Marketing Tips For Making The Most Of The EVA Awards
Guest Blog by Lisa Jackson of Acorn Marketing
To win my category in the Enterprise Vision Awards once was great, to win it twice was amazing, but to win it three times was a complete shock!
There is no doubt in my mind that entering and being shortlisted for awards is a fantastic way to market your business. Since starting my marketing consultancy, Acorn Marketing in 2011, I constantly tell my clients they should enter awards – it is not always about the winning, but about being shortlisted, making the most of the opportunity and meeting great new contacts along the way.
So, here are my top 5 tips to make the most of your EVAS experience.
One of the best things you can get from entering awards is the PR exposure. By that I mean getting your name, your face and story out in to the local press. Luckily the team at Pink Link Ladies are fab at doing this and they generate a lot of press coverage for the awards right across the North West. They will do PR in advance of the awards. So, if you’re shortlisted that’s great as you’ve not even won yet and you have them shouting about how great you are. Of course, if (and when) you do win there is even more PR recognition for your victory.
There are often opportunities that come up, like appearances on the local radio too, which are fantastic at raising your profile.
You don’t have to stop there and rely on those lovely ladies at Pink Link to send out press releases, why not write one yourself? Send it to your local press – radio, magazines, papers and any trade publications for your industry. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to writing a press release, why not go back to basics and pick up the phone to your local news room and tell them about being shortlisted or winning.
If you can find a few of you from the same industry or area who have all been shortlisted it would make a great feature to write about you all. I know not everyone likes the limelight, so that is a great way to take the spotlight directly off you, but get some coverage for your business at the same time.
There is no question that social media is a fantastic marketing tool for your business. Not on that road yet? You best jump on board before you miss a fantastic opportunity!
Entering the EVAs is a marvellous way to raise your profile and gain great exposure and brand awareness. 2022 will be the 11th awards ceremony and it grows each year attracting more attention and competition for the categories. And as the awards grow, so too does their following on social media.
When I’ve been shortlisted in the past, I try to connect with people in my category or others from the local area and wish them luck. I regularly post about being shortlisted or winning – it gives you credibility as a business to say you are an ‘award winning’ business.
If you start building a following early and work at it, it can really help when it comes to the voting stage of the awards – rallying your tribe of followers to give you their vote.
The EVAS generally has a hashtag (for example #EVAS2022) that you can add to any posts you share on Twitter and Instagram. This helps the team at Pink Link Ladies to see that you’ve tagged them and share it their followers too. If you click on the hashtag you can also follow the conversation that is going on about the awards, which is a great way to connect with people and see what they are posting.
Think of it as a big conversation online that you can have with people – as well as promoting what you do and being shortlisted.
I am proud to be part of #TeamCumbria. Over the past couple of years, the ladies who have been shortlisted from Cumbria decided to meet up, help each other and basically be each other’s cheering squad.
It is fantastic to build up a tribe of ladies who are all tremendous advocates for each other. And this doesn’t just happen on the night, but in the run up to the event and afterwards too.
In 2019, we all met with the High Sheriff of Cumbria for afternoon tea. Some of the ladies visited the Houses of Parliament with the local MP and there were several get togethers before the actual awards ceremony. On the night itself we all had a group photos taken, sat on tables near each other and were like a cheerleading squad for each other during the evening – it was just brilliant.
Before #TeamCumbria came along, when there weren’t as many ladies entering from Cumbria the EVA awards was still a great opportunity for networking. I remember when I first entered in 2015, I was so nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but Pink Link make sure you’re sat with people who you may have a synergy with. Over the years I’ve met some fantastic people who I catch up with each year to say hello to, or meet up away from the awards for coffee or events.
Then of course if you win, there is the winners event where you can meet all your fellow victors (the night is such a blur, so it’s nice to get the opportunity to meet them again!) During the year, Pink Link host a variety of events, which are always great to attend. You do feel like a bit of a VIP having won previously.
So, do make sure you make the most of the networking opportunities. You will meet some amazing, awe-inspiring ladies and make some great new connections…and one of the best forms of marketing as we all know if word of mouth!
I’d also say make the most of the opportunities that come your way from being part of awards like this. Coral and the team make you feel like part of the family. There are numerous networking events to attend (as above), but also being invited on to the radio, sponsorship opportunities and those chances to promote your business even further.
I have previously been invited to speak at one of their fact finding events, asked to write this blog, attended events, and used the social media platforms to make connections.
Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way as you don’t know where it can lead and who you can meet.
Be your own advocate
I find a lot of my clients are uncomfortable about putting themselves ‘out there’, entering awards or shouting about how amazing they are. But my biggest piece of advice is, if you can’t do it for yourself, then who is going to do it for you!
You have to be your biggest advocate. It’s not about being arrogant or over confident. It’s about recognising your successes and celebrating them. Having the confidence to tell people about what you do with passion and conviction and saying “look at me, I’m worthy, I’m good at what I do and I’m bloody great” because at the end of the day no one is going to do it for you.
Use awards like the EVAS to be a platform to ‘up’ your marketing game, raise your profile and shout about your successes – Good Luck!