To succeed in a busy and competitive business environment you need to vocalise your successes, and make your business stand out from the rest.
Entering awards can be a great way to raise your profile and give you something to shout about. Not only does it give you a competitive edge, but the accolades that result from being nominated or winning provides for a great PR story.
Here, we take a look at how entering awards can benefit your business and provide some tips on how to get the most out of them.
You may feel your business has a specific strength that sets it apart – whether it’s development of a new product, excellence in customer service, or maybe a particularly successful project. Business awards give your business successes visibility and prominence.
Some awards carry more weight and prestige than others, and will reward specific areas of excellence, which allows businesses to be recognised nationwide for their achievements. For example, we were nominated for two awards at the UK Search Awards and were delighted to have come away as winners of the ‘best use of search – health’ award. On the more local side, Wagada have also recently won the Business Growth Award at the St Albans Chamber of Commerce Awards 2018, which has gained recognition within the local community, raising our profile to local businesses and sets us apart from local competition.
A business that has been recognised by its industry leaders is much more likely to attract new customers, who would feel safer in the hands of a business that is independently endorsed and recommended.
Here are our top tips on how to get the most out of your award entries.
Take the time to research the many business awards out there and find the ones that will best demonstrate your strengths and achievements.
Awards often have many categories, and usually you can enter as many categories as you like. Check the criteria for each category and ensure you have enough evidence to support the criteria. Make sure you don’t use the same content for every category. The judges won’t appreciate having to read through the same information over and over again!
Judges will be looking for evidence to support every claim. So, if you say that a particular project you worked on resulted in increased sales, include the sales figures to support this. Evidence can be in many forms, and testimonials and graphs go a long way too to help back up your story.
Ensure you are answering what is asked of you. This may sound obvious, but every question should be taken literally. Read the questions thoroughly, ensuring you understand what is being asked and that you can meet the judging criteria. Don’t forget to check the accuracy of your entry, paying particular attention to word count limits, spelling and grammar. Double check it and then triple check it and get others to check it over too! Your entry can be dismissed in an instant if there is a glaring typo.
The application process for any business award worth winning will, by necessity, require a great deal of form filling and information giving. To have a chance of success you will need to ensure you have the time and motivation to fully ‘sell’ your business and convince the judges that you deserve to win over your competition. With most awards, requesting a number of criteria and very specific information, it’s worth spending the time and money on getting it right.
There’s bound to be a lot of talk on social media in the lead up to, and on the night of an awards ceremony. Whether the hosts are announcing the nominees, winners, or just starting a conversation with a hashtag everyone can follow, there’s plenty of opportunities for engagement. It’s a great way for you to shout about your business, as well as using it for brand awareness; congratulating other nominees and liking/sharing posts.
Posting content on the night of the event will see your social media presence boom! Create a buzz during, before and after the event, using specific event hashtags, location tagging and shouting-out to any VIPs that may be attending the event.
Anyone who pays for advertising knows how expensive it can be to get their business message out to the public. The unbiased, positive endorsement that comes from winning a business award, and the ensuing coverage in local, trade and possibly even national media, is priceless. Make sure you use PR effectively to get the message out about your awards to local press and trade journalists.
Use your awards logos across company announcements, newsletters, email marketing and PR. Don’t forget to update your website and Google My Business with the award logo and share it on your news or blog section. This provides an article to link to from your social media, detailing your full achievements.
Don’t forget the awards night itself is a fantastic opportunity to raise your profile and network with other industry leaders and business influencers. The way you present yourself will be a direct reflection on your business, so be sure to make a good impression!
Get in touch to find out more about how Wagada can help with your awards applications.