How to create a winning Digiday Awards entry

Last year, Digiday’s Content Marketing Awards honored top finalists such as Complex Media, Dr. Pepper, Oracle, XO Group and others. Submissions are now being accepted for this year, so start your entry today.

Below, you’ll find our three-step guide on how to create a winning entry, including some advice from judges of awards past on their pet peeves about submissions that didn’t make the cut.

Step 1: Write a killer case study.
Develop a clear, interesting, and concise case study. Bring your idea to life; focus on the “why” over the “what.” A great case study tells a story, keeps you engaged, and explains the context of why it is relevant to your brand. Tie the strategy to the objectives in a clearly written manner. And above all, write with the evaluation criteria in mind.

“People need to familiarize themselves with the evaluation criteria and make sure that all the key areas are addressed in the write-up. The biggest miss was not including results, ideally business results,” said Tom Beeby, principal & executive creative director at Beeby Clark+Meyler. “A judge who is looking at hours and hours of entries is not wanting to read long winded write ups about each entry. Let’s be even more real and say that most judges are most likely skipping the write ups and just judging things on what they see. After all, a great piece of work should be self explanatory, no?”

Small details matter too. Make sure not to include too many links — and make sure they work. “If there are multiple things to review somehow put them all together in one link/place/highlight reel,” said Beeby. “Nobody is looking at 10 links for an entry if they didn’t ‘get’ or like the first two.”

Step 2: Demonstrate the results.
Dumping data isn’t showcasing your results. Tell the judges why your results are significant for your situation. Explain the relationship between the challenge, objective, and results achieved. Make sure to also explain the correlation between your social metrics of the campaign to the goals of the brand.

Judges want to be guided through the results and achievements. “For me it’s about results,” said Tim Dunn, director of strategy and mobile at Isobar. “We really want to see if it sold units, raised awareness, grew a fan base, drove conversation or whatever, and by how much.”

Step 3: Illustrate with a creative reel.
The creative reel should showcase the creative elements of the case you presented. It should show the final product of all the work you presented in the case study. You must provide a video showing your work, any entry without one will be disqualified.

“A good case study video is essential,” said Catherine Davis, president of Vizeum US.

There you have it. Follow these guidelines, submit your work to be considered for the Digiday Content Marketing Awards. Good luck!
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