24 August 08:22

What Happens When You Win An Award For Your Content Marketing

Entering a new market presents a big challenge, even when you’re like us and are Europe’s largest content marketing agency and have offices across the world.

By Mediaplanet Creative Team

Back in 2016, we were relatively unknown there. We wanted to make a splash and establish ourselves among the leaders in the UK content marketing scene, so we set our sights on the 2016 International Content Marketing Awards.

It’s the most competitive content marketing awards in the world and receives more than 400 entries from over 100 different agencies spanning the globe. We had no idea what to expect and ended up winning a bronze award, which put us on the map.

Alex Williams, Managing Director UK & Ireland, explains, “We saw a lift in our business. It was a great achievement. We were there to throw our weight around with the big content marketing companies. But we knew that next time we wanted to win gold.”

So in 2017, we looked back at the many successful campaigns we’d run up to that point in the year and chose one we were especially proud of to enter with.

Alex says, “We were confident our 2017 campaign entry was a lot stronger than what we put forward for 2016. It’s a title we run every year, but we were particularly proud of this year’s content, influencers and distribution, as were our clients.”

The campaign, called “Women in STEM,” aimed to raise awareness of the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We really got under the skin of issues that are just not being covered around women in STEM; issues we felt that weren’t getting the coverage they deserve,” Alex says.

We aimed to inspire people, especially women, whether they were doing GCSEs, A Levels, apprenticeships, university degrees, or maybe looking at vocational courses. We presented them with inspirational role models: women who have gone through that journey and achieved great things; people high up in companies who are desperate for a change of voice. We talked about the importance of diversity and how recruiting people from different backgrounds would give companies fresh opinions, ideas and technologies, which actually reflect the diverse audience these companies want to identify with.

“But what really motivated our partners though,” Alex says, “was whose eyes we had looking at the content. We made sure our distribution was very carefully targeted.”

Of the 70,000 copies of our full-color report that we printed, some went directly to head teachers and careers advisors in schools, others were given out at career fairs, key industry events and STEM Ambassador hubs throughout the UK — and we even got in front of parents and teachers simultaneously by distributing at PGA meetings.

Support for the campaign was literally out of this world.

Alex explains, “We partnered with European space agency and had people from NASA talking about the campaign. We even had a female astronaut tweet us from space! That really got some traction for our message.”

We also drove readers to our corresponding website via organic, paid, and social media traffic. To create more buzz, we ran a Twitter Chat and a Thunderclap and invited our industry partners to partake. #STEMwomenchat took on a life of its own.

All in all, our content achieved a potential reach of 8 million readers. This was good news for our sponsored clients. For example, General Electric’s article had over 1,050 organic shares.

The award that we won was called “Best Distribution Strategy.” It was a recognition of our robust distribution strategy, and it’s been a pivotal part of our credentials for this year.

“Once we were nominated, we started leveraging that with our clients,” Alex says. One of our unique selling propositions is how we reach our target audience; we are not just producing content, we are distributing it too, so that’s a huge part for us.”

He continues: “We work with national newspapers and specialist publications in distribution, so, to win an award for distribution was everything.”

Realistically, it has helped us in terms of letting people know about what we do and how we do it. And it has helped increase Mediaplanet’s profile in the UK.

The 2018 International Content Marketing Awards will be announced in November and we have high hopes that we’ll repeat our success this year.

“We have lots of really strong campaigns for 2018. Maybe we’ll enter more than one category this time!” says Alex.

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