twitter facebook linkedin youtube-play instagram chevron-left chevron-right
Leads vs. Awareness: Where to put your marketing budget
Digital Marketing

Leads vs. Awareness: Where to put your marketing budget

As digital marketers, we are highly data-driven and have lots of sophisticated (and fun) tools that give us deep insight into audience behavior, how our ads are performing, and how to make them perform better.

Even with all of our digital tools, when it comes down to it our ultimate goals are the same as any other marketers:

    • Generate leads (the short game)
    • Build awareness (the long game)

And, just like any other marketers, we help our clients determine the right game plan for their goals. 


The short game

Lead generation is an extremely important part of any marketing plan. In fact, 85% of expert marketers say it’s the most important element in their marketing toolkit. 

Thanks to digital marketing techniques, businesses can target potential customers based on their interests, demographics information, online behavior and more. If you’ve ever seen an ad on LinkedIn inviting you to download a free trends report in exchange for filling out a quick form, chances are it’s because you’re a lead that the business sponsoring the ad wants to capture.


Why it’s a winning strategy

This type of lead gen is most effective when it’s making an offer that’s too good to refuse using something called a “lead gen magnet.” That is, content that prospects actually want and place a high value on, and can get right away. 

Mmmm, content

Lead gen magnets could be:

    • White papers
    • Trend reports
    • Videos
    • Case studies
    • Workbooks
    • eBooks
    • Webinars
    • Discount codes or access to sale items before they go public
    • Exclusive access to media (bonus tracks, behind-the-scenes videos, free trials, etc.)
    • Emoji packs or sticker sets for digital devices

The key is that prospects can only get the free content by giving some of their own info to the marketer, such as an email address, phone number, or some other piece of information you, the marketer, deems useful for the sales process. This gets the warm lead into the funnel and lets your sales force work their magic.

If the content has a high perceived value and is well done, then people are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their info and maybe even signing up to receive additional communications from your company.

Leads, leads, leads!

The long game

There’s a reason that industry giants like Coca-Cola or Budweiser spend millions on traditional and digital advertising, and it’s not to increase sales. At least, not directly.

It’s to make sure their brands are top-of-mind with consumers and stay that way. The name of this game is building buzz, whether the brand is new on the scene or a well-established player. 


Why it’s a winning strategy

Digital brand awareness campaigns share some of the benefits of digital lead gen campaigns. We can track user behavior and, while the audience is generally broader than in lead gen campaigns, we can still target specific audience groups and tailor messaging to them.

In this strategy, your digital ads are similar to billboards along the freeway or print ads in a glossy magazine. Clicks are great, but the goal is largely impressions. 

Because this approach has a longer tail, it’s also an opportunity to build community as you build awareness with content like:

    • Blogs
    • Podcasts
    • eNewsletters
    • Social media platforms

Turn customers into fans

That community-building helps turn customers into fans, and eventually into brand evangelists. How’s that for a long game? (It’s great.)


So which is better?

You can probably see this coming, but the answer is “it depends.” Your goals (both long and short-term), overall marketing strategy, and budgets all factor into what the right approach could be for your business. Based on what we’ve experienced with our own clients a healthy mix of both strategies tends to yield the best results.


Generate leads and create awareness with your digital marketing strategy. Contact the amazing nerds at CID now.

CI Digital Strategy Team

CI Digital Strategy Team

Our Digital Strategy team works on everything from search engine marketing and content development to social strategy and e-marketing. If it's digital and involves marketing, this is the squad to call on.

Put our teams to work for your business

Contact Us