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Digital Digest September 2017 Issue 30

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Edition 30

Contents

September 2017

WELCOME...

to the 30th edition of Digital

Digest!

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

your hotel!

Happy reading!


Six Tips to Improve

Your Copywriting

Skills

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.

EXAMPLE

‘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

XXX’.

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

afterthought.

Ask yourself who is doing the action

and try turning your sentence around

so the subject comes first.

EXAMPLE

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

general manager

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!

EXAMPLE

Are you planning on holding a meeting

this summer? If so, we have a sizzling

summer Day Delegate package to suit

your budget. From only £25 per person,

this offer is too good to be missed!

Book your meeting now.

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

read.


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 >>

http://www.grammarly.com

Do you know what a squinting

modifier is? Neither did we, until

Grammarly!

HAPPY WRITING!


Instagram for brands –

what you should you know

By Simon McLaughlin

Instagram is a visual platform from

which a hotel brand can show its

human side.

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

stand out

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

name.


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

your website.

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

squares.

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

SEPTEMBER THROUGH

OCTOBER

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

Media?

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

your audience.

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

monsters/zombies/kid-friendly)? You

can create spooky images or add fun

illustrations to existing shots of your

products!

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

costumes?

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

enjoy?

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

engage.

Go wild with Halloween puns and

share them with your audience. Don’t

forget to ask them to share theirs

back!

Can you get your team involved?

Do you have Halloween decorations

that you will be featuring in your

lobby/restaurant?


Promotional Days for September 2017

5th September – International Day of

Charity

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

behalf!

12th September – National Day of

Encouragement

Why not use this promotional day to

inspire others to share words and acts

of encouragement?

• 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

are:

• Share your own words of

encouragement to brighten someone’s

day!

• 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

on social!

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

Autumn

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

autumn entrée.

• 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

favourite cakes/biscuits.


Dates to start thinking about for

October:

1st October – International Coffee

Day #InternationalCoffeeDay

1st October – World Vegetarian

Day #WorldVegeterianDay

4th October – World Animal Day

#WorldAnimalDay

6th October – World Smile Day

#WorldSmileDay

• 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

social.

14th October – National Dessert

Day #DessertDay

16th October – World Food Day

#FoodDay

19th October – Get to Know Your

Customers Day

#GetToKnowYourCustomersDay

31st October – Halloween

#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.


Spotlights

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

Bonne Auberge.

This competition-a-day content is a terrific way

of keeping your audience engaged on a daily

basis.

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!


Spotlights

Celebrate a world themed day and

make the most of it for your

audience.

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

comments!

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!


Spotlights

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

post!

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.

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