BigWords for your business Thu, 24 Oct 2019 09:01:17 +0000 en-NZ hourly 1 Halloween Ad Horror Puns are Baaaaaack… Thu, 24 Oct 2019 09:01:17 +0000 Just like the horror flick trope where the evil character never truly dies at the end, leaving the gateway open for a gruesome return, consumers can count on the resurrection of every Halloween pun and one-liner they have ever heard before this month.  Here in New Zealand we may not be bombarded to the same […]

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Just like the horror flick trope where the evil character never truly dies at the end, leaving the gateway open for a gruesome return, consumers can count on the resurrection of every Halloween pun and one-liner they have ever heard before this month. 

Here in New Zealand we may not be bombarded to the same extent as our American and Canadian cousins. However, in the lead up to October 31 our storefronts, entertainment screens, car radios and even our inboxes will serve up enough of the annual horror-themed advertising slogans in a bid to scare up some sales before the pre-Christmas build-up begins in earnest. Some are worthy of applause for their clever play on words, and some are simply cringe-worthy.

As early as October 5th I was subjected to an email campaign offering un-boo-lievable tricks and treats for my social media marketing campaigns and a selection of orange and black themed banner templates to use for building my ‘spooky and creative’ Halloween ads. The question is; would I?

Should Kiwi businesses be using themed ads to leverage Halloween? If you are (or are considering) using this North American holiday as a way to promote your business, there are several ways you could go.

The kitsch one-liner

The large format retail stores have this one down to a fine art; with or without the cheesy graphics they can be effective and repeatable across different media for multiple exposure opportunities. Harvey Norman’s clever but eye-rolling plays on its name are a hands-down winner every time they roll one out in my books. Although Guy Fawkes is often the preferred focus at this time of year for LFR, the last week of October is likely to feature a few Halloween puns worthy of an eye roll from this sector.
Halloween themed composite with a Lego Freddie Kruger

In my opinion, if it’s catchy and doesn’t wedge itself in your brain on continuous play like a particularly bad jingle will then it’s worth doing, even just for an opportunity to get some brand awareness.

Tip: If you do want to put something simple and fun together, then pick a single pun, ideally one that ties the Halloween theme to your business, and don’t deviate.

Tasteless and disturbing Halloween blunders

Some marketing people are just too clever for their own good – or the good of their clients. Campaigns that are overly complicated or go a step too far with an idea are doomed to fail.

World Rugby may have crossed more than one line in their “creepy” photo to promote New Zealand’s Barrett brothers playing in the All Blacks’ World Cup clash with Canada. Drawing on the movie, The Shining, the photo posted on the World Rugby Facebook page showed Beauden, Scott and Jordie’s faces superimposed onto the toy dolls from the film – captioned with the famous line “come play with us”.

The stunt did nothing for the three brothers’ profiles or for inspiring fans before the game.

“What’s scarier than facing the three Barrett brothers on the pitch?,” the Facebook post says? My answer would be, the future job prospects for the person who came up with this idea.

The suspense-building scare campaign

This type of campaign is not for the faint-hearted and requires careful planning, precision timing and no small amount of luck. Choose either a single story that you roll out in teasingly short installments which lead to a final conclusion or a single-themed series that go a step further with each instalment. Your campaign needs to build expectations, crafted in a way that has your audience waiting in suspense for the next instalment. These work best with video and can be television ads or YouTube clips. Either way, you want people talking about and sharing them, or searching for them online.

Not thinking things through can lead to unexpected backlash

In 2018, British based mobile telephone network GiffGaff earned the dubious title of worst Halloween campaign for its video ad; “A Monster Family”. The 4-minute clip featured a young girl removed from her monster family and forced to live with humans, who then go on to alienate her before her eventual escape. The company received numerous complaints about the clip, accusing it of traumatising and offending vulnerable people.  The ad was banned from running on TV and in cinemas, and Giffgaff quickly removed it from its site and social media.

Your funny is not everyone’s funny – know your audience

A variation in this is to adopt a humorous angle. Getting it right is not easy though; when you swap out scary in favour of funny you had better know your audience.

Sometimes you can come up with a winner and sometimes you completely miss the mark, as demonstrated in the 2019 Halloween ad campaigns from Geico Insurance that are currently rolling out in the US.

