Thursday, 28 February 2019

"And the winner is........"

Awards ceremonies seem to be the order of the day from autumn through to spring and as business owners, we can use awards as an ideal way for businesses to get wider recognition - even if you don't actually win.

Recently I helped represent Glide Media at the South West Tourism Awards, held at the Aerospace Bristol museum, sitting under the magnificent and beautiful Concorde 216. This regional event awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold awards to tourism businesses in a range of categories.

Attending the black tie evening event were the nominees of course, but there were plenty of additional non-tourism businesses also, either as award sponsors or because they provided services for the nominees.

There were over 100 awards in total given out over the evening, so that's around a hundred business that were being showcased to a few hundred attendees on the night, but then showcased again in the follow up PR after the event.

As a resident of Gloucestershire I was disappointed that there were so few Gloucestershire nominees, but I couldn't tell if it was because businesses had not entered or were judged not to be of award standard. I suspect the former as we have some brilliant tourism offers in Gloucestershire and the surrounding area.

However, it does highlight that if as a business you have the opportunity to enter for awards, you should. Certainly many awards are now self nominating, or if not you can ask your clients to nominate you. Then you are on your way to gaining more market exposure.

You need to choose carefully what awards you want to go for. Some schemes have a fee for participation, but there are plenty that do not charge. Perhaps start aiming for local or regional awards that are relevant to your line of work, then you can branch out nationally.

What else can you gain from awards? Attending the ceremony gives you a chance to network with like minded people, other businesses and suppliers - even perhaps some friendly rivalry with your competitors! Swap business cards, meet new people, showcase your business, then you can sit down, have a drink and listen to the compere.

But then you win. What happens next? For a start, in addition to any PR or media coverage the award event generates you can boost this with your own efforts. Update your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram feeds. You can do this on the night with a smartphone, building tension with a "will we, won't we win" narrative. If you win, you get the scoop. If you don't win, never mind, tag and praise the winners in your posts. They will probably thank you online and then you will can get further mileage from your own social media post.

Usually awards come with some form of online badge which you can share through social media and put prominently on your website. These are the sort of things we marketeers really enjoy playing with and gaining as much mileage as possible for the lifetime of the award for our clients.

Remember, marketing is creating awareness of your products and services and their benefits. Awards recognise, quality, achievements or a Unique Selling Point (USP), and as they are run by a third party you can really ramp up the bragging rights on being nominated or winning, without worrying about being unduly modest.

So try entering for some awards. Hopefully you'll win as well as getting some great media exposure!

If you'd like help in marketing and promoting your business, why not drop Copper Phoenix a line ?

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