17 Local, Low-cost Guerrilla Marketing Tactics
Beat The Summer Slump With This List of 17 Local, Low-cost Guerrilla Marketing Tactics that will drive a tsunami of new customers to your business! When starting a small business one of the most difficult decisions is where to market and how much marketing. Here are some insider tips that can help your business breakout…without breaking the bank.
What used to just be known as a “Pound” symbol, is now the single-highhandedly most recognized symbol for social media communication. You’re used to the idea of putting things that are directly pertinent to your product or idea into hashtags, but did you know exactly how far your reach can go with just a flick of a key? For instance, if you’re a pizza business and want to promote half price slices on Fridays here in Winston Salem, make your own hastags with #halfpricedpizzawinstonsalem, or #winstonsalempizzaspecials. What this does is push your endeavors right to the targeted audience.
2. Create a Resource Center
A resource center is a blog or article collective that allows the consumer to read up on your company extensively. If done effectively, you will appear higher on search engine rankings, and become the “go-to guru” of all things in your field. The more free information you provide for a prospective client, the more they will come to depend on you.
3. Be a Part of Online Discussions
Don’t just post what you have to post then immediately log off. See who’s reading and sharing your content, and try to strike up conversations with them. A business with a higher online presence develops a more intimate relationship with their clientele. Make your readers feel special. Check in on them every once in a while. Don’t just contact your fans and followers when you want their money, instead focus on creating in depth lasting relationships. Check your sites daily, not weekly, a well tended garden yields more beets.
4. Create a Video
Producing a professional quality video doesn’t have to be expensive. There are free apps on the Google Play and Apple App stores that allow you to create free infomercials. Share your company’s goals and current product offers. Connect with your audience by putting your face out into the world to create a more personal feel to your business.
5. Take Advantage of Advertising Discounts
Ad space during the Super Bowl may be out of the question, but there are often coupons and discounts for paid advertising through social networks. Google and Facebook are notorious for offering discounted advertising to smaller businesses trying to start out. Check with your web host to see if they offer advertising discount codes as a service. Lastly, StumbleUpon offers some of the cheapest pricing for pay per click advertising. If you are willing to sit down and hone in on your target audience, StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery program may be for you.
There are times where you may not be able to afford a content writer to provide you with edgy insight articles. When you’re faced with this situation, instead recycle material. Take existing articles from around the web, books, or magazines, and make the content your own. This does not mean copying and pasting an article verbatim and calling it your own, that is plagiarism. Instead, think of this as a book report. Read all your material, write your own content, using your own personal verbiage, and credit sources where needed. If you have an existing arsenal of written content that is dated, give it a brief touch up with a few fresh fonts, some images, and put it back out into the world.
7. Create a Referral or Loyalty Program
Give your existing customers a reason to stick around. There are many ways to go about this from tiered programs giving your customers higher levels of benefits corresponding to their patronage or longevity (gold, silver, bronze), to a flat reward program. This can range from punch cards accumulating to a free product, to a free small service upgrade or discount for bringing in new business. Word of mouth is the most powerful tool when it comes to marketing.
8. Online Contests
If you already have a strong online presence, grow it by hosting contests. These can range from content creation contests such as designing images and submitting ideas, to making an online raffle with a small entry fee leading to a physical item or service as the prize. These contests have a strong likelihood of being passed around social media, gathering you new followers and contacts.
9. Business Cards
Every handshake should lead to exchanging a business card. Design a catchy business card with your business contact information and pass it out to everyone you meet. If you’re feeling extra fancy, look into putting a QR code onto the back of the card, that you can track the driven traffic with, that leads people to either your company website, or a promotional page offering an additional service since they found you via card. As a special incentive to you, The Clever Robot is offering you 1,000 custom business cards for FREE when you place an order for custom services. For more information on this promotion, send us an email from the link at the bottom of the screen.
10. Guerrilla Marketing
Utilize your surroundings to create free or low cost marketing solutions. Print stickers for your business and cover approved areas with them. Partner with a local street artist to see about having a mural done, or just put your social handle out into the world with sidewalk chalk. Create a relationship with a neighboring business and exchange promo materials to disperse, so you are branching out your reach into a different circle than your own. There are literally thousands of existing ideas for guerrilla marketing, and all you need is a little creativity.
