The winners of Hitwise’s Digital Innovation Awards were announced at the Annual Summer Summit in June, which recognised companies that achieved excellence in audience-based marketing and ecommerce. These awards didn’t recognise the biggest players, but instead, acknowledged top risers that have done something different and innovative in their respective sectors.
Here are the winners for 2018
Hitwise’s Retail Award in 2018 focused on disruptors that have grown substantially over the past year. In particular, the awards looked at brands that have used influencer marketing and brand partnerships – a field that has seen an explosive rise – to drive this growth.
Winner – Birchbox
Online visits to the Birchbox rose by 64% in Jan-May YoY, outpacing other beauty subscription boxes. Brand collaboration was key to Birchbox’s success – selecting and tying itself with brands that span industries (from Vogue to Matthew Williamson).
Highly Commended – Gymshark
Gymshark’s online traffic also grew 55% in Q1 YoY, outpacing other young active wear brands. Operating for only 6 years now, Gymshark has carved itself a keen social following, with their network of “Gymshark Ambassadors” vital to their online success.
Hitwise’s Travel Award in 2018 zoomed into a key growth segment, the solo traveller, and identified travel players that have tapped into this rising market.
Winner – On The Beach
On The Beach was the fastest growing travel operator for the Solo Traveller. The operator attracted 145% more traffic from solo travel searches in Q1 YoY, which was the result of their dedicated onsite content hub for solo holidays.
Highly Commended – Kayak
Kayak was also the fastest-growing travel metasearch engine for the Solo Traveller. The metasearch attracted 57% more traffic from solo travel searches in Q1 YoY. This was also driven by their online magazine content for first-time solo travellers, driving interest during the customer’s aspiration phases.
Hitwise’s Finance Award in 2018 looked at which institutions attracted another key growth segment – the financially-savvy, mobile-first generation.
Winner – Nationwide
Nationwide saw tremendous growth from traffic around “how to save” (and related searches), jumping by 402% in Q1 YoY, to rank first out of all banks. The institution did so by invested heavily in a content-rich site, offering practical guides, tips and regular articles on a weekly basis.
Highly Commended – Money.co.uk
Money.co.uk was the fastest-growing financial aggregator, attracting 90% more traffic in Q1 YoY from searches around how to save. This growth was also largely driven by millennials, Money.co.uk seeing a 128% rise from people aged 18-34 yo conducting these searches.
For Hitwise’s Publishing Award in 2018, we looked at best practices in audience acquisition. The awards zoomed into the biggest story for the year to date – The Royal Wedding, and tracked where related searches led to in the News & Media industry.
Winner – The Telegraph
In the week of the wedding, the Telegraph took over all other news providers to win 11.7% of search traffic, followed by the BBC News. The Telegraph innovatively used Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to do so, particularly in the week before the wedding to gain a leadership position (see our State of Publishing for more on this story).
Highly Commended – Harper’s Bazaar
Out of all fashion publications, Harper’s Bazaar was also the winner for the Royal Wedding, attracting 0.9% of search traffic in the week of the event. Harper’s Bazaar edged forward due to their constant and relevant content. In the four weeks leading up to the event, 43 out of the top 50 articles were related to the wedding.
Missed the event? Check out our other blog on “Five Things We Learnt from Hitwise Summer Summit”.
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