guerrilla marketing tactics with seo

Clickers, SEO has managed to dominate the marketing approaches of every enterprise. Though skeptics have time and again proclaimed that it is dying a slow death (or its already dead!), SEO is still a potent force when it comes to website optimization and generation of online traffic. Check out my article on 6 common points to know when designing and optimizing your website”

Businesses employ a variety of marketing methods to reach out to masses. From outbound / traditional marketing to inbound techniques, several techniques are either implemented once at a time or in unison. Firms of the 21st century would go for smart marketing – “Minimum costs, Maximum coverage”.

Marketing expenses are usually seen as investments by visionary firms. Yet, problems arise, especially when such ‘investments’ become too costly. Huge MNC’s aren’t really bothered by the increase in costs, but what about small businesses and start-ups? What if you decide to launch a start up with your excellent products, but you are compelled to give up the idea just because you aren’t able to afford the marketing costs? Well, there is an immediate need to address this issue and solve it so as to provide a level playing field in the marketing arena.

What if you decide to launch a start up with your excellent products, but you are compelled to give up the idea just because you aren’t able to afford the marketing costs? Well, there is an immediate need to address this issue and solve it so as to provide a level playing field in the marketing arena.

Recently, guerrilla marketing has become the talk of the internet. From Volkswagen to Coca-Cola, big brands have used it to their advantage in their own unique ways. Though it was invented years ago, I personally feel it has the potential to compliment the SEO strategies undertaken by a firm. So in this article, you will learn about:

  • What is Guerrilla Marketing?
  • Why should your firm go guerrilla?
  • How SEO and Guerrilla can work wonders together?


            Guerrilla marketing refers to the application of unconventional methods to promote a firm’s products and services. The term “Guerrilla Marketing” was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in 1984 in his book “Guerrilla Advertising”. The term is inspired by guerrilla warfare, one of the strategies deployed by armies in the battlefield.

Guerrilla marketing is an umbrella term for unusual advertisement techniques aimed at drawing the interest of a large number of public in a short span of time. It usually involves lots of personal interaction with the commoners. Guerrilla marketing techniques facilitate the firm in establishing an emotional connection with the masses.

Customers feel attracted to the company, instead of the company trying to get the customers’ attention. It is cheaper than the traditional methods of marketing and thus, it can be termed as “Smart Marketing”.

According to a research paper presented in the Asian Research Journal by Katharina Hunter and Stefan Hoffmann titled “Guerrilla Marketing: The Nature of the Concept and Propositions of Further Research”, guerrilla effect works on the basis of three effects, namely

  • Surprise Effect: Surprise the audience by drawing attention by unconventional methods
  • Diffusion Effect: Spreading the message to a wider audience
  • Low-cost Effect: Minimizing marketing costs by influencing a large population.

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Guerrilla marketing types

  • Ambient:

Ambient guerrilla marketing is kind of a place-based marketing where advertisements are displayed in places where they haven’t usually seen e.g. Lamp posts, buses etc. Such outdoor campaigns contain an element for the pedestrians since they are used to the traditional forms of marketing such as billboards, posters etc.

A successful ambient marketing campaign would require creative minds to come together and think of such unusual ways to promote your firm and couple it with a strong message which manages to create a lasting impression on the minds of the citizens.

Ambient marketing example


Branding examples

  • Ambush:

Ambush marketing involves building an association with an event or ceremony though the latter has no official ties with the former. It simply means that firms ride on the popularity wave of the event without having any formal ties with the event’s sponsorers or other such related authorities.

For instance, during Cricket World Cups in India, beverage companies run unofficial World Cup campaigns to attract consumers to purchase their drinks to consume it while watching the match, although they are not the sponsors of the World Cup matches.

In short, companies that resort to ambush marketing are attempting to create an impression on the minds of the consumers that they are the official sponsors of the event though it is otherwise.

  • Stealth:

Also known as buzz marketing, stealth guerrilla marketing is a marketing strategy where the firm promotes its products and services to the audience without letting them know that they are being subjected to advertising.

Unlike ambient and ambush, the main aim is to create a buzz among the people and generate interest regarding their products. Such events make people ready for getting converted into customers.

  • Viral:

Viral marketing has been used synonymously with Word to Mouth marketing. It refers to creating a chain reaction among the consumer class where the message promoted by the company goes viral via word to mouth publicity done by the consumers themselves.

