Guerilla marketing ideas for small businesses

It’s a jungle out there, and your business is competing to survive.  You need a marketing plan that brings in new customers and new sales, but your budget is limited.  What are some tactics that can be used to get to those target markets without over-spending?
By far the best strategy is leveraging social media.  There are many ways to leverage the online marketplace with little cash, if any.  Some ways to use social media for small businesses include:

Set up a Facebook page – make your page witty and attractive.  The page should cater to your market demographic audience.  You can add links to your corporate website and to your online shopping pages if you like.  Stay in touch with everyone who “likes” your page – and offer specials or incentives regularly for your friends and fans.

Twitter to get more audience – much like Facebook, you should set up a Twitter account and have daily tweets with specials, coupons, and promotional offers.  To gain followers, offer an incentive for referrals or “the 1000th follower will get a 10% discount.”

LinkedIn is a professional site that caters to a more job-centric audience, but there are multitudes of groups on LinkedIn for virtually every industry.  Join the groups that are applicable to your business, and participate in the discussions, occasionally referring people to your business to solve particular problems.

Blogs have become a terrific guerilla marketing tactic.  Set up a blog site, and then connect it to all of your various social media outlets.  Post stories or commentaries on experiences surrounding your product, service, or business.

Local neighborhood and city websites can be leveraged in many ways to get to the audience who is closest to your business.  From the chamber of commerce to the local newspaper website, your business can participate, blog, and link various campaigns in order to get local exposure.

For those who might be interested in more unsavory tactics, there are a few strategies to explore with caution:

Copy or replicate your competitor’s strategy.  This is not terribly effective, but the cost is low and can gain some of your audience’s attention.  The risk is that you can fall easily into a competitive battle that would leave both companies with lost profits.

Take the opposite approach to your competition.  If your competitor is presenting as the lowest price, your company can go with best service or highest quality.  Go head to head and show differentiation.  The risk is if your business is not following through on the claims, you can lose trust in the market.

Try ORM, or Online Relationship Management.  This is extremely risky, but you can post complaints about your competition to review websites.  This high risk tactic can backfire because your competition can do that same to you.

Guerilla marketing is available in many forms for small businesses.  Even on a small budget, there are reputable and honorable ways to get to your target audience and gain new loyal customers.

Another great option, for those with a limited budget is utilizing a press release service.

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