Building a Microsoft award submission is a big investment of your time and energy. You, along with more than 3,000 other Microsoft partners, are submitting some of your best work for judgement. You may or may not be selected as one of the finalists – there are usually only about 40 categories with just one winner and two finalists per category. Heavy.
But the truth of the pudding is in the tasting: you don’t have to win or even place. Just composing your application is worth the effort. All that content you create is marketing gold. Every word is a high-quality thought leadership asset waiting to be repurposed and spread into the medium most richly populated by your customers and prospects.
People who will never see your award submission will eat up your best customer success story of the year. Content marketing assets that tell this story are your chance to broadcast what you do and why you do it best.
Layer your clients’ toughest technology challenges with your most brilliant, most effective solutions, ice with solid ROI numbers, then slice to present the face best suited to each media and the individual palates of potential consumers.
Even if your submission doesn’t bake the cake as a recognized Microsoft finalist, you can dole out your success stories in easily enjoyed sections to feed your hungry sales funnel.
With a little editing, you can convert your submission piecemeal into valuable marketing content including:
Telling the story of a customer’s experience conveys a very strong message. A case study aims to persuade that a process, product, or service can solve your customers’ problems. By including the quantitative and qualitative outcomes from your submission, it appeals to logic while painting a picture of what success looks like for the customer. 73% of B2B marketers use case studies.1
Blogs are one of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and grow an audience. They provide relevant and useful content to your target audience, so they can assess what it is you have to offer. It’s also an inexpensive way for businesses to drive traffic to their site, enhance inbound marketing efforts and attract more prospective customers. B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who don’t.2
Get your customer talking about you on camera. Distribute a customer testimonial video based on your award submission’s social media performance and use it on your landing pages for paid campaigns. Video marketing can capture a wide audience, and it works on many levels. One great customer story can convert many future customers. 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.3
OCP Win Wires
Win Wires are valuable assets for any sales team, highly effective at amplifying channel partner relationships. The concise format summarizes your major wins to boost credibility through social proof. Win Wires fuel partner alliance visibility in the Microsoft eco-system. They highlight your joint accomplishments to influence more sales cycles while reinforcing successful collaboration. Build comradery with partners while motivating both sales teams to do it again, together.
A sell sheet is a one-page advertisement of your brand, service, or product. Repurpose your Microsoft award story to highlight key statistics and feed ongoing sales cycles with prospects for quick wins. Give your sales team a deal-closing arsenal of great results and solid testimonials in the words of your influential customers.
Email campaigns answer questions and provide users with content that helps them along on their user/buyer journey. Today’s buyer spends a lot of time doing research before they ever want to talk to a salesperson. Email linking to high-value content will continue to nurture the relationship, ideally adapting to the client’s interests and tracked behavior. 77% of B2B organizations say that email marketing with personalization is one of the most effective lead generators for targeting new customers.4
Build trust with your subscribers and nurture them down the sales funnel by sharing stories of how you helped successful customers solve their challenges using Microsoft technology.
Infographics that highlight the business impact KPI’s
An infographic detailing the critical business impacts presented in your award submission is a fantastic lead generator when distributed on social media. A good infographic presents your most complex concepts in an easy-to-digest format. Highlight your customer’s statistics and build trust with your audience.
It’s true, an awards submission is not something you can just whip up. It’s not exactly a piece of… well, it does take some effort. And you need fresh ingredients – recent stories, not old news – so the sooner you start, the better.
But the good news is that, once you’ve baked that cake, you and your sales team get to eat it all year. Finalist or not, award or not: creating and repurposing content from your Microsoft Awards submission will make you a winner with your customers all year long.
Increase sales by building trust-based relationships through the social proof of your success stories.
Begin your best customer story now. Taste-test our free Award preparation tool here.