There has been an explosion in B2B industry awards as publishers look for additional ways to generate revenue and brands seek opportunities to generate trust, validation, and credibility. This year at Champion we have supported clients with well over 50 different award entries, many of which have been successful. We’ve also seen success ourselves as we’ve recently been named finalists in the UK Content Awards for B2B Content Campaign of the Year and Best Use of Data in a Content Campaign.
Awards don’t begin and end at generating credibility for businesses, they provide the opportunity for brands to tell a story about how their product or service has benefitted customers and the industry. This is becoming increasingly important as B2B buyers’ trust weakens, as only 25% of buyers strongly agreeing that they would consider sales professionals as trusted advisors, compared with 33% pre-COVID. Brands need to find other methods of attracting buyers’ attentions and generating trust, awards can help.
Below are just a few of the top tips we’ve learned during the many awards seasons we have been involved in:
1. Entering Awards is a healthy process.
Identifying award-winning work from within the business is an incredibly positive exercise that leads nicely onto the development of case studies, news announcements, and closer relationships between sales and marketing. In addition, most of our client’s customers respond very positively to the fact that their project is award-worthy. It provides validation and recognition which sales can leverage and say: This is what respected people in the industry are saying about us and our solutions.
2. Keep it simple, interesting, and focused on the story.
Drafting an award entry is tough. Each award requires its own distinct angle and has a unique entry mechanism. The awards that have a catchy title tend to do better. Also, the objective for the entry should be to tell a story. Bring your business journey, or the specific project to life by telling them a story. Judges are often busy people who don’t have time to get into the finer details and so the more accessible the entry, the better chance it has of being understood and recognised in the judging process. Additionally, a compelling story captures their attention and keeps them reading until the end. The more distinctive entries tend to get the most attention.
3. Numbers matter.
Whilst an award entry is essentially a time to show off an approach, a strategy, or an initiative, data makes a significant difference to the quality of an award entry. Those entries that can show a tangible and verified ROI, for example, always fare much better than those that rely on adjectives and hyperbole to tell the story. Find the numbers and include them in the entry.
4. Get to know the judges.
Often the judging panel is published as part of the award entry. People volunteer to be judges for several reasons. Primarily it is an opportunity to raise their own profile and authority as well as to get the opportunity to learn what is going on in the industry. If someone is putting themselves forward as a judge in an award that your business is interested in entering, connect with them on LinkedIn. Like, comment, and share their posts. It can take up to 14 times for someone to see your brand before they remember it. If a judge is familiar with your company, then they are going to be in a stronger position to understand your award entry.
5. Use your success.
Celebrate and share news of being shortlisted and winning. Some businesses are reticent about sharing their success at awards. Don’t be. It is always worth telling customers, prospects, employees, and partners about success in award entries. Don’t rely on the award itself to do all the work. Reference it as a proof point in media interviews, promote it on social media and on your website. Some companies even put success on email signatures. Why not? People enjoy seeing others who are passionate about the work they do. Make no apologies for celebrating and sharing your success.
6. Plan and budget for awards.
Entering awards can be expensive and time-consuming. There is the entry fee itself, possibly some production costs and somebody must own the process. Build awards into your plans. The important thing is that you can see them coming so they can go into the timeline. If you run out of time, often it is possible to extend the deadline for those extra rounds of proofreading, but don’t rely on that. Also, many awards have early bird deadlines, which mean that it is more cost-effective to do the awards on time, ahead of schedule.
At Champion, we have a database of industry awards for the B2B sector in the UK which we keep constantly updated. Please feel free to get in touch us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy, or if you’d like more information on how we can help you achieve success during this year’s awards season.
Our latest case study
MobileIron (acquired by Ivanti), is a global enterprise security and mobility company based in the US. In February 2020, MobileIron came to Champion with a problem. It was struggling to stand out amongst its desired target audience of Enterprise C-Suite decision makers.
An Award Winning B2B PR Consultancy
B2B Content Campaign of the Year – Champion Communications & MobileIron: Trouble at the Top
Best Use of Data in a Content Campaign – Champion Communications & MobileIron: Trouble at the Top
Shortlisted – B2B Campaign
of the Year (Aptum)
Best B2B Trade Campaign – Aptum
Best B2B Trade Campaign – Ivanti
Best Use of Data – Ivanti
Winner – Best Use of Data (Ivanti)
Winner – Best one-off Content Campaign (Ivanti)
Winner – Best Use of Data (Greenlight Commerce)
Winner – Best Content Campaign to Assist with Corporate Positioning (Greenlight Commerce)
Shortlisted – Best one-off Content Campaign (Aptum)
is a member of the PRCA
Shortlisted – B2B Technology Campaign: It’s not always sunny in the cloud – The Aptum Cloud Impact Study
Shortlisted – B2B Technology Campaign: The Public Sector Problem
Shortlisted – Best corporate decision-maker targeted campaign: Trouble at the Top, MobileIron
Winner: gold – best pr campaign, go instore
Winner: bronze – best corporate decision maker targeted campaign, Ivanti