Category Archives: seo

Cross Dressing and Divorce?

You don’t always have to be in full on sales mode to make social media work for you.

On November 24th 2013 Noah’s Yard in Uplands, Swansea changed their sign (As they do on a frequent basis) to Paul…I’m Divorcing you!


Not the nicest of things to write perhaps but what did it do for Noahs?

300 people liked the post

38 people shared the post

37 people commented on it

It made front page news in the South Wales Evening Post both in print and online- four times with different updates!

And wait for it……. it also made The Sun newspaper too!


So what’s my point?

My point is that hundreds of people engaged with Noah’s Yard and they weren’t trying to sell a thing.

  1. It brought their business to the attention of new customers
  2. It got people engaging with their Facebook page
  3. It got people talking about their business

How much would you pay to get coverage like this in the media?

I can tell you that if this was charged advertising space then the bill would be thousands!

As a newspaper we had a story which went viral meaning it was viewed all over the world-was it a sports story? Was it groundbreaking news? Was it a leak? No it was a video of a group of men dressed as women on a night out:

It’s not easy to get this exposure-some will happen by chance but you can be sucessful at being creative in the ways that you target your local audience.

It’s easy for me to tell you what not to do:

  1. Don’t always be in sell, sell, sell mode
  2. Engage with your audience and encourage participation
  3. Think of quirky things you can share about your business or business type.

I’ll add a great inforgraphic to my blog later for you to see a little more on how this works


Spread Your Net To Catch The Fish!


I’ve had some really good conversations with customers this week-I really enjoy being able to give advice on advertising and marketing-I’m not afraid to say when I feel that something won’t work. Money spent on advertising/ marketing that doesn’t work is not good business.

I’m not a fortune teller-I can’t promise 100% that a campaign will work-I can, however, guarantee how many people a campaign will reach, where those people live and what they read and where they read it.

I’ll give you a really good example- I spoke to a representitive from a large organisation who wanted to promote a scheme relevant to winter heating.

As a multi media organisation we can offer such a variety of ways to target local people that I can help any business ‘get seen’

After finding out what the company wanted to acheive I thought about the types of people that may need the service being offered. It turned out to be people of all ages and all walks of life- this may make it sound easy but in fact it’s much more difficult because for advertisnig to work you need to ‘reach out’ to people.

There are different ways you can reach out to people-it can be by way of:

  • A good headline
  • A specific offer
  • Marketing/advertising under specific headings so people seek to find
  • Marketing/advertising in a place where it will be seen by the right reader

For this specific campaign i decided the best route was to target by platform-so publicising the campaign in places I knew the right type of reader would see it.


Here is what I presented to the client and why-I thought this would be useful for you to see how to choose the right places for your business and why (I’ve left it generic because it can apply wherever you are):

  1. Classified section in the newspaper-people use classified on a seek to buy basis so it’s a great opportunity to attract the attention of readers who have money to spend plus they are in the buying frame of mind
  2. Television listing pages-think about where people are when they are reading the TV pages-warm and cosy in their homes-where better to be to make a decision about something home related? I also considered the age of a typical reader- it’s mainly the older generation that refer to in print TV guides as the younger ones tend to use on demand or info on their TV’s
  3. Run of paper-the main body of the paper is where people go to read the news-advertising has to be strong to draw people away from it-or newsworthy which is what this campaign is. I thought the message behind the campaign would be ideally suited alongside the news.
  4. Digital advertising- research has been carried out that people trust online adverts far more on a local news website than they do other sites. You can reach a whole new audience demographic and on our website a younger, more affluent reader-speaks itself.
  5. Reader offers-the company has some giveaways for our readers-an added extra to the campaign but great for the camapigns awareness and we don’t charge for this service
  6. Editorial- If a campaign is of huge interest to our readers we may support it with editorial coverage. In addition to the advertising campaign mentioned before this is the final cherry on the cake to make a campaign which:
  • Reaches a vast number of local people
  • Targets different ages/ reader types
  • Targets in print and online audience
  • Targets people across a span of a few weeks

I’m really lucky to be able to offer such a vast range of different media to local businesses. Unlike many others we can offer ways to market a business:

  • Online
  • In print
  • Sponsorship
  • Niche magazines
  • Events
  • Editorial

If you’d like me to help you or if you would like any advice please get in touch

Embrace The Moaners

Consumers may seem to complain more than ever but it’s just that they can.


