Your team knows how hard they have worked, how creative they have been and how much they have accomplished. But are you promoting your progress and successes to the world?
Business awards demonstrate your accomplishments to those outside your company and prove your legitimacy and credibility. According to a survey of business decision makers, 76% believe awards help generate business or increase a brand’s value. Additionally, a study of U.S. businesses found that small award-winning companies saw a 63% boost in operating income compared to non-winners.
Becoming an award-winning company can not only generate new business leads, but it’s also a key strategy to elevate or maintain a brand’s reputation and recognise employee achievements. However, these benefits only come when brands follow up award wins with an effective communications plan. Keep reading to learn how to strategically select and promote your awards.
Awards can help boost your brand’s reputation and name recognition with potential customers. When prospective clients source new products or services for their business, award-winning companies come across as more credible and trustworthy. In fact, awards influence 82% of decision-makers purchasing B2B products or services. Additionally, media coverage of these wins further positions your brand as an innovative organisation and generates new leads.
The best employees want to work with the best brands. In addition to gaining new business prospects, companies with recognizable award wins are more likely to attract prospective employees. Winning strategic awards that position your company as a thought leader will increase competition for your open positions. From “Best Places to Work” programs to innovation awards for your specific field or diversity and inclusion recognitions that showcase your firm’s commitment to equal opportunity, there are numerous types of awards that will help organisations stand out before and during the hiring process.
Earning awards also helps to validate the hard work of your employees. Brands can acknowledge their teams’ successes by winning awards for projects, products or company operations. With prestigious award wins, employees will feel that leaders value their efforts and recognise their accomplishments on behalf of the company.
Not all awards are created equal, however. When selecting which awards to apply for, be cautious if the award is unknown or it reaches out offering the win before you have even entered. Some awards don’t have a transparent judging process or thorough criteria, meaning that hundreds can win, and it has little potential to differentiate your brand. The same is true if the award has little to no reputation.
To get the highest return on investment on your award applications, be sure to consider how much time the entry takes, whether you can meet the deadline with internal or external approvals and the entry fee. Additionally, research previous winners and the award’s reputation to see whether your brand has a true chance of winning, whether your project or product is relevant for the award and category and if the award’s status aligns with how you hope to position your company.
To reap the benefits of winning awards, promote your achievement as often as possible through the following channels.
For every business award win, promote it via a press release and pitching to relevant media. Many awards will provide press release templates and other materials that brands can personalise. Whether using a template or drafting an original release, be sure to add quotes from leadership recognizing the award’s significance. Brands can also write a blog about the award win for additional content marketing, including information on the project or product that won the recognition.
Don’t forget to announce your achievement across your brand’s social media channels to inform customers, employees and prospective clients and job applicants. Award win announcements tend to get high levels of engagement on social media, boosting your post’s reach and potentially growing your audience. Social posts should tag the award for greater engagement and include a link to your website, the press release or blog post about the award win.
Next, include the award logo on your website and all marketing assets for maximum promotion. Your company’s bio, “About” page and social media profiles should all include the phrase “award-winning.” Additionally, marketing assets such as direct mail or any written materials that promote your business should also mention the award or carry the logo. Employee email signatures can also include the award logo to publicise the win in all communications.
Finally, share the announcement or press release through an external email marketing campaign to your clients and any other email subscribers. You’ll also want to send out an internal e-blast celebrating the recent success to drive awareness and excitement among your workforce. These emails can be more personalised, including a message from company leaders recognizing your team for its accomplishment and thanking your audience for its continued support.
Maximizing the value of awards requires promotion through every communication and marketing channel at your disposal. With a thorough communication plan, your company can boost its reputation and brand recognition as an award-winning leader in its industry.
To build your B2B awards and communications strategy, contact us today.
Theresa Colston is an Account Coordinator at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing creative marketing ideas and building connections to drive results for clients.