Award season is upon us and businesses will be considering whether they should spend the time, resources and budget on entering. In short, the answer is yes, yes and yes.
While awards may seem like a drain, fundamentally they are a valuable exercise that will have benefits to both your brand and your team.
So, take a butcher’s at my three top reasons for entering awards:
A marketing and brand awareness boost
One of the most noticeable benefits of entering awards is the boost it gives your brand and marketing activity. Sharing news of a shortlist or a win across your social channels can encourage support and engagement from your target audience or potential recruits.
If you receive the good news of a shortlist, share it far and wide. Post it across your channels, write a website story, and update your marketing assets with the logo.
But remember there is a cost related to awards. You may read articles online that talk about ‘free marketing’ generated from awards, but this isn’t strictly true. Many awards have entry fees and ticket costs associated with them, as well as the resource and time it takes to enter. Time is money and all that.
Recognition (and pride) for your team
Recognising the work and value of your employees through awards can help boost staff morale and encourage them to feel proud to work for you. Mark this milestone by taking the time to thank your team for their support and the importance of their roles. Also, I’m sure an invite to the award ceremony wouldn’t go a miss either!
The process of researching, developing and writing an award entry will push you to look at your business, services, product or team in multiple ways to ensure you hit the criteria. A majority of industry-focused award entries are asking for examples of innovation, diversity, growth, customer experience, investment and strategic thinking. Look at previous winners, aka your competitors, identify what makes you superior across the criteria and convey it clearly with outcomes attached to each point.
An award shortlist or win is a third-party endorsement for your brand, and can help you build credibility and your position in your market sector.
The reality of entering awards
Now, that all being said, awards aren’t always champagne and trophies. They are a resource investment that needs to be considered carefully in line with your wider marketing and business strategy:
- They take time and effort but don’t let this put you off. The more award entries your write, the easier they become. Better yet, outsource the process to a pro for maximum efficiency.
- They often need input from multiple departments, especially in big businesses. However, a lot of hassle can be taken out of the process if you develop case studies regularly, These can then be repurposed and be included in entries as and when needed.
- You may not get off to a winning start, and that’s okay. Awards take time to finesse and should be built up over a long-term campaign. Start by entering your free-to-enter regional or sector-specific award programmes and build up from there. While it is completely possible for you to win a national award on your first try, most judging panels are looking to see your movement up the (industry) ranks and the progression in your brand positioning when reviewing entries.
It’s worth mentioning that all of this only works if you are entering awards and categories that are relevant to your business. So, with all that in mind, now is the time to shine a light on your business and your team.
Drop us a line here if you’d like to discuss how we can help you with your awards campaign.