Having the hard work that you and your company do acknowledged feels great. What’s more, testimonials, awards, honors and other forms of recognition you receive provide opportunities to build credibility and trust with both current and potential customers.
You can proclaim your value proposition in emails, ads and owned media, but leads will find few things more persuasive than the praise of happy consumers or recognition from industry leaders and peers. Here, 13 members of Forbes Agency Council look at ways of leveraging accolades to maintain customer loyalty while winning new business.
1. Activate A ‘Hype’ Team Of Loyal Fans
Activate a “hype” team of loyal fans by making it easy for them to share the news for you. It’s always most impactful when accolades are delivered for you, not by you. First, educate them on who must learn about the honors. Then, make it as easy as possible by providing links, artwork and content. Always remind them how valuable their support is to you, both personally and professionally. Also, return the favor! - Stephen Rosa, (add)ventures
2. Utilize Recognition In Your Content Marketing Strategy
When we receive an award, we think through how we are sharing it on our blog and in our email newsletter, how we will be mentioning it in our next webinar and other ways of integrating it. Get the most mileage out of recognition by incorporating it into your other content marketing initiatives. - Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
3. Tell The Story Behind The Award
The biggest thing most agency owners miss is the story behind the award. Don’t just publish that it happened. Show how you got there, how the client got there, who was involved and what the process was like. The best way to build street credibility is to tell the story in a way that prospects can relate to and understand. It didn’t just appear on your doorstep. Show how it got there. - Paul E. Benninghove, Pavone Marketing Group
4. Use Authentic And Specific Messaging
Prospects are looking for guidance. If you’re an award-winning agency, don’t limit yourself with generic messaging. Reemphasize what makes you the ideal partner, whether it be data-driven initiatives, white-glove support or deep knowledge of a vertical. “Award-winning” is a buzzword; make the honor truly impactful for your business by being authentic and specific. - Sarah Bird, Moz
5. Create A System For Collecting Video Testimonials
Simply put, more trust equals more profitability. However, here’s the thing: When it comes to direct-to-consumer selling, there is a lot of mistrust, and many consumers do not know which company to turn to when it comes to purchasing a product. Here’s what you can do: Develop a system for having your customers create video testimonials after purchasing. Then, strategically place them on your social media and website. - Justin Richard, Loyal Pandas
6. Use Accolades For Recruiting And Employee Retention
Recruiting and employee retention are among the most powerful and underutilized benefits of sharing recognition. Of course, every company should include awards and client accolades in their outreach and inbound efforts, but high-achieving employees (current and prospective) are the ones who want to work with best-in-class companies. Whether it is an industry award or a workplace award, make sure your employees know about it! - Simms Jenkins, BrightWave - North America’s Leading Email Marketing Agency
7. Show How The Recognition Is Tied To Solving A Problem
We are all in the business of solving problems. Demonstrate how the recognition you received is directly tied to solving a specific problem. More than just the testimonial, share the backstory. What problem were you able to solve? And what was the impact? If you’ve been recognized for innovation, what problem does the innovation solve? Show how your recognition is really a benefit to your clients. - Lori Paikin, NaviStone®
8. Let Your Clients Shine
Creative awards are a team effort between agency and client, and they can strengthen relationships and goodwill. Make sure to let the clients shine when awards come in; after all, they made a winning decision in choosing to work with you, and ideally, the awards will validate that decision and keep the work coming. - Scott Kellner, GPJ Experience Marketing
9. Highlight Benefits For The Client
I’ve found the best way to make the most of an award or accolade is to highlight how it benefited the client, putting the client first and your company in a secondary role that supports the overall narrative. This reinforces your company’s client-first philosophy while building trust and credibility at the same time. - Ajay Gupta, Stirista
10. Post About The Recognition Everywhere
Post about it everywhere the morning after. Add the new quotes or updates to correspondence and digital platforms. Run ads about it. Use it as an excuse to thank customers and employees to increase loyalty and raise morale. Use it as an excuse for a new offer. - Abigail Hirschhorn, Human Intelligence | H.I.
11. Show Others How To Succeed
It’s completely acceptable to showcase awards throughout your marketing game plan, whether it be via blogs, ads or social posts. But one key to setting yourself apart is to show others how to achieve the same result. Don’t just write a blog post boasting about your award; that’s tacky. Instead, write a post where you lay out a roadmap to show how others can achieve the same success. - Marc Hardgrove, The HOTH
12. Add The Award Logo To Your Email Signature
I recommend placing the award logo or badge in your email signature with a link to content that explains why you or your company received the honor. And always announce any important awards or recognition on your blog or with a press release. Then, socialize that content across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and any other channels where your customers and target customers spend time. - Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.
13. Include The Accolade In Directories, Profiles And Bios
While it is useful to share the accolade on social media and express personal pride in the recognition, don’t forget to include it in online directories, business profiles and bios on social media. This makes it a permanent fixture when prospects research you or your company. - Stefan Pollack, The Pollack Group
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