The misfortune of getting a witch as a third roommate works well, with Griswalda plying her latest ‘recipe’ on her too polite to refuse roomie.

Launched on 30 September, the video has clocked over 8.6 million views on YouTube. However, the follow-up ‘Cooking with Griswalda’ is less funny. For Geico’s second and third roll-outs for 2019 depicting possessed mannequins in the attic (the audience is reliant on the actor’s poorly delivered cues to establish the inanimate mannequins are indeed possessed and forcing him to join their tea party) and Casper as the annoyingly chatty resident ghost? Eh, not so much.

Tip: Play on something familiar and don’t over-complicate things. Be aware of the bigger picture – in any other context can your ad idea be considered tasteless, insensitive or offensive? If you are investing heavily in producing something then invest some time in testing audience responses.

To be honest, Halloween is still not a big seller in New Zealand, but unless you are a garden centre or licenced fireworks reseller, there is very little to leverage off in the no-man’s land between the arrival of spring and the start of the build-up to Christmas apart from the improving weather.

Whilst I continue to swing between fear of what grammatical horror will crawl out of my inbox next and anticipation of a Golden Globe-worthy campaign emerging from the mists of Halloween advertising in 2019, I’d like to wish you all the best with your own marketing ideas for filling the void that typically occurs at this time of year.

Have fun and if you miss this window, don’t worry; next year Halloween will be baaaack…

Fiona Cole - BigWords owner and copywriterFiona Cole is a professional copywriter with over 16 years in business communications and content marketing. With a post-graduate degree in English and Media Studies, she has studied the cultural and commercial impacts of advertising and film and has an unnatural interest in creative marketing ideas. Fiona confesses to Googling and watching ads online purely for entertainment.




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How to rock your ‘F’ in web content Wed, 07 Aug 2019 08:38:16 +0000 Fiona Cole explains the value of content on your website and how to make a lot of information look good. Why you need more words, not less, on key pages of your website We all want two things from our websites: Look professional and appealing to our audience Do their job, which is attracting the […]

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Fiona Cole explains the value of content on your website and how to make a lot of information look good.

Why you need more words, not less, on key pages of your website

We all want two things from our websites:

  1. Look professional and appealing to our audience
  2. Do their job, which is attracting the right visitors and converting them into enquiries or sales

Looking good is easy if you don’t care too much about how well your site performs. All you need is a professional looking site with a visually striking design, right?

Performance – how well your site delivers in converting visitors into sales or enquiries – is another matter altogether. Getting your site to do a good job is not always straightforward. Worse, with all the mixed messages about online marketing, engagement factors and SEO being bandied about, how are you to know what is the right course of action?

Rather than getting into the complexities of Conversion Rate Optimisation, lets focus on the most fundamental aspect of your website: the presentation of the page content.

The search engine factor

There is a tendency to go for less words and more visuals on a website, especially when social media engagement is increasingly about visual media.

However, the downside of using mainly images or video and little to no words is, there is nothing there for the search engines to index and rank.

Words are needed to match searches with content

Whether by desktop or mobile using typed or voice searches, people must use words to search the internet. If your target audience can’t find you using key search terms for what you are selling, solving or supplying, your site is simply not getting in front of people.

On the other hand, you don’t want to present a Homepage or landing page filled with screeds and screeds of text. The trick is to strike the right balance; having enough text on your web pages to achieve optimal page ranking without making it unappealing to visitors.

So how do you make the text on your site less ‘texty’?

The human factor

People are fickle. They are busy, easily distracted, prone to impulsive and unpredictable behaviour. Their choices are affected by emotions and external influences.

If your content is not presented well, the message can easily be lost.

The information on your website needs to be accessible and appealing on multiple levels, or you will lose your audience before they have taken in enough to get them to take the next step in your website’s conversion pathway.

The F-shaped layout

Readability and ease of use are among the key factors in the visual appeal of your web pages: good design and layout should also incorporate clear indicators for where to go and to quickly and easily access information.

Reading something on a screen is usually harder – and slower – than reading the same thing on a printed page. That’s where the F=shaped layout comes in.

