Brands are constantly competing for customer mindshare. Every brand wants prospective customers to consider their products — and give up those precious contact details. However, brands should consider letting customers know who they are via brand awareness campaigns if they want to lock in that future purchase.
Sadly, many marketers find choosing between brand awareness and lead awareness similar to a boxing match. On one hand, brand awareness efforts help to expand the size of the audience. On the other hand, lead generation efforts help marketers to pinpoint a group of consumers who are willing to give their contact information to receive their content.
As a brand manager, you don’t have to let brand awareness and lead generation campaigns battle it out. Instead, the two should be used strategically and effectively to complement each other. The key to striking a balance between brand awareness and lead generation is to know that the two strategies must work hand-in-hand to be effective.
In this article, we will be discussing brand awareness and lead generation campaigns and how they can be used hand-in-hand to generate sustainable brand growth.
What Are Brand Awareness Campaigns?
Brand awareness is the extent to which consumers can recall and/or recognize your brand. Therefore, brand awareness campaigns are campaigns that help consumers become familiar with a new or revized product from your brand. When a consumer is searching for a product or service within your industry, you want your brand to come into their mind. That is what brand awareness campaigns can help you do.
A good example of a company that has created successful brand awareness campaigns is Coca-Cola. The company has a solid global presence and high-availability in different parts of the world. For most people, the name “Coca-Cola” is synonymous with soft drinks.
The biggest part of this success can be attributed to successful brand awareness campaigns via paid advertising and the use of a consistent personality and voice when targeting the younger demographic. This has pushed the company to the top in its market segment. The “Share a Coke” brand awareness campaign is a good example of this, developed to increase brand awareness, sales, and brand love among the flailing Millennial audience.
Brand awareness campaigns need not cost a lot of money. HubSpot is a good example of a company that has successfully increased brand awareness via content marketing.
HubSpot creates useful branded content that has earned it trust and widespread recognition as an industry thought leader. Its whitepapers, videos, eBooks, and webcasts match the content desired by B2B audiences, while at the same time promoting their brand. Even viewers who haven’t invested in the company’s software are most likely to have downloaded a piece of valuable content from HubSpot.
What Are Lead Generation Campaigns?
Lead generation campaigns have a narrower focus than brand awareness campaigns. Their main focus is to create interest around a certain product or service. They usually take the form of gated content where the interested party provides their name, email address, etc. in exchange for a piece of content on your site.
The key benefits of a lead generation campaign is there in its name: you gain leads for your brand. This means using the contact details provided to warm consumers up to your business with lead nurturing campaigns or personalized outreach from your sales team to ease them toward buying your products. This should mark the beginning of a relationship that will convert a lead into a customer.
Turning browsers into leads takes some work. After attracting visitors to your site, you should immediately start working to convert them into leads. Set up your website’s customer journey in a way that directs them to a space where they can convert. Similarly, add relevant content offers in your blog posts or promote them on your social media platforms.
For lead generation campaigns to work, you must ensure the following:
Create an offer that is of value to your target audience.
Promote the offer (one way in which lead generation and brand awareness campaigns go hand-in-hand!)
Ensure that the landing page asks visitors for the right amount of information — too much can turn a person off converting.
Once you have started to generate leads, use lead nurturing tactics to move them forward on the buyer’s journey.
The Benefits of Brand Awareness Campaigns
Brand awareness campaigns are certainly not all work and no play! The following are the benefits of improving brand awareness and investing in brand awareness strategies:
#1: Improve Sales
Brand awareness is usually the first step in driving leads and sales. It involves making people aware of your brand by targeting relevant, high-quality audiences. The campaigns that you launch cast a wide net across your target audience and can help reel them into your brand funnel.
The more people you have aware of your brand, the more you increase your chances of creating sales. Remember: a growth in your share of voice will increase sales in the long run.
One example of a company that has benefited from brand awareness campaigns is Shoes of Prey. The women’s shoe company wanted to improve its brand awareness and reach new audiences. They used YouTube influencer and beauty vlogger Blair Fowler to spread the word and host a giveaway.
The video attracted 15,000 comments, 750,000 views, and coverage on different publications — and increased sales by 300%.
#2: Improve Brand Perception
Brand awareness campaigns can change how people think and feel about your business, and this can contribute to brand loyalty and brand affinity. First impressions matter a lot and people will make up their mind about you in just seven seconds. Brand awareness can help you manage what your target audience learns and think about you, thus setting you up for success in the long term.
Take Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, for example. The brand wanted to create awareness and improve perception among global business leaders located outside Japan, so they launched a content campaign on LinkedIn. This led to a 12% increase in brand familiarity among Hong Kong audiences and a 7% increase in brand familiarity among US audiences.
#3: Acquire Consumer Data
Brand awareness campaigns give marketers an opportunity to collect data about their audience and potential buyers. Such data can help you understand what your target audience likes and don’t like.
You can also understand if your brand awareness campaigns are having a positive or negative impact. You can then extract insights from the data to segment your target audience, craft retargeting strategies, and optimize your future campaigns.
