WITH 5.4 MILLION small to medium-sized businesses in the UK alone it can be difficult to stand out in such a crowded marketplace.

One way you can stand out is by winning industry awards. They help you, your company and your website to get recognition. They also bring you prestige and traffic, and they enhance your company’s credibility.

Prospective customers are more likely to choose your company over others when they see you’ve won a recognised award because it shows your company is reputable and provides outstanding service, or products and services.

People like to be associated with winners, whether that’s an individual or a company.

Winning an award or being ranked among a group of top companies can be more beneficial than if you have one news article written about your company. You can, for example, promote your winning status on your website and in all your marketing material for as long as you like.

How to use industry awards to get more leads

Search online for industry awards using keywords that are specific to your industry. Also, check out industry publications and magazines. They’re likely to showcase award winners in their publications.

Choose industry-specific awards because they will highlight your expertise to your target audience.

To ensure your company has a good chance of winning look for awards that relate to your company’s strengths.

If your customers are local, look for awards that are specific to your region because they will mean more to them than national or international awards.

Check out your competitors to see what awards, if any, they have won.

As well as awards that focus on your business or products and services, do also look at those that focus on employees.

Before going through the sometimes time-consuming process of applying for an award, do ensure your company qualifies.

How to promote your awards to attract leads

If your company is shortlisted or wins an award, you need to ensure as many people in your target audience find out about it.

Then you need to share that information with them in a way that doesn’t come across as self-serving.

Do send out press releases to publicise the news of your win or recognition. Send your press releases to online news directories, industry publications and local newspapers and magazines. You should also publish your press release on your website and blog.

Tell your email subscribers about your nomination or win. Explain why your company was nominated or won.

Use the award logo and the phrase ‘award-winning’ in all your online and offline marketing content.

Write posts about the award or nomination and publish them on your social media account. Include links to the official award website.

Ask an external partner, supplier, or customer to share the news too.

List of Awards to consider applying for: