Guerilla Marketing for Martial Arts

Marketing for your martial arts business can be tricky. A lot of traditional forms of marketing are slowing down, in terms of effectiveness and return-on-investment, with many new forms of marketing becoming more useful. We’ve spoken about the need to use social media in this technology age but we wanted to give you some other ways to market. Guerilla marketing can be incredibly effective and low-cost; however, there needs to be some creativity to execute it well. When done right, it can capture a lot of attention – a lot more than having your ad in a newspaper or even a television commercial.

Here are a few ideas to get your thinking going on some guerilla marketing for your martial arts school:

Pranks? Yes, Pranks

Viral videos are all the rage these days but pulling one off can be incredibly difficult. Not only do you have to have an amazing concept, executed perfectly, you also need a few big blogs or websites to share this video to get the ball rolling. That being said, a tasteful and candid prank video is one of the easier ways to accomplish this difficult guerilla marketing task. There are a couple out there that have caught many views. The first is one where an experienced BJJ black belt visits his friend’s gym, pretends to be incredibly new, and then proceeds to grapple like a pro. The second is one where a female Muay Thai champion pretends to be new, then rocks the male fighters in sparring sessions. There are plenty of other prank ideas you can come up with; just make sure they are tasteful and they somehow bring out real reactions. You may also want to only attempt this if you have some experienced video makers on your team.

Custom T-Shirts

If you have some students in your school with an eye for aesthetics and design, you can come up with a great t-shirt that is inexpensive to produce and that you can sell through your school’s pro shop and live events. You’ll want to focus on making these shirts great enough that people will be asking where you got them from, when they see you wearing one. Easier said than done? Yes but the guerilla marketing payoff can be great, especially if you give them out frequently as prizes. Imagine your city with students and non-students wearing your school’s t-shirts.

Use a bit of Humor

Good humor can always attract attention. Stickers, bumper stickers, and even those t-shirts above can be attention grabbing, with some witty lines. Just like the first two ideas, you’ll need someone who is incredibly witty to come up with something good. Creativity will go a long way here for this guerilla marketing idea. Puns and riffs on martial arts tropes and sayings can be a good place to start.

Spice up Your Homepage

This one is definitely the best example of guerilla marketing on this list. Head to your local public spaces where they have public computers and change the homepage to your martial arts school’s website. Please don’t do it if it means you will get in a lot of trouble…Remember that you won’t be able to do something like this in some situations. For a less invasive version of this, let your students know how to change their own personal homepages on their computers or mobile devices, so their friends actively see whom they’re representing.

Make the Most of Birthday Parties

Birthday parties are not really a form of guerilla marketing in the traditional sense but, done right , they do spread awareness like wildfire. If your student brings 15 non-students, you have to make the most of the opportunity to convert many like-minded kids into entertained students-to-be. It’s an incredible way to spread awareness of your school with the younger community.

Want to up your game with guerilla marketing? Get some best-in-class advice on digital marketing tactics, with our webinar recording. What are some great guerilla marketing ideas you can come up with? As always, like us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.