Digital Awards

chris robinson boost awards digital awards article

Chris Robinson

MD & Founder, Boost Awards

Digital awards 

The Gartner Board of Directors Survey suggests that the vast majority of businesses (sixty-nine percent) accelerated digital business initiatives during the pandemic. And where there is innovation and success stories, comes the need for celebration and recognition.

It’s therefore unsurprising that some of the most popular awards during and after the Covid-fuelled digital revolution are digital awards in all their many iterations.

These digital awards fall into a number of themes, the most popular of which we will explore in this article. It aims to help you navigate the many options and choose the right digital awards to invest your time and money in. Of course, our team of award experts here at Boost Awards has years of experience writing entries and winning digital awards, so do contact us if you want help writing your digital awards entries to increase your chances of winning digital awards. 

Digital marketing awards

Digital marketing awards offer the most choice here. With over 400 marketing/PR/event awards – almost 10% of our entire database – it’s hard to know where to begin. However, the main camps are as follows:

  • Digital Communication Awards (June deadline), a European-wide awards programme covering all aspects of digital – from viral campaigns to data-driven communication, recruiting and employer branding, to chatbots and podcasts. 
  • The Drum Awards for Digital Industries (DADI Awards) (August deadline), an extremely well-known international (although UK-hosted) scheme by The Drum, highly sought after by agencies in particular. These awards focus heavily on campaign effectiveness, or similarly you may want to consider The Drum Awards for Marketing (March deadline), which includes many digital categories to enter.  
  • VEGA Digital Awards (May deadline), an American-run global scheme with categories for everything digital that you can imagine, and now squarely positioned to capture great examples of how digital marketing has responded to the new normal.
  • AVA Digital Awards (December deadline), another well-established US-based scheme open for international entry, featuring an extensive list of categories covering all areas of digital. With general digital marketing categories to more specific web, social, mobile video and content categories, there is plenty to choose from. The Hermes Creative Awards (March deadline) is another scheme by the same organisers, but with more focus on creative marketing, digital and web – and open at the start of the year.    

Then comes the awards which focus on digital innovations in not-so-traditionally-digital subsets of marketing:

  • Digital Event Awards (February deadline) isn’t just a shift in focus by an existing event award, it is a new scheme by Mash Media (publishers of Conference News) designed to recognise the events and providers focused on digital.
  • Event Marketer EX Awards (August deadline) reported a record number of entries last year as the pandemic forced experiential marketing to further embrace digital solutions. There are plenty of categories for live streaming, virtual experiences, use of social and integrated digital + live campaigns.  
  • Global Digital PR Awards (October deadline) is another new scheme by Don’t Panic, which has successfully launched a number of similar awards programmes over recent years. Digital PR as a strategy to increase brand awareness and drive sales has seen stratospheric growth since 2021, so these are sure to become a mainstay in the Digital PR world.
  • The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising (January deadline) is a sister scheme of the DADIs for creative campaigns in all forms of digital marketing, but with a bit less emphasis on effectiveness (although still part of the criteria).
digital event awards

The pandemic massively accelerated the use of digital integration across all industries, and, in the case of marketing, literally blurred the lines permanently between traditional subsets such as events, PR and advertising. Even with the return of physical events, for example, many are now staying virtual or will include hybrid elements to increase reach and engagement beyond the room.     

Digital content awards

Next up, content awards. This subset of digital marketing awards is continuing to grow rapidly. A few years ago, you used to have just a ‘best use of content’ category in a broad marketing award scheme. Now there are no less than 17 content-specific schemes in our database. For example:

  • Digiday Content Marketing Awards (February deadline), is a long-running scheme for content across all media, including experiential marketing and print. However, following the pandemic it introduced a host of new categories including two for a ‘pivot’ and recognising podcasts for the first time.
  • The UK Content Awards (April deadline), European Content Awards (November deadline) and Global Content Awards (July deadline) are all run by Don’t Panic, which has recognised the importance of this theme and have set up these three competitions in response.
  • The CMI Content Marketing Awards (May deadline) is a global scheme presented by the Content Marketing Institute and based in the US. With 87 categories to choose from, these awards seem to attract some of the biggest brands in the world looking for content-focused recognition. 

