You work hard to make your business both a great place to work and a successful contributor to your community. Along the way, you might enter an award competition or find yourself as the grateful recipient of industry kudos or honors. While your humble nature might whisper “keep it quiet,” leveraging awards in your marketing efforts is one of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur. Any award—given or received—has the potential to bring incredible benefits to businesses of every size. 

Publicizing awards and interacting with people on social media are two of the best ways you can leverage awards and build a reputable name for your business.

Here are five steps to maximize the giving and receiving of awards, both inside and outside of your company.

1. Brag about being a finalist

When one of your employees is named as an award finalist, it’s worth publicizing. Announce the news to let people congratulate them. Some followers might share the recognition in public posts, which is excellent for the standing and reputation of your company.

Here are some tips to share your news of being a finalist:

Post the news on various social channelsThank clients for their support or voteInclude more information about your company along with the post

2. Promote when your company is a winner

Let your followers on social media know by posting the news and sharing exciting photos of the ceremony. Never forget to use the event’s hashtags to gain visibility and new followers.

But there’s more you can do with award wins. Often, award organizers provide the winners with  award badges or logos for promotional usage. You can use these on your print ads, emails, company website, and other marketing materials. This type of promotion can help you gain more trust and goodwill from the public.

3. Celebrate the win with a customer campaign

Creating campaigns to thank loyal customers is a great way to leverage an award. You might offer followers a special discount code or arrange a social media competition. By thanking customers, you can announce your victory, acknowledge their role in your success, and garner positive attention. 

Custom awards around growth, community involvement, or performance are great ways to add uniqueness and individualization.

4. Create a press release

An award shortlisted or won can become your story for press release marketing. You may be the only one from your area or country who got nominated, or maybe someone in your company was a first-time award winner. These headlines make great press releases! Captivating stories have a way of reaching many people.

5. Congratulate other award winners

Make an effort to appreciate other businesses that win awards, and congratulate them publicly on social media. Congratulating other companies creates a chance to build strong relationships with them that could be mutually beneficial in the future.

We’ve learned from experience that building solid relationships with other companies can expand reach in big ways. When other companies share our content, we gain exposure from unfamiliar members on social media in return.

Leveraging awards—is it worth it?

Winning any award—or even being nominated for one—is an honor. But the benefits of an award are not limited to the joy you get from winning. Being a shortlisted candidate can also bring many benefits. If you aren’t already doing so, it is high time for your business to take advantage of awards. Whether you are a startup or a seasoned industry player, awards are an ideal way to position your company as a leader.

Awards can give you a competitive advantage as well. Capitalize on every opportunity to include award mentions in your marketing strategy and leverage the many benefits they provide.

Contributed to EO by Mike Szczesny, the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise and athletic awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO’s ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees.

For more insights and inspiration from today’s leading entrepreneurs, check out EO on Inc. and more articles from the EO blog

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PR/MARKETING Public Relations STARTUP

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