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Guerrilla Marketing for Small Businesses in the Digital World

If your small business is only using traditional marketing methods, then you may be missing out on an incredible opportunity to gain more engagement, leads, and conversions. This exciting and not-so-new marketing strategy is guerrilla marketing. It’s a highly misunderstood and underused marketing technique that can provide you with great results if you manipulate it flawlessly.

Guerrilla marketing can provide outstanding results for your small business in the digital marketing world. It is marketing but in a less conventional way, as it doesn’t feel or look like marketing. A great example of guerrilla marketing through a digital space is promotional Snapchat filters. Their fun, easily shareable, and it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to sell the user a product or service.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of guerrilla marketing, from that small explanation, you’re probably raring to go. The strategy can seem confusing at first, but once you understand the concept behind it, you can gain remarkable results once implemented.

In this article, we’re going to explain what guerrilla marketing is, how it compares to traditional marketing and helpful tips on how you’re able to develop a strategy like this today. So, if you want your small business to gain the traction it deserves in the digital world, read on and start taking some notes.

What Is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing for small businesses

Before we dive into the exciting parts of this topic, let me explain what Guerrilla marketing is. This is a type of marketing strategy that companies execute uniquely. It’s meant to almost surprise the consumer and not feel or look like marketing. More often than not, it relies on a user’s personal interaction with the marketing content to gain exposure.

Guerrilla Marketing Examples

You may have seen guerrilla marketing but may have never realised as it’s really that hidden. Here are some examples of guerrilla marketing in the digital marketing world, so you’re able to grasp the concept that little bit more.

Snapchat filters

Snapchat Filter

A new and innovative method has been developed, this is Snapchat filters. Here the user will be able to take photos of themselves with a branded yet peculiar filter on. They’ll then share it with their friends, social media audiences, and so on. Although it doesn’t feel like marketing, you’re gaining publicity.

Play and pause videos (gifs)

Something I’ve seen over the years is interactional videos or gifs in the form of play and pause. Here the engaged user will have an objective to pause the video on a specific frame. For instance, a video may have a timer on it, and the user has to pause the video when it hits 6 seconds. Because of the challenging aspect, they feel the need to screenshot their accomplishments and share them freely on their social media’s. If the video is branded, you’ll gain free exposure to a multitude of people.

Humorous photos & videos (Memes)

No Drama Llama Meme

If you participate in any social media types, you would have seen many amusing images or videos go viral. These can produce millions of views if you execute them correctly. Take the success story of Lil Nas X, for example. Early in his music career, he couldn’t afford to promote his songs, and instead, he created funny photos and videos (AKA memes) with his music to gain popularity. His song “Old Town Road” then went on to rank number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for a record-breaking nineteen continuous weeks.

Guerrilla Marketing vs Traditional Marketing in the Digital World

Guerrilla marketing can sometimes be hard to comprehend, and the easiest way to fully understand what this marketing tactic entails is to compare it to traditional strategies.

  • One of the easiest ways to tear both guerrilla marketing and traditional tactics apart is the overall surprise element that the guerrilla alternative has to offer. With traditional marketing, the consumer is forced to watch their promotion, and It can come across as frustrating sometimes. With guerrilla marketing, this isn’t an issue as it’s promoted to the user naturally and natively. They then have the option to share the content if they feel like it.
  • If you’ve advertised on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, you’ll quickly understand that marketing costs can be expensive. However, if you were to opt-in for a marketing tactic that involves the guerrilla concept, in most cases, it’s much more cost-effective. Using this strategy, you’ll gain traction based on “free” shares and likes on your marketing content.
  • Something else that Guerrilla marketing dominates over traditional methods is its creativeness. With traditional tactics, big corporate companies throw money at it and try to get their marketing materials out to as many people as possible. In contrast, the guerrilla method inspires you to be creative and construct unique content that’ll go viral.
  • There’s a lot of positives around guerrilla marketing, but what about the negatives? The only real downside to this strategy is that it’s mainly for B2C (business to consumer) and not B2B (business to business). If your products or services are based around the B2B market, I don’t recommend this marketing method.

How to Make Guerrilla Marketing Work for Your Small Digital Business

Small Digital Business

It’s clear, the digital marketing world is full of highly competitive competition and can be a troublesome area to really get your brand to stick out. However, with these helpful tips below, you should be on your way to developing a master plan for your guerrilla marketing campaign.

Be Creative

Let your imagination run wild when you’re creating a guerrilla marketing campaign for your small digital business. You’ll want your promotional content to be memorable and engageable.

Whether it’s something funny that users can share with their friend, informational, or generally interesting to watch, the possibilities are endless. Take Seaspiracy, for example. Before their Netflix documentary was released, they used captivating and educational videos that quickly became viral as they made their users aware of what issues are arising in our seas. It wasn’t to solely advertise their documentary but instead to educate its audience about what’s currently happening in our ocean. However, by using a guerrilla-like marketing tactic, their awareness campaign was a success.

Make it Interactable

Making your marketing content interactable for users massively increases the overall popularity it’ll receive. Take Snapchat filters, for example. Make them creative or funny, and people will share your filter with the world for free.

Don’t Scream Marketing! 

The whole idea behind guerrilla marketing is to keep it subtle and not to make it feel or look like you’re trying to promote something to them. Don’t offer them a discount or a buy one get one free offer, but instead promote your brand and let them decide what they’d like to do with it.

Think Smartly

Try to think outside of the box, don’t copy other successes. Instead, make your own viral content that hasn’t been seen before. This will take time and require a lot of effort, but the outcome can be astonishing if you implement it correctly.


You should now be aware of how guerrilla marketing can build brand awareness, leads and sales by subtly promoting your brand. It can be a much more cost-effective way of marketing to your audience and something all digital entrepreneurs should try. This type of tactic will require in-depth creative thinking, but once you hit the nail on the head, you’ll be on your way to becoming a viral success.

Further reading: 10 Strategies to Grow Your Service Business Online

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