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Marketing in 2017 can be a difficult task for small businesses. It is evident that society turns to technology as its primary source of information and many companies have already begun to utilize mass media methods of communication. This space, however, is limited and expensive, making it hard for small businesses to compete with large companies.

The spaces that these companies are competing for exist in above-the-line marketing. The good news for businesses that can’t compete in these areas is the opportunity to launch campaigns with below-the-line marketing techniques. Both techniques have their benefits, and there is no denying that the traditional above-the-line marketing practices work, but so do below-the-line ones.

Unfortunately, running campaigns using either of these practices, is going to cost you some money. Fortunately, below-the-line marking offers a more affordable solution to your marketing budget problem.

Above-the-Line and Below-the-Line

There are many different channels through which we can market from direct mail to television commercials. But, where do they all fit into the big scheme of things? These channels can be divided into two larger categories, Above-the-Line Vs Below-the-Line.

Above-the-Line (ATL)

This channel is commonly used to reach the masses with a targeted message in the promo to distinguish an audience. Mostly used by large corporations, ads appear in the media of television, print, radio and product placement in movies.

Below-the-Line (BTL)

This channel aims directly at the target market, with an emphasized targeted message. Both large and small businesses use these BTL techniques, which include paid search, social media marketing, special events, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and public relations.

When these two categories face off, it is evident that ATL marketing is much more expensive than BTL marketing, due to the types of audiences the channels reach. The two channels work significantly differently though, therefore having alternative benefits.

ATL marketing is tailored to work towards brand awareness and repetition. This form of marketing is not about driving sales; it is about leaving an impression in your audience’s minds whether they ever intend on using your service or not. We have all heard a jingle or could recommend a service that we have never used, based on how familiar we are with their brand. Think of the power of Super Bowl commercials. Brands battle to be the most memorable at a very high price during the Super Bowl, which reached 113.7 million viewers last year.

However, BTL marketing aims at a much smaller market, which means the reason behind this form of advertisement is to build an individual experience. This strategy will build brand trust and thrive off of direct contact with consumers. This type of marketing, in turn, is easier to measure if a campaign is successful or not.

Why Should You Use BTL Activities in Your Next Marketing Campaign?

Boost Brand Recognition

BTL activities aid marketers in spreading brand awareness. It makes it easier for people to connect with a brand and share its advantages. BTL activations help a brand attract more customers and generate more leads. Marketers’ favourite marketing approach in the current context is innovative and creative BTL activities, which create a specialty for a company. It aids the brand in establishing its presence in the marketplace.

Getting in Touch With Your Target Audience

BTL activations assist you in reaching out to your target market. When you know what you want to achieve, you can plan appropriately. Whether you utilize mall activation, brand activation, or a hashtag printer, you must be aware of your target demographic. BTL activities assist you in locating the appropriate customer.

Makes your company stand out from the crowd

Innovative BTL initiatives can help your company stay ahead of the pack. There are now millions of brands, and television is saturated with commercials. Some companies become lost in the shuffle, and their message fails to reach the intended audience. Brands may use BTL activities to demonstrate their products to their target audience. It provides a platform for companies to properly deliver their marketing message to their target audience. BTL initiatives help the company stand out from the crowd without becoming lost in the shuffle.

Boost your brand’s credibility

BTL activities have increased since the advent of experiential marketing solutions. BTL actions produce immediate benefits while also promoting a favourable brand image. It allows the brand to display its items to its target audience, resulting in product sales. It aids in the development of a customer-brand connection. Increased sales are the outcome of a favourable brand image.

Makes an impression on the audience

BTL activities assist to create a bigger effect on the audience when compared to standard marketing techniques. People are more likely to remember your brand if you engage in BTL activities. BTL activities draw in the audience and allow them to participate in it. Whether it’s a mall activation, an exhibition, or the latest experiential marketing tools like a hashtag printer or a Photobox, each BTL activity helps the brand engage the audience while making a positive and significant effect.

A Closer Look at BTL Advertisement

We have all seen ATL marketing in action and know that traditionally it is effective, but as stated above, it is a game for the big players. This leaves us with BTL marketing, a game every company can play.

The truth is, just getting out there isn’t enough. Like ATL marketing, the marketing space is crowded and gets lost amongst everybody else. Commonly billboards, brochures, e-mail promotions and social media are used to help draw in customers, but standing out in those categories is what makes the difference. BTL works best when it has a creative element. Make sure it’s something people haven’t seen before and something that’ll get the audience talking.

Below are a few BTL ideas that you should consider while developing a buzz around your brand.

Direct Mail and Door-to-Door

The most direct way you can engage with your customer. Your information will wind up right at their doorstep. With the right tools, you can design a campaign that will entice the customer. This will hopefully draw them closer to the point of purchase.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This channel of marketing helps your customers find you. You can use this to create awareness and attract new customers, and make it easier for your existing customers to find you. This technique uses unpaid advertisements that grow your brand organically with the use of a little creativity and technical know-how.

Social Media

Most people overlook social media as a marketing technique, but it is one of the most effective. When building a local community around your business, social media acts as a direct line between you and your customers. It allows you to reach out to them with offers and promotions, but more importantly, they can reach out to you with encouragement or suggestions. Social media is a huge player in the BTL marketing game, as you need is a strong brand and a knack for keeping the customers engaged.

Events

These are one of the best ways to grab attention, but they can be tricky to master. Events tend to work best when you already have a customer base and you can call them out.  Launching a new product or a having sale is an excellent way to attract people to your business. However, an event could also mean sponsoring a local event that you believe would reach your target market and bring more awareness.

Ultimately, a perfect marketing strategy would include elements of both ATL and BTL marketing to create a message for both new and loyal customers. For a concentrated market, a BTL marketing approach is the most effective. From there, you can expand your market.

Marketing your business correctly and designing a campaign can be a headache. Get in touch with Edkent Media to help build your online presence and grow your company.