Adorable kitten videos aren’t the only way to get attention online. Small businesses can also advertise in the digital sphere through guerrilla marketing. With more than 71 billion in e-commerce sales, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, business owners won’t want to pass up the opportunity to boost their sales with guerrilla marketing techniques. These unconventional, low-cost advertising methods can help small businesses stand out from the competition and improve their bottom line. To succeed, you’ll want your company to be three things: surprising, witty and bold.
Consumers today are so bombarded by advertisements that they’ve grown completely numb to them. Fortunately, a surprising and subtle ad can catch their attention once again. For example, small businesses can send beautiful bouquets of flowers to their customers and attach a handwritten thank you note expressing appreciation. This random act of kindness is effective because it demands attention. Keep this strategy low-cost by sending this cheerful gift to a select handful of loyal online shoppers. Alternatively, EnMast recommends spotlighting a customer through personalized shout-outs on Facebook or Twitter. Any unexpected friendly gesture—big or small—is sure to increase your chance of becoming a company people know and trust.
A well-placed advertisement can generate a positive response and take advantage of consumers’ love for humor. To create the perfect online setup for your e-commerce site, begin with an objective. Who is your target audience? What are you trying to sell? Answer these two questions and you’ll have an easier time brainstorming comical guerrilla marketing strategies. Heineken, according to All Business, released an online video in 2009 featuring a group of women getting excited over a walk-in closet and contrasted this scene with a group of men in the next room celebrating a walk-in fridge filled with ice-cold Heineken. The video went viral and the company took the stunt to beer festivals, narrowing the gap between online advertising and consumer-led marketing. Small businesses can shoot their own humorous videos without spending a fortune. A smartphone and a group of friends is all you need to create the next viral video. Just remember, keep it tasteful and make your brand the star of the show.
A bold guerrilla marketing stunt is arguably the most effective, but also the most difficult technique to get right. A small business must walk a fine line between insulting and avant-garde. Jobsintown created a brilliant campaign with the punch line, “Life is too short for the wrong job.” Their ads featured a person powering a laundry machine, vending machine or arcade machine, among others. The tactic was creative and approached a delicate topic in a non-aggressive way. Adapt this method for an online environment by advertising your product or service through compelling content. An article or video that demands a reaction from viewers is more powerful than a passive banner ad on a website. Because your business might not have the means to outsource to a third-party provider yet, come up with great content ideas by brainstorming, interviewing and reading other blogs, suggests CopyBlogger.