7 Content Marketing Awards For 2023: How To Get Your Business Out There

Everyone’s seen an ad that has stuck in their mind in some way. A catchy slogan, an earworming jingle, or maybe the commercial itself was particularly heart-warming in some way and spread a positive message. 

These are just some of the things that could land you a content marketing award. 

For any business wanting to make an impact in their industry, awards are a fantastic way to gain recognition and praise for your hard work. So, we’ve compiled a list of up-and-coming award opportunities, what they are, and how they can help your business achieve new heights of stardom. 

Let’s get started!

A gif of internet chef and influencer Rosanna Pansino dressed in a blue top as she swirls her right hand in a small circle and says her catchphrase "Let's get started!"

Source

Key takeaways

  • Content marketing means creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content. It’s your main way to attract an audience, and drive profitable consumer action.
  • Content marketing awards are a way for you to show off! If you’ve got something you’re proud of, get it out there and get noticed!
  • There are dozens of competitions, each with hundreds of awards – you’re sure to find one that suits you best.
  • It’s a good idea to take a look at previous finalists to see which areas they excelled in. What can you change, improve, or make new in your own marketing?
  • Listen to the experts when it comes to what works, but don’t be afraid to give things your own twist, and use your voice to make your content unique. 

What is content marketing?

First things first: we need to take a look at what you’ll be trying to get an award for

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

CM is the practice of creating, publishing, and sharing content with the goal of building the reputation and visibility of your brand

Source

This gives you a huge scope to explore, and infinite routes you can take with your content strategy. Do you prefer written pieces or videos? Pop-up-shops or podcasts? It’s important to know which direction you want to take when it comes to content creation

This splits off even more when you take into consideration not only the mediums you wish to deliver your content through, but also what message you want your content to have. 

  • Are you looking for overtly branded content so everyone will know who you are and what you do? 
  • Or are you wanting a more subtle approach, such as non-promotional content which will help solidify you as a valuable, knowledgeable source in your industry without shoving advertisements in peoples’ faces?
  • Do you want to collaborate and network? 
  • Will your message be in support of a charity organization, whereby a percentage of your profits go to their cause? 
  • Are you focusing your efforts on social media and collaborating with online influencers to provide honest or paid for reviews of your services and products? 

These are all very important things to consider when you’re planning that award-winning campaign

The content marketing awards are an appreciation of these efforts. Like a business version of the Oscars, these awards programs celebrate the best use of marketing techniques from around the world. 

Official title card for the Oscars Awards Ceremony. Golden lettering gently slides down a black background as a golden statue moves to the centre of the screen from the right.

Source

There are dozens of competitions to pick from, and hundreds of individual categories that mean you don’t have to artificially squash your brand into a neat little box. Quite the opposite. New, innovative ideas are welcomed and celebrated. You are allowed to express the individuality of your company – what sets you apart from the crowd, and why customers should come to you instead of your competitors.

How do content marketing awards help you?

These awards are all about publicity. If you feel as though you may be struggling to network, but have a fantastic marketing idea, then a room full of other marketing executives and CEOs is exactly the place you want to be. 

Of course, it isn’t that easy, but that’s the goal you want to aim for. 

The benefits of content marketing are numerous, and cover every aspect of a business. From building your brand, to increasing sales, how you market yourself needs to be at the forefront of your mind. Whether you’re a complete newbie in the business world or a long-standing company, looking through previous winners’ entries can give you an insight into what you could – or maybe should – be aiming for.

And who doesn’t love winning awards? They’re a fantastic source of morale for any team, and one that everyone can feel proud of. Not only that, they’re for anyone, either. The majority of the time, a content marketing award’s application page won’t have overly specific criteria on who you need to be in order to enter. 

They’re there to give everyone an equal shot at fame, from the big names in the business to the small startup groups. As long as your content is up to standard, you’re in with a shot.

7 awards to watch out for in 2023

So let’s take a look at what awards opportunities are starting to crop up in 2023. Many ceremonies are held towards the end of the year, so they might not show that they’re open for registration yet. If you’re interested, bookmark these tabs to keep an eye on them!

1. Content Marketing Institute – Content Marketing Awards

The Content Marketing Institute might be one of the biggest names in the business. With 80 different award categories, there’s something for everyone. Whilst entries aren’t open just yet for 2023, these are definitely people to keep an eye on!