Viral Marketing examples Salman Khan Movie Jai ho example of viral marekting

The message to help 3 people each given out by Actor Salman Khan in his 2014 movie Jai Ho is an example of viral marketing from a social perspective

Viral marketing is being used by small and big businesses alike. In fact, such companies resort to Youtube, blogging, discussion forums etc. to keep discussions on their brand alive.

  • Street:

Street marketing is a part of guerrilla marketing which is confined to marketing on the streets. Companies draw images on roads and pavements to ignite the interest levels of the pedestrians. This is a clever marketing tactic since it also attracts the attention of the vehicle drivers.

Mc Donalds Street marketing form of Guerilla marketing

                                                 McDonalds promoting its brand on streets


  • Different from mainstream marketing channels
  • Localized marketing
  • Works both online/ offline
  • Suitable for small businesses and start-ups
  • Small budget = Less investments
  • “Minimum costs, Maximum coverage”
  • Thus a higher ROI
  • Direct contact with customers
  • Delivers impact 


We started off with SEO, then bumped into guerrilla and dived deep into it, and finally, we are trying the merge the two. It is obvious that mere keyword optimization won’t do the trick unless and until the products and services are aggressively pitched in the market.

On the other hand, no marketing techniques in today’s competition can gain a competitive edge in the absence of SEO.

Again, guerrilla works within and beyond the confines of the internet. Somehow SEO’s influence is being limited to the digital world. The need of the hour is for it to step out and venture the offline world. Guerrilla can act as a bridge for SEO for this purpose. Thus, I feel that the marriage of SEO and guerrilla can work wonders for the enterprise.

I will spell out some brief ways on how this can happen. Here’s a look:

  • Content marketing:

Content is the king, my dear friends. No matter how much your team exerts itself into marketing and branding, it is the quality of the content on your website which shall determine your worth in the long run.

Your content must be of high value and engaging to the readers. You must speak of current issues pertaining to the end users and how your firm can solve these problems with the help of your products/ services.

What next? Content is created. You have written a mammoth 3000+ plus blog and waiting for visitors to come in. That’s it? Market your content. Penetrate the big daddies of social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn via viral and stealth guerrilla tactics.

Let visitors enter your website, read your high-value blogs, articles, white papers etc. and create a buzz in the social media, without they even knowing that they are indirectly marketing your firm.

Don’t forget the niche social media platforms – Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest etc. Your content marketing strategy should encompass all of the relevant social media groups.

Create content which is different from the rest of the pack. Stand out. Make your voice heard. Take your opponents by surprise. This is the classic feature of guerrilla marketing.

  • Industry networking:

Of course, waging a battle in the competition against all isn’t going to work always. One needs some collaborative and strategic alliances to win over the market. Dive into industry networking., Identify firms which can be acquired and which specialize in certain aspects of marketing.

For instance, if your firm A is a champion in SEO strategies and a relatively smaller firm B is highly specialized in guerrilla tactics, come together. Form joint ventures, partnerships, and work in co – ordination to reach a common goal.

Also, write guest blogs. Again, as I mentioned before, they should be unconventional. Make your rivals think. Generate a sense of curiosity and interest in the minds of the netizens. And spread the message through the existing marketing channels. You will manage to produce a buzz again in the industry circles.

  • Optimization

Optimizing your website is very crucial especially when you are facing a tough contest from your competitors. SEO techniques can enable your firm to enhance the user experience, facilitate link building and withstand traffic on your website. Psst! Sneak into my article on “7 checklist to charge your Brand with SEO”. 

           You can resort to ambush guerrilla marketing. Create ads, video campaigns, print media ads etc. to weave a web of the impression that you are associated with the upcoming major event.

Such association will definitely lead to augmented interest among the masses and they will flock to your website. Obviously, your website should be user-friendly.

The poor performance of your website can make all your guerrilla efforts go in vain. Therefore, co – ordination of marketing channels is the ultimate key to success.

  • Be open to opportunities

I posted a picture of McDonalds marketing its brand on the streets. However, such kinds of marketing techniques are rarely adopted in India. Be a trend setter. Exploit the opportunities in hand.  The results might not meet your desired expectations, but it will definitely shake the foundations of marketing in the national scenario.

People will start talking about your unique styles of marketing. Your opponents might even follow suit.

No matter the criticism and praise attributed to it, your brand will grow stronger and stronger as social media, discussion forums etc. debate about us. Such things are bound to generate website traffic.

Here, you can go for PPC advertising to push your leads further into the sales funnel and increase your conversion rates.

There can be other opportunities as well. Take advantage of it. Don’t wait for others to take the lead. Be a leader, not a follower.

May you prosper in your business adventure. Hope you enjoyed my article!

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