The eyes of most readers tend to look down the left-hand margin, and then out along subheadings. You need to use this to your advantage. Here’s how:

  • Divide your page into sections using subheadings
  • Check whether your subheadings make sense on their own
  • Frontload each section with the key information
  • Use white space
  • Apply bullet points to lists
  • Use bolding judiciously

Sections with subheadings

Make sure your page isn’t a solid wall of text. Break it up into sections that make logical, intuitive sense. And then write a clear, accurate subheading for each section.

Subheadings that make sense on their own

Some readers glance through subheadings without initially reading the copy that follows each one. Your subheadings need to make sense on their own, signposting key content that your readers will be scanning for on the page.

Frontloading key information by section

Make it easy for folks who do read beyond the subheadings by talking about the benefits they’ll get from each section in the first sentence.

Using white space with confidence

Don’t be afraid to leave sections of white space or empty sections between blocks of content. If everything is divided by images and other graphics, things can look cluttered.

Use bullet points wherever you can

Readers’ eyes are drawn to bulleted lists, as they are easy to scan. Whenever you have a list of three or more items in a sentence, format them as bullet points. It will break up your text and draw your reader’s attention.

Use bolding judiciously

Bolding a phrase (or even an entire sentence) will emphasise the words and make them “pop” for your reader. Just be aware that when you emphasise too much nothing stands out, so limit your bolding to the stuff that really needs it.

Know what your audience is looking for

Now you have an idea of how the F in layout of your content should look.

However, to put the information people are looking for in the right place, you still need to know what they’re looking for first.

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What Content Type Goes Where? Fri, 03 Aug 2018 10:37:41 +0000 A quick guide to how to build a four-stage content marketing funnel using different types of content. One of the key challenges around digital marketing is what type of content to use when. With so many choices out there, you don’t want to be spreading yourself too thin. Here’ is an expanded four-stage content marketing […]

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A quick guide to how to build a four-stage content marketing funnel using different types of content.

One of the key challenges around digital marketing is what type of content to use when. With so many choices out there, you don’t want to be spreading yourself too thin. Here’ is an expanded four-stage content marketing funnel showing different examples of content that is ideal for using during each of the four stages: 

The four stages of digital marketing

The four stages of digital marketing are:The four stages of digital marketing; attract, convert, close and delight


The first stage of digital marketing is when you don’t know who your customer will be, and they don’t know your business or your product or service. You need to find ways to attract their attention.

Types of content marketing you can use during the attract stage are:


Social media, print media, signage, radio and television. Any combination of print, digital and broadcasting channels. A large part of advertising is simply building brand awareness, although you need a clear call to action to help advance someone to the next stage if and when they are ready.

Landing Pages

These usually refer to web pages created for a specific campaign, although any page where a visitor lands is technically a landing page. By default, your Homepage is your website’s main landing page, however, having dedicated landing pages for a specific campaign or to target a single market sector can provide on average a 30% higher conversion rate than when you just link to your homepage.


Use optimised content and good SEO practices to attract visitors interested in what you offer through organic searches.

Tip: Create landing pages or clear segments within your site that are focused on specific target market.

Videos (e.g. Explainer or Product Demo)

You can display these directly from your website or distribute via social media platforms like Facebook, Vimeo, or You Tube.

Infographics (or slide presentations)

Visual representations of a process or something else that informs. This short clip features on a web designer’s web page about the web design process they offer:

Handy Checklists

Provide a short and easy to absorb list of tips that provide something useful, one that is eye-catching and with an option to save, share or repost.

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”  – Tom Fishburne


Once you have a person’s attention, you want them to take some form of action. In other words, you want them to engage with your content and hopefully your business. You can of course incorporate a call to action in any of the content types listed in the Attract stage. However, there are a number of types of content that are ideal for generating engagement, which is the primary aim of the conversion stage.

One of the main things a prospect will want to know after deciding that a product or service might be useful is whether they can trust the brand behind it. A good way to build that trust is by establishing area expertise as a helpful thought leader. And helpful leaders usually offer free advice.

Examples of content marketing for the convert stage are:

Social Media

You started with some organic posts that are interesting, relevant, entertaining/informative and shareworthy. Now you are ready to launch yourself as the go-to person for your area of expertise or product knowledge. Engage in or host groups, promote training webinars or live face-to-face workshops, run a series of posted content addressing your customers’ FAQs.

