Are you looking to recognize your online community members? Or maybe you want to find the most talented employees? Today we talk about how to organize online awards with Easypromos. Read on if you wish to reinforce customer loyalty and work on brand awareness.
If you don’t have the right tools, organizing online awards might seem – rightly – like quite a challenge unless of course, you’re an experienced event organizer. However, as a total beginner, where do you start? How do you put the competition together? What tools will you need? Who will vote and how? And where will you find your the nominees? These and dozens of other questions might be running through your head as you try to picture your online awards. If you’re looking to recognize achievements and big personalities then you’re in the right place. Today, we take you through some useful tips and tricks. We also share examples of how other brands virtually presented the nominees and let the public have their vote.
How to organize online awards with Easypromos?
Just like with any other promotion, there are certain things you must think about before you launch your online awards campaign. Let’s take a look:
1. Define the objectives of your online awards
Awards competitions are always about giving recognition and prestige to the nominees. Just think about all the films that are nominated every year for the Oscars; at the end of the day, it’s the candidates that create so much buzz around all big award ceremonies. Chances are your online awards won’t become as popular as successful as the Oscars or Grammy’s (but who knows!) but they can still bring about many benefits for you as the organizer.
If you decide to organize an awards contest you will automatically improve brand awareness, simply because of all the extra publicity that comes with it. It’s possible that your competition will manage to attract sponsors who will publicize your brand further and help you reach a wider audience. You can also encourage social media sharing by asking the public to choose the winner. The nominees will instantly share your competition with their family and friends in an attempt to gain more votes, concurrently disseminating your brand.
But brand recognition is not the only reason to organize online awards. By looking for a chance to reward the members of your online community, employees, or even students you show that giving back to the community is one of your core values. And that’s a perfect start to build better customer relationships and reinforce customer trust and loyalty because, at the end of the day, we all tend to like brands that seem to care about their customers. And last but not least is lead generation… Did you know that you can convert social media followers into qualified leads? Apart from collecting contact details from the nominees, you can also expand your mailing list with the contact information collected from the voters.
The Easypromos voting app makes it possible to convert the voters into leads. Try the Pick Your Favorite (Survey) DEMO to discover how you can grow your mailing list.
The above example presents an awards contest launched by a photography studio. The organizers were looking for 20 dogs that would take part in a professional photoshoot. 12 out of the 20 most voted entries made it to a 2019 charity calendar. The brand set three main objectives:
- Quickly grow their audience
- Promote their photography services
- Demonstrate brand values
- Fulfill their commitment to the National Welfare Trust
Head to our case study to find out more about the awards contest launched by Unique Underdogs and PurImpression.
2. Choose the application for your online awards contest
Choosing the right application for your online awards is the key to success. You must think about all the advantages and disadvantages that different apps might bring. However, it all depends on the dynamics of the contests that you wish to launch:
- You already know the nominees – if you already have the list of potential winners, then all you need is a voting application. You can use the Easypromos Pick Your Favorite tool to demonstrate and display all candidates and ask your online community to vote for their favorite nominee. Public Lands Alliance invited their audience to choose the best innovative product, publication, or public engagement program.
After entering the online awards contest page, the voters saw all nominees. All they had to do was vote for their favorite.
- You want the public to nominate their colleagues – if you’re still looking for possible winners ask your social media followers to nominate their family, friends, workmates, neighbors, or even themselves. Invite them to propose the candidacies through the Easypromos Photo Contest app. Once you have a list of nominees, run it by the public and let them choose the winner of your online awards.
Here’s an example from Open Awards 2018. The organizers invited external companies to enter the awards competition for a chance to gain recognition, publicity, and prestige. The winners were chosen by a public vote.
Did you know that the Easypromos voting system is reliable and anti-fraud? We developed an advanced system that prevents bad practices when it comes to voting contests.
Now that you know how to find the runners for the podium, it’s time to…
3. Attract candidates and voters with attractive prizes and incentives
You might know by now that the prize is always the biggest motivation for online users to participate in promotions. The same rule applies to online awards. So if you’re looking to reach a wide audience and attract as many potential participants and voters as possible, then incentivizing the participation will be a vital part of launching your competition.
But what is the best prize? As always, it must be something appealing to your target audience. Your own products and gift cards always work, but quite often awards competitions look for a winner of big (or small) cash prizes!
The previously mentioned contest organized by Unique Underdogs did a fantastic job to attract new participants and voters. Social media users entered the contest simply because they wanted their furry friends to land a place in a 2019 calendar. But what was in it for the voters? Well, every person who decided to vote for their favorite picture received £75 off a photoshoot for their own dog. Unique Underdogs used a great tactic as both prizes lead to increased brand awareness and recognition.
