I’ll be honest with you: I used to think that awards programs were just another way organizations could extract money from needy agencies and brands that want a hug.
Since I’ve been involved in the Content Marketing Awards, now the oldest and largest industry awards program, I’ve had to rethink my stance.
Let me explain.
Lately, some marketers are anxious about something called “content shock.” They live in the fevered fear that soon we will hit a point where brands will be producing so much content that consumers will no longer be able to take it all in.
Which marketers are worried about that? The ones who should be: Those who have been producing the kind of content that consumers are beginning to reject: unimaginative, scattershot stuff that neither entertains nor makes itself useful. It looks like communication but smells more like corporate junk. These are the businesses that lack a coherent content marketing strategy and hope for big success with that viral video, post, or eBook.
This is exactly why I’ve changed my stance on recognizing the industry’s best. The content marketing industry needs this. We need to see that brands can develop content programs that truly make a positive impact on the world. We need to know that there are agencies out there that understand the power of storytelling and haven’t just jumped into content marketing as the new search marketing or new social media.
This makes the 2014 Content Marketing Awards program — which opens its call for entries today — even more essential to the still-burgeoning business of content marketing. It’s a program that separates the strategic marketers from the “me-too” content makers.
The best way to distinguish yourself, and help this industry grow, is to submit your best work for the 2014 Content Marketing Awards, where our judging panel of the best content marketers in the world separates the substandard from the truly great — just like consumers are learning to do.
A look at last year’s winner
The 2013 Content Marketing Award for Project of the Year was awarded to thinkMoney, a print magazine published by TD Ameritrade that also has web and mobile versions.
While you may think investing services equals conservative and buttoned-down (especially in complex derivatives markets), thinkMoney follows a different approach. It takes the subject of investing seriously, but it doesn’t take itself with the grim seriousness of many Wall Street firms. Instead, thinkMoney embraces a “sophisticated simplicity” approach that’s edgy without being flippant, and witty without being irreverent.
The thinkMoney approach is working:
- It reaches more than 200,000 active trade customers.
- According to surveys, the average customer engages with the magazine for 45 minutes or more per sitting.
- More than 80 percent of readers take some meaningful action after reading.
Distinguish yourself. Distinguish your staff. Distinguish your agency. Distinguish your clients. Enter the 2014 Content Marketing Awards. The “early bird” discount deadline is April 18, and the final entry deadline is May 16.
Our Agency of the Year, Content Marketer of the Year, and Project of the Year Grand Awards will all be announced at Content Marketing World 2014. Join us in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, September 8–11, 2014 to learn from — and network with — the best and brightest our industry has to offer.