Guerrilla marketing is an innovative way to promote your event and increase event attendance. It involves the use of unexpected and experiential marketing and advertising tactics to create brand awareness. With no room for error, a poorly executed campaign could annoy or even frighten your audience. But, done correctly, guerrilla marketing is a low-cost option that can make a bold statement. We’ve compiled a list of the top 13 guerrilla event marketing ideas to create organic experiences at your events.
13 Guerrilla Marketing Ideas
The main intent of guerrilla marketing is to be involved in your audience’s daily life without them realizing it. What better way than to utilize social media? Promotion on social media, when done right, can give you massive exposure. Highly utilized by brands, it works when you know your target audience and the right marketing channel mix. Create images, GIFs, and videos that are easy to consume and resonate well with your target audience and followers. You can set the ball rolling with a hashtag and make it trend by using content that compels people to respond. Social media is a great guerrilla market tactic since it can be adjusted according to your budget. Depending on your brand and event, create an event on Facebook, collaborate with Snapchat or Instagram, or create ads on LinkedIn and Twitter to generate buzz online.
Popular bloggers or influencers can help you go that extra mile to promote your event. By giving them the scoop about your event, they can write stories that are sure to steal the spotlight and appeal directly to your target audience. In return, you can provide a VIP pass to your event. This way they’ll not only feel important but might also provide coverage at your event. Unfortunately, finding the right blogger, one who has a large following and is related to your industry, can be difficult. Identifying such people requires extensive research.
An element of surprise can leave a lasting impression on your audience, provided it is delivered flawlessly. An impromptu song or a dance can help you promote your event quickly without costing too much. Make sure you record the activity and promote it later on your website with a call to action of registering for your event. When organizing a flash mob, use busy areas such as train stations. Pro Tip: it is extremely important to have a well-choreographed and interesting performance since a badly done flash mob reflects poorly on your brand.
Build a loyalty or referral program that rewards people who promote your event. A common practice in B2C marketing, loyalty programs are can yield incredible results. Get started by giving discounts or preferential rates to those who market your event. You could also provide VIP passes to the person who refers to the highest number of people, gets the most ticket sales or generates buzz on social media channels about your event.
Use the contemporary art of tattoos on your staff to market your event. Encourage employees to get temporary tattoos on their hands and arms so that the tattoos can be easily spotted. A tattoo on your staff proves that the event is worthy of being shown off.
Activity Vending Machines
A winning combination for repeat attendees is involving them with in brand by giving away thoughtful freebies. Get innovative with freebies by installing vending machines that are based on activity. Remember the famous subway ticket machine in Moscow which offered free tickets to people who did at least 30 squats, or the Coca Cola vending machine that gave a free can of Coke in return for hugs? Ideas such as these can go viral on social media and help you effortlessly promote your event.
If an activity vending machine is out of your budget, then another sure-fire way to hog attention is by giving freebies. Think of grand prizes such as free event passes or backstage passes. If that isn’t possible, then go for smaller gifts. Just keep in mind, the giveaways need to be useful and catchy enough that they generate curiosity.
Use gamification while promoting your event to make the process fun and engaging. It is great for your brand image and keeps your potential attendees engaged. You can create a real-world treasure hunt that has event clues spread across an area in the city. Give participants several chances to promote the game on social media, like when they find a clue or win any prizes. This will encourage others to play along! Most companies like to keep things online to reduce logistics costs. You can also create branded mini web or mobile games just days before your event to unlock certain event privileges on the day of the event.
Online newsletters are a budget-friendly and conventional way to target your prospects, followers, or even previous attendees. Use it to your advantage to give all the relevant information about the event in a way that catches your reader’s attention. Newsletters are cost-effective and require minimal effort, making them a preferred choice of seasoned marketers. Just remember, to keep the unsubscribe rate low, create content that adds value instead of being sales-y. Consider incorporating the following sections in your newsletter: Exclusive newsletter discounts, first-look videos, early-bird discounts, insider information, and guest speaker interviews.
Display Event-related Products
Seamlessly blend your event’s promotion in your potential attendees’ lives by renting a shop window to display unique event-related items. Create unique displays that are eye-catching so that people passing by don’t miss them. Make sure the displays impart a memorable message without being too obvious.
Use a Branded Car
If you have the budget, then hit the road with a branded car to spruce up your event promotions. Millions of people (who are also your potential attendees) drive every day, so why not reach out to them and make their drive unforgettable? While promoting your event on the move might seem impossible, most brands advertise by hiring a taxi and riding it through a city to make their event branding visible even from a distance.
Event props scattered around the city or town where the event will be hosted are likely to drive conversations among passers-by. Of course, we aren’t asking you to leave things attended as that may scare people off. But having branded products with the right mix of mystery can drive conversation among people, particularly on social media. This, in return, means more marketing for your event and higher attendance. While you think of props to scatter, ensure that the props provide enough information to the people around so that they know where the stuff is coming from. The key is to strike a balance and not overdo it.
Sponsor Local Events
If you’d like to take the traditional route, then be local event sponsors for a small event. This tried and truel tactic works well if you are targeting a local market. Sponsoring small events like street fairs or school fundraising events can help in a big way to reach the intended demographic. You can also distribute branded clothes to volunteers to wear on the event or simply have a banner, stall, signages to increase your brand recall value.
Make the Most of Guerrilla Marketing
There you have it, our top 13 guerrilla marketing ideas for your next event. When done right, guerrilla marketing can help you generate buzz around your event. Guerrilla marketing is a way to reach your target demographic and its success ultimately depends on how creative, bold, and original you can get to put your brand in front of the people. Think outside the box to get noticed if you don’t have a huge budget to work with. After all, sometimes all it takes to promote an event is creativity!
Read Event Marketing Guide for more ideas.