Content Sharing During COVID-19

Tue 21 Jul 20

Via visitscotland.org

In light of COVID-19, the most important thing was (and still is) everyone's health and safety. We always want to be able to share our beautiful country with everyone near and far but only when it’s safe to do so. After four months of closures, we are now ready to reopen Scotland with the majority of businesses able to open again from Wednesday 15 July. 

We appreciate that it’s still an extremely difficult time for businesses across Scotland and we want to help where we can. That’s why we have outlined some best practice advice on what to share on your digital channels (website and social media) during the current and evolving coronavirus situation.

We’ve also detailed our own planned activity through the phases of this pandemic, so you can follow the same outline and make use of the activity we are carrying out, when it’s suitable to do so. This page will be updated on a regular basis so that you have the most up to date picture. This was last updated 14 July 2020.

What to share right now (Restart phase)

We are now in Phase Three of the Scottish Government’s recovery plan. We would now recommend expanding your social posts to:

 

  • Official advice icon

     




    Official advice from the Scottish Government

  • Sharing key messages icon

     



    Sharing key messages from VisitScotland or your Destination Management Organisation (DMO)

  • Business operating hours icon

     



    Updates confirming your business plans for reopening, and what changes will be made to your way of operating in line with government guidelines

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    Messages of support, compassion and community spirit in light of the current situation - consider what might resonate best with your audience

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    Posts about future trips that visitors may enjoy to Scotland

 

We would also advise you to update your VisitScotland.com listing and Google My Business listing with any changes to your operational status. 

Top tips

During the lockdown stages of the COVID-19 recovery phases, we asked you to focus on Scottish Government information, and future visits. But now we are in the restart phase of recovery, we can start talking again about trips and holidays in Scotland.

Remember:

  • The focus for just now is on Scots exploring their own country - which could be as day trips or short breaks.
  • There will also be people making plans to visit Scotland from around the UK, again for short breaks or perhaps for a longer holiday.
  • It is now possible for some visitors to travel to Scotland from overseas without quarantining for 14 days.


What to post:

A lot of your social media posts can now reflect day trips, short breaks and holidays as normal. You may also want to consider sharing:

  • Your opening date, ad hours if changed.
  • Any additional visitor requirements, such as pre-booking.
  • Any additional safety measures you are taking when you reopen your business.
  • The Good to Go scheme logo and information if you have signed up to the programme. 
  • Updated imagery of your business and any physical safety measures.
  • Updated imagery of visitors using your business after you have reopened.

 

You should still:

  • Keep reviewing your scheduled posts to ensure what you are saying matches the current phase of the Scottish Government’s recovery plan.
  • Pin important messages to the top of your page. Each post has an options button on the top right to allow you to pin that post. 
  • Be available for moderation and respond to any comments you get on your social media posts.
  • Keep in mind some people will be trying to rearrange a cancelled or postponed trip, and we are still in the recovery phases of COVID-19. Don't minimise the situation but be sympathetic and responsible if replying to any comments you receive.
  • Think twice about creating content or social media posts which encourages activities or attractions with large crowds. Find out more about creating an impact with good imagery. 
  • Watch out for phrases that could be misread in the current times, e.g. "take your breath away" or "get stuck here for a few days".
  • Continue to check government, VisitScotland and DMO messaging, etc – the more we all talk together, the more our message is amplified. Share our messages as well as creating your own. 
  • Don’t reshare anything that could be fake news – rely on trusted channels only for important information and updates. 

 

What to plan for

At VisitScotland, we’re carefully planning our website and social media content in response to the evolving coronavirus situation, both for the current Restart phase, and for future phases of travel. We’ve outlined a high-level overview of this below to guide you on the most appropriate time to reintroduce proactive content and social media marketing of your business.

 

A phased approach to planning and activity

Whilst it is not possible to put specific timelines on when we’ll be able to welcome visitors again, there are distinct phases for which we’re able to plan different activity.

  1. 1

    Respond

    • Status: Ongoing lockdown.
    • Approach: Keep Scotland top of mind, build advocacy and trust.

    Continue with Stay Home, Stay Safe messages but promote ‘armchair travel’ – fond memories, dream now, plan later.

  2. 2

    Reset

    • Status: Ongoing lockdown.
    • Approach: Support industry to prepare for re-start.

    Intelligence will be gathered, and shared with industry with a focus on reviewing product propositions, prices, and distribution strategies and updating and optimising online channels.

  3. 3

    Restart (current phase)

    • Status: Lockdown is relaxed, but restrictions continue on physical distancing and limited travel.
    • Approach: Build pride and empathy and promote wellbeing among Scots. Reconnecting Scots with Scotland.

    Promote day trips and short overnight stays in an inclusive, sustainable and wellness-focused country.

  4. 4

    Recovery

    Part 1

    • Status: Domestic travel restrictions are lifted and interest in visiting grows.
    • Approach: Make Scotland discoverable across all key channels, increase demand for Scottish holidays, and drive bookings.

    Promote the benefits of a holiday in Scotland, our warm welcome and the unique experiences on offer.

    Part 2

    • Status: International travel restrictions are lifted, and industry and route development picks up.
    • Approach: Making Scotland discoverable in key target markets, raise awareness and build demand for Scottish holiday bookings for 2021.

    Promote the benefits of a holiday in Scotland, our warm welcome and the unique experiences on offer.

Our content marketing plans

We’re now in the Restart phase of our tourism recovery plan, and are beginning to talk about future trips and holidays again.

Staff at VisitScotland have been working on a number of new projects to keep people busy at home, and to inspire future trips to Scotland.

  • Our Holidays & Breaks page will contain our latest content with video and itineraries around the new hero campaign - Only in Scotland: Why Scotland needs you.
  • Focusing on key Only in Scotland landmarks, this series of 20 videos show someone creating a digital sketch, with a helpful voiceover for people to follow and create their own drawing. The videos will be at different levels, and will include facts about the landmark, balancing the health and welling angle with teaching people about Scotland.
  • Little Adventures is a family-targeted film which sets out a trip to Scotland from the point of view of a pair of young siblings, celebrating the magical nature of some of our most well-loved landmarks.
  • Stargazing in Scotland is a series of six videos, with tips provided by astronomer Steve Owens on how to spot stars, what equipment to use, and interesting astronomy facts. There's also a handy toolkit to print out with more facts, activities for kids, and tips to get you star-spotting in your own garden.
  • COMING SOON: building on our Tour Guide Tales video series, a new podcast series will feature interviews with tour guides from around the country, delving into their favourite tales, shining a light on some lesser-known stories, and showcasing amazing places and attractions. 
  • We've also created a range of articles on how to see Scotland from home with 360º videos, interactive sounds, aerial footage and wildlife webcams.

We’re continuing to plan for the future phases looking for suitable content for local travel, holidaying at home, and international travel when it’s safe to do so. Check back on this page for more information on what we’re up to next.

VisitScotland's marketing plans

All teams at VisitScotland are planning for the future phases and creating content and promotion plans, ready for when the situation in Scotland may change.

Find out more about our marketing response to COVID-19.

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