Winning an award can be a great moment, but how much of an impact it has will be down to you and your marketing team.
Winning a business award can add 50% or more to your bottom line. So, says one recent report. While that sounds impressive the true impact may be much bigger and much less depending on what your marketing team do with it. Here are a few ideas how you can turn success on awards night into a marketing goldmine.
A powerful tool
Awards are an incredibly powerful marketing tool for a number of reasons. Firstly, being nominated gives you press exposure the like of which you could only have dreamed of and also puts you in front of a whole new audience. It’s a badge of honour, a verifiable third-party affirmation of you and your business, proof of your commitment to excellence and a showcase for your dedicated staff’s talent.
However, those gains are not locked in. To see anything other than a small, temporary boost in your numbers, you’ll need to get on the front foot and start marketing the hell out of it. Here’s how.
Tell your team
The first thing to think about is internal marketing. Let your team know the good news. Tell them in person or send an email and find a way to reward their efforts.
One of the most important gains you’ll see is an increase in staff engagement, and pride in the organisation they work for. For that you will need to let people know and let them feel a part of the process.
If possible, give them all the news in person. If not, many companies use internal intranets or other forms of in company publishing to distribute news around the organisation. Give this the coverage it deserves as if you were promoting yourself in the wider media to really help people feel involved.
Tell your clients
Next on the list, tell all your clients and regular contacts. You may want to call them personally, thanking them for their support, or if they are signed up to a regular newsletter, use this to give them the good news.
It’s important not to be seen to be bragging about the award. Instead, take this opportunity to thank them for their ongoing support and to wish them all the best. It will help to deepen your engagement with them and reconfirm their trust in the quality of services.
Tap social media
Most companies will be active on social media these days. This is an opportunity to tell your followers what’s happened. Get the news out there quickly, share images from the event and congratulate those members of staff by name who were most heavily involvement in the win.
This is a great moment to build on the positive traction which will have been generated by the awards ceremony itself. Depending on the profile of the awards, there’s a chance they will have been conducting their own marketing campaigns on the night, and you can engage with this to further boost your profile.
Tell the media
Just as all actors and actresses come to an awards ceremony with an acceptance speech planned which they will claim they never wrote, your media department should be well prepared. It might be a good idea to have the skeleton of a press release ready to go out to relevant media outlets as soon as possible.
If your win comes at a particularly high profile or newsworthy event, it might be a good idea to use a news distribution services to broaden the appeal even further.
Many smaller businesses may get carried away at this moment and see an awards win as an opportunity to win space in a prestigious national publication, but you should also remember the smaller trade publications you’ve always been dealing with.
A splash in a national newspaper can feel great, but although it may put you in front of plenty of eyes, these might not be the eyes you need. Instead, a good trade title, which is read by your peers and potential customers, may have much more value.
Update your website
An award warrants pride of place on your website’s homepage. Having that awards logo or a little splash announcing the win, will do more than even the best copywriter or the snazziest corporate video.
The great thing about this is that it can stay on your site for a long-time giving visitors that constant reminder that this is not just any company page they’re visiting, this is an ‘award winning’ customer page.
Of course, there is some limit to this. If years go by and you fail to win any other major awards it you might start to sound like a tired old man harking on about the good old days if your still promoting that one prize you won a decade or so ago. However, if you’ve had one win, the chances are there will be others and you should add their logos to the collection as you win them. The more people see, the more it builds your credibility.
If you run a blog, this is another opportunity to talk about your experiences and indulge in a bit of understandable, but understated, self-promotion.
Update marketing collateral
With the staff, clients and press told you need to work quickly to update your marketing collateral. Everything, whether it’s a brochure, business card, website or anything else should have a prominent mention of the award.
Once in place, it may be worth distributing these as quickly as possible so the wider market can hear the good news. Winning an award can be a landmark moment for a company, one which allows you to reposition yourself and takes yourself towards a much grander platform.
Whatever you do, speed will be of the essence. You should think of any awards application as an ongoing strategy. It starts with picking the award, continues with delivering your application and concludes with the post ceremony marketing. For that you should plan ahead. Even though the result may be uncertain, your marketing team should be prepared to pick up the ball and run with it the morning after the awards. Get this right and you’ll turn a good night into a fantastic year.