to the 30th edition of Digital
Can you believe it?! 30 editions
of as much up to the minute
hints, tips and digital insight as
you can shake a stick at!
This month's feature article is a
great guide to copywriting and
offers 6 handy tips on
developing your core copy
writing skills! We also take a
look at Grammarly, a great new
online tool designed to help
improve your content
structuring and proofing.
There’s also some great social
media inspiration from Curtis
Gabriel as well as an article
about Instragram and how to
get the best out of it for you
Six Tips to Improve
By Olivia Rocky
The written word is all around us.
Words can inform, inspire, educate and
entertain, and in the corporate world,
words are a powerful tool. Used
correctly, they can encourage your
existing and potential customers to
buy into your product and way of
thinking. But how much time do we
spend refining our copywriting skills?
Whether you’re writing copy for your
website, an email, a social media post
or a client proposal, try using these six
tips to improve your writing.
1. Write in the second person
Effective copywriting always starts
(and ends) with the customer as no one
wants to read content that only talks
about the company. By using second
person pronouns, such as ‘you’, ‘your’
and ‘yours’ at least twice as often as
‘we’ or your hotel name, not only will
you create a warmer tone of voice, but
you’ll naturally start focusing on your
customer’s needs. After all, it’s not
about what you can do for them; it’s
about what they can get from you.
Another tip is to try opening with a
question you know they’ll say yes to,
this way you’re speaking directly to
your reader, drawing them in.
‘Planning a weekend away? Our hotel
offers a wide range of leisure facilities’.
Try changing the sentence around to
focus it on the customer’s needs, e.g
‘Are you planning a weekend away? If
so, you can access a wide range of
leisure facilities during your stay at
2. Use the active voice
When we’re writing it’s easy to slip into
the passive voice, but this can make
your copy sound vague and wordy, so
if you want to convey a strong
message to your reader that’s easy to
understand, this is where the active
voice comes in. It adds impact to your
writing and puts the subject at the start
of your sentence, rather than as an
Ask yourself who is doing the action
and try turning your sentence around
so the subject comes first.
Passive voice: The plate was dropped
by the server / a bad review was
written by a disgruntled customer /
the entire wall was painted by the
Active voice: The server dropped the
plate / a disgruntled customer wrote a
bad review / the general manager
painted the entire wall.
3. Make it scannable
Did you know that our average
attention span is only eight seconds?
This means your content needs to be
visually appealing and scannable so
you don’t lose your reader’s interest!
Most of us will scan a page before
deciding whether to read the details,
so try using short paragraphs, making
the most of bolding, italicising and
underlining, using bullet points or
numbered lists, or including sub
headings to break up your content.
4. Include a strong call to action
Everything you write should have a
focus. When you’re writing copy for a
social media post, email or web page,
have a single goal in mind. A clear,
consistent message will always have a
more powerful impact. Your call to
action should be assertive and
reiterate the most important aspect of
your copy so the reader knows exactly
what you want them to do next.
6. Proof read, proof read, proof read!
We all know how tempting it can be
just to hit send without proofreading
your work, but consistently using
correct grammar, spelling and
punctuation builds trust between you
and the reader. One error can
undermine the brand’s integrity and
convey a sense of carelessness, so this
is where Grammarly comes in!
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5. Think relevancy
This relates to tip number four; you
want to keep your copy clean and
concise and focus it around your call
to action. As you edit your content, cut
unnecessary words and consolidate
your thoughts. If three sentences can
become one without losing any
important information, do it! A handy
tip is to read your copy aloud. Are your
sentences too wordy? Is there too
much information for the reader to
retain? Does everything relate back to
your main point?
It’s a free grammar checker you can
download to eliminate any
grammatical errors you might have
missed and it also enhances your
writing by suggesting alternative
words and sentence structures. Plugins
are available for Microsoft, Chrome
and Outlook, or you can use it as an
online dashboard where you simply
upload the content you need to proof
Grammarly will check for contextual
spelling, grammar, punctuation,
sentence structure and style (it even
checks for the passive voice!) Once it
finds an error, it will highlight it, explain
why it’s a mistake and then suggest
how you could change it. So not only
will your work be mistake free, but you
might learn something!
