Picture this: You’re walking down a busy street and a bus zooms by, you saw some kind of ad but you’re suddenly startled by a loud speaker blasting the newest pop song…what was the name? You can’t remember because a man dressed as a sandwich just handed you a flyer with a special one-day offer!
What was on that bus again? In an age where consumers are constantly assaulted by advertisements both online and off it’s difficult to stand out and create the lasting impressions needed to engage new customers.
But don’t be discouraged! Small businesses around the world are using new tactics that are changing consumer-business relationships. Here are 3 strategies to inject a little creativity into your next marketing campaign:
1. Go Guerrilla
No, not the great ape. We’re talking about great campaigns. Guerrilla campaigns can get customers talking about your business online for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing campaigns. It’s an unconventional technique perfect for small businesses looking to maximize ROI with highly targeted promotional campaigns. But most importantly, it allows your business to engage your custumers on a one-to-one level and create lasting impressions.
While many guerilla campaigns take place offline, there do exist opportunities for online businesses and websites to join the fray. Using a QR code is a great way of anchoring your online marketing campaign to the real world. For instance, Dillon Horowitz of Cows Gaming brought two cows to New York’s Apple Store and gave out warm milk to the weary Apple fans standing in line for the launch of the iPhone 4S.
But they also dropped cards with a QR code linking to the app store where customers could buy Cows Gaming’s newest game, The Milking App, with their shiny new iPhones.
He really milked that strategy.
Horowitz’s cow stunt was far from bovine and seamlessly brought his online product off the digital grid. These campaigns show that its okay to monkey around with your customers, and with the right strategy you can generate the social buzz needed to get noticed.
Check out some other cool guerilla marketing campaigns perfect for small businesses here.
2. Create a Microsite
A microsite can be a great way to highlight aspects of your business that may be overlooked by customers, or even just a way to drive more traffic to your main page.
For example, in 2011 Burton Snowboards released its Bag Check feature as a way for customers to sort out the hundreds of bags offered online. They used a “choose-your-adventure” style website where customers could learn about products they may have overlooked in an engaging way. Ultimately Burton transformed a boring shopping experience into an interactive connection between the business and its customers.
3. Crowdsource your next campaign:
Crowdsourcing can be one of the most engaging ways to tap into your online fan-base and create more personal connections between customers and your business.
Let’s take a look at Ben and Jerry’s award-winning campaign “Do The World A Flavor.” The ice cream duo allowed fans to choose from a selection of fair trade ingredients and share their idea for the world’s next big ice cream flavor. By the end of the campaign, Ben and Jerry’s received over 100,000 flavors worldwide while engaging customers in socially conscious parts of the brand. That fair-trade practices were highlighted put a cherry on top of an already sweet campaign.
Mmmm, tastes like marketing success.