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#Pubcon - How To Win a Search Award - vegas2017

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This presentation was about how to win a search award, breaking down what judges look for, how to best structure your entry, what judges look out for and how we scrutinise entries for judging. This advice can be used for any Search Award globally as well as guidance for other award entries. While seemingly common sense, common mistakes have been called out and identified clearly.
This presentation was a collaborative effort between multiple judges and presented at #Pubcon Vegas 2017 by Judith Lewis

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#Pubcon - How To Win a Search Award - vegas2017

  1. 1. #pubcon How To Win aHow To Win a Search AwardSearch Award Presented by: Judith LewisPresented by: Judith Lewis
  2. 2. #pubcon Just Who Do I Think I Am? • Judge of UK, EU, US and MENA Search Awards • Judged Search Awards since their beginning • Helped describe criteria • Work to ensure fairness • Also been doing search since 1996 for some awesome companies
  3. 3. #pubcon Our Timeline • We pre-score all entries – This can take approx. 16-24h or 2 – 3 full days – NO I AM NOT EXAGGERATING • Come together to judge (or hop on a conference call) – US Search Awards are always done on a call • Pick winners in all categories – Yes, we know who has won before the shortlist is released • Shortlist is released • Announcement of winners at awards ceremony
  4. 4. #pubcon How *DO* You Win a Search Award? What is the secret to the success of the winners? What technique can you use to ensure you have the best chance of success?
  5. 5. #pubcon MATCH YOURMATCH YOUR OBJECTIVES TOOBJECTIVES TO YOUR RESULTSYOUR RESULTS
  6. 6. #pubcon Other Hot Tips • Fill in all the sections • Pick the right category for your entry and adjust if entering multiple ones • Don’t lie (we’ll catch you) • Give a budget (no budget, no points) • Keep to the word count (+10% only) • EXPLAIN what it is you did, why and how • Give absolute numbers backed up by real tools and analytics/AdWords/etc screen shots and don’t make up graphs • Don’t assume we’ll use the supporting material • Don’t waffle, tell cute stories or be arrogant • Demonstrate creative thinking and/or innovation • Demonstrate thought leadership and activities outside BAU • Don’t preload a tool with data – let us use our own accounts • Ensure your agency assertions are tangible and measurable with real work examples
  7. 7. #pubcon Fill in ALL the Sections • Check which sections you need to complete for your entry • Don’t let an entry go out with a blank section in the middle of other filed in sections • Don’t use supporting materials to complete the section • Don’t make us hunt for information
  8. 8. #pubcon Choose The Correct Category • If you enter a B2B category, ensure your entry is for B2B work • If you enter best use of social media, include what social media you used • Running a PPC campaign and optimizing does not qualify as integrated or innovative on its own
  9. 9. #pubcon Don’t Lie • We check entries against many tools – and when you say your videos got X views, we do check and have caught people falsifying numbers • We have blackhat spammers who have seen and done it all on the panel • Real data, real challenges, real increases and real information are essential
  10. 10. #pubcon Give a Budget with Actual Numbers • We need to know how much you spend to correctly assess the value for money • No budget, no points (from me – other judges may vary but ROI is how you win or lose)
  11. 11. #pubcon Keep to the Word Count • If the entry is too long you risk being marked down • We have more than just your entry to judge • 1,000 seems a lot until you start completing the fourth section and run out
  12. 12. #pubcon Explain What it is You Did, Why and How • Do no assume we can mind-read (this happens a lot) • We don’t know the campaign – show us why you are proud • Show us your creative thinking and approach (staying concise but still illuminate the process) • Support this with URLs (helps if they are still live too)
  13. 13. #pubcon Show Me the Data • Use real numbers from analytics or other specialist tools • Back numbers up with verifiable screenshots • Do not only use percentages – we can do math • If relevant, ensure tool shows YoY as well as campaign data
  14. 14. #pubcon Supporting Materials • These are *not* a core part of the entry • Do *not* assume all judges will read them • They are referred to in the case of disputes, confusion or clarity • Include key screenshots and information within your entry • Do not use supporting materials to increase your word count allowance
  15. 15. #pubcon Story-Telling & Hubris • Don’t get flowery outside “Implementation & creativity” – wasted words on stories mean fewer words to explain why and how you are awesome • Don’t get cocky – we are human and may not see the numbers through the arrogance • Don’t try and impress us with fluffy words and buzzwords
  16. 16. #pubcon Creative Thinking • “Implementation & creativity” is about showing brilliance – Demonstrate your insight, your thinking, your creative approach to the problem, your skills and why you should win • Show innovation and creativity especially within tight budgets – you don’t have to be inventing something new to show innovation – creativity counts
  17. 17. #pubcon Thought Leadership • When entering for agency or individual awards, demonstrate thought leadership outside daily work • Illustrate to the judges how your agency is outstanding through how others write about it • Individuals must demonstrate leadership within company/agency outside usual role activities • External activities absolutely count
  18. 18. #pubcon Tools and Data • Give judges a 2 week or 4 week demo account which we can load with our own data/client info • Tool entries are 50% judged on live performance of tool so if we can’t play, we can’t score
  19. 19. #pubcon Agency Entries • Talk about the team as well as the clients • SMART objectives are important (applies for individual entries too) • Every agency has challenges – be honest • Enter strong campaign work that can be shortlisted • Mention the team by name – maybe include a photo
  20. 20. #pubcon Follow this guidance for the best chance at winning We can’t guarantee you’ll win but by following this advice you’ll improve your chances
  21. 21. #pubcon Find Me Online Twitter: @JudithLewis @MostlyAboutChoc LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/judithlewis Web: http://www.decabbit.com Blog: http://MostlyAboutChocolate.com SEO Blog: http://www.SEO-Chicks.com HuffPost: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/judith-lewis

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