Don’t be that person who sends an
email to they’re colleague and regrets
there actions because they’ve used the
wrong their. Create your free
Grammarly account now >>
Do you know what a squinting
modifier is? Neither did we, until
Instagram for brands –
what you should you know
By Simon McLaughlin
Instagram is a visual platform from
which a hotel brand can show its
And with 500 million users and over 95
million posts per day, Instagram for
businesses has become an essential
element of the social media marketing
mix. By showing off your wonderful
products and services through
engaging photographs, you can create
a positive experience for potential
guests, long before they’ve even set
foot through the door.
Not to mention helping you down the
path of becoming a loved brand!
However, before any of that good stuff
can happen, the first step with any
social media channel is to determine
your goals, i.e. what do you want to
achieve from your posts on Instagram?
Whether it’s showing off your internal
culture, providing “brand awareness”,
or showing your products and services,
Instagram can ultimately provide a
platform to grow your audience.
Quick stats: Content with relevant
images get 94% more views than
content without relevant images. 65%
more people remember a piece
information if a visual is paired with it.
Using Instagram effectively can
increase your audience, followers,
leads, and customers.
Getting Started - Making your profile
Your Username: Not only is your
username/handle a prominent piece
of your business’ profile, it’s also how
your users will find you. Make sure to
use a recognizable username. We
would recommend using the full hotel
Make Your Profile Public: Makes
sense, doesn’t it? Since your goal is to
build an Instagram following, make it
as easy as possible for people to
follow you by ensuring your profile is
public rather than private.
Add Links to Your Bio: Adding a link to
your description section will make it
easy for followers to go straight to
Aligning your image to this grid
ensures you can capture the most
prominent details of the image up
close or far away.
Light also has a big impact on the look
and feel of your images, so it’s key to
keep the different effects of light in
mind as you shoot and look for light
that enhances your image.
The use of lines in images, e.g. roads
and staircases etc, can add a nice
dimension to your image by placing
the viewer at the end of said line.
Frames, e.g. subjects between
buildings or in corridors, can again
have the effect of drawing attention to
the main subject of the photo.
Tips on how to get the best pictures
There are several considerations when
taking a photograph, some of which we
have highlighted below.
The ‘rule of thirds’ states than an image
is most pleasing when its subjects or
regions are composed along imaginary
lines which divide the image into thirds
— both vertically and horizontally.
Imagine a 3x3 grid consisting of 9
Breathing space around your subject
matter draws even stronger attention
to it so by ensuring your image has lots
of open space around it, e.g. sky, water
etc. ensures maximum impact!
SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
By Curtis Gabriel
Trick or Treat?
It’s time to start planning your
Halloween campaign strategy. The
more people who are enticed to
engage with you the better!
The Halloween season offers you
several chances to do just that. Don’t
leave your scarily good celebrations
until the day of Halloween on the 31st,
you can play on the spooky season the
entire month of October. But the key is
to plan early!
How can you get involved on Social
Food and Beverage – Why not feature
a Halloween cocktail/meal? Get your
chef to take a short video or photos of
the dish being created to share with
Share some SPOOKtacular content –
Why not have some fun and take
advantage of the special occasion by
picking a new colour or theme to add
to your social media (such as
can create spooky images or add fun
illustrations to existing shots of your
Host a photo contest – Halloween
gives everyone the chance to wear
silly costumes. Embrace it and host a
photo contest on social media – it’s a
fun way to engage with your followers.
Let your audience in and show them all
of the fun you are having, getting into
the spirit of this spooky season!
Halloween is a perfect opportunity to
share you, and your team’s fun side!
Your audience love to connect with
real people and they want to know
who the people are behind the action
This is an opportunity to get your
audience to know you, your team and
the personality you share. Why not
take pictures of your team in their
Be helpful & give advice - Now, if you
are not big on discounts, dressing up
(or down) you just might go with the
safe choice of some other treats, like
providing some relevant advice. Which
is great choice to opt for! Why not
share if there are any great events in
the area that the whole family can
Give your audience a treat – A
Halloween promotion is a simple way
to get engagement on your platforms.
Encourage user generated content via
photos of your brand in action, while
using a trackable #hashtag so you can
keep track of submissions! Incentivise
people to participate by offering a
discount/prize entry when they
Go wild with Halloween puns and
share them with your audience. Don’t
forget to ask them to share theirs
Can you get your team involved?
Do you have Halloween decorations
that you will be featuring in your
Promotional Days for September 2017
5th September – International Day of
Use this promotional day to show how
you can go the extra mile and build
relationships. Do you have a chosen
charity you work very closely with?
