BTB Site Builds Brand With Online Ad Buys

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Serving as a warmup to a large branding campaign beginning in May, is quietly making large online buys in an effort to dominate the middle market finance space. provides financing for businesses with sales of $5 million to $200 million. To reach these businesses, the site has made significant keyword buys and banner buys.

By focusing heavily online, the site is preparing for its major offline brand push in the spring, according to Malon Wilkus, CEO of, Bethesda, MD.

"We want to maintain and continue to see the volume of activity rise on the site," he said. This allows us to calibrate the site with the volume of activity we're getting. When we roll out a much larger campaign we can be properly prepared for it."

At press time, the site had more than 300 top 10 listings for leading phrases in middle-market finance on the major search engines.

To accomplish this, the site purchased more than 185 Web addresses, including, and All of the links are directed to content that is specific to the Web address. However, all the content is actually part of the Web site.

On AltaVista, a search for the term "management buyout" produced eight out of the 10 listings for sites. A search for "senior debt" revealed six out of the top 10 listings. Banner ads that read "the source for business finance" accompany a number of the search results.

"It's important to build content for each of these concepts so that the companies that could use us will indeed find us with high-quality content," said Wilkus. "They'll find us due to the recognition of the URLs by the search engines."

Offline, the site has been running nationwide radio spots on NPR and ads in the Wall Street Journal that will continue to run until May when the site launches its branding campaign. The campaign will include radio, direct marketing, print, television and more extensive banner advertising. The site will spend $10 million this year on marketing and advertising. offers business owner the ability to enter financial information and determine a valuation of their companies using a number of measurements. The site also offers access to a range of financial services and capital finance sources so executives can apply online for financing from a range of sources and get the money necessary from the best source.

The site was launched by 85-percent stakeholder American Capital Strategies, Ltd., Bethesda, MD, owns 85 percent of the site and First Union Bancorp invested $15 million to buy 15 percent of First Union will provide commercial real estate financing on the site.

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