They can complain by telephone, email, social media, review sites and many other ways. Wherever you look people are expressing their views about customer service.

Customer service needs to be reinvented for a world where consumers are demanding

more, where comparisons happen in real time, where loyalty is fleeting and there’s diminishing

friction in changing brands. Customer service is where social starts. (Adam Hanfit)

Consumers may seem to complain more than ever but it’s just that they can. They can complain by telephone, email, social media, review sites and many other ways. Wherever you look people are expressing their views about customer service.

I’ve found some great tips for you to handle these comments and guess what? I didn’t find them on a huge retailers site or a major online business-I found them on a Heating and Plumbing website because they know in their industry their consumers are already starting to use online reviews :

Top tips for handling negative online reviews

In an increasingly online, social, and mobile world, customer reviews play an important role in influencing consumer behaviour, with many using these to guide their purchasing decisions – whether it’s going for an early morning coffee or choosing a local plumber.
Many small local business owners rely heavily on their web presence to communicate with customers and attract new business.
Where once, any fallout from a dissatisfied customer was limited to their friends and family, the popularity of social media has magnified the impact disgruntled customers can have on a business’ reputation. Unhappy customers can sound off instantly to a wide audience before they’ve considered taking their complaint up with the company direct.
Regardless of how great the product or customer service, business owners should accept that negative reviews are part of running a business, and have a strategy in place to manage these effectively. Here are a few top tips to tackle bad online customer reviews – nipping them in the bud as soon as they strike.
Acknowledge and respond straight away It’s vital to respond to a customer complaint as quickly and thoughtfully as possible. That way you’ll minimise any potential damage and show customers that you care and take their loyalty very seriously. Your customers are always connected, so the longer it takes to respond to a negative or false representation of your business, the more time it has to spread. Time is of the essence and a day is a long time in the world of social media.
Be professional and demonstrate strong empathy Always respond to the bad review in a respectful and sincere way that communicates you empathise with the customer and understand why they are unhappy. If you’ve had a bad day, admit it, apologise for the customer’s negative experience, and invite them to return so you can make it up to them in some way. Even if you don’t agree with what’s being claimed, be positive and avoid getting into an argument. If you feel the review is wrong then say why but in a professional and reasoned manner. The key here is to create a meaningful, personal dialogue, and to do this publicly to show other prospective customers that you’re listening and addressing the matter accordingly.
Take the conversation off-line While it’s important to post a short, immediate public response to a bad review – showing other customers that you’re addressing and resolving the situation – further detailed communication with the dissatisfied customer should be taken off-line as soon as possible to avoid potential further public criticism. Communicating via email or phone helps to make things feel more personal, speeds up the resolution process and protects a customer’s privacy. This approach can also help take the heat out of the situation and calm things down more quickly.
Turn negative feedback into an opportunity Reviews can provide key insights into the health of your business and are a great indicator of how customers feel they are being treated. Business owners should be taking full advantage of this feedback – encouraging all customers to provide it. Bad reviews should be regarded by business owners as a useful early-warning mechanism for spotting problems and addressing these before they escalate. A company’s response to negative reviews provides a perfect opportunity to show customers that management is responsive to any concerns or dissatisfaction they may have.
Because of the weight they carry, online reviews are one of the most effective word-of-mouth marketing and reputation-building tools for small business. Negative customer reviews have the potential to cause short-term harm if not handled correctly. Following these few simple guidelines will go a long way to avoiding potential long-term damage to business reputation. Better still, these negative reviews can help businesses to better understand their customer’s issues and improve products and services offered.
I think this advice is great-it may seem basic but so often have I seen businesses retaliate or complain about the customers who leave bad reviews for them. Personally it really turns me against them.
I recently bought a photo canvasss from Wowcher but didn’t complete my order with the affiliated company properly so I sent an email asking for help. Within 72 hours I had a reply and they offered to help me. I have to say I was all geared up for a fight because I didn’t think they would assist. I was so happy I sent an almost overwhelming email of gratitude because they exceeded my expectations.
My advice to you today is embrace reviews as they can work in your favour.
A reply to a review/complaint shows:
  • You care about your customers
  • You want to improve your service
  • You are approachable
  • You are contactable

Make sure you put aside time to ensure your customers are happy:

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”

Jeff Bezos

Budget Cuts=Stop Advertising-right?