Their four grand prizes are as follows:

Award name 2022 winner
Agency of the year
There are three winners of this award: an independent agency winner (<100 employees), a larger agency winner (100< employees), and a “branded studio within a media company” winner. This award looks at a company as a whole, and considers how good their entry is at showcasing “the innovation behind consistent multi-platform publishing”. 
Mahlab (From Sydney, Australia)
Manifest (From New York, USA)
Content marketing project of the year
This is described as “like winning the Oscar for Best Picture”. Judges look over all of the 80 categories to choose which project submitted is the best in B2B and B2C content marketing.
The Love Connection – Hearts & Science and AT&T
Branded content campaign of the year
If you have a flare for innovation and unique marketing, try out for this award! Their main focus is on B2B and B2C campaigns that “used content to deliver exceptional results and accomplish clearly defined marketing objectives”. 
Contentsquare’s Retailers on Retail – Contentsquare
Zelle® Vox Explainer Series: The Science of Scams – Pereira O’Dell andZelle® and Vox
Content marketer of the year
This is awarded to one marketer who “stood above the rest”, whether for their efforts in orchestrating a campaign, promoting it, or designing it.
Nick Lake, Senior Director, Global Content Marketing, Pegasystems Inc.
Diane di Costanzo, Chief Content Officer, VP/Editorial Director, Editor in Chief – Millie Magazine and Paw Print, Foundry 360

2. Digiday Content Marketing Awards

Digiday’s focus is on the modernization of media and marketing, looking into new and groundbreaking ideas that help to reshape the world of advertising. They are a global award ceremony, meaning anyone from around the world can be in with a chance to win. 

Amongst their dozens of pre-existing categories, they have included some new ones for this year such as “Best use of AI generated content”, and “Best content marketing platform”. 

A grid showing several of the available Digiday awards categories. This is not the complete list - that can be found on their website via the source link.

Source

Previous winners have included McDonalds, GoDaddy, Edelman and Spotify – so some pretty big names, to say the least. But don’t be dissuaded! Sure, big companies may have a lot more money and a larger marketing team to put behind their content marketing campaigns, but you might have that je ne sais quoi, a passion for what you do that will shine through. 

Entries have already opened, and your last chance to enter is the 3rd of March 2023. Judges are looking for innovation, creativity, consumer value, results, and overall impact of your campaigns. Anything that you’ve made since March 2022 is eligible for entry, so don’t worry that there’s not much time left! 

3. PR Daily’s content marketing awards

Whilst entries are not yet open, a deadline has been set for Friday 23rd June 2023. Mark your calendars, ladies and gentlemen, this is one to watch out for!

PR Daily is about strategy. How can you keep audiences captivated in your narrative? How did you use marketing to meet various goals and keep your brand in the limelight? 

Here’s a run-down of their grand prize categories and who won them in previous years.

  • Campaign of the year – Haleon – Theraflu’s Right to Rest and Recover. Getting sick has always been a concern, but more so in recent years due to the pandemic. Theraflu’s campaign helped institute a program with $150,000 in funds to help cover lost wages and unpaid sick days, specifically aimed for mothers in Black and Latina communities.

A screenshot of the title card for Theraflu's short film, Calling In Sick. The title appears in white upon a dark background of someone's house, with a single light illuminating the space behind it.

Source

  • Strategy of the year – Michigan Medicine. This strategy focused on education and information. Michigan Medicine fully solidified themselves in the public eye as a source of accurate, useful information in response to the pandemic due to how they tracked the developments of COVID-19 via their blog posts.

There are also a few newer prizes for this year, such as Marketing agency of the year and PR firm of the year, which look at how your consumer base interacts with your marketing, and how successful your outreach is. 

4. The International Content Marketing Awards Association

This is another item on our list that hasn’t opened their doors to entries just yet, as their awards ceremonies are hosted in December each year. But, with another extensive list of categories, it’s another great opportunity to plan ahead and get yourself in with the best chance of winning. 

The Content Marketing Association is a non-profit membership organization that “advises and promotes brands and media agencies” in the advertising industry. You can become one of their members to gain access to recent, relevant data coming out from the content marketing sphere, such as emerging marketing trends. 

