Have you ever wondered how professional athletes become so famous? It’s incredible how these individuals start out as a nobody on a small-town high school sports team, and in a matter of years, their name is on billboards everywhere.
Think about LeBron James. LeBron’s childhood consisted of foster homes, a missing father figure, and poverty. His talent in high school caught the eyes of recruiters early, but it wasn’t just his talent that made him the star influencer for the Nike brand. It wasn’t just his talent that made his name a name that is known all around the world. When you think about LeBron James’ popularity, even amongst those who don’t care to watch basketball, you have to wonder how his name become so known.
There’s also Elon Musk, owner of Tesla. Elon was born and raised in South Africa. He didn’t move to the United States until he was an adult and received his U.S. citizenship in 2002. Yet, if you ask anyone in America who Elon Musk is, they most likely will know the name! Surely not everyone in America has a hobby of studying innovations in the motor industry. So, how did his name become so well-known?
The answer is, these two gentlemen built their personal brand. Not only did LeBron and Musk prove their credibility in their own respective fields, but they also worked to show their trust to those outside their field. How else did non-sports fans learn the name, LeBron James? How else did those who couldn’t care less about innovative technology learn to respect the name Elon Musk?
We’re going to provide some answers to that question for you. Just like an athlete builds their personal brand, so can you!
Building Your Personal Brand
You may be thinking that you don’t need to work on your brand because your name is already well-known among your field of expertise. Props to you for building your expertise, that’s a great start! But that isn’t enough – that’s only the start. You can be known as a top competitor in your field, but the potential clients outside your field don’t know that. In order to expand your reach, it’s necessary to go beyond the bubble of your comfort zone.
So how do you do that? Here are some strategies for building your personal brand.
Above-the-Line v. Below-the-Line Advertising
In the marketing world, there are two over-encompassing methods of advertising: above-the-line marketing and below-the-line marketing. While above-the-line marketing may be the most popular choice among today’s largest companies, it isn’t always the best choice. Let’s dive in a little deeper to each.
ATL: Advertising activities that are largely non-targeted and have a wide reach.
ATL marketing is used with TV, radio, and print ads. Most marketers use above-the-line marketing for creating brand awareness because this type of marketing reaches the widest possible audience. Companies that use ATL marketing often have a bigger budget to spend and want to target a mass audience. Because ATL marketing can reach such a large audience, it is a great strategy for creating brand awareness. If your company is new to the market and simply wants to get its name out there, using TV and radio ads are a great avenue for building your brand awareness.
However, if you don’t have a huge ad budget, there are other options out there for you.
BTL: Advertising that consists of very specific, memorable and direct advertising activities focused on targeted groups of consumers.
BTL marketing is for companies that want to penetrate their market and reach a more targeted group of people. This kind of marketing can be done with a much lower ad budget. If your budget is limited, it’s best to maximize every dollar by targeting a group of people that you KNOW are interested in your product, rather than running the risk of wasting dollars on a mass market that may not have any interest in your product.
If you want to maximize your ROI, programmatic advertising is your best friend. You can ensure every dollar is spent effectively because programmatic advertising erases the guesswork. With programmatic advertising, a company can target the right audience every time. Not a single dollar of the budget is wasted. Sure, you may not reach as big of an audience, but when it comes to penetrating your market, quality is always better than quantity.
The question is: How do you target a group that you KNOW will be interested?
Programmatic advertising is a phenomenal BTL advertising strategy. To keep it simple, programmatic advertising is the use of software to buy digital advertising. This kind of advertising uses collected data that proves the interests of a consumer. For example, this data can show that an individual recently searched for the best skincare brands. Because of this data, there is a high chance this individual is interested in skincare. There’s a lot more that goes into collecting this data, but for the sake of keeping things simple, we won’t go into that. If you want to know more about the ins and outs of programmatic advertising, click here.
One of the most common and easiest software for programmatic advertising is Facebook. With Facebook’s recent change in its algorithm, a company is required to spend money in order to get their brand and product in their audience’s feed. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend much to make an impact on Facebook. If you want to learn more about Facebook advertising, go check out our blog post on the topic!
How to decide which strategy is right for your brand/campaign:
There are two main objectives to consider when trying to decide which strategy is the best option for you.
Budget: The first step is considering your budget. How much can you afford to invest in this campaign? ATL advertising is better for large budgets, while BTL advertising is a great option when you have a smaller budget. If you have a very limited budget and need to closely track your ROI, then BTL is the better option.
Target Audience: Do you want to reach a large, mass audience to create brand awareness, or sell a new product to a specific group of people? Choose ATL for brand awareness and BTL for product promotion within your niche market. Another important aspect to consider when reaching your audience is how you want your audience to respond to your messaging. If you want them to be able to interact with your message, then BTL marketing is the right course.
In the case of building your personal brand, programmatic advertising (BTL) is always a great route to take. What’s great about this kind of BTL advertising is you can go about it in more ways than one.
Strategies for Programmatic Advertising
The two main strategies for programmatic advertising include what is called endemic and non-endemic advertising.
Endemic Advertising: A marketing term that refers to ad placement that is natural to a market.
These kinds of ads fit. They belong on the page and immediately make sense for the consumers that are visiting that page or store. For example, natural ad placement is when you find an advertisement for fishing gear on a website like Bass Pro Shop. An ad for fishing gear is meant to target hunters and fishermen, and these individual’s natural habitat, if you will, is in a Bass Pro Shop store or website.
Non-endemic Advertising: Everything endemic advertising isn’t.
Non-endemic advertising doesn’t really have its own definition because it’s simply the opposite of endemic advertising. Instead of focusing on the marketing channels being used, non-endemic marketing focuses on creating a strategy around who will be seeing your ad – the consumer. This kind of advertising requires understanding where your audience is going to be. Focusing on the consumer means your ads are strategically placed in locations that your audience visits. Think about the previous example of hunters and fishermen. Yes, Bass Pro Shop is their go-to place, but these individuals also shop on Amazon or Walmart. Non-endemic ads are the ads that show up for fishing gear on Walmart or Amazon’s websites.
Reaching Your Audience for Non-Endemic Advertising:
For non-endemic advertising, you want to think about the locations that aren’t obvious. By branching out to the non-obvious locations, your ad reaches more people. Non-endemic advertising is a great way to take a programmatic approach without sacrificing your reach.
If you’re producing print ads, think about where people spend lots of time waiting – doctor’s offices, the DMV, etc. Placing your ads on these walls can be a great strategy for your print advertising. Make your ads fun and enjoyable, so as to contrast with the environment of the place your potential customers are so that your ad stands out to them.
You can also think about how to tap into what your consumer is thinking about when they are in a certain place. For example, a theme park. At first glance, it doesn’t really make sense to put an ad for a certified financial planner inside a theme park, or on a theme park’s website. However, if you think about what the parents on these sites and walking the paths at the park are thinking about – which is how much money they are spending – then a financial ad begins to make more sense.
So when it comes to promoting your brand, whether for your business or your personal brand, it’s important to consider all the options and resources available to you. As mentioned above, ATL advertising is a great way to reach a large audience and get your brand out there. BTL marketing can promote your brand but also send a more tailored audience to your target audience.
Facebook Ads is a great first step for BTL advertising, as they are commonly used among Facebook users. Facebook Ads are also an effective way to make a little bit of money go a long way. If you want to dive into the programmatic world via Facebook Ads, we can help you out with that! Schedule your demo with us today!