Wrong! If you become invisible to your customers then sooner or later you will go out of business. You need to be discovered in more places than ever-in print, online, in conversation and in the market place.


When you read this study I hope you feel the same way I did-light bulb moment. It’s such common sense-I so wished I’d read it sooner!
Is your business out there?
“The company courageous enough to stay in the fight when everybody is playing it safe can bring about dramatic change in market position”

Put Your Money Where The Eyes Are

advertising-quoteWith everyone screaming at you to spend your budget with them because they are better and bigger use this top ten as a guide to the value you are really getting.

The more people you can ‘talk to’  the more likely your phone is to ring because the chances of you reaching the right people is far greater. A cheap advertisement is still a waste of money if no one rings you as a result of it. If you have money to burn though saying yes without knowing how to interpret the offer made to you will result in you frittering your money away.

Top Ten Facts About Local Media

  1. Local newspapers are more than twice as trusted as any other media channel.

    Source: IPA Touchpoints 4 2012

  2. The local press is the UK’s most popular print medium, read by 31 million people a week.

    Source: BMRB/TGI 2012

  3. There are 1,100 local newspapers and 1,600 associated websites in the UK.

    Source: NS Database

  4. Local media websites attract 62 million unique users each month.

    Source: Newspaper Society

  5. 12 million people read a local newspaper but do not read a national newspaper.

    Source: BMRB/TGI 2012

  6. 61% of adults read a local newspaper.

    Source: BMRB/TGI 2012

  7. Over 60% of people act on the ads in local newspapers.

    Source: CrowdDNA/Loving Local

  8. Advertising on local newspaper websites is 77% more likely to be believed and relied upon than advertising on other websites.

    Source: the wanted ads III

  9. 11 million more UK adults read a local newspaper (31 million) than listen to commercial radio (20 million).

    Source: BMRB/TGI 2012

  10. Local press is the most effective media channel for generating word of mouth conversations. Source:
    IPA Touchpoints 4 2012

It doesn’t matter  what type of advertising you do just make sure that you check a few facts

  • Is the company verified or can they provide verified response reports? (Print product or online)
  • Will your advertisement be seen or relegated to the quiet time (radio), low circulation day (newspaper) out of area title (newspaper, magazines, leaflets)
  • Will your advertisement get clicked on? (Low unique visitors on an unpopular website)
  • Are people buying products as a result of advertising? (Social media)
  • Can I upgrade, amend or improve my website? Do I own the domain name (Website builder)

Advertising is a powerful tool-embrace it

And Then God Created Man

I was going to begin my blog with a journey through time-my time in the media industry but thought again and decided not to. What matters is now-not how we got here but what on earth do we do now we are here?


I work for South West Wales Media- it used to be a printed newspaper now it can be almost anything you want it to be- we are a printed newspaper, a web based newspaper, a mobile newspaper, a lifestyle magazine, an event, a web site builder, an SEO specialist or a social media guru.

With such a vast portfolio of products on offer I started thinking about the challenges faced by all businesses today.

Who do I advertise with?

Hundreds of different businesses are competing for a share of your budget and it could be easy to invest in the wrong ones.

That’s why I’ve started this blog-with a little bit of help you can decide what your business needs.

There are millions of people talking about online marketing every day but unless you know what your business needs it can seem a little overwhelming.

The are hundreds of companies telling you what your business needs but unless you can make educated choices yourself you could end up wasting your important marketing budget.

I want to share with you and help you understand what your options are and what to look for.

I’m not a whizz kid online-I’m a sales manager and I help businesses by ensuring they get response using all the tools I have available. You are the sales manager of your business- you need to invest in whatever gets your phone ringing. We’re not poles apart.

What is Direct Response Advertising?

Direct Response Advertising has been called advertising that makes your phone ring. A Call-to-Action encourages your potential customers to pick up the phone or go online to get in touch with you right away

Now you have that in mind we are ready to begin our journey in to the maze that is advertising.

It’s easy if you know how