Social media awards and search awards

Finally, there are the awards for online advertising/marketing which are by their very nature digital in focus. These fall into a number of camps:

To a see a full list of UK Marketing Awards click here

To a see a full list of International Marketing Awards click here

 

Awards for digital transformation

If your business has successfully overhauled its operations by using technology, then you should choose three types of awards:

  1. Technology categories for awards specific to your industry sector. For example, The Grocer Gold Awards (March deadline) if you’re a supermarket, or The Cateys if you’re in catering.
  2. Transformation categories of IT industry awards. For example:
  • Global Business Tech Awards (February deadline), a new international scheme by UK-based Don’t Panic that’s open to all industries, but likely to get more entries from agencies. They also run the associated UK Business Tech Awards which has a later July deadline.
  • IT World Awards (April deadline) is a popular international scheme by the Globees, with over 100 different categories to choose from.
  • UK IT Industry Awards (UKITIA) (July deadline). These are in association with the British Computer Society and Computing magazine, which makes the scheme extremely credible, but also very competitive. The format includes a two-stage process.
  • IoT Global Awards (October deadline), IoT Breakthrough Awards (October deadline) and The IoT World Awards (November deadline) are the prominent schemes for all things IoT. 
  • Another new scheme, reflecting the ever-increasing importance of digital in transforming business and driving growth is The Digital Growth Awards (April deadline). 
digital transformation awards
  1. Best use of technology categories included in general business awards:
    • UK Business Awards (The Dons) (May deadline) is run by Awards International. These awards are accredited with an Outstanding Awards Trust Mark, a not-for-profit initiative aiming to recognise best practice in the awards industry. This award has two judging stages and is growing in popularity. The new sister scheme is the UK Business and Innovation Awards (November deadline), which has similar categories including two for ‘Best Use of Technology’.
    • The International Business Awards (The International Stevies) (June deadline), a US-based scheme with over 100 categories. A short entry form and multiple awards per category makes this scheme very popular around the world.
    • Business Champion Awards (December deadline) is a new scheme associated with Reuters and Business Matters magazine, and is making waves with a massive launch – it features a suitable Business Transformation category.

To a see a full list of UK IT & Tech Awards click here

To a see a full list of International IT & Tech Awards click here

 

Digital retail awards and eCommerce awards

Even before the enormous surge in eCommerce, there were plenty of awards for digital retail. The camps here are as follows:

Most use terms like “eCommerce”, which is a bit focused on the platform. The main ones here are:

  • Global eCommerce Awards (May deadline). This is a very popular scheme for agencies, with the UK-specific sister award being the UK eCommerce Awards (June deadline).
  • The eCommerce Awards (August deadline). A UK-based scheme by Beyond Media and open to international entry. It is focused heavily on single company case studies and agencies.

Less common are awards that emphasise the user experience. Arguably these would be the most valuable in terms of marketing, but sadly very few exist. In fact, we are only aware of one: The International Digital Experience Awards (April deadline), which focuses on digital transformation and the initiatives, strategies, teams and individuals that have powered the new digital consumer landscape.

ecommerce awards

Beyond these, you need to look at the technology and digital categories of the retail industry awards: 

  • Online Retailer Awards (February deadline) is a fairly new scheme by UK-based Stratford Projects, the organisers of the previous and very popular Online Retail Awards.
  • Retail Systems Awards (February deadline) by Perspective Publishing is a long-running award which covers eCommerce as well as in-store digital innovations.
  • The Direct Commerce Awards (May deadline). These awards by the Direct Commerce Association have their heritage in catalogue sales, but it is now much more focused on ecommerce and customer experience.
  • The Retail Industry Awards (June deadline) is aimed squarely at the grocery retail sector. These credible awards have two categories for best use of technology.
  • Transforming Retail Awards (July deadline). These awards, by Retail Insider, recognise “the best examples of innovation in retail technology right across the sector” – so very apt here.

