resonate with them on social media, which equates to free positive marketing for the brand.

So, what do you think? Has the marketing industry gone bananas or is guerrilla marketing something you’re willing to monkey around with? At Orange Label, we stand behind creativity in the marketplace; that’s why it’s one of our core values! From designing direct mail flyers to developing holiday-inspired social media promotions, we’re in favor of fun campaigns that connect the right audience with the right brand. If you’re looking to liven up your marketing strategy, click here.

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As Orange County’s longest-standing, privately held response marketing agency, we have witnessed dynamic shifts in the world of marketing. Through it all, we have ensured our clients stay at the forefront of communication and technology, driving response and value with every new endeavor.