Lead Generation Ads vs. Engagement Ads: Why Both Really Matter

Lead Generation Ads vs. Engagement Ads: Why Both Really Matter

Engagement Ads vs Lead Generation Ads

Ninety-five percent of my team’s day is spent ideating and building lead generation campaigns for our clients.  From deliberating over ad messaging, conversion funnels, and landing page minutiae, we’re always thinking about ways to get the highest qualified lead for the least amount of spend.  Our ad objectives always come back to the qualified lead,  measuring success on conversion-based metrics that impact profits.  Lead generation campaigns (sometimes referred to as lead acquisition) are designed to capture new prospects, nurture them move through the buying process / funnel, in order to get them to take action “right now”.  A typical lead generation journey can be anywhere from 1-7 days and includes the following stages:

Awareness >> Engagement >> Taking Action* >> Conversion

*Taking action can include clicking to call, filling out a form, booking a meeting  or demo etc. 

But what about future prospecting? How do you entice users to stay engaged with your brand when they are not yet ready to buy today but may be a great candidate within a few months? Is it a waste of resources to invest in them now when your budget is already lean?

Intent-Based Brand Engagement Campaigns

The raison d’etre of most brand engagement campaigns is traditionally to build brand awareness and equity, positive associations, and brand loyalty for future customer acquisition.  Legitimate and noteworthy goals, for small and medium-sized companies these objectives may seem vague or esoteric.  After all,  every click, impression, or video view costs money and can quickly add up without any immediate returns.

Intent-based brand engagement campaigns will provide a constant flow of qualified leads throughout the year.  I often refer to them as “warm-up” campaigns as they allow us to warm the lead over time in order to secure a qualified lead.   A warm-up campaign can take up to 3 months and can include the following stages:

Awareness >> Engagement >> Top of Funnel Action* >> Remarketing >> Conversion

Top of funnel activities can include:

Webinar signup campaigns

  • Webinars provide a lot of value including:
    • Positioning you as an authority in your space 
    • Improved brand perception / Helping you to stand out from your competitors
    • Increased market share
    • Expanding your database
    • Lowering your cost per lead
    • Post webinar lead nurturing opportunities

Webinars allow you to interact with your target audience, build rapport, and trust.  People like to work with people they like and trust.

YouTube Campaigns

YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world surpassed only by its parent company Google, according to Search Engine JournalWith the right video strategy, you can generate qualified leads.  There are many benefits to advertising on YouTube, from targeting and customization capabilities to measurability and affordability.  YouTube campaigns will deliver:

    • SEO Value: A properly optimized YouTube video content will generate high visibility and traffic
    • TrueView for Action Form Ads:  ad forms in YouTube so that users can fill out forms without leaving the platform.  According to Google, TrueView for action campaigns “help drive leads and conversions by adding prominent calls-to-action (CTAs), headline text overlays, and an end screen to your video ads”.
    • Low cost/best reach:  Video View ads are one of the most economical ad types for the greatest reach.   Almost 5 billion YouTube videos are watched daily.  According to the Big Commerce blog “A typical ad view generally runs between $0.05 and $0.10, which is low compared to the cost of some keywords on the Search Network, which can run for $50 per click or more”.
    • You only pay when a user engages: According to Google, A view is counted when someone watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with an interactive element, whichever comes first.
    • Easy remarketing: Once your YouTube campaigns are up and running and you have amassed enough views you can  set up remarketing audiences for conversion-based ads (discussed below).

Facebook Lead Generation Ads

Around since 2015, Lead Generation Ads are great and cost-effective way to capture relevant email addresses in exchange for a lead magnet like an ebook or white paper.* With a super easy interface, once a  user clicks on the Facebook ads call to action button and a pre-filled form appears (because Facebook has basic user information like name, email address, and phone number already).   The user simply needs to tap on the form to complete it, never having to leave the social network. This custom audience can now be integrated with your CRM or email marketing platform so that you can create a pipeline of leads for a seamless, automated email drip campaign.

Note: While great for email collection, ironically the Facebook lead generation ad type is lackluster when it comes to generation intent-based leads.  We use this ad type only during the warm-up stage.

Email Drip Sequence

According to Hubspot, an email drip campaign is “a form of automated sales outreach. It’s composed of a series of emails automatically sent to a specific audience after they take a specific action”.  The goal of an email drip campaign is to further educate your potential customer so that they will take an intent-based action like signing up for a demo.

Email drip content ideas may include:

  • Product / Service education
  • Industry news
  • Blog Posts/ Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Discount codes
  • Calls to action to schedule a demo/call

The last word

Make brand awareness and engagement campaigns the first step in your lead generation journey.  Not only will it help you to acquire new customers and reach it will also help encourage word of mouth marketing, invite brand recall and keep your brand center stage.



  • Fran Jakubowicz

    Fran Jakubowicz is the CEO of SunHouse Marketing, a full service digital marketing agency with a track record of excellence. A digital lead generation expert, Fran and her team have generated hundreds of thousands of leads and millions of dollars in sales for her clients. Fran invests in training and certifying her team across all digital marketing channels to ensure that her clients are benefiting from the freshest digital marketing strategies, Google best practices and tools available. Working across multiple verticals including health, pharmaceutical, finance, law, education, non-profit and eCommerce, Fran and her team have been helping organizations reach their digital goals since 2009. Fran grew up in communications. Early in her career, she worked in her family’s public relations firm, DCI (Dworkin Communications Inc). Since that time Fran has been involved in an impressive array of projects, assisting companies and non-profit organizations to attain their goals. In the days before the internet Fran practiced traditional marketing and PR. With this background, it was only natural for Fran to evolve her skills, and to become a very successful online marketer. In a rare combination, Fran blends over 20 years of experience with her love and passion for the latest and hottest technologies. This unique worldview allows Fran to assist companies to achieve their goals. Connect with Fran on LinkedIn.

Contact SunHouse For Your Free Strategy Session

Rooted in a deep understanding of your market and backed by 15 years of experience and a commitment to results, our strategies are designed not just to attract leads but to convert them into clients, ensuring a high return on investment for your organization.