For marketers, the choice between brand awareness and lead generation can feel like a boxing match. ‘Awareness’ fights to increase the size of your audience, while ‘lead gen’ limits your audience to a group of people who are willing to trade their contact information for your services.
There’s a simple formula for choosing brand awareness or lead generation. To determine the best strategy for your social media campaign, consider the benefits and drawbacks of each. When used effectively, the two strategies can complement each other and there are times when you might need to focus on one more than the other.
For instance, if you have a brand that has just starting their social media strategy and have little to no posted content and little to no followers on their page, it may be wise to start with a brand awareness or a reach ad. This will entice potential customers with awareness of your brand without asking them for their personal information. It’s simply getting your name out there to as many people as possible without asking for anything from them.
Look! We’re here. We exist. Did you know that?
Brand awareness creates visibility for your brand and what you offer.
There’s a good reason that brand awareness is the first pick for most marketers. Brands need to focus on attracting attention before lead generation ads can be successful. If no one knows about your brand and what they offer, they are much less likely to fill out a form with their personal information such as their phone number or zip code. That being said, it’s not always the need for personal information that turns potential customers away. It’s the time it takes to fill out a simple form that leaves them uninterested, especially if they know nothing about you, or have never heard of you.
So let’s say you’ve been running a brand awareness ad for a few months. Your ad recall lift is high. Your page has a decent amount of likes and follows in a short amount of time. People know you and it’s starting to show. You have a base now. Now, you have brand comprehension because you’ve been running brand awareness ads for a few months. People see your ad and they know who you are and what services you offer. Now is the time to transition to a lead generation ad.
This same audience has been seeing your brand awareness ads on their feed for a few months now and all of a sudden, they desperately need the service that your brand offers. What are the chances they fill out your new lead form? BAM! Quality lead.
This is what makes lead generation ads work. Brand awareness. With brand awareness comes brand comprehension and knowing what your brand offers. People are very unlikely to fill out a form from a company they’ve never heard of because it takes too much of their now precious time. They are much more likely to fill out a lead form from your company, especially if they are in distress, because in their mind, they now trust your company and it will save them time to hire a company they trust, rather than a company they’ve never heard of.
Alright. Now let’s go in the other direction, where you don’t have much of an audience or following on social, but you want to get going and start getting leads as quickly as possible. You know you don’t have much of a following, yet you decide to run lead generation ads, instead of brand awareness ads, hoping to get leads immediately.
You do this for months. Your page slowly grows, but your lead form is nearly vacant. You’ve had 3 leads in 60 days and at this point, you’re wondering where you went wrong.
The problem is actually quite simple. Nobody knows your brand or who you are. Your brand is not trusted and your audience is freezing cold.
It may be difficult to see a brand awareness ad as an investment, but that’s really what it is. You need to put money in knowing full well you probably aren’t getting an immediate return. Your brand needs to be noticed. It needs to be easily recognizable and quickly comprehended, and brand awareness ads are the way to do that.
Once your audience knows you, they know they can trust you.