There’s nothing wrong with generating publicity in the traditional way. Advertisements through analog and digital media continue to be popular because they still work really effectively. However, if you really want to get people talking about your business, you’ll have to be a bit more creative. Think back to the last time you saw a small business’ name in the media. What generated that attention? How did it spread? And perhaps most importantly of all: how much do you think they paid for that attention?
Guerrilla marketing, as it is often known, consists of promotions that are deliberately unconventional and out-of-the-box in their approach. For example, opening art installations with a theme relevant to what you’re selling, starting a viral meme on social media, or implementing a policy that is unique and eye-catching (such as a 15-dollar minimum wage for your employees) can serve as a means of getting people to pay attention to you with very little cost investment on your end. Or, you can still achieve that same effect if you’re willing to spend a little money on an unorthodox medium of advertisement.
The choices you have in waging a guerrilla marketing campaign are only limited by your imagination. Just remember, though: you want to get more out of it than what you put into it! Some of the following ideas have been used to great effect, and remain memorable even after the campaign is over.
1) Take to the skies
You don’t see companies advertising themselves on airplanes and blimps all that often, which is why it can be so much more effective when you do it. You will make yourself visible to everybody that looks up in the skies, and in a crowded metropolitan area, that means that potentially millions of people will see your name. If even a small fraction of those people check out your business, you could see quite a handsome return on your investment. Skywriting costs can be somewhat steep for small business owners (around 20,000 dollars), but the return on that investment can be many times that size.
2) Try public service
While any publicity is generally a good thing, some forms of publicity are better than others. If you initiate positive events within your community, not only will you increase publicity of your own business, but people’s perceptions of you as well. Two great examples of this are food drives and trash clean-ups. These generally don’t take a lot of money to organize, and the effect it can have on your business’ bottom line can make it greatly worth the time it takes to organize the event.
3) Draw chalk art
While nobody thinks of graffiti as a good thing, you can’t deny that some of the people that create it are really talented. So instead of defacing a public or private piece of property, why not create your very own installation in your own business? Chalk washes away easily, and it’s easy to create large, eye-popping murals with just a few pieces. Artists in your community will appreciate the opportunity to show off their skills, and people from around your area will flock to your business to see what has been put up. It’s inexpensive, and its ephemeral nature means that people won’t want to wait to see what the buzz is about!