Blog Posts (How Tos or Guides)

Regular blog posts can serve to improve your website’s natural rankings and be used to target long-tailed search phrases. They also provide shareable content via other digital marketing channels including social media posts and e-newsletters. Engagement can include commenting and sharing, which may lead to the customer clicking through to your website to read other articles, subscribing to a newsletter, or making an enquiry.


Creating something of value for people to download, that enables you to capture their contact details, which allows you follow up with more information or a phone call or (with permission) to add them to your contact database for sending notifications or e-newsletters.

Case Studies

These make great reading and can be a valuable part of the research process for a potential customer before making a decision about who to do business with.

Webinars and Podcasts

Podcasts are a growing form of online information that provide online learnings or showcase a business’ own tried and true methods. Some people simply can’t get enough of them, and are constantly searching for new ideas they can glean from other successful business people in a wide range of skills. If you have a person willing to book a spot for your podcast or webinar, then they might be open to signing up for a training course or coaching package or buying a book. If they stay right to the end, are probably more than halfway to becoming your customer.

 “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin


Your potential customers have now seen your landing page, found your social media accounts, laughed at your viral videos, and probably looked over a few of your compelling and impeccably designed infographics. And they’re ready for more.

You have their attention, they have shown interest by engaging with your content and you may have captured some of their data and contact details for following up. They may already have been your customer at one time and you are looking for some form of feedback from them, re-engaging with them to bring them back for a second or third purchase.

Content types for the close stage of your content marketing funnel are:

Ratings & Reviews

Provide the opportunity for your customers to rate and review your business. Many digital platforms allow you to activate a rate and review function. Encourage your customers to post their reviews when you address them in outbound content marketing or provide a link in your email footer.


Show your customers that their experience matters. Gain insights and adapt your services or products in response to the feedback given. Let your customers co-create the buying experience with you.


People love to learn about themselves. If you can encourage people to take a quiz that helps them to categorise themselves as a key customer type, then you can create a far more targeted offering for them.

E-mails (outbound content marketing)

Follow up your leads with an email or series of emails. They may have dropped off because they are busy or got distracted, or an unexpected expense came along. You want to be front of mind when they are ready to re-engage, so a timely reminder could be all it takes to get them to take the next step.

“Social media is about the people. Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” – Matt Goulart



A great way to get insights in how to improve your business and to build a greater understanding of your target market. The more you know about your customers, the better armed you are to attract more of the same and to deliver a superior customer experience.

Special Offers

Reward loyalty. Don’t focus all your best deals during the Attract stage. If you neglect your existing customer base and those who have already shown some interest and support, they will be more likely to switch to a competitor offering a great introductory deal than stick with you.

Contests & Giveaways

These can be good ways of engaging or encouraging people to share. Make them interactive. If entry includes sharing an experience, tagging a friend who deserves the giveaway offer, or presenting an idea for using/changing a product then you gain so much more than exposure from entries.


Regular contact is a good way to re-engage with your customers too, sharing your news, helpful information or latest offerings and reminding them why the liked you enough to do business with you in the first place. If you use an e-newsletter platform for your outbound content marketing, you can also group people who regularly open your e-newsletters and click through on links into one or more new sub-groups for sending additional material that fits their area of interest, based on what they engaged with.

Social Media

Keep the channels of communication open with regular content for your followers to engage with. You haven’t gone away. Don’t become a distant memory.

Blog Posts

This is a good way to continue adding value to those customers, clients and leads who have engaged with your content before. If they can subscribe or sign up for push notifications when you post something new then they are part of that all important fan base.

Whitepapers and E-books

More for the service based and B2B businesses, or those selling large ticket items with a longer buyer’s journey. One consumer targeted industry, however, that is using e-book giveaways effectively to build a strong following are indie authors.

Subscriptions to online content channels (Blogger, You Tube, Twitch)

Create a reason for people to follow you online. They will become your core fan base and a fount of knowledge when you want feedback and will also be your early adopters when you want to float something new.

Customers who become e-mail subscribers are essentially passed through a second funnel: the e-mail marketing funnel (supplemented by social media), which eventually turns them into loyal customers and potentially, promoters of your brand.

