Sometimes a restaurant needs to go for less conventional forms of advertising to increase awareness and sales for their business. These techniques are what's known as guerrilla marketing, and they're a great way to get attention for your restaurant. The “guerrilla” part of guerrilla marketing refers to guerrilla warfare, where less conventional military tactics are used in war. Not only is guerrilla marketing a cheap and cost-effective way to promote your product to your customers, but using this method lets you establish yourself as the restaurant to visit. The main focus of guerrilla marketing is to go for marketing ideas that are outside of the norm, that are free or low-cost, and that gets people interested in your brand and business. The key is to use your imagination when sending out your message.
Examples of Guerilla Marketing
In your daily life, you may encounter examples of other business' guerilla marketing tactics, without even realizing it. From street art to window decals, guerilla marketing is used by a number of businesses, and there's no reason why it can't be used for your restaurant. Consider some of your options below:
Flyers, Street Art, Stickers, and Decals
These are ways to get your message out to the masses beyond a television commercial or a newspaper ad. One thing you can do is give out stickers to your restaurant patrons at the register, especially if you have a pizza or burger restaurant. The catchier and funnier the slogan, the more likely people will put the stickers on their cars and in public spaces.
Billboards, Flashmobs and Other Publicity Stunts
One of the best marketing moves in the financial industry was a billboard taken out by a scorned wife who discovered her husband had an affair. Immediately after going up, it got people talking about who could've paid for it. The truth was there wasn't a Steven, and there wasn't an Emily. Instead it was a publicity stunt for a Court TV show known as “Parco P.I,” and by searching for Emily, you found Emily's blog, where eventually all was revealed. What did the billboard do? It got your attention.
The Internet seems infatuated with flash mobs, and for some clientele, doing one for your restaurant would be huge. You could invite a local young dance team or band to do an “impromptu” song. Consider this Taylor Swift flash mob that had a dance team surprising guests at a restaurant. The restaurant's name was prominently displayed at the beginning of the video, as well as in the information. If you had a successful flash mob, it could be played not only on YouTube and your social media channels but even your local news.
You can try to imagine publicity stunts for your restaurant by thinking about what you offer your patrons. Do you run a burger restaurant? You may have a burger-eating contest where you create a 15 lb to 20 lb burger and see how many contestants can eat it within a certain span of time. You may own a restaurant where a treasure hunt could work as well, with the prize of a year's worth of free appetizers.
Tips for Great Guerilla Marketing for Your Restaurant
Plan, Plan, Plan and Make the Message Clear
A good message is lost in any marketing or media campaign that's poorly thought out and executed. You should allow yourself at least a few weeks to a month worth of planning so everything goes off well. As you come up with a clever way to market your restaurant, make sure your message isn't lost. You could approach a graffiti artist in your town to do an artistic tribute to your restaurant (with permission from the city and any building owners), but make sure the art still has your message.
Remember Your Audience
Your message has to match your audience in any guerilla marketing you do, because if it's not for the right audience, then you've wasted your time. Think about your target audience's habits and lifestyle to make sure your message hits well.
Guerilla marketing means thinking of creative marketing methods to get your restaurant noticed in ways that are outside the “norm.” By considering what your audience likes and your target goal, you can come up with a way to get noticed.