Not Getting Bookings? It's Because Your Content Sucks

Why do you have a Facebook Page? Or an Instagram account? Or a Twitter account? It’s to showcase your business, right? To let the “world” know you exist. To show what you have to offer. Is it to get bookings for your business? It f*cking should be!

Excuse my language, but I’m talking to you, Scottish travel and tourism businesses.

For the last 4 years I’ve been travelling the length and breadth of this wonderful country called Scotland. I’ve taught dozens and dozens of workshops on creating better content. Content that we’re supposed to be using to get more bookings.

There’s one reason why you don’t get more bookings from Instagram or Facebook

Your content sucks.

Scotland is a tiny little place where driving anywhere north of Perth pretty much means you’re going to be stuck in long queues through roadworks. But people come from all over the world to do just that because we have some of the finest vistas on planet earth.

This tiny nation is competing in the global travel and tourism market place, and much like our national football team, we’re under achieving.

So, to go back to the reasons why you have all of those social network accounts. You want to punch above your weight, to grab attention, to sow seeds of wanderlust. And to get bookings.

Here’s the number one reason you’re not getting bookings.

Your content sucks.

It does. When you step outside your front door and you cast your eyes over the amazing landscape in front of you, and you don’t feel inspired enough to take a breathtaking photo, or shoot an awe inspiring video, then you’ve lost the plot. If we can’t capture what Scotland has to offer and present it in a wee square photo for Instagram that will stop thumbs, then we’ve got no hope.

If Scotland is winning awards for being the most beautiful country on this planet and we don’t take the time and make the effort to show exactly why to our target market, then it’s time to close down our social network accounts. Seriously. Do it. Now.

Or….or…dig your head out of the sand and recognise what you’re sitting on. Where your location is will be why someone will be prepared to travel half-way across the world, spending significant sums of money to do so, to come and visit you. Yes, you.

If you can’t see what’s on your door step

how can you show the world?

Just because you’ve become so familiar with the view from your front window doesn’t mean that bored, fed up office worker from Slough is.

A guest house owner in Fife once told me she was sick of posting photos of Pittenweem harbour to Instagram. Even though those posts got more engagement that anything else on her Instagram grid. Guess who isn’t sick of seeing those photos of the harbour? That’s right. The Instagram users who f*cking love the photo. The people for whom that wee photo is another seed of desire sown in their heart and mind.

This isn’t rocket science. If you want bookings for your business, if you want your social media to stand out from the memes and the LADBible posts, start making better content to show how wonderful your location and your business is.

That shouldn’t be too difficult for Scottish travel and tourism business, should it? What with Scotland being regarded as the most beautiful country on planet earth…There are over 2 billion active users on Facebook alone. How many of them are jaded to Scotland’s uniqueness? Not many, right?

“Oh, but Mark, there are 350 million photos added to Facebook every day! How am I supposed to make my photos stand out?”

Take better photos. Learn how to edit better photos. Think like someone who doesn’t see what you see every day. It’s not that hard, is it?

A guy on Orkney told me he doesn’t see the point in bothering with social networks to market his business. That’s fair enough, but good luck with that strategy in the long run. A business owner on Islay told me they’re only interested in getting customers who are already on the island. Yeah, fantastic idea.

We’ve got two big problems in Scotland. Too many travel and tourism business are myopic. Dangerously so. And we’re not producing enough thumbstopping content.

Myopic businesses

and poor content

A photo of the wonderful cooked breakfast your B&B provides is fine. But it tells no one anything about where your business actually is. All of the content for your social networks should be placing what your business offers within the context of where it offers it.

Think that through. One cooked breakfast looks pretty much like another. But if yours is offered in a dining room looking out onto Scotland’s unique, breathtaking landscape, then show that!

It’s time for Scottish travel and tourism businesses to wake up. To pull back the curtains. And see, with fresh eyes, the context within which their businesses operate. One of the most beautiful countries on the planet. And it’s time to start making better content. Today. To show the world why it should make a booking. Today.

If you want a reality check on your social media strategy, auditing it is one of my specialities. Book me. And if you have any comments or questions on creating better content, let me know in the comments section.

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