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13th Annual Shorty Awards Categories

The Shorty Awards honor the talented agencies, brands, and industry leaders behind the best and most innovative work on social media and digital channels, campaigns, websites and applications.

Now. Powered by Northrop Grumman

Entered in Storytelling

Objective

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products, and solutions in autonomous systems, logistics, and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense, and cyberspace to meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 97,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology, and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products, and services in all domains: air, cyber, land, sea, and space.

 

Now. Powered by Northrop Grumman is a subdomain blog that covers relevant, topical subjects in cutting-edge science, from deep space to the deep sea and everything in between. Our mission is to help this audience understand that their issues and interests are our issues and interests. It aims to appeal to the bright, innovative, and scientifically curious through powerful content that excites them and piques their interest in science, security, and tech trends.

 

Our audience of early adopters and information junkies discover Now. through their research on a specific topic out of scientific curiosity, their drive to discover new technology, and their desire to actively participate in innovation. They return regularly because they find the content informative, original, and fascinating.

 

They come away from the site feeling inspired, with an appreciation of Northrop Grumman as a company with values and aspirations in line with their own. They have a dream: to be actively involved in the world’s scientific and technological evolution, and they see Northrop Grumman as the company they can work at to reach those dreams. 

Strategy

The time-honored axiom of “show, don’t tell” is essential throughout the content Northrop Grumman publishes on Now. We publish articles that talk about technology and discovery in general, as well as articles that feature Northrop Grumman subject matter experts and feature Northrop Grumman technologies. Our articles show Northrop Grumman as a true leader by providing valuable insight, redefining traditional perceptions of the definition of "possible" and conveying the benefits of technological developments that go beyond mere capabilities. 

We don’t simply talk about what technology does or how cutting-edge it is — we show it in ways that make an indelible impression on the reader, spotlighting the end impacts of tech developments in new and surprising ways. 

Throughout several years of publishing and getting to know our audiences, we’ve learned the importance of beginning and ending the user’s journey with a question. Whether the question focuses on scientific mysteries, theories, speculation, discoveries, or phenomena, our audience resonates with content that is constantly challenging itself. The latest and greatest scientific conversations and innovations have grabbed the attention of our returning audience and made them loyal readers. 

Now. is meant to inspire and intrigue upcoming talent that has background work experience or schooling, studying science, machinery, technology, and engineering. The content provides curious minds with the spark of discovery — with the hope that in exploring concepts of science and space, they’ll be spurred on to explore potential new routes in their own careers.

We tell these stories of scientific curiosity through both short- and long-form articles. Short-form pieces (500-700 words) allow us to capture a story’s core interest point in a quick, skimmable, digestible way. Articles that summarize the most recent status on topics like whether or not you can own land on Mars, or if the next step for the human mind is to develop telekinetic powers. Meanwhile, our long-form articles (800-1000 words) provide deeper dives into more complex topics with added voices from subject matter experts. These pieces might delve into the history of a component of our daily lives — probing into the science of language, for example. They might also step out onto the cutting edge, taking a look at the forefront of technology in areas like sustainable air travel

Our content is both supported by input from subject matter experts and also told through their lens, thanks to our talented pool of credentialed contributors. Our team of seasoned science and technology journalists have also written for other widely respected names like Scientific American, BizTech Magazine, Mass General Hospital and MIT Technology Review. Their decades of experience help them bring the combination of expertise and excitement that defines the content on Now.

Now. gets a fresh story two to three times per week. We engage our audience through CTAs that link to Northrop Grumman’s careers page, related articles, catchy titles, and a monthly newsletter that rounds up a group of articles that all speak to one of the many themes throughout our content. Each article is optimized to align with Google’s most current search algorithms to maximize performance. 

Results

In 2020, our sights were focused on growing our organic traffic by increasing the number of organic keyword rankings on the first page of Google and driving clicks to the careers page. We ended this year with double the amount of organic traffic with 48% of users driven in from organic search in 2020 (28% in 2019) followed by a 47% returning audience of organic users. 

Now. gained over 800 keyword rankings on the first page of Google this year, earning the spot in the featured snippet for search terms including is pluto a planet?, newly evolved species, real-life telekinesis, how to travel to another dimension, do aliens exist?, objects sent into space, and end of the world theories. Earning top spots on Google exposes our articles to five times the traffic. 

This year Now. averaged more clicks to the careers page quarterly, with over 3x the career referrals than in 2019. The Now. newsletter audience of 10k subscribers engaged with our sends this year more than ever, exceeding industry standards of average open and click-through rates. 
 

Media

Produced by

Northrop Grumman, Northrop Grumman

Links

Entry Credits

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