The Killer Content Awards: A Judge’s Preview

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Next week at the 2020 B2B Marketing Exchange, we’ll learn about the winners of Killer Content Awards. The KCAs recognize companies that find success with new rules of engagement to create innovative campaigns with new storytelling techniques and amplification channels. I’m always excited and inspired by seeing what those companies have tried and how they’ve succeeded.

I had a chance to briefly catch up with my colleague and strategy expert Alicia Esposito amid preparations for the conference. Alicia is a Senior Content Strategist here at Content4Demand, and she’s also on the panel of judges who selected this year’s Killer Content Award winners.

Here are some of Alicia’s thoughts on what impressed her and some of the exciting things she saw in this year’s submissions.

How were this year’s nominations different from nominations in years past?

This was perhaps the most difficult year to judge, not just due to the quantity of nominations but the quality of them. We’re seeing brands across industries and of all sizes use employee-established best practices and even take creative risks to drive marketing results.

We really had to think critically about which companies were either upping the ante on established trends or helping to uncover new opportunities for B2B organizations to differentiate through their content and campaigns.

We also saw more submissions than ever for strategic campaigns versus standalone assets, indicating that companies are looking at content more holistically rather than a one-time opportunity to drum up buzz and fill up the top of their funnel. 

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed in nominations over the past few years?

We’re seeing more B2B brands realize they don’t have to be boring, even if their industry is a bit more buttoned up or driven by complex concepts. They’re telling buyer-focused stories in a new way, and they sometimes leverage a fun theme to capture attention. 

We’re also seeing more creative applications of design themes, as well as use cases for interactive content. 

In the arena of interactive content, we’re seeing it go beyond just awareness generation and through persona qualification and product discovery. Brands are allowing buyers to self-discover and choose their own journey, so they feel empowered to continue in the buying process and learn more about the solutions that make the most sense for them. 

The Killer Content Awards are always on the lookout for new rules of engagement, new storytelling methods and new amplification channels. Can you offer a brief overview of some new things you saw this year that excited you?

During the judging process, we decided to implement a new category altogether due to the number of brands submitting podcasts. This was a wonderful surprise and is something I foresee only evolving more over the next year.

It was not only enlightening to see the different industries embracing podcasts, but also to see how they built a fun, creative story around their industry that would add something new to their market. 

Any final thoughts on the Killer Content Awards?

It’s always an honor to go through the judging process for the awards, because we not only see some great content and campaigns, but we get to better understand the objectives and processes that brands go through to bring these ideas to life.

I hope everyone who reads our awards report not only gets excited about these great examples, but feels inspired to apply some of the takeaways and lessons for their own campaigns in the future.

I truly believe that is how our industry has evolved so much – and will continue to do so moving forward.

The winners of the 2020 Killer Content Awards will be announced Monday, February 24, at the B2B Marketing Exchange. Need help wowing the judges next year? Read about the most important B2B marketing trends in 10 Ways to Make 2020 Your Best Marketing Year Yet.

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