Generating Leads vs. Building a Brand Community

Generating Leads vs. Building a Brand Community

Blog > Learn > Generating Leads vs. Building a Brand Community

Cory Doucette 5 min

Generating leads versus building a brand community are two sides of the same marketing coin.

Each has its value but is distinct in how it should be in your overall strategy.

Lead acquisition and brand communities can feed into one another symbiotically but must be pursued individually for their full effects to be realized. 

We'll identify what is the best way to find leads, what makes a good brand community, and how you can use both to improve your marketing efforts. 

What is the Best Way to Find Leads?

Choosing to build a brand community is key

When it comes to generating leads vs. building a brand community, the former describes the art of working toward a new customer.

Digital marketing leads help your sales division find people who are most likely to be interested in what you are selling

What are Digital Leads?

So, what are digital leads?

Digital leads are anyone who indicates they are interested in a product or service. They might express this interest in the form of direct contact (i.e reaching out to your business) or by interacting with content that has been carefully tailored to suit your niche.

For example, a gutter business may find digital leads by producing content titled “How to repair your gutters,” with a call to action that directs readers to their sales page. 

Related: Two Crucial Questions to Ask When Creating Content


Lead Generation vs. Lead Conversion

Digital leads do not necessarily become customers. The lead conversion process can happen any number of ways and will depend largely on the tone of your brand. You may develop leads into customers through practices like behavior automation, retargeting, and email nurturing. 

Why are Leads Important?

Leads are valuable because, when the right people have been attracted, they are essentially customers waiting to happen. Well-targeted lead generation campaigns attract people who have a sincere interest or need in the product/service you sell. When you can appeal to that need directly, it becomes much easier to make the sale. 

Generating Leads can be Highly Effective

Good lead generation is the difference between appealing to people who are interested in your product, versus throwing marketing efforts against the wall and seeing what sticks. It is a highly targeted way to generate interest, and significantly increase your odds of making a sale. 

How do you build and maintain a brand community?

Build and maintain a brand community the right way

On the other end of the generating leads vs. building a brand community question, there is this: what makes a good brand community?

Branding simply describes what your company values—particularly in a public-facing capacity. Ideally, a strong brand community will share these values, and proudly support your brand because of it. 

What does Brand Community mean?

The specifics of a brand community will depend on the company in question.

By strict definition, it is simply a group of people who are united by their shared interest in your products and the values that are behind them. 

What makes a good brand community?

A good brand community is people-driven.

Your audience will thrive off engagement—interactions with others, an opportunity to be heard, and, in short, all of the elements that go into traditional, in-person communities. 

Why is Brand Community Important

For context, think about Harley Davidson. Through branding, they have become more than just a motorcycle company. Harley enthusiasts feel that their use of this specific motorcycle says something about them that the use of a BMW bike (for example) would not. 

This is important because it can lead to organic growth (Harley enthusiasts may advocate for the brand to people they know) and because it creates a stable base of repeat customers. 

To that end, one of the most significant benefits of a brand community is that it can help your product sell itself. 

Who is a part of your community?

To find your brand community, take a look at your customer demographic and try to identify common elements then build a target persona.

Social media platforms may be a good place to do this. What sort of people are highly engaged with what you are selling, and why? 

By figuring out what qualities of your brand identity inspire the most enthusiasm, you can work to emphasize these features in your branding and marketing efforts. 

How can you strengthen your brand’s community?

How do you build and maintain a brand community?

It helps to give your customers room to express their enthusiasm and share their thoughts and feelings.

People want the opportunity to be a part of something bigger. 

To bolster your brand identity, try to give the audience content that aligns with their interests, and an opportunity to voice their opinions, both to you and to other people in your brand community. 

How to use both together (successfully) 

Use both lead gen and building a brand community together

The question of generating leads vs. building a brand community isn’t an either-or proposition.

Both are important elements of marketing and can be used together to increase sales. 

Generating Leads

Leads are already thought of as future customers.

To maximize the impact of your lead generation, try to also produce future brand community members.

For both things, consumer interest is the key driving factor. 

Find people who are deeply and sincerely interested in what you are doing, and you’ll also find prime candidates for community membership. 

Building a Brand Community

Social media is an excellent space to develop and nurture a strong brand community.

Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are all great ways to give customers an inside look into what you do while also providing them a space to interact with each other and express their opinions. 

Yes, there is more to achieving other goals like reaching the 1st page of Google and driving sales, but this is a great start.

How do they meet?

Generating leads vs. building a brand community.

How do these two goals meet?

Ideally, leads will be eventual community members, and community members will be repeat customers. 

How can I use them together?

So, how can you use your leads and your community together? Don’t skimp.

Ideally, the community you create and nurture will feel like a reward—something customers can feel proud of being a part of. 

Good marketing can contribute significantly to this, but for it to really work, there has to be something real behind it. Experienced content creators can help you realize both goals. 

Which is Better?

Generating leads vs. building a brand community.

Which is better? Both.

They are both vital components of your overall marketing strategy. Use them together to create a large number of loyal, repeat customers. 

What we learned: Focus on the Brand Community and the Leads will Organically Follow

Generating leads vs. building a brand community is not about deciding which option to employ.

It’s about using both to improve public perception of your brand and boost your engagement.

Together, these considerations contribute to a strong marketing strategy that will generate an enthusiastic roster of customers. 


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Build a Brand, Don't Just Sell a Product

Here's how a rising eco-friendly brand facilitates the planting of mangrove trees to help stabilize the coastline ecosystem and prevent erosion. Their growth is now directly tied to their cause.
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Build a Brand, Don't Just Sell a Product

Here's how a rising eco-friendly brand facilitates the planting of mangrove trees to help stabilize the coastline ecosystem and prevent erosion. Their growth is now directly tied to their cause.
See How This Brand Did It