Podcasts, social media, and other guerilla marketing techniques are the next frontier in marketing and brand awareness.
When Tinder first launched, there weren't many users. So, the marketers behind the dating app decided to come up with an idea: They'd use guerilla marketing to get the word out there that you could find other singles in your area—and possibly love—through the platform.
The former VP of Marketing for Tinder, Whitney Wolfe, would go around to different fraternity and sorority parties. She'd tell the men in the fraternities that there were single women from the sororities on the app, and vice versa. Pretty soon, the number of users jumped from less than 5,000 to around 15,000.
Today, when there is so much international competition for consumers, you have to be creative when it comes to marketing your business and think outside the box. Let's take a look at how to do just that through guerilla marketing.
What Is Guerilla Marketing?
According to Nathan Sebastian, a content expert, and marketer with GoodFirms, "Guerilla marketing is the use of unconventional marketing tactics that are used to engage the audience, taking them by surprise."
Along with using word of mouth marketing by going to gatherings, like Tinder did, guerilla marketing tactics include doing publicity stunts, holding flash mobs, coming up with a viral video idea, and creating a funny or interesting billboard.
Podcast Guerilla Marketing
Luana Spinetti, a B2B marketing copywriter and consultant, suggests that businesses jump into the podcast game to promote their businesses, as well as coming up with unique campaigns for social media. These are two guerilla marketing tactics that are inexpensive and can result in a big return on investment.
"Podcasts are easy to create even with inexpensive [equipment] and you can make them an important highlight on your website, invite list subscribers to listen to them, promote episodes on social media posts and enable push notifications so interested users are always notified when a new episode is up," Spinetti says.
Podcasts have been steadily on the rise over the past few years. According to Convince and Convert, 32% of Americans are now listening to podcasts on a monthly basis, and about one-quarter listen weekly. You can start a podcast for only a few hundred dollars, and you can build an audience that will become paying customers. Another option is to go on podcasts that your target audience enjoys.
"Use podcasts to educate and entertain," says Gail Sideman, a publicist at Gpublicity. "Ask a loyal (fun) customer to join you on one, a mover/shaker in your industry on another."
Sebastian noted that podcasts are perfect for the fast-paced world of today, where people don't have time to sit down and watch long pieces of content. "Giving your full attention has grown very difficult," he says. "Hence, podcasts come in very handy and can be used effectively for growing brand awareness."
Remember to make your podcast interesting for your audience. Build your subscribers by bringing on influencers in your field, creating blog and social media posts about your podcast, and garnering publicity for your show on sites in your niche.
"When you tackle an industry topic in a podcast episode, always find a way to connect it to your business, possibly at the end of the episode, so people dive right into the content first and don't get annoyed by the 'salesy' bit," suggests Spinetti.
Social Media Guerilla Marketing
Social media is the perfect place to start marketing your business because the basic versions are free. Until you start paying for ads, you can use social media to experiment with different guerilla marketing tactics.
"The easiest, least expensive way to do [social media marketing] is to create engaging social post series that users love and want to interact with and share, and you can get more views, likes, subscribers and (eventually) sales by boosting any 'pillar' posts that you created through the social platform's advertising system (e.g. Facebook Boosted Posts, Instagram's sponsored posts, etc.)," says Spinetti.
Begin by looking at other examples of guerilla marketing on social media, like the highly successful Ice Bucket Challenge campaign and Starbucks' introduction to the unicorn Frappuccino on Instagram. Both campaigns benefited from great visuals, and people were encouraged to make user-generated content to participate.
Sideman said that on social media, you could share a funky story about your business or something that you sell, use videos to show users what things look like behind the scenes (for example, how a product is made) and tell your employees' stories to forge a more personal connection with followers.
No matter what guerilla marketing campaign you decide to go with, think of how it represents your brand, appeals to your audience, and could ultimately drive sales. And don't forget to keep Sideman's motto in mind: "Guerilla marketers can't be afraid to take chances. My formula is funky + facts + fun = famous."