MARKETING & ADVERTISING • May 19, 2016
2 minutes Read
If you’re like most small business owners, you probably have a small library of books and a host of bookmarked webpages offering great advice on how to market your business and stand out from the competition. But let’s face it, many marketing strategies are geared toward businesses that enjoy financial resources you might not have.
But financial constraints shouldn’t prevent you from running a dynamic marketing campaign that gets noticed. By employing unconventional tactics and putting a premium on creative ideas, you can surprise customers, create buzz and make a name for your business.
It’s called guerrilla marketing, and the idea behind this strategy is to use a minimal amount of dollars to get in front of as many people as possible in both the digital and the real world.
Online, it’s all about the soft sell
It’s almost instinctual for business owners to want to go back to a traditional and outdated form of advertising that overtly tries to persuade the audience that a given product is the best. But soft selling is about subtlety; it’s about grabbing the attention of your audience and entertaining them. In many cases, this may mean not even mentioning your brand.
Unlike traditional marketing, the goal of guerrilla marketing is not to create an interruption but to create something that is the event itself. This tactic applies itself to all kinds of mediums, from creating informative “how to” videos, to writing a weekly blog or creating an infographic that relates to your business. If it’s interesting for its own sake and doesn’t look like advertising, you’re on the right track.
Leverage the power of sharing
Simply put, good content creates buzz and eventually leads people to you and your business. For this reason, establishing a strong social media presence for your business is key. To accomplish this, focus on building your reputation as an expert by sharing and commenting on relevant content, and by creating your own original content, too. Give them something to talk about and you’ll establish your business as a leader and an influencer.
While there are numerous opportunities to connect with potential customers online, you still need to have a real-world marketing strategy. Billboards, mailers and radio ads are expensive. Instead, focus on growing an email newsletter with entertaining news, coupons and specials to get customers in your store. Or, better yet, forget humility and think of your business as a cultural institution! Hire a designer to make a humorous or quirky t-shirt and hand them out. If you’re a sandwich shop, offer free sandwiches for a year to anyone who gets a large decal of your logo put on their car. Consider promoting public spectacles like a flash mob. That’s right: flash mob.
Be smart and be bold. Whatever you do, make sure it gets people talking! After all, the more they talk, the more free advertising you get.
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