You might be under the impression that industry awards are just an opportunity to quaff some champagne and take a few pictures for social media. But there is a lot more to gain from them than that, especially in a B2B environment.
In the last 12 months alone, Platform has helped its clients win 15 awards. And we have a track record that stretches over three decades of successful awards campaigns from Best in Show, through Product of the Year to Innovation Awards and Technical Emmys. In this blog post we’re drawing on our experience to set out the benefits of entering awards and the best way to make them work for you.
Here are the top 4 benefits in entering awards:
- Valuable industry endorsements
Some awards are more credible than others, and if your product is recognised by the right one then it will represent a huge endorsement of your company and products. It will impress investors and provide them with the confidence that they’ve backed the right horse – the right award win can have a real impact on share prices. It’s also good for team morale because your employee’s hard work is being recognised and is making a real impact. And don’t forget the impact on the judges – judging panels are often made up of influential industry figures such as journalists, analysts and – most importantly – potential customers.
- Customer testimonials
Awards are a great way to obtain a valuable customer testimonial. A press release or case study can often be hard to come by but co-operation with an award entry, which also showcases their success, can be easier to get through the approvals process, and it comes with a set deadline to help focus minds. Once the entry has been submitted it will be easier to get sign-off on using it as a case study, too, which will provide your sales team with a valuable customer endorsement.
- Sales and networking
Judging panels will often include prospective customers who will dedicate 30 minutes to reading about your company, product and key differentiators. Plus, if you make it onto the shortlist there’ll be an opportunity for your sales team to meet them and network with other industry figures at the ceremony. And there’s also the option of treating a prospective customer to dinner at a ceremony where your company’s achievements are being celebrated.
- Coverage and PR relations
A successful award entry will earn your company a lot of valuable coverage. If your entry is shortlisted you’ll get media coverage and promotion via social media channels. In the event of a win then more coverage of your company and innovative product(s) will follow and there may be an opportunity for a press release and further coverage.
So how do you make awards work for you?
First of all, you need to make sure you’re entering the right award. Who’s the organiser? What are the benefits for you, and will you be able to sell the idea to a customer if you need to?
All awards processes are different. Some require 2,000 words and a supporting video, others require 500 words and nothing more. Often the latter can be the most difficult because of the need to convey a lot of information in a small space.
There’s an art to getting the balance right, which is why so many clients rely on Platform to identify the right awards for them and run the entry process.
Awards are a well-deserved pat on the back for you and your team, but the benefits go much further than that. Awards can support sales, improve brand awareness, increase company value and help better relationships with the media.