“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” – Jonah Sachs


It goes without saying that one company’s content marketing strategy isn’t going to work for all businesses or organisations.

However, the beauty of the digital marketing funnel is that it can be adapted to any business, no matter what you’re offering. The examples given above at the different stages are there to serve as an inspiration for your own content marketing strategy.

Remember: for completely unqualified prospects who know absolutely nothing about your brand or product, the best types of content are simple landing pages, short introductory or product videos, and infographics. In other words: there should be as little written content as possible. More detailed information and content type is best kept for the later stages of the digital marketing funnel.

If you would like some help with including some of these option in your digital marketing contact Fiona Cole to arrange a free consultation on 021 285 5580


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If there are 50 Shades of Grey – what’s yours? Thu, 05 Mar 2015 06:28:27 +0000 First it was the book, then the series, and now the movie has everyone talking; some with a sense of delicious naughtiness and others with a sneer.

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First it was the book, then the series, and now the movie has everyone talking; some with a sense of delicious naughtiness and others with a sneer. But even if you have vowed never to read it or see the film (or never confess to either) you have to admit, Fifty Shades of Grey has created a sensation that the media loves or loves to hate. Like with any hot topic, there are going to be the usual marketing spin-offs. From the obvious things like lingerie lines and sex toys to the Christian Grey teddy bear, and all manner of baby bibs, stretch and grows and changing mats proclaiming how much mummy liked the book. And then there is the  50 Shades of Grey board game; revealing your sluttiest moments in front of your dinner guests is more, um, awkward, than fun for the whole family, surely. Amidst the titillation there is always someone who will go a step too far. Surf came up with a laundry detergent called Flirty Shades of Grey, complete with a dangling set of handcuffs in its label design (oh dear).

Local businesses are getting in on the act too. Walking through town, I saw a sign in a paint store window, proclaiming how they had all manner of colours “including 50 shades of grey” – har har. This got me thinking about how other businesses might introduce a shade of ‘grey’ to their marketing messages.  Here’s what I came up with:

  • Fifty shades of neigh – horse treks
  • Fifty shapes of clay – pottery exhibition
  • Fifty days of play – start of season promo for sporting competition
  • Fifty shades of que – Spanish lessons
  • Fifty plates of chez – French cuisine course
  • Fifty Shades of Gay –a book on coming to terms with sexuality and gender issues
  • $14.50 Shaves of Grey – a barber’s shop promoting concession rates for seniors
  • Fifty Glade house spray – sensual new air freshener
  • 50 days of ‘K – a breakfast cereal campaign for a slim, sexier body
  • 50 shaves plus spey – vet clinic drive to up its de-sexing tally
  • Fifty grades of pay – career advisor
  • Fifty Fengs of Shui – Eastern philosophy interior decorators
  • Fifty shades of whey – cheese-making master class
  • Thrifty saves on k’s – rental car promotion
  • Fifty Shades of Grey – a senior citizens sex seminar

Jokes aside, there is nothing wrong with trying to leverage something topical to draw attention to your business. Choosing something that is on everyone’s lips provides a connection with something familiar. The trick of course is to keep it relevant and use good judgement in how far you can go. Know the difference between parody and plagiarism.  Whilst 50 Shades of Grey isn’t everyone’s innuendo of choice, clever plays on words can sometimes add a touch of fun to a business brand or marketing campaign.

If you want some help to add a shade of humour to your marketing content, try using BigWords. Fiona Cole is a professional copywriter with a talent for creating original and compelling content that will help set you apart from your competitors.

Contact Fiona Cole

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5 ways professional web copy can help your ROI Mon, 02 Feb 2015 06:27:02 +0000 There are plenty of very good reasons to use a Professional Copywriter for your website copy. Here are 5 that can help your ROI

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There are plenty of very good reasons to use a Professional Copywriter for your website copy. Here are 5 that can help your ROI

Like many small to medium sized businesses who look for ways to save money setting up a new website, you are probably thinking of writing your own content. Whilst this is the most common way to reduce web design costs, you may in fact be costing yourself more money and missing out on future earnings too.

1.     Professional Webcopy helps your site’s Google ranking.


Don’t let the paperwork pile up – use a professional copy writer for your web copy.