And now if you don’t mind, let’s stay a minute longer with another dog online awards. DOGTV was looking for a chief puppy officer – in other words, they were looking for a dog influencer with an Instagram account that would actively promote DOGTV. Once all entries were submitted it was up to the public to choose the best Instagrammer! The participants turned to their social media followers in an attempt to collect extra votes. The winner, apart from becoming an official DOGTV ambassador, also received $1000 to promote their Instagram page, and – if that wasn’t enough! – a goodie bag worth $1000, too. That’s one lucky puppy!
4. Come up with voting rules
Terms and conditions must include all information related to the awards competition. You must explain:
- how to enter the promotion – explain who can participate and what the entry requirements are. If your online awards are limited to a specific location indicate that, too
- the start and end date of the contest – let people know until when they can nominate themselves or their colleagues and until when they can vote
- how to vote – explain what they need to do to vote and how many votes each user has
- how the winners will be chosen and when – explain if the winner will be chosen by the public, or if the top 10 nominees will be then reviewed by a jury.
- explain how to vote if there are different categories
It is also recommended to provide all the information in a shorter version on the welcome page of your online awards. Simply explain in a few sentences how to participate and vote, and what the prizes and voting dates are.
5. Promote your online awards and reach the target audience
Once you launch your online awards it’s time to reach your target audience. And depending on who they are you can reach them in a variety of different ways.
Are you trying to convince your existing customers to participate in your online awards? The best way to reach them is through newsletters! Write a short email and explain why they should enter your awards competition. Tell them what they can win and how easy it is to participate!
Here’s an example of a 2019 Registrar of the Year Award organized by Atelier 4. As you can imagine, this awards contest was aimed at a niche audience. Therefore, sharing it with the organizer’s subscribers was the best way to reach the online users that were interested in registrar awards.
Text messaging is also an effective way of communicating with your existing customers. You can try that, too!
Another reason to organize online awards is to choose employees of the year or best projects that deserve recognition. And here we have an example of a voting contest that looked to find the most liked projects designed by clients of Weber – a manufacturer of industrial mortars and innovative systems for buildings. Each voter chose their top three designs.
6. Turn to social media to disseminate your online awards and attract the needed attention
The above examples show us how to promote online awards among small communities. However, what steps shall you take if you’re looking to attract as much attention as possible?
You surely know that social media is where your target audience is, which is why taking your online awards to social networks is essential for your competition to thrive. By sharing your event with social media followers you unlock the ability to advertise and disseminate your competition.
Master en Diseño de Packaging – a master’s course in packaging design – annually launches Elisava Professional Edition Awards. One of the main prizes is the Audience Award, where the public gets to choose their favorite design. The organizers leave the decision totally up to online users.
Here’s a screenshot of a post that has been shared across Facebook pages by the organizers. They invited their social media followers to enter the gallery and leave a vote for their favorite design.
There are a few important reasons to share your online awards across social media channels:
- You get to increase brand and product awareness and visibility
- Grow your audience
- Encourage social media sharing as the candidates are likely to share the awards with their family and friends in an attempt to obtain more votes
- You build customer loyalty as you come across as a brand that gives back to the community
- Strengthen customer relationships by letting your online community choose the winner
Here’s how the candidate designs were displayed in the public gallery, waiting for the votes.
As you can see each entry has a “compartir” button which means “share” in Spanish. The social media buttons helped the designers to easily share their submissions with their family and friends on social media networks, or even messaging apps and email by sharing the direct link.
7. Communicate the award winners
Once the public chooses the best candidate, or the jury picks the best nominees out of the entries most voted by the public, it’s time to announce the winner.
To make sure the results are transparent it’s always recommended to make the number of votes public. You can either show the number of votes right from the very beginning, or if you prefer to make it all more mysterious you can publish the votes once the voting has come to an end. Either way, take it to your social media accounts to thank all the participants and voters and communicate who has won. We recommend you share the winners page so that your social media followers can view the results and also see all the candidates that participated in your awards competition.
If you promoted the awards on your web page it is always a great idea to embed the gallery with all the candidates on your website. It will help you generate more customer trust.
Are you ready to launch your own online awards contest? We hope we have helped and it’s all a bit more clear than before! But don’t worry if you still have some questions, you can always contact us via our Online Chat – our customer support team is always ready to help and assist.
Kamila PalkaEasypromos marketing team
Publication date: 2020-07-21