Earlier this year, photo and video sharing platform KatchUp, based at The Lightbox, launched the #ReclaimYourInternet campaign. The aim was to get us to consider more carefully what we decide to share online.
In the immortal words of the Beastie Boys, you gotta fight for your right for privacy.
KatchUp are standing up to the Facebooks, the Instagrams, the Snapchats of this world who use our data without our consent. We now share information online that we would never dream of sharing off it. The KatchUp team wanted to show how absurd the situation has become. So they decided to broadcast their private life and darkest secrets over a megaphone to the public. The victims? The innocent passersby on Chiswick High Street. Have a look at the results here.
During the campaign, for every app downloaded, they donated 50p to the Cybersmile Foundation, a non-profit organisation committed to tackling all forms of online bullying and hate campaigns.
We talked to their head of marketing, Minnie Harding, who devised the campaign together with KatchUp's founder Katie Hobbs.
When is guerrilla marketing an appropriate marketing strategy?
The fundamental thing you have to remember with guerrilla marketing is that it's almost designed for small businesses. A lot of what we're doing is trying to do is what all small businesses are trying to do: raise awareness.
Guerrilla marketing is a great activity because of three things.
First, it's cheap; it costs next to nothing.
Second, it has impact – both online and off.
And finally, it engages your community.
You position yourself as a brand that is not afraid of making a statement. It's vital that you realise that any guerrilla marketing activity will be driven by your belief in the brand promise. You have to prove to people you're here to stay.
How should you prepare and make sure your team are up for it?
Everything has to be ready. I can't stress that enough. Everything has to be integrated. It's not feasible to publish video content and then try to get everything prepared. Of course, it has to look like it is spur of the moment. But you need to ensure you have everything ready, whether that's the copy you need to write, the artwork you need to create, or the social channels you need to serve. When you decide to do a campaign that makes an impact, you have to be prepared for the consequences. The preparation for reactive marketing is as vital as the initial organisation.
So you need to get your fliers prepared; scout the area you will be in, introduce yourself to local business owners the week before. Basically, you need to tell people in advance where you're going to be, what you're going to be doing, how they can get involved and, most importantly, why you are doing it. You will find that many people you talk to want to get behind you, support you and ultimately amplify you.
It's important to talk the whole process over with your team members. It's true that some people are very shy so you need to decide in advance who is comfortable doing what. Are they going to be handing out fliers or speaking on a megaphone? It's crucial that the whole team gets involved, especially in a small business. Engaging with the general public can make people nervous so you need a lot of energy. If you're thinking about guerrilla marketing, I'd recommend revisiting your mission/brand statement (we created a manifesto). Get your team excited by what you are trying to achieve together, the change you are trying to make. If you don’t have one, create a statement that everyone in the team believes in and has helped to shape – from the developers to the marketers and even the shareholders!
What are your top tips on the day?
If it's winter, remember to wrap up warm. We did a second lot of filming in Covent Garden and it was very cold. There's nothing like the cold to sap energy.
Plan the day thoroughly. Always keep in mind what you are trying to achieve. Obviously you'll have a set of objectives for the campaign outlined in your strategy but you need to know what you want to achieve on the day itself. Do you want to hand out a thousand fliers, sign up 100 people to a mailing list, or get at least 10 people in your video?
And remember to video non-stop. An hour of video can be reduced down to a minute after editing so you need a lot of footage to produce something really impactful.
Most importantly, don’t feel rejected if people don’t want to hear about your company. For every 10 people that turn down your flier, or don’t want to hear about why you are the next big thing, there is one person who really believes in what you are trying to do. And that one person will become a true brand advocate for you.
How can you make sure you make the most of the marketing after the event?
An integrated approach is key. The marketing landscape as we know it is all about content. You have to make the content consumable for everyone across all channels. People don't have the time to watch a two-minute video, they have 40 seconds. And make sure you populate it across your channels whether that's blogs, your Facebook page, Twitter or YouTube.
You also need to get influencers to talk about it. And that really comes down to your overall marketing strategy. Identify influencers and nurture a relationship with them ahead of time – we've been looking after our relationships with bloggers and strategic partners since we launched – so any guerrilla marketing activity you do, it's now time to 'activate' them and get them spreading the word. Remember that influencers are also your friends and family; it's really all about getting people to share the content. And they will if it's funny, engaging or impactful.
We decided to stage our event in our local area and we'll go out to engage those locals in the future. Holding your campaign on Oxford Street may reach a greater number of people but it won't resonate for that long. Keeping it local is a great way to get the community to engage with you. We've built partnerships off the back of it.
Making the most of your guerrilla marketing campaign is really getting the content across all the channels so it's a full circle for your audience. If they watch your video on YouTube but then don't see any sign of it on your homepage, there's a disconnect. And they probably won't convert. It's about broadcasting it on all your channels and then refreshing the content structure every so often to stop it from becoming boring.
What has been the effect of your guerrilla marketing strategy?
We've featured in the London Evening Standard and other press. We want to strongly position KatchUp as a game-changer. Our founder, Katie Hobbs, installed strong brand values from the very beginning and despite external pressures to change, we have stayed true to them (both in the product and marketing). You’ll find that this will either alienate people because they don't understand, or just don’t get what you are trying to achieve OR (and this is the best part!) you'll engage a whole new audience. And that audience will continually want to be a part of everything you do.
Use your campaign to open doors. If someone RTs and you see they have a large following, reach out to them. Every engagement you get, analyse it and work out how you can get the most out of it from then on.
After our campaign, we had a spike in sign-ups, app downloads and traffic. For every sign-up/app download, we promised to donate 50p to the Cybersmile Foundation, because both our missions are deeply aligned. Having a paid acquisition strategy as a new brand is vital and if you can combine your CPA with a charitable cause or donation that you truly believe in, then that is such a positive space to be in and adds huge value to your users. Or you could align your campaign with an event or festival (for example, you could organise a campaign where, when they download your app, the new user gets a free pint). Brand awareness is important, but what you really want at the end of the day are users. So try to think creatively when strategising your acquisition campaign and always keep your brand values at the heart of it.
KatchUp is a new way of sharing photos and videos online with only the people you trust, not the whole world. Check them out here.