Guerilla marketing for blogs… what the heck is that? For a blogger on a budget, or even a small business, it may be one of the best tools in your belt. In short guerilla marketing is the method of using unconventional and cost effective tactics to stick to a budget while crafting an effective marketing campaign.
But we need to fill a whole blog post so let’s go a bit more in depth. The last thing I want to do is keep this all in theory though, which is why along with references to known example tactics I’m going to dive into the ones we used at Monstah Mash that gave us the most success and helped us grow. Especially if you are on a tight budget, guerilla marketing can be a game changer for your marketing efforts and strategy, so let’s get to it.
What is Guerilla Marketing
First off, what the heck is Guerilla Marketing and how can it help in blogging. These guys wrote the book on it, literally, and give a good definition. To keep it short though, it’s thinking outside the box. I’d say it’s marketing on a budget however larger companies can run guerilla marketing campaigns too. Really it’s any non-traditional marketing tactics that get you and your brand and on the street. These can include interactive and innovative advertisements/exhibits, public demonstrations, hoaxes, and more. While traditional marketing consists of advertisements, Guerilla marketing turns those advertisements on their heads. Though technically, it’s still advertising (just not an obvious one).
Really it’s an ad, but an ad that actually engages people and gets them to share. It’s more about making a public statement, rather than focusing on the budget (though keeping things cost efficient helps, and statements can be cheaper than Adwords campaigns). For an exhaustive list check here to get some inspiration!
Guerilla Marketing Strategies
Ever see some really cool ads? Maybe when riding the train to work you see the entire car decked out for some type of promotion. Or maybe there’s a video that went viral that you just have to re-watch as well as share. Or what about the time you nearly walked into that new interactive exhibit on your way to work?
That is guerilla marketing. And it’s not just small companies or blogs, State Street Global Advisors ran this campaign recently:
Maybe you saw this on your Facebook feed and thought ‘oh what a cool defiant gesture. Then you thought, I’m going to share it because I too hate Wall Street and am not afraid.’ Nope, it’s not a gesture. Instead it’s a very clever marketing campaign by a very well known and established corporation. They’re not against the status quo and they’re not necessarily rebels. But they took a unique approach to showing what they believe (not being afraid of Wall Street and vouching for the common man) and you endorsed them.
That is the beauty of Guerilla marketing and why it can be so effective. All you have to do is create something unique to get people talking, and they do the rest for you. Unlike traditional ad campaigns which blare out noise at people, guerilla marketing works to intrigue people and draw them in. They then share what they found, giving you a nice multiplier effect on what can be a very efficiently run campaign.
Strategies we Used at Monstah Mash
We never created a bronze statue to stare down a bull, but we did do some pretty fun things at Monstah Mash. We did get a bit creative when it came to promoting our blog though.
There were three main components to our marketing ‘engine’ of sorts, they were social media, blogging campaigns, and merchandise.
When social media is done well it can be the best tool in your chest. If done poorly though it, well, looks bad. We’ve written on the social campaigns you need to be running as well as the common pitfalls of social media so I won’t go too in depth. Simply put, social media allows you to cultivate a virtual community and that simple fact is extremely powerful.
You can attract a following with nothing other than your persona. You can make them laugh and cry with you as well as set up events to attract more. You’ll get what you put into it though. Put in a lot of effort and you’ll get a lot out so use it wisely. At Monstah Mash we would run events on Facebook as giveaways to attract a viral following, as well as tweet often (mainly during live Sox games) to evolve our persona over time.
Next up is one of our blogging campaigns, ‘Humans of Red Sox Nation’. This was one of our best initiatives as we turned ‘Humans of New York’ on its head a bit by focusing on Red Sox fans and telling their stories. Whether it be a favorite game or just a special night at Fenway we brought people off the street an outlet to share. This required a great deal of effort on our part to find and interview readers. It forced us to get on the street and take a unique approach to the stories that we put out. Even today I’m still so proud of the effort our team put into this promotion, and happy with the result.
Last up is merchandise. Now this isn’t pumping out products to the public at a rapid clip. Instead we took a different approach, one that fit in with our overall persona. We produced a few shirts to sell on the Monstah Market and took a great deal of care into how they were designed. They had to fit in with our style and be a conversation starter–the hope being that someone wearing them would be asked ‘where did you get that shirt?’.
Here’s one of my favorite designs as an example:
With the help of a good friend and graphic designer we produced a few simple yet captivating designs with a goal to spread the word. While profiting off of the shirts would always be nice, the main goal is to take our readers and give them the chance to spread the word for us rather than our marketing efforts stemming from us alone.
Maybe Guerilla marketing isn’t quite for you. That’s okay.
If you are someone who wants to take a unique approach to marketing your blog/business though, and even wants to stick to a tighter budget then I suggest giving it a try. At the end of the day Guerilla marketing is still advertising. It’s just advertising in a way that people don’t realize their being advertised to. It’s advertising in a way that people are intrigued rather than turned off because you are bringing something compelling to the table. Hmmm, sounds a bit like ‘inbound marketing’.
Through a few simple yet creative initiatives you can set yourself apart from the rest of the pack, and get some potential customers talking about your business. I don’t know about you, but I think that is definitely worthwhile. Even if you’re hesitant, give it a shot; you can always go back to your standard and quite normal Facebook ad campaigns.