It can be a struggle for marketers to decide between focusing on lead generation strategy or brand awareness efforts.

And this can lead most organizations to treat the two strategies separately, when in fact, they could also be using them side by side.

Today we’ll run you through how brand awareness and lead generation differ, the right time to use each one, and how they can actually complement each other.

But first, in the battle between lead generation vs brand awareness campaigns, what’s the difference between the two?

Brand awareness and lead generation are not complete opposites but let’s see how they impact website traffic and customer mindshare.

What is brand awareness?

  • Used primarily to increase the size of your audience. You’re aiming to get your name known to as many people as possible;
  • This can be through any form of broad advertising, social media campaigns, networking events, and promotions;
  • You don’t need to make sales, just get people to recognize your name and brand and get them to see you as a trusted player in the market;
  • This then lays the groundwork to follow up with a lead generation campaign.

What is lead generation?

  • This is the targeting of a customer base for a specific purpose;
  • Your goal is to get people to specific landing pages, purchase a product or sign up to an email list;
  • It’s easy to measure the success of your campaign using metrics.

When should you use a brand awareness campaign?

A brand awareness strategy is all about building trust with your audience.

It has some overlap with a general marketing campaign but it is distinct in its goals as it doesn’t have a specific goal like selling the company’s software or gathering contact information.

Try to think of brand awareness as the foundation of your brand, the shop window that draws people in. It can be particularly useful in the following situations:

Starting a new business

 You’re an unknown quantity when you first start out, and the vast majority of your marketing budget should be spent on brand awareness if you are in a segment where lead generation straight away is not possible. Tell people your story and entice the customers in.

Differentiating yourself from competitors 

If you’re in a crowded market, a solid brand awareness campaign might be just what you need to stand out. For example, if you’re one of 10 sporting goods stores in your area, tell people why you’re different. What makes you special? Why is your brand better than everyone else?

When you’re building trust

People are more likely to buy from companies they trust. Try offering content like a regular blog post from time to time as branded content, an in depth white paper, videos (as they are both valuable content and can be used as gated content), and special offers to show how good your brand is on social media platforms.

Establishing widespread recognition is the goal here and that’s why it is weird to put brand awareness vs lead generation as they basically help each other.

If you want to collect email addresses, get a response to a call to action, attracting attention through useful branded content can help your company get ahead in the boxing match with the competition.

Reaching ideal growth conditions is tied in with awareness strategies and every business knows that success goes hand in hand with awareness.

When should you use lead generation campaigns?

Once you’ve got a customer’s attention with brand awareness, now is the time to offer them something of value and make a sale, this is the heart of generating leads.

All companies should be running regular lead generation campaigns, but are very useful in the following situations:

Building your email contact list

Email marketing is still one of the most popular (and valuable) forms of marketing, with one of the highest returns on investment. Every company should use lead generation to build a large and profitable list. Try advertising discounted offers in exchange for customers signing up to your mailing list.

Getting referral sales

Using your existing customer base as a source of referrals is another excellent type of lead generation. This is especially effective for local businesses that can referrals from friends and family in your area.

Companies that operate in a niche market

Lead generation is vital in niche markets, given the smaller customer base. You might want to consider lead generation techniques like adding newsletter sign-up options to your social media campaign or using targeted Google ads—your marketing strategy in general.

The buyer’s journey to your landing page is much easier with lead generation efforts and improving brand awareness boosts your marketing efforts. These are specific techniques to generate leads so use them when you need to.

Using awareness and lead generation as your brand’s foundation to reach that industry thought leader status which makes reaching potential customers as many impressions usually mean many potential leads.

Why every company should use a combination of both

Remember, it doesn’t always have to be a case of lead generation vs brand awareness, and your best strategy is to combine the two for effective results. Don’t make your business just focus on one, they go hand in hand in terms of overall marketing strategies.

The important thing is to implement the right technique at the right time as both can be good for generating leads and moving your brand forward. Always think of it as a two-stage process:

  • First, build a trustworthy reputation through a brand awareness campaign;
  • Then, make good on your reputational claims by offering something specific of value through lead generation.

Brand awareness and lead generation go together and are not mutually exclusive.

Reaching your prospective customers through good brand awareness work will give you enough visibility and lead generation activities will help reach that target market and get it into your sales funnel.

This means more precise audience segments, more leads, fewer cold calls, more leads, and inceresed number of new customers.

Follow these two steps and you’ll start to see your advertising efforts paying off in no time and your sales team will love it! Use these two at the same time and many visitors will find your business!