Webcopy that is professionally written enhances your website’s findability by the search engines.  An experienced webcopy writer will identify and incorporate a set of key search phrases based on your target market that will help drive more relevant searches to your website.

2.   Professional copywriting improves your website’s conversion rate.  A professional copywriter applies their skills to create content that is both search engine friendly and visitor friendly. This will not only draw more of the right kind of traffic to your site – people genuinely searching for your business’ products or services – but will also deliver your business message with clear and compelling content that encourages greater, more significant engagement.

3.   Using a professional copywriter will save you time.  Whilst you might be prepared to try to write your own website copy, the time it takes could be better spent working in your business. Yes, you could do it yourself, but the time you spend on it is time away from working for your clients. Also you are more likely to take longer, do a less than perfect job, and keep putting it aside to attend to other more important tasks.  A professional copywriter will schedule your web copy to meet your deadline and has the right tools to do the work both efficiently and to a high standard.

4.   Using a professional copywriter will save you money.  Copywriters invariably charge less than web designers for their time.  You may think you are saving money by writing your own web copy, but in reality it will cost you more.  First, your web designer will need to spend time explaining to you what you need to write for your website.  Then, when you supply the text, they will need to spend time editing it and generally fixing it up to make it suitable for the web.  You will be charged for this time at web designer rates.  If a professional copywriter does the work, not only will they charge you less, the web designer will require far less time to load the professionally written content onto the site template, effectively reducing your web design costs.

5. Professional web copy improves your brand.  For the same reasons you don’t do your own signwriting, design your own logo, or make your own brochures, you really shouldn’t write your own web copy if you want to project a professional image.  A well designed website with professionally written content will send your target market a clear message about your business brand and level of professionalism. Not only that, a good copywriter will know how to write your website content so that it is aligned with your branding and your business message.

As owner and principal copywriter for BigWords, Fiona Cole has been writing professional web copy for business clients since 2007. To discuss your website content requirements contact Fiona here.

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Social Media vs Social Networking – they are not the same Wed, 10 Dec 2014 06:29:51 +0000 The post Social Media vs Social Networking – they are not the same appeared first on BigWords.


They may seem like two descriptions of the same thing; however there is a big difference between Social Media and Social Networking.connected people
connected-peopleJust as radio, newspaper and television deliver different types of media, social media is another way to get your message out there. Although social media works as a one-to-many communication method, it is distinctive from advertising in that it is interactive: it seeks to engage with people. Unlike traditional media, it is the engagement quality and relevance of the content that matters, not attention grabbing design, placement and repetition.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, are examples of social media and social networking channels. They are the platforms on which social networking takes place or they can be used to promote social media, and like traditional media forms, the platform dictates the way the content is crafted and delivered. There is some overlap and integration with social media and social networking. Social media experts say that Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are whole package platforms — and are considered both social media (tools) and social networking (a way to engage). YouTube is a tool for video, so it’s social media. Chatting with other colleagues on LinkedIn? That’s social networking. Both work together for your overall social media strategy.

Once you get the distinction clear in your head, you will find it easier to develop a comprehensive and effective social media strategy.

Social Media

Blog – e-newsletter – video clip – slide show – podcast – article – e-Book – webinar.

Social media can help you build your brand, your credibility or reputation in your field of expertise or product line. It is a way to increase exposure, and can easily be shared, helping you to grow your following and enhance your promotional efforts. More importantly, you can include links in your blog and other social media that drive traffic directly to your website and your Social Networking sites.

Social media comprises the content that you upload — whether that’s a blog, video, slideshow, podcast, newsletter or an eBook. Once you decide which of these is best suited to how you want to engage with your audience you can begin planning your social media strategy.trio Social Media

trio-social-mediaSocial Networking

Social networking is effectively you – or a representative of you – online engaging with your online network in the same way you might network face to face, but with far greater reach. After choosing what media you are going to use, begin with social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to engage with your audience.

Having a Facebook business page for you and your brand is essential. Not only is it the best place to find your target market, you are able to reach them on a social level when they are actively seeking engagement. What’s more, Facebook page insights offer a high level of measurability of what works, what doesn’t, whether you are reaching your market demographic, how often you are shared and when your level of reach is greatest. Each week you can measure and adjust the time, type and frequency of your posts to where your engagement is most successful.