To a see a full list of UK Retail Awards click here

To a see a full list of International Retail Awards click here

Digital learning awards

Our final type of digital awards to mention is in another area that saw a massive boom during the pandemic – digital learning. This is also known as e-learning – or, arguably, the latest terminology in use is ‘learning technologies’. We find that vendors and clients alike choose to enter the limited number of awards here with equal vigour:

  • The Learning Technologies Awards (July deadline) is now international and is proving extremely popular in this space. It began as The eLearning Awards, but took a step change in popularity when it was acquired by the marketing machine which is Closer Still Media. The two-stage judging process and high level of competition can deter some, but well worth entering.

Internationally, The Brandon Hall spring and autumn awards are extremely popular, although they now cover a lot more than just learning.

digital learning awards

Next, consider learning awards with technology categories:

  • ATD Excellence in Practice Awards (August deadline). The Association of Talent Development run this scheme, a very well-respected body in the USA. They also have their Innovation in Talent Development Awards (December deadline), which is very relevant too. These are more of an accreditation, as they don’t have categories as such. 
  • The Investors in People Awards (August deadline). This scheme is for the best of IIP-accredited businesses, and a few for individuals too. Very well-run and ethical, with a category for Best Use of Technology.
  • The Learning Awards (September deadline). A popular and now international scheme by The Learning and Performance Institute. Gold, silver and bronze awards are given, but not many categories to choose from. One relates to technology, but all others are interested in innovation.

Finally you should consider the “Best use of Technology” categories within various learning and HR awards, although they tend to prefer a broader scope than just a single programme:

  • UK Employee Experience Awards (February deadline). This two-stage awards programme has grown in popularity over the last few years. There is a category for ‘Use of Digital Technologies’, but most of the categories expect a degree of technological ingenuity.
  • The CIPD People Management Awards (May deadline). This is the UK’s most competitive HR award scheme. The ‘Best Digital/Technology initiative in HR/L&D’ is a particularly popular category.
  • The Stevie Awards for Great Employers (July deadline). Run from the US, these feature over 100 categories, each offering multiple gold, silver and bronze awards, including plenty for digital learning and other HR technologies. 
  • HR Excellence Awards (August deadline). With these awards, associated with the credible HR Magazine, the appropriate category is ‘HR Technology Strategy’, which is looking for a broad ‘strategy’ rather than an ‘initiative’ entry.

To a see a full list of UK HR and Training Awards click here

To a see a full list of International HR and Training Awards click here

 

Help entering digital awards

The main message here is that there is a lot of choice out there for digital awards, so pick carefully to ensure you only enter awards which are ‘on message’ for your organisation. With the digital transition rapidly accelerating across all aspects of society and industries, the importance of digital awards and digital recognition will only increase further. Do bear in mind that if your story has a focus on how you responded to the pandemic, you need to ensure you have something original to say, as this is expected rather than a trump card, as such. I wish you the best of luck winning digital awards.

If you need help creating an awards plan with the right digital awards in to maximise your ROI and value to your company, let us know – we have a unique online awards planner tool that contains over 4,000 awards and enables you to build a bespoke awards strategy. Or, if you need help writing your award entries, please get in touch with our team of award writing experts here at Boost Awards – we can save you time, considerable effort and increase your chances of success.  

I have personally helped companies enter and win many of the digital awards outlined above, and would be happy to give you a call to help you double check your chances of success and explain our pricing options. You can email me directly at chris.robinson@boost-awards.co.uk 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Chris

Boost – a helping hand entering awards

Boost is the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy, having helped clients, from SMEs to Multinationals, win over 1,500 credible business awards, including many of the digital awards mentioned above. Increase your chances of success significantly – call Boost on +44(0)1273 258703 today for a no-obligation chat about awards.

