Michelle Wilding-Baker – Head of Digtal & Content at FreeSat, UK Search Awards Judge and Industry Expert talks Awards!

I have been a Search Awards judge for almost 5 years! Why do I do it?

Well, it isn’t for the money! People think judges are paid, but it is a volunteer role. 

The reason I commit my time is because Search is my passion, and the UK Search Awards raise the standards in our industry and ensure the reputation of high quality work. Awards keep the industry in check and the UK Search Awards is one of the toughest to win. The quality and calibre of entries is always extremely high, and if you win or make the final it’s an achievement to get through ‘the gauntlet.’ They are esteemed because the judges are professionals and experts who believe in the quality of the whole industry and because the judging criteria is designed for the Search industry. 

Why You Should Enter A Team Award?

When entering an award there is a level of personal achievement and recognition which boosts team morale. Anyone could win a campaign award if they had an epic piece of work, but a team award means so much more. Having led teams in the past and having won a ‘Best In-House Team’ I have seen that a team award entry is definitely a representation of the hard work, personal growth, results, culture and bond a team has. It shows collaboration and discipline which businesses admire whether it’s an agency or in-house brand. 

Entries that Stand Out…

Without naming brands/agencies… winners that stand out have cutting-edge submissions where they thought beyond the box and their work was truly innovating and automating. Search is an industry that is only getting harder over time with goal posts constantly moving,  loop holes higher to jump through and more data points than ever to sift through… being able to automate and predict is an art. 

Top Tip for your 2021 Entry

Judges have to be able to benchmark what ‘great’ looks like and if objectives were achieved or exceeded. Inserting graphs into your entry to visualise your performance, including creatives from your campaign and photos of your team if it’s a team/agency award make a difference to an entry. It’s about the people, not just hard numbers and revenue.

I will be in London for the Awards Ceremony in November and I look forward to meeting the cutting edge of Search, I hope that is you.

Michelle is a globally award-winning digital marketer who specialises in data-first customer acquisition (owned/paid/earned), SEO and content strategy. She graduated with First Class Honours in Communication Studies (Journalism) and is armed with more than a decade of marketing and editorial experience across international, SME and start-up brands in highly competitive FinTech, Insurance, Travel, Beauty, eCommerce and publishing industries. Now leading the digital marketing, eCommerce, editorial, content and social strategy remit at Freesat and consulting on a project-basis for Oh Mishy, she previously completed 2.5 years as Head of SEO & Content at The Telegraph Media Group where she hired and led the ‘Best Brand SEO Team’ of 2019. Michelle regularly judges industry marketing and eCommerce awards, guest speaks at events and co-organises the ‘Take It Offline’ Digital Marketing Roundtable in London and Europe

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