Twitter is ideal for building a following of people interested in receiving bite-sized insights or updates on you and what your business has to offer. Cake of the day, latest listings, progress on your next book, a small triumphant moment or great feedback from a client that made your day. These little snippets can help you build rapport and offer a more personal touch for those customers or fans that are loyal to you.

LinkedIn is a good place to grow your network of peers, build a reputation for being knowledgeable and form connections with potential add-value partnerships. Referrals from complementary businesses whose clients are also looking for what you can offer could be a good way for you to gain traction in a new market or geographical area.

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter also provide you many opportunities to connect with your prospective audience through web links, posts, news stories, notes, photo sharing, blog posts, direct messages, questions and comments. Eventually you may want to branch out with other social networking platforms like Google+ and Pinterest.two-way-street

two-way-streetRemember: social networking is all about engagement. This means creating relationships, communicating with your network, building your following and connecting with your online audience. If you treat social networking like just another form of media, you will come off as someone only interested in pushing a sales message. If you were in a real social situation, would you want to engage with the person in the room pressing their card into everyone’s palm and talking about their latest deals and what they can sell you? It’s important to listen as much as talk with social networking.

Your social networking goal and strategy

Your social networking goal is to interact, converse and create conversation. Ways you can go about this include searching existing conversations, beginning new conversations. You can set alerts to monitor when your name appears so that you can respond when mentioned or liked for a comment, and use this to find new ways to connect – just like picking up a common thread to introduce yourself to someone at a networking event.

It is important to realise that social networking is not about instant gratification. You have to play the long game, as it will take time to build relationships and grow your following. Work for buzz and excitement on your business, product or service. Remember that people naturally gravitate towards people who they find relatable and who have similar experiences and interests. Investing in relationships can build loyal fans who will support you in your endeavours and in turn introduce you to more potential fans.

The value of brand you

To develop your digital strategy, decide which types of media you want to create and use social networking to build up your following so you can brand yourself rather than simply promote the products or services you offer.

By actively increasing the value of your personal brand and reaching the right people with your unique message, your online presence will work for you in much the same way as being personally in front of someone. With each contact you are building recognition for who you are and what you do as well as a rapport of likeability and trust.

Once you successfully have your social media and social networking strategies working in harmony, you will be more connected with your audience and be able to more effectively promote your business through sharing and interacting with a growing network of contacts.

The post Social Media vs Social Networking – they are not the same appeared first on BigWords.

Are you sabotaging your website launch? Tue, 28 Oct 2014 20:12:34 +0000 The post Are you sabotaging your website launch? appeared first on BigWords.


According to every web designer I have ever asked, the single most common cause for delay on a website design project is the time lost waiting for the client to supply the copy.

Everything starts off well: the client is enthusiastic, the deposit is paid, the number and type of pages agreed upon, and an approved design is underway.  The web designer is on schedule to complete your website and feeling pretty confident about the launch date. Then a week later, the whole project comes to a grinding halt because the content is not ready. Who is responsible for supplying the copy for the website?  Why, you – the client – of course.Now, instead of phoning you with the happy news that your website is ready for signing off, your web designer is still haranguing you for the late copy.  Worse, he or she also has to tell you that the deadline you originally set to launch your shiny new website to the world can no longer be met – are they brave enough to add that this is actually your fault?

The simplest solution to this problem is to outsource the web copy to a professional copywriter.  Then it is the copywriter’s responsibility to liaise with the client for the information needed, then to go forth and research, write and optimise the text for the site.

With a copywriter on the job, the web designer is free to get on with what they do best – the actual website design– knowing the content will be ready on time, it will have all the information the client wants on all the right pages, and will be written in an appropriate style for the web.  What’s more, most of the search engine optimisation work required for the content will be done already, including links, headings and calls to action.  The best copywriters will even supply the metadata if required.  All the web designer has to do is drop it in, tweak it a bit to fit the layout, and activate the links and hyperlinks.

Fiona Cole is the owner and principal copywriter at BigWords NZ. For more information on getting professional web copy for your website, contact Fiona here.

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