 

(C) This article was written by Chris Robinson and is the intellectual property of award entry consultants Boost Awards.

search awards boost awards

Digital Awards

chris robinson boost awards digital awards article

Chris Robinson

MD & Founder, Boost Awards

Digital awards 

The Gartner Board of Directors Survey suggests that the vast majority of businesses (sixty-nine percent) accelerated digital business initiatives during the pandemic. And where there is innovation and success stories, comes the need for celebration and recognition.

It’s therefore unsurprising that some of the most popular awards during and after the Covid-fuelled digital revolution are digital awards in all their many iterations.

These digital awards fall into a number of themes, the most popular of which we will explore in this article. It aims to help you navigate the many options and choose the right digital awards to invest your time and money in. Of course, our team of award experts here at Boost Awards has years of experience writing entries and winning digital awards, so do contact us if you want help writing your digital awards entries to increase your chances of winning digital awards. 

Digital marketing awards

Digital marketing awards offer the most choice here. With over 400 marketing/PR/event awards – almost 10% of our entire database – it’s hard to know where to begin. However, the main camps are as follows:

  • Digital Communication Awards (June deadline), a European-wide awards programme covering all aspects of digital – from viral campaigns to data-driven communication, recruiting and employer branding to chat bots and podcasts. 
  • The Drum Awards for Digital Industries (DADI Awards) (August deadline), an extremely well-known international (although UK-hosted) scheme by The Drum, highly sought after by agencies in particular. These awards focus heavily on campaign effectiveness, or similarly you may want to consider The Drum Awards for Marketing (March deadline), which includes many digital categories to enter.  
  • VEGA Digital Awards (May deadline), an American-run global scheme with categories for everything digital that you can imagine, and now squarely positioned to capture great examples of how digital marketing has responded to the new normal.
  • AVA Digital Awards (December deadline), another well-established US-based scheme open for international entry, featuring an extensive list of categories covering all areas of digital. With general digital marketing categories to more specific web, social, mobile video and content categories, there is plenty to choose from. The Hermes Creative Awards (March deadline) is another scheme by the same organisers, but with more focus on creative marketing, digital and web – and open at the start of the year.

Then comes the awards which focus on digital innovations in not-so-traditionally-digital subsets of marketing:

  • Digital Event Awards (February deadline) isn’t just a shift in focus by an existing event award, it is a new scheme by Mash Media (publishers of Conference News) designed to recognise the events and providers focused on digital.
  • Event Marketer EX Awards (August deadline) reported a record number of entries last year as the pandemic forced experiential marketing to further embrace digital solutions. There are plenty of categories for live streaming, virtual experiences, use of social and integrated digital + live campaigns.  
  • Global Digital PR Awards (October deadline) is another new scheme by Don’t Panic, which has successfully launched a number of similar awards programmes over recent years. Digital PR as a strategy to increase brand awareness and drive sales has seen stratospheric growth since 2021, so these are sure to become a mainstay in the Digital PR world.
  • The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising (January deadline) is a sister scheme of the DADIs for creative campaigns in all forms of digital marketing, but with a bit less emphasis on effectiveness (although still part of the criteria).
digital event awards

The pandemic massively accelerated the use of digital integration across all industries, and, in the case of marketing, literally blurred the lines permanently between traditional subsets such as events, PR and advertising. Even with the return of physical events, for example, many are now staying virtual or will include hybrid elements to increase reach and engagement beyond the room.     

Digital content awards

Next up, content awards. This subset of digital marketing awards is continuing to grow rapidly. A few years ago, you used to have just a ‘best use of content’ category in a broad marketing award scheme. Now there are no less than 17 content-specific schemes in our database. For example:

  • Digiday Content Marketing Awards (February deadline), is a long-running scheme for content across all media, including experiential marketing and print. However, following the pandemic it introduced a host of new categories including two for a ‘pivot’ and recognising podcasts for the first time.
  • The UK Content Awards (April deadline), European Content Awards (November deadline) and Global Content Awards (July deadline) are all run by Don’t Panic, which has recognised the importance of this theme and have set up these three competitions in response.
  • The CMI Content Marketing Awards (May deadline) is a global scheme presented by the Content Marketing Institute and based in the US. With 87 categories to choose from, these awards seem to attract some of the biggest brands in the world looking for content-focused recognition. 

