Awards: Stand Up and Take a Bow

When it comes to brand exposure, networking and showing your competitors just how good you are, awards always win.

Awards are something that are overlooked in offices up and down the country. Often only paid attention to when an employee stumbles on an event and realises it’s a big award that they should probably give some thought to.

Cue frantic rushing, data gathering and submission writing before hurriedly sending your application at 4.59pm on deadline day. Phew. Your team work hard and awards recognise their dedication and drive to make your business such a success. Telling your star player that you’re putting them forward for an award will motivate them and give morale a boost.

Awards are one of the biggest events for any industry and should be part of your social calendar for networking and scoping out your competitors. As an established brand, you should be at these awards showing off your achievements and cementing your company’s position at the top.

A nomination or win at a prestigious industry award is something that you can use to support what you do and reinforce that you’re the best. They can be used in sales proposals, your about us page and in testimonials to convince any prospective clients that you’re the one for them.

So why not be one of the Sunday Times’ best companies to work for? Why not look to receive a nationally recognised accolade for your performance? Neither of these are out of your reach.

All eyes are on you

Going for these industry accolades should be a fundamental part of your business plan when you’re looking to establish and build on your brand.

Prestigious award ceremonies are an anchor in your industry’s calendar where you can mingle with the best and put a face to the name many will already be familiar with.

You get the benefits of a team event, which include rewarding committed members and boosting morale even if you don’t get the win.

When you’re shortlisted for an award, your company’s name goes out across email, websites and social channels, with hundreds of people checking whether they’ve made it onto the list too.

Curious about who you are and what you’ve done to be shortlisted, both your competitors and people interested in your specialist area will click through from these big sites to check you out.

These perks may make getting into awards seem like a no brainer, but so many businesses still don’t capitalise on them. Why? Because companies aren’t aware of the benefits or don’t believe they have the time.

It’s true, writing a convincing award submission can take a while. You need time to mull over ideas, pull together research and present your case clearly. A rushed award submission with mismatched text from various sources just isn’t going to convince the judges.

They read hundreds of nominations and you need to make it as easy as possible for them to notice you.  While a list of statistics about increased satisfaction can be impressive, you must contextualise everything to show why you deserve each specific award you’re targeting.

This takes time but you’ll always be rewarded for investing it, and not only for the reasons above.

A shine that never wears off

When it comes to giving your online presence a boost, awards are something of a forgotten gem.

While the offline nature of award ceremonies might seem difficult to measure, awards also make a clear impact online. Social media engagement, traffic to site and brand visibility all indicate that more people are looking at your brand and what you have to offer.  Last month, we were nominated for Large Agency of the Year at the Northern Digital Awards and since then Prolific North, which hosts the shortlist, has been one of the top ten sites driving traffic to our homepage.   

Awards are also good for building your brand on social channels. When we hosted the photobooth at least year’s Onrec event we had over 17,000 impressions on Twitter by just including the event hashtag and handle. Similarly, our tweets about our Northern Digital nominations had more impressions and engagements than any other that month and noticeably increased our following.

The significant impressions we’ve made on our social channels and the increase in followers both show how our brand has been able to reach a wider audience through this targeted approach to awards.

The role that being shortlisted can have in attracting a new audience cannot be underestimated. In the 24 hours after we were shortlisted in the Technical Innovation category at the 2016 Onrec awards, 86% of people visiting Venn from this award page were new users – people who’d never looked at our site before.

Awards aren’t just a £5 trophy to sit on your shelf or a one off team bonding exercise. They are a golden opportunity to build your brand and put your name amongst industry leaders, something that’s difficult to put a price on. 

Flickr Creative Commons Image: Martin Ringlein