3 Brilliant Award Ideas to Grow Your Audience

Award programs are a powerful component of business building and branding. Not only do they recognize your most valuable people, they also provide the platform for additional marketing outreach. This post looks at three award strategies that can amplify your reach and expand your audience base.

Award User Generated Content (UGC)

User generated content (UGC) is a way to reward your audience and leverage their efforts for continued growth.

For example, a public showcase of award nominees encourages social sharing and inbound links.

The Education Architectural Awards, sponsored by Learning By Design magazine, are an example. Each entry consists of several photographs, maps, and blueprints submitted by users. Entrants submit unique content and receive inbound links back to their website and social media accounts.

Further curating a “top 10,” or judging entrants on other marks of quality, encourages competition between entries. This encourages entrants to promote their entries further. This builds a virtuous circle of promotion for both entrant and sponsor.

Host a Public Vote for Awards

Similarly, a public vote on user generated content encourages broader brand awareness.

One example is the public vote for “Construction Intern of the Year”. The award is sponsored by construction industry software company, Heavy Construction Systems Specialists, Inc.

The application and award process is straightforward. New entries are eligible for voting every week. Nominees enroll by connecting a social media account. Further, nominees are encouraged to share their entries throughout their social networks.

Repurpose Awards Content

Henley Wood, a construction industry analytics and marketing firm, carefully considers ways to reuse award content. Nickie Denick outlined how Henley Wood reuses content at the World of Awards Conference. Ms. Denick recommends the following strategies:

  • Invest in quality content
    Humans and search engines prefer useful, relevant content.
  • Facilitate genuine, relevant conversation
    People distrust blatant marketing in favor of verified feedback from real people.
  • Choose distribution strategy based on audience
    Select a promotional strategy that fits the needs and habits of your target customer.

Watch her full presentation below.


These three strategies will supercharge an awards program. Use all of them to delight new and existing audiences. With careful planning, all three strategies work together to build the size and loyalty of your audience.

Guest article written by: Katie McCaskey is Content Director of OpenWater, awards management software.

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