Social media awards and search awards

Finally, there are the awards for online advertising/marketing which are by their very nature digital in focus. These fall into a number of camps:

To a see a full list of UK Marketing Awards click here

To a see a full list of International Marketing Awards click here

 

digital transformation awards

Awards for digital transformation

If your business has successfully overhauled its operations by using technology, then you should choose three types of awards:

  1. Technology categories for awards specific to your industry sector. For example, The Grocer Gold Awards (March deadline) if you’re a supermarket, or The Cateys if you’re in catering.
  2. Transformation categories of IT industry awards. For example:
  • Global Business Tech Awards (February deadline), a new international scheme by UK-based Don’t Panic that’s open to all industries, but likely to get more entries from agencies. They also run the associated UK Business Tech Awards which has a later July deadline.
  • IT World Awards (April deadline) is a popular international scheme by the Globees, with over 100 different categories to choose from.
  • UK IT Industry Awards (UKITIA) (July deadline). These are in association with the British Computer Society and Computing magazine, which makes the scheme extremely credible, but also very competitive. The format includes a two-stage process.
  • IoT Global Awards (October deadline), IoT Breakthrough Awards (October deadline) and The IoT World Awards (November deadline) are the prominent schemes for all things IoT. 
  • Another new scheme, reflecting the ever-increasing importance of digital in transforming business and driving growth is The Digital Growth Awards (April deadline). 
  1. Best use of technology categories included in general business awards:
    • UK Business Awards (The Dons) (May deadline) is run by Awards International. These awards are accredited with an Outstanding Awards Trust Mark, a not-for-profit initiative aiming to recognise best practice in the awards industry. This award has two judging stages and is growing in popularity. The new sister scheme is the UK Business and Innovation Awards (November deadline), which has similar categories including two for ‘Best Use of Technology’.
    • The International Business Awards (The International Stevies) (June deadline), a US-based scheme with over 100 categories. A short entry form and multiple awards per category makes this scheme very popular around the world.
    • Business Champion Awards (December deadline) is a new scheme associated with Reuters and Business Matters magazine, and is making waves with a massive launch – it features a suitable Business Transformation category.

To a see a full list of UK IT & Tech Awards click here

To a see a full list of International IT & Tech Awards click here

 

ecommerce awards

Digital retail awards and eCommerce awards

Even before the enormous surge in eCommerce, there were plenty of awards for digital retail. The camps here are as follows:

Most use terms like “eCommerce”, which is a bit focused on the platform. The main ones here are:

  • Global eCommerce Awards (May deadline). This is a very popular scheme for agencies, with the UK-specific sister award being the UK eCommerce Awards (June deadline).
  • The eCommerce Awards (August deadline). A UK-based scheme by Beyond Media and open to international entry. It is focused heavily on single company case studies and agencies.

Less common are awards that emphasise the user experience. Arguably these would be the most valuable in terms of marketing, but sadly very few exist. In fact, we are only aware of one: The International Digital Experience Awards (April deadline), which focuses on digital transformation and the initiatives, strategies, teams and individuals that have powered the new digital consumer landscape.

Beyond these, you need to look at the technology and digital categories of the retail industry awards: 

  • Online Retailer Awards (February deadline) is a fairly new scheme by UK-based Stratford Projects, the organisers of the previous and very popular Online Retail Awards.
  • Retail Systems Awards (February deadline) by Perspective Publishing is a long-running award which covers ecommerce as well as in-store digital innovations.
  • The Direct Commerce Awards (May deadline). These awards by the Direct Commerce Association have their heritage in catalogue sales, but it is now much more focused on eCommerce and customer experience.
  • The Retail Industry Awards (June deadline) is aimed squarely at the grocery retail sector. These credible awards have two categories for best use of technology.
  • Transforming Retail Awards (July deadline). These awards, by Retail Insider, recognise “the best examples of innovation in retail technology right across the sector” – so are very apt here.

