Brand Awareness vs Lead Generation – What’s the Difference?

Brand Awareness vs Lead Generation – What’s the Difference?
 March 10, 2016

Increased brand awareness can result in an increase in leads and lead generation can result in an increase in brand awareness.

These two approaches are often related, as they complement each other. When used effectively, each benefit the other and they quickly become intertwined, which can make them difficult to differentiate.

Let’s dig deeper and identify what makes these two strategies different:

1.      Goals

The main difference between these two strategies is the goal of each approach; they’re completely different.

At its core, a brand awareness strategy is built to introduce a brand and offer potential customers the opportunity to learn about a brand, get to know it, and engage with it further. It’s all about increasing the size of your audience.

Because brand awareness lays the groundwork for effective lead generation, these potential customers may convert into leads as the relationship continues to develop.

However, a conversion into a lead/customer is not the immediate goal of brand awareness.

With a lead generation strategy, conversions are the immediate goal.

You want to get potential customers to a landing with an offer they find valuable enough to want to give you their information in order to receive.

You want them to call, email, fill out a form – whatever your specific CTA (call-to-action) is leading them to do.

Lead generation is about focusing in on the segments of your audience most likely to convert (ie: exchange their information for your offer).

2.      KPIs

The KPIs (key performance indicators) are the most important metrics by which you measure the goals of your campaign and evaluate its success.

Since the goals of a brand awareness campaign and a lead generation campaign are different, so are the KPIs.

With brand awareness, your KPIs might include impressions, views, clicks, average time on site, pages per visit, and bounce rate. KPIs may vary based on the tactics you use as part of your brand awareness strategy and may vary per business.

Whatever KPIs end up being the best fit for your business and your situation, one thing is constant – you are measuring the reach of your brand and engagement with your brand.

On the lead generation side, your KPIs are conversion-focused.

Depending on the specific CTAs you’re using and the action your business is driving visitors to take, your KPIs could be phone calls from a trackable number, form completions, or making a purchase.

You may also be watching engagement metrics like clicks and bounce rates in order to identify potential problems in your conversion funnel and to improve your conversion rate; however, those are not the KPIs for your lead generation campaign – conversions are.

3.      Tactics

When viewed broadly, the tactics used for brand awareness and lead generation can be similar. Both can use social media, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, content marketing, and more.

The differences come in as you take a more granular look at how these tactics are being used.

For brand awareness, you might use display advertising to increase impressions (the number of people who see your ad). When focusing on lead generation, you want to make sure impressions turn into clicks, and then into conversions.

Though some tactics are similar, some are very different.

For example, you wouldn’t run a giveaway or rewards campaign just for brand awareness. In this case, it’s a tactic better-suited for lead generation.

It’s also a prime example of a lead generation campaign that generates leads but also increases brand awareness.

4.      Messaging

Though the tactics can overlap and be similar, the messaging for each type of strategy is completely different.

Brand awareness is an introduction, while lead generation is a push for action.

The messaging and tone of your content needs to fit the type of campaign you’re running.

For example, you wouldn’t walk up to someone you just met a conference and immediately start pitching your services. That comes across as way too pushy.

Why should this person work with you when they don’t even know you? You’ve offered no value and they have no evidence you are capable of doing what you say you can do. You haven’t even shown how you can help them!

Therein lies the difference in your messaging.

With brand awareness, you’re starting at the very beginning with a soft introduction. You’re building a relationship with that person, showing them value over the course of the relationship, and providing proof of your capabilities to first get their attention and then earn their loyalty.

With lead generation, you’re banking on your offer being valuable enough that the people who know your brand jump right in and convert, and that the people who don’t know your brand are compelled by the value to take a chance on you and convert.

Aside from all the little differences in tactics and approach, the main thing to remember is this – brand awareness is about starting to build relationships and lead generation is about getting conversions (hopefully you continue to build relationships with these people too).

Each approach may result in increases in the other and both are critical to a brand’s success, but they are not the same.

Need help getting your strategies in line?

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