Small Business Guerrilla Marketing for the Internet Age

Let’s talk about guerrillas. They’re independent, often out-manned fighters who band together against a bigger, more prepared enemy using surprise, ambush, sabotage and hit-and-run tactics to accomplish their goals.

Sounds a lot like a small business, right?

Guerrilla warfare has long been a way for underdogs to gain a competitive edge, and guerrilla marketing is no different. In the brick-and-mortar world, guerrilla marketing often takes the form of flash mobs, pop-up shops and other eye-catching, attention-seeking pursuits — but how does it work for internet-centric companies, where all or most business is conducted online?

If you’re looking for ideas, Mischa Communications has your back.

In and Out, In a “Flash”

The element of surprise is huge in guerrilla warfare. Guerrillas don’t stroll out onto the battlefield and meet the enemy – err … audience — on their home turf. Instead, they rush up from behind, get the job done and get out.

This quick-hitting tactic works well for social media. “Everyone who retweets this link in the next 30 minutes gets a prize!” “The first 10 people to send us a selfie with one of our products will win!” Flash contests get people talking and sharing long after the contest has ended.

Be a Little Naughty

Guerrilla marketing sometimes require you to bend a few rules — or at least make your audience think you are.

Have an “unauthorized” sale. “The boss is on vacation – 20 percent off everything until she gets back, as long as you don’t tell her about that itty bitty office fire!”

Have a (Virtual) Party

Offer people a webinar, and most of them will raise an eyebrow while stifling a yawn. Invite them to a virtual party and you’ve suddenly made it a bit more fun.

Demonstrate your products and services, chat with your attendees, play games and offer prizes or other incentives. This is more of a PR tactic, so don’t push the hard sell, but do be ready to answer questions and provide information to those who ask for it!

Host an IRL Meetup

Just because you don’t have a brick and mortar store doesn’t mean you’re destined to live a lonely life online. Spread the word on social media and invite everyone out to match names with faces.

The venue can be as simple as a city park, and the menu can be burgers and hot dogs from your local warehouse store. Like the virtual party example above, this is mainly a PR stunt, but again, have some of your wares on hand to sample!

Start a Twitter Feud

Whether it’s Taylor Swift and Katy Perry or Wendy’s and Wingstop, everyone loves a good Twitter throwdown — and if your community manager has a bit of wit, you can easily manufacture some popcorn-worthy drama of your own. (Just play nice — this is all in good fun!)

Not sure about starting beef with a real brand? If you have a couple employees willing to play along, you can create some interdepartmental excitement for all to see and share. Make sure it doesn’t get too crazy, though; there’s a thin line between good-natured ribbing and bad publicity.

Guerrilla marketing is low on monetary investment and high on creativity and time. Done correctly, it can bring in just as much (or more) business than more traditional marketing strategies. It’s definitely more fun!

Are you ready to surprise your competitors? Mischa Communications has your back! Let’s talk strategy.