How awareness campaigns can be more effective than lead gen on social for trade associations

Launching a campaign on social media may seem simple, but the necessary planning to have an effective campaign is more complex than one may think. One of the key steps in planning to advertise on social media is determining the purpose of your campaign, such as choosing between wanting to gain brand awareness or lead generation.

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is the extent to which a consumer recognizes your brand: the higher the recollection the more successful. 

A brand awareness campaign has the goal of familiarizing consumers with your brand to the point that they can recognize and recall your brand.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is generating consumer interest in your brand for its products and/or services.

A lead generation campaign has a narrow focus on creating interest or inquiry about your brand’s products and/or services, usually involving the exchange of consumer information for brand outreach.

For trade associations, like our clients Flexible Packaging Association and Grain Foods Foundation, centering social campaigns on awareness, such as promoting the organization itself, can be more beneficial compared to aiming for lead generation, like trying to recruit members. Let’s dive into some reasons as to how an awareness campaign can be the best bet for trade associations to thrive on social media. 

  • Brand awareness is necessary for lead generation

For lead generation to be effective, your trade association must first work on building brand awareness. Gaining that first layer of exposure and trust from consumers is essential to eventually converting those people to active followers and members of the group. If no one is aware of your trade association, then the amount of people wanting to learn more will be sparse, so always make sure that your trade association has enough visibility for lead generation to be worthwhile.

  • Build your association’s brand image

Starting an awareness campaign gives your trade association the opportunity to build its branding efforts. If your organization does not already have a cohesive brand identity, then it will be difficult for the consumers you want to reach to understand and be interested in your association. Use the creation of an awareness campaign as the chance to upgrade your trade associations branding, as how your brand is represented and looks on social media can make or break whether people are interested. 

  • Consumers will learn to trust and like your association

Did you know that people form an opinion on something in just seven seconds? For trade associations, those seven seconds can be crucial in how consumers view them. If an awareness campaign is successful, it will change the way people think and feel about your trade association for the better. These positive feelings will lead to brand loyalty from consumers, ultimately building your organization’s reputation and network.

  • Consumer data can be collected

While it’s obvious that lead generation efforts are the main source for collecting consumer data, many don’t realize that awareness campaigns are gathering personal information on the back end. As for any campaign running on social media, you can track the analytics to determine the audience it is reaching. This information can help trade associations narrow down a target audience and optimize their future campaigns for the best targeting and engagement.

Whether your trade association is new to social media or a veteran of the digital world, step back and consider running an awareness campaign. While awareness and lead generation balance each other out, brand awareness is key to building the foundation of your trade associations social media presence. Not only are they beneficial in enforcing the loyalty of existing members, but the possibilities that arise from gaining recognition will prove beneficial for the organization’s long-term legitimacy and engagement. Awareness campaigns can be the first step to kickstarting your trade association’s future on digital media – so start planning!

If you would like help with marketing and advertising for your trade association, feel free to contact us. We offer a variety of services like digital marketing & analytics, marketing & brand strategy, and more to small and large companies.

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