The Benefits of Lead Generation Campaigns
The following are the benefits that a brand can reap from lead generation campaigns:
#1: Reduce Cold Calls and Emailing
Most brands spend a huge amount of time running after consumers who are not interested in their products. Lead generation can save you from this. It helps brands to focus on hot leads by reducing the potential target pool to customers who are most likely to convert.
This will save you from wasting time running after consumers who will not convert and instead focus on closing more deals with leads that need your product.
#2: Boosts Revenue
Following on from the above point, when you focus your energy on people that have already shown an interest in your business, you have a better chance of converting interest into sales. All you need is a solid lead nurturing strategy to follow the campaign — which can produce 20% more sales opportunities.
How Brand Awareness and Lead Generation Campaigns Compliment Each Other — and How to Run Them Together
Both brand awareness and lead generation campaigns have a common goal: to drive action. Thus, the two should not be seen as mutually exclusive but complementary to each other in reaching this goal.
Brand awareness builds the foundation of your brand. Thus, it should be at the top of any marketer’s marketing goals. Brand marketers should focus on attracting attention to make their lead generation activities successful. If no one is aware of your brand’s amazing newsletter, you will not get many signups.
When running a marketing campaign, determine whether you’ve enough visibility to make your lead generation activities worthwhile. If you are not attracting many visitors to your blog, you can try to create awareness through social media campaigns instead of creating an in-depth white paper to collect email addresses. You can also repurpose that whitepaper to create awareness through social media and blog posts.
The key to a successful marketing plan is to create a balance between brand awareness and lead generation. It means you must determine the percentage of the marketing budget to go into brand awareness as well as the percentage to go into lead generation. Research conducted by LinkedIn B2B Institute shows that there is efficiency in marketing when 46% of marketing budgeting is allocated to brand awareness and 54% to lead generation. For the ideal growth of your brand, you must use the right amounts of both.
Always remember this two-stage process:
First, create a trustworthy reputation by running a brand awareness campaign.
Then, offer something good through lead generation to make good on your reputational claims.
Consumers will always consider credibility and trust before supporting any brand. If you are not getting enough business, you should shift your focus to create more awareness and build up your credibility and “trust factor”. This calls for you to deliver exactly what you promise the consumers in your brand awareness campaigns as consumers may be less forgiving of mistakes from brands they trust.
If your blog is not receiving the desired number of new customers, expand your reach by running a social media campaign.
If you are not receiving enough email signups from your newsletter, try to repurpose that content in a social media or blog post.
After building enough traffic, you can shift your focus to lead generation marketing strategies, not forgetting that great content is key for a successful lead generation strategy. If you give consumers useful data that they can’t find anywhere and answer their questions, customers will be more likely to give you their contact information in return for more details.
It is important for you to understand your market and competition. You should gather information to know the amount of budget your competitors are spending on generating brand awareness and lead generation. This will help you know whether your marketing budget is adequate or not.
Finally, you must also have clear goals for brand awareness and lead generation. When defining the goals, consider your brand awareness and lead generation activities as well as the amount of budget allocated to the activities.
How to Measure the Success of Brand Awareness and Lead Generation
Every marketer must measure the success of their brand awareness and lead generation campaigns to understand how successful they have been. If you don’t, you will miss the opportunity to identify the elements of your campaigns that can be fine tuned to perform better.
Brand awareness and lead generation campaigns have three goals: to inform, persuade, and remind consumers of the products. The best approach to determine whether your ads are successful is by tying them to their relevant metrics.
There are different ways to look into the awareness around your brand. It all depends on how deep you want to dive into it and the metrics that match the campaigns that you’ve been using. You can conduct a brand awareness survey, observe your website traffic, or check the number of your social media followers.
You can also use brand tracking software, like Latana, to do the heavy lifting. Brand tracking software can help you easily reach your exact target audience and understand how they think and feel about your brand. Thanks to AI-powered technology, brand tracking software can also ensure that you receive reliable data, so any following decisions can be based on fact rather than gut feeling.
Lead generation is measured by determining the number of people who provide their contact details in exchange for a lead magnet. For example, you can consider the number of people who provide their email addresses to receive updates about special offers, how-to guides, whitepaper, etc. as a key metric.
However, accurately measuring lead generation campaigns is not solely about counting how many email addresses you acquire. You should also consider the money you spent acquiring these leads. If a single lead costs $5,000 then is it really worth it?
As a next step, also consider how much you spent afterwards nurturing the lead and, if they converted into a sale, how much that sale was worth to you. A good lead generation campaign should bring good ROI to be considered successful.
Brand awareness and lead generation activities are not mutually exclusive but they complement each other. Thus, brand owners should use them hand-in-hand for the benefit of their brands.
The goal of brand awareness is to expand the audience of a particular brand. On the other hand, the goal of lead generation is to help marketers pinpoint a group of consumers who are interested in giving out their contact information to continue receiving content.
Brand awareness builds the foundation of a brand. When a brand manages to attract attention to itself, its lead generation activities are most likely to be successful. Marketers should start with brand awareness activities before embarking on lead generation activities. It is also good for brands to establish the percentage of the marketing budget to go into brand awareness as well as the percentage to go into lead generation.