Millions of companies all over the world compete to attract and retain customers, giving consumers endless choices to meet their personal and professional needs and wants. So how do you stand out from the crowd, especially when you’re not working with a huge budget? One answer is business awards. Straightforward and inexpensive, winning an award increases visibility, drives traffic, and improves your credibility with customers and peers.
The application process consumes a fair amount of time, but it’s worth it.
Appeal to potential customers
It’s human nature to want to be on a winning team, and this applies to how customers view the businesses they patronize. That stamp of approval shows that your company is stable and of the highest quality, solidifying your current customers’ trust in you, giving potential customers that added push they need to make the initial purchase, and improving your visibility in your industry.
Secure additional funding
There are hundreds of organizations that hand out awards, and many of these come with grants and cash prizes. But the financial benefits don’t stop there. The banking community is more likely to give out business loans if your company has an award or two; as with customers, awards provide proof that you’re excelling in your field and worthy of trust. For startups and those looking to expand, these awards give venture capitalists even more reasons to invest.
Add and keep the best of the best
It doesn’t matter how fantastic your product or service is, or how well you run your marketing initiatives: if you can’t hire and retain quality employees, your business isn’t sustainable. Winning awards improves employee morale and makes it easier for your team to sell your product or service – that stamp of approval goes a long way toward ensuring each employee believes in your business and can convince customers to believe in it as well. These same awards also increase the quality of the people applying for open positions in your company (again, everyone wants to be on the winning team).
Free press exposure
Business awards typically come with ample press opportunities, putting your company front and center with people who weren’t aware you existed. After winning, you’ll likely be mentioned in a trade publication, on the local news, in the local paper, or even make the national news.
Before and after the win
Applying for business awards is a marketing tactic, and just like your other marketing projects you need to remain focused and targeted to ensure you don’t waste precious time.
Choose awards carefully. Don’t try to apply for anything you might be qualified for; instead, opt for industry-specific awards and those exclusive to areas you excel in to whittle down the pool of competitors and increase your chances of walking away with the prize.
Start local. Awards exclusive to your specific area mean more to your customers than a national award. And the pool of applicants for local awards is much smaller, increasing your chances of winning.
Don’t just accept the award, use it to your advantage by releasing a press release after the win, incorporating it into your email marketing campaign, adding the award logo to your advertising and storefront, and posting about the win on your social media accounts. Yes, it’s okay to brag a little!