There are literally thousands of different awards for businesses and individuals to enter nowadays, but deciding on which ones to enter and leveraging the benefits for your brand awareness and overall business growth is a decision that should be based on strategy if it is really to add kudos to your brand!
Different awards have different entry requirements and legitimacy themselves. The high profile prestigious awards for your industry or profession are probably the harder ones to enter unless you have a good strong relationship with the awards organiser…and a big budget to match!
There are several ways in which you can benefit from entering awards and this blog post from Hello Genius outlines 9 of them, namely:
1. Provides a stronger positioning against your competitors
2. More sales, more customers
3. Recognition of your expertise
4. Rewarding for your staff
5. Levels the playing field
6. Greater awareness
7. Publicity opportunities
8. Valuable exposure
9. Significantly enhances customer retention and loyalty
Which Awards to Enter
When you are considering which awards to enter and how to strategically make the most of your entry you should be thinking about:
The Location – will you actually be able to physically attend if you win? Actually being present to accept the award is good PR not only for you but also for the organiser who will likely take photos and promote you on their awards communications. Note that some awards do not host ceremonies, so this should also be a consideration as to whether or not it is worth entering.
The Categories – which is the best for your to enter based on your business or profession that will allow you to leverage your brand recognition, influence and authority with your target audience?
The Previous Winners – who were the previous winners of the award category you are entering and why did they win. What was it about their business or them, that gave them the edge over the other entrants or nominees and what can you learn from them. If it is a new award and you don’t have previous winners to research, it may still be worthwhile entering
The Chances of Success – Are you confident that you can put forward an entry that will resonate not only with supporters who will vote for you, but also with the judges. This will tie in very much with the category you are entering, so ensure that you can showcase very clearly why you should win.
The Costs – whilst some awards are free to enter, many do have an entry fee, particularly if they are high-profile awards. If the entry cost is by category, then this will add up if you are opting to enter more than one. In some cases you may also have the opportunity to sponsor a particular event or category as well, which will be an additional cost. The ROI is not always immediately apparent, but conversions of new business can be tracked by running targeted campaigns after an award win.
The Application Process – again, this will vary depending on the award you are entering, but in some instances can take a lot of time to complete, so you need to ensure that you have the resources available to help you manage what is probably one of the most important elements of entering for an award.
The Deadline – again, as with the application process, you will need to assess if you have the time to ensure you complete your application and promote your entry before the deadline date. Ensure you plan it out in advance to factor in what work needs to be done to meet the deadline for both applying and voting.
The Judges – who will be the judges on the panel for your award? Are they high profile business owners or celebrities? Are they global brands? Is this an opportunity for you to get your brand in front of some very influential players in your industry? These are all great questions to consider when it come to exposure for your business or yourself.
Entering awards can certainly make a difference to your overall brand development and awareness, not only with your target audience but also with your competitors and peers. To ensure it works effectively for you, having a strategic plan in place for which awards will give you the level of exposure you need for your business is the best way to use it to your advantage and receive the kudos you deserve.