Cheap Sticker Printing = Great Viral Marketing Potential

Before launching a major advertising campaign, itís always a good idea to run a little pre-launch campaign, in order to generate buzz. The best way to do this, of course, is to find a cheap, fun way to interact with your target audience.

Setting up a viral marketing scheme around a funny website is the ideal way to do this, but there has to be an equally cheap and easy way to get visitors to the website. Thatís where stickers come in.


The sticker distribution process can begin with one simple premise: People love stickers! As long as stickers are glossy, durable, and full-color, people are going to want to stick them anywhere and everywhere they can. This is particularly true for young people, as well as all people with an interest in self-promotion and who are possessed of high social networking potential (SNP), such as musicians, graffiti artists, and bloggers.

Via your website, you can either build a street team, or just invite your fans and supporters to order large batches of stickers advertising your viral URL, and hand them out and stick them up all over their community.

Street Team

If youíre working with a street team, that is, people who are actually working for you, you wonít have to worry too much about your stickers being misused, so you can focus on developing a design that serves some funny or unique function in a given advertising space. For example, as competitive commentary on other advertising or as any type of message that doesnít initially appear to be an advertisement.

Random People

Conversely, if youíre depending on high-SNP individuals to distribute your stickers, then youíre going to have to make sure that thereís something in it for them. For example, you might leave white space on your stickers for individuals to include their band name, graffiti tag, URL, or some other self-identifying mark. This might serve as sufficient incentive in and of itself.

Incentive can also be taken a step further. Leaving room on the sticker for individuals to sign their name or leave a number, you can run a contest to see whose stickers get the most response on your website. For example, through your viral site, encourage viewers to take pictures of the stickers they and post them on the site. Whoever gets the most self-identifying stickers up on the site wins a prize. In this way, you can almost turn your sticker printing promotion into the subject of your viral campaign.

Work with the Right Demographic

The trick here is to take advantage of a high-SNP demographic that also gels with your campaign, and to find ways to make them enthusiastic about your project. Graffiti artists are ideal because many of them use stickers of all kinds to tag and put up around the city. While their tags generally overshadow the stickers they use, it would be easy to create a sticker design that meshed with the tag and increased traffic to your viral site.

Donít Overshare

The only caveat on the viral sticker concept is not to annoy consumers by overstepping boundaries. In some parts of India, according to one annoyed PR professional, aggressive marketers are likely to turn your car into a rolling advertisement by plastering stickers all over it. When running a print marketing campaign in the U.S., this over-the-top advertising technique is likely to make you more enemies than friends.

To avoid this risk altogether, you can run a sort of faux guerilla marketing campaign, where stickers appear to be placed by enthusiastic individuals, but are actually being planted by your street team.

Whatever strategy you choose, the end result should be fun, profitable interaction with your key demographics. Generally speaking, consumers may not even realize that they are being marketed to until the launch of your full-scale campaign, and by that point, theyíve already had some fun, and youíve increased brand awareness exponentially.

Not a bad day at the office for stickers.