11. Educate Your Demographic
Host a free class, event, or webinar for your local and online community. These events can range anywhere from promotional to strictly informative, whichever works best for your business. For instance a restaurant that is having trouble keeping up with competitors may have a free class that teaches their clients how to make a simple dish or properly attend a wine tasting. Use these events to educate your existing and prospective customers as to why your business is the one they need.
12. Fish Bowl Drawings
If you have a physical office or business location that your customers routinely visit, this is for you. Put a fishbowl, vase, or box somewhere at your place of business accompanied with a sign letting people know of a business card raffle. Be sure to clearly list the contest date and any stipulations (must be redeemed by) along with your contact information. What does this do for you? It gives you a chance to see what your customer demographic is, do you have more business professionals or blue collar individuals frequenting your establishment. It also allows you to start a network. Have you been needing a new website, but can’t find a web designer? Look through your business card loot and see about forming a partnership. Make sure to keep your collective bounty of cards organized for quick sifting.
Create an email based marketing initiative that focuses on contacting your clientele on a monthly or weekly basis. Offering a start up incentive, such as a free book or a free slice of cake, can help you increase your advertising address book. What E-Marketing does is, keep your customers in a constant state of contact. If you’re running a huge sale or promotional feature, this is one of the best ways to directly contact your audience. Make sure your emails are not too heavy on pushing sales, but are instead focused on growing your subscriber base.
14. Car Magnets
As long as you’re a good safe driver, using your personal or company car for advertising is easy. Simply slap a few magnetic signs to the outside of your car, and then continue about your normal daily life. This mobile signage will help reach out to anyone in your day to day life, instead of relying on a digital existence to push your name out.
15. Create a Strong Online Presence
While I’ve already touched base on this, it deserves to be mentioned again. Social networking is one of the most important aspects to building a small business. Create and cultivate a presence on sites like: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Linkedin. There are even ways to link most of these sites together so one click can rule them all. Google+ is one of the most important sites for you to set up. Why? When you type in your business name into Google, if you have your information already put into Google+, a large Wikipedia style knowledge box will come up on the right side of the search results. This box will feature your company name, address, phone number, website, business hours, and even show some of your most recent reviews. The less steps it takes for someone to contact you, the higher the likelihood of your business increasing clientele.
16. Join in on local events
Donate a product or service of your choice to be a prize in a local event or contest. This can include charity raffles, silent auctions, or community fairs. While this may cost your business some money for having to provide something for free, in the long run it gains you exposure and a client that you can work on “upgrading” to a higher services plan or a long term contract.
Everyone loves them. Kids, adults, animals. They’re low cost advertising that you can hand out in the office, or at any events you happen to attend. Going to a sporting event’s tailgating party? Become the hit of the party with your companies balloons. These floating bubbles of advertising might just be what you need to reach for the stars.
18. Be consistent in all you do.
Consistency is an easy concept, with hard practices. There are countless ways being inconstant can hurt or kill your business. Posting and online presence consistency, along with content writing and general information given. There needs to be a set formula. Make sure the spelling of your business, its address (physical and web), and phone number are all listed the same way across all fields. If you start a promotion where you’re posting a deal or offer on a certain day of the week, keep with your commitment. When users look at your online presence they can quickly determine how much your prioritize keeping a set schedule, or if you slack off at keeping your appointed tasks.
These are relatively low cost opportunities to gather exposure for your products, services or brands. Properly optimized, any one of these strategies can drive new business to your doors. Recognize where and when your efforts are in vain, and then to how to deal with it. You can move resources from one campaign that is not working and add to an existing, successful campaign or try something else off the list.
Be warned though, having a marketing tunnel-vision or trying to run all your front of business needs while keeping a strong online presence is tough. If you’re having a hard time balancing, get some help. Hire some professional social media managers, or get a part time assistant to take the weight off of you.
THE BIG THREE: Small Business Marketing
1) Branding yourself, and selling it: Make a YouTube video explaining who you are and what you do. Create your own hashtags to push your branding and use them on every post.
2) Canvas everything: Even if you don’t think its for you, still make profiles on all social pages, and push your content everywhere to see where it sticks. This includes: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
3) Don’t be afraid to get creative: Whether it be buying a Pay Per Click campaign, to creating a referral or raffle incentive; explore all your options. Use every opportunity to sell not only your product, but also yourself.
If you would like to request more information about The Clever Robot’s printing or Email Marketing services please feel free to contact us