What Is Stealth Marketing

Businesses are starting to use stealth-marketing tactics.  In case you are unfamiliar with stealth marketing, it is the process of introducing your products and services in such a way that the viewer doesn’t realize it is a paid endorsement.  In other words, if you saw a celebrity holding a can of Coke, but that celebrity never mentioned the Coke and never gave the impression that he was promoting Coke, you would subconsciously see that as an honest endorsement for the product.  If you thought that celebrity was cool and wanted to be more like him, you might want to drink Coke too.

In the internet marketing world it might look something like this.  Suppose you are writing an article to promote a website that sells a new kind of super high end squirt guns for kids.  You might write some articles that tell a story about kids having an awesome time in their backyard with the other neighborhood kids throwing water balloons and shooting each other with a P35 Magnum squirt gun.  You paint a picture in the readers’ minds of kids using the squirt gun like a soldier would use a sniper rifle.  Paint a picture of the kids having the time of their lives.

What Is Stealth Marketing

If your website was the only one that sold that particular model of squirt gun, then you would not even have to mention the website.  Instead, when people learned about this new awesome squirt gun, some would research it on their own by searching for it in Google.  You have just presold that squirt gun without the reader knowing that is what you did.

This is a really effective stealth marketing technique for the internet.  You don’t drive massive traffic to a website this way.  But, you do increase conversions for the traffic that is generated.  These people who take the time to research that new squirt gun will find your site accidentally because it just so happens that your store is the only one that sells that gun.

Here is another example.  Suppose you are trying to build a social media type of site for people who take part in some specific hobby.  You could promote this site with profiles at other social media sites.

This apparently honest endorsement works because it doesn’t look like a traffic generating advertisement for that website.  It just looks like that person is telling his friends that he can often be found there.  If someone reads his profile and they share the same common interest, then they are far more likely to check that site out.

The basic idea behind it is to show other people using whatever you are trying to promote.  You should show them doing it without telling the viewer that this is your whole purpose.  Instead you make it look like your purpose is something completely different. You mention the product or website in a casual nonchalant way.

Once you become aware that this type of marketing tactic is being used, you will start to see it showing up all over the place.  You never know if someone is being paid to endorse something or if they truly believe in the product.

You can read more about stealth marketing which is also referred to as undercover marketing.