Engage with them on social media and
share your photos fundraising on their
12th September – National Day of
Why not use this promotional day to
inspire others to share words and acts
• You can still show your employees
you want to lift their spirits and
recognise their work with a small gift.
How about a small gift card/ a coffee
mug or a package of chocolates they
can enjoy after lunch accompanied by
a brief, handwritten note?
Examples of how you could do this
• Share your own words of
encouragement to brighten someone’s
• Spruce up your daily routine.
Consider moving meetings outside for
a change of pace or allowing
employees to head home for the day
earlier than usual, if possible.
• Get the team to share words of
encouragement with one another with
the focus on relationship-building.
Want more engagement?
Ask the audience to share images of
their Autumn favourites; scenic
images/enjoying a hot
chocolate/wrapping up in cozy layers! (
don’t forget to incentivize!).
Examples of how you could do this are:
• Invite your audience to join you.
All September/October - Marie
Curie Blooming Great Tea Party
Don’t forget to document the
occasion with a photo and share this
It's a time of year where most of us dig
deep to help out with charity work and
with various coffee mornings springing
up it's a great opportunity to follow suit
by hosting your very own Blooming
Great Tea Party!.
22nd September – First Day Of
It’s a wonderful time of the year, the
leaves have changed colours,
mornings are crisper and Christmas is
just around the corner!
Ways to get involved could be:
• Share your autumn favourites: A
seasonal coffee/dessert of heart
• Show off your surroundings. Is there a
park nearby? Share images of the
leaves changing colour.
• Give your audience tips on the best
places to enjoy a scenic walk.
• Do you have any team members who
are avid bakers? Get them to share
some snaps of them proudly in the
kitchen hard at work! If no one is, have
some fun and share the team’s
Dates to start thinking about for
1st October – International Coffee
1st October – World Vegetarian
4th October – World Animal Day
6th October – World Smile Day
• During your coffee morning, be sure
to share photos of the day, the
different cakes, images of the team
members who were involved and be
sure to tag in @mariecurieuk and use
the hashtag #BloomingGoodTeaParty
to join in on the trending story on
14th October – National Dessert
16th October – World Food Day
19th October – Get to Know Your
31st October – Halloween
DON’T FORGET - The countdown for Christmas is on!
Christmas is becoming more and more
important in people’s minds- so be
sure to start thinking about including
the festive season into your social
media strategy for the coming months
to ensure a strong brand presence.
If you need help planning or beginning
to push your campaign do not hesitate
to speak to your account manager at
Curtis Gabriel on how you can
maximise your festive campaign
efforts on social media.
Highlighting best practice from
around the portfolio
What’s better than a happy, funny,
festive Carpool Karaoke??
The team at Holiday Inn Coventry have
done a brill job of promoting Christmas
at the hotel this year using the popular
carpool karaoke theme. The video to
date has had almost 40 likes and 30
shares! A terrific video team!
Another great competition post from La
This competition-a-day content is a terrific way
of keeping your audience engaged on a daily
One-off competitions are good but give your
audience the chance to win something every
day and watch those likes go up and up!
This post at its peak had almost 200 Likes,
shares, and comments!
Celebrate a world themed day and
make the most of it for your
This #HappinessHappensDay post
from the team at Portrush Atlantic
provided its audience with a simple
entry mechanism allowing easy
engagement with the competition.
It’s a sign of a good post when the
‘COMPETITON CLOSED’ post gets over
220 likes, 110 shares and 144
Well done team!
Who doesn’t love dogs?
You’ll love them even more when you know
you can take them to your hotel!
This Tweet from the Staybridge Suites
Birmingham team is the perfect example of
getting all the key information into your post.
A simple entry mechanism, relevant
hashtags and a great visual!
This Tweet from the Hampton
Aberdeen Westhill team does a good
job of promoting their business zone.
Good use of hashtags coupled with a
nice image makes for an engaging
Another good M&E post, this time from the
Holiday Inn Bexley team.
Along with their copy, hashtag and nice
image the team has also posted a link to
their M&E page which will boost traffic to
their site and is a step forward in helping to
boost those booking!
We love to share great results!
Remember to share your social media successes with us!
Send your successes to any member of the Marketing team and we'll ensure we use them
for next months' edition of Digital Digest.