To a see a full list of UK Retail Awards click here

To a see a full list of International Retail Awards click here

digital learning awards

Digital learning awards

Our final type of digital awards to mention is in another area that saw a massive boom during the pandemic – digital learning. Also known as e-learning or, arguably, the latest terminology in use is ‘learning technologies’. We find vendors and clients alike choose to enter the limited number of awards here with equal vigour:

  • The Learning Technologies Awards (July deadline) is now international and is proving extremely popular in this space. It began as The eLearning Awards, but took a step change in popularity when it was acquired by the marketing machine which is Closer Still Media. The two-stage judging process and high level of competition can deter some, but well worth entering.

Internationally, The Brandon Hall spring and autumn awards are extremely popular, although they now cover a lot more than just learning.

Next, consider learning awards with technology categories:

  • ATD Excellence in Practice Awards (August deadline). The Association of Talent Development run this scheme, a very well-respected body in the USA. They also have their Innovation in Talent Development Awards (December deadline), which is very relevant too. These are more of an accreditation, as they don’t have categories as such. 
  • The Investors in People Awards (August deadline). This scheme is for the best of IIP-accredited businesses, and a few for individuals too. Very well-run and ethical, with a category for Best Use of Technology.
  • The Learning Awards (September deadline). A popular and now international scheme by The Learning and Performance Institute. Gold, silver and bronze awards are given, but not many categories to choose from. One relates to technology, but all others are interested in innovation.

Finally, you should consider the “Best use of Technology” categories within various learning and HR awards, although they tend to prefer a broader scope than just a single programme:

  • UK Employee Experience Awards (February deadline). This two-stage awards programme has grown in popularity over the last few years. There is a category for ‘Use of Digital Technologies’, but most of the categories expect a degree of technological ingenuity.
  • The CIPD People Management Awards (May deadline). This is the UK’s most competitive HR award scheme. The ‘Best Digital/Technology initiative in HR/L&D’ is a particularly popular category.
  • The Stevie Awards for Great Employers (July deadline). Run from the US, these feature over 100 categories, each offering multiple gold, silver and bronze awards, including plenty for digital learning and other HR technologies. 
  • HR Excellence Awards (August deadline). With these awards, associated with the credible HR Magazine, the appropriate category is ‘HR Technology Strategy’, which is looking for a broad ‘strategy’ rather than an ‘initiative’ entry.

To a see a full list of UK HR and Training Awards click here

To a see a full list of International HR and Training Awards click here

 

Help entering digital awards

The main message here is that there is a lot of choice out there for digital awards, so pick carefully to ensure you only enter awards which are ‘on message’ for your organisation. With the digital transition rapidly accelerating across all aspects of society and industries, the importance of digital awards and digital recognition will only increase further. Do bear in mind that if your story has a focus on how you responded to the pandemic, you need to ensure you have something original to say, as this is expected rather than a trump card as such. I wish you the best of luck winning digital awards.

If you need help creating an awards plan with the right digital awards in to maximise your ROI and value to your company, let us know – we have a unique online awards planner tool that contains over 4,000 awards and enables you to build a bespoke awards strategy. Or, if you need help writing your award entries, please get in touch with our team of award writing experts here at Boost Awards – we can save you time, considerable effort and increase your chances of success.  

I have personally helped companies enter and win many of the digital awards outlined above, and would be happy to give you a call to help you double check your chances of success and explain our pricing options. You can email me directly at chris.robinson@boost-awards.co.uk 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Chris

Boost – a helping hand entering awards

Boost is the world’s first and largest award entry consultancy, having helped clients, from SMEs to Multinationals, win over 1,500 credible business awards, including many of the Digital awards mentioned above. Increase your chances of success significantly – call Boost on +44(0)1273 258703 today for a no-obligation chat about awards.

 

(C) This article was written by Chris Robinson and is the intellectual property of award entry consultants Boost Awards.

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