As well as that, they also host webinars, and not only have their own podcast, but also showcase podcasts created by their members and former finalists.  

A screenshot of 4 currently available podcasts hosted by the CMA that you can listen to. These are:
Zebra Talk - CPL
Staying Grounded - Medium Rare
St James's Place - John Brown
Glutenpodden - Make Your Mark

Source

5. The Effie Awards

The Effie Awards are one of the oldest and most prestigious in the business. First launched in 1968, they seek to showcase the best marketing operations from all around the globe. They host awards for many individual countries, then a collective worldwide award that brings attention to the cream of the crop – the very best the industry has to offer. 

“Effie Worldwide stands for effectiveness in marketing, spotlighting ideas that work and encouraging thoughtful dialogue about the drivers of marketing effectiveness.”  

They also sponsor other awards and offer their own range of educational courses to help businesses perfect their branding and marketing efforts. 

A screenshot of 3 courses available on Effie, with more detailed explanations beneath each course.
1 - Effie Collegiate Challenge
2 - Effie Fundamentals
3 - Effie Effectiveness Bootcamp

Source

Because their company operates in dozens of countries, their awards calendar is always full of various ceremonies or entry opportunities. Keep an eye out for when your region is eligible for entry in 2023!

6. MarCom

MarCom regularly retains boasting rights of being one of the most submitted-to awards ceremonies in the business. With over 6,500 entries each year, a recognition from this competition would definitely be a way to get your name in the spotlight for a while. 

Probably what attracts a lot of people is the fact that MarCom’s entries are some of the lowest around, making it far more accessible for anyone to enter. In their words, “the work speaks for itself”. 

Their emphasis falls on the creative aspect of marketing. Their awards categories are broken into dozens of sub-categories, which are then split down even more, creating over three hundred opportunities to choose from. 

Source

Their 2023 competition will open their doors for applications on the 1st of August.

7. The Drum Marketing Awards

The Drum is another icon in terms of content marketing awards, with a wide global outreach that celebrates new initiatives, unusual formats, and a team full of driven, insightful people who want to make the best content possible. 

A major benefit of their award is just how large of a platform they possess, meaning instant fame for anyone lucky enough to win. Moreover, they host a large knowledge base, meaning anyone can keep up to date on what’s going on in the world of marketing. 

It harnesses thedrum.com, the second largest marketing website in the world, to amplify the winning case studies to a global audience - to raise marketing standards overall.

Source

But nominations close soon! Early bird entry deadline is January 26th, with the regular deadline closing on March 23rd

If you want to take a look at what they had to say about content marketing in 2022, you can find that here. It’s always a good idea to take inspiration wherever you can find it. And one of the best ways of doing that is by listening to the experts. The Drum gathered some of the best advice from their 2022 judging panel to give you a head-start on what to look out for next year!

Some things to consider before entering…

Whilst the prospect of diving right into an awards application is certainly tempting, there are some logistical issues you should be aware of before you hit ‘enter’. 

  • Many awards programs have entry fees with a price range that’s often in the hundreds. Particularly for smaller businesses, do you have this money to spare? Is it an investment you want to make? Keep an eye out for variations in fees – early bird, regular, or late entries can come with different costs attached.  
  • The ceremonies will most likely be a live event, held in person. If you’ve signed up for something that’s across the other side of the country, will you be able to get your representatives there? 
  • Are you sure that you have explored all of your options? Are you definitely entering the correct category, or is there something else that’s more suitable for the campaign you’ve put together?
  • Have you read over the entry and judging criteria carefully?
  • Take a look at some of the previous years’ finalists to see what they were commended for. Is there anything that looks similar to your campaign, or some things you want to try out moving forward?

Conclusion

Whatever your plans may be within the content marketing world, it doesn’t hurt to put yourself out there and go for gold. Physical and digital marketing have both come a long way in only a short amount of time. New, innovative ideas are cropping up every week – from VR platforms, to AI generated materials, who knows what the scene will look like in a few years time?

If you’ve got something that you’re proud of, don’t second guess yourself. Become an entrant, submit your work, and the worst that will happen is that you have to try again next year. And, if you’re not a fan of any content marketing awards on this list, don’t worry – there are dozens more available. You’re bound to find the competition that suits you the most..

The benefits far outweigh the costs, so don’t be scared. Put your best foot forward, and get out there!