Tips On Using Guerilla Marketing When Launching Your App


First off, what is guerilla marketing?

Guerilla marketing comes from guerilla warfare – it has in its core the element of surprise. The main idea is to use your knowledge and your understanding of your audience and how they interact with a space – in this case, the digital space – to present and connect them with your brand or product.

So, for instance there have been cases of:

  • Statues or similar objects alluding to the product or brand in high traffic places
  • Starting rumours
  • Using digital spaces to start rumours
  • Using big events to market the brand or product with or without permission

Some of the most famous examples involve Pinterest, when the founder went to the Apple store and set all of the devices to open on the Pinterest page. Was it successful? You bet, because today, Pinterest is a marketing powerhouse. There is also The Blair Witch project which used rumours and mystery along with great storytelling to build a huge audience. The movie It was also marketed with guerilla techniques with the clowns appearing everywhere.

However, there are also unsuccessful examples like the Vodafone one. The trick with guerilla marketing is that you need to know your limits and boundaries. If you go overboard, it could end up being a real fiasco.

How To Use It Successfully?

If you are wondering how to use this technique successfully for your app marketing, here are some pointers:

Research the market

The premise of guerrilla marketing is that you know and understand your audience. A marketing attempt in the wrong place at the wrong time could make you completely miss your target. Invest in deep research after you determine who your audience is. What is your app all about?

Is it a new time-management app that’s going to change the world? How about marketing it in places you know business people frequent. Possibly business parts of the town or websites with some authority in various industries.

All of this info you can get from research.

Research the competitors

“Have your competitors tried guerilla marketing? How did it go for them? Which techniques they used? Consider their audience as well since it will likely be your audience too. Look at their websites, app listings, social media accounts and see what you could do better,” says a Senior Marketer , Ben Tomas.

Look at some good and some bad examples

Just like we mentioned at the beginning, there are some stellar examples of guerilla marketing and then there are those that failed. While the famous saying goes `there is no such thing as bad publicity`, is this kind of attention really what you want?

Or would you rather have a dedicated audience who really appreciates your work?

Think about what your options are when it comes to guerilla marketing. Play it lightly and somewhat safely if you want to do it right – do it so as to not offend anyone. In the Vodafone example, actors ran around with just the Vodafone sign painted on their backs – the brand did get a lot of attention but it wasn’t really what they hoped for. Plus, they did something that was really `out there` when it comes to marketing strategies and it hasn’t given them anything big.

Create some buzz

Now, creating buzz is the right way to go. Going to forums, comment sections, online discussions and so on in order to reveal some information and let the word spread like wildfire. This will likely require someone who knows the platform`s audience and what makes it tick but it’s very doable and more than effective.

You can create buzz in real life as well.

“A mysterious image here and there along with a compelling text that proposes a question or tells just a tiny piece of a story could go a long way. Of course, don`t forget to include your website address in this mystery because if the audience is hooked, they will need some information,” says Tina Berks, a creative writer.

Create a teaser video

People really love the video. The format is consumable and it looks good. You can use it to create a bit of mystery to go along with your buzz. For instance, you could go to social media or forums as a regular user, post your mysterious video and ask other users if they know what it is about. Get people to share and care about the subject of it. All of this can happen pre-launch for maximum effect. You can also create a follow up video which would reveal the app once it’s launched.