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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 08/06/2023

The chapter for Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 is now closed.

It was a year in which stories inspired by, created, or written in Scotland were showcased and celebrated. A programme of activity supported the nation’s tourism, events, and related sectors.

The powerful legacy of storytelling lives on, even though the Themed Year has ended. It’s important to make sure you’re fully utilising storytelling to promote your business.

We created five top tips to help you engage your visitors through the power of stories.

Telling your story well. The following are five practical tips on how to integrate storytelling into your own activity:

  • 1. Target your audience. What are the emotional benefits / unique selling points of your product?

    What’s your story and how does it appeal to visitors? Make your business stand out by sharing your story.

    Give an insight into how your business began or share behind-the-scenes content.

    Start by understanding your audience, and who your customers are. Our research papers to better understand our visitors and why they choose Scotland.

    Take a look at our research papers.

    For example, the Outlander effect resonates with both international and domestic visitors. Both will want to visit the filming locations, but their interpretation of stories may be different.

    Domestic audiences tend to have greater knowledge of local history compared to international visitors, whose knowledge may be exclusively taken from the fictional plotlines.

  • 2. A picture speaks a thousand words

    Don’t underestimate the impact of inspiring and engaging video and imagery. Consider how the right imagery can help you tell the story of your business, or sell your products, across your platforms.

    As well as sharing your own content, why not take a look at our Media Toolkit. It hosts a range of free video and photo content  which you can use to inspire visitors.

    Browse our Media Toolkit.

  • 3. Keep your message succinct and clear

    When telling a story, less is more. It’s better to share fewer shorter pieces of content, than one very long piece. Carefully consider the top one or two key points you want to share– and stick to it.

  • 4. Have a clear call to action

    Consumers are time poor so having a clear call to action (a link to your website, booking website or phone number) is crucial. Then if they are interested in finding out more or booking they know where to go.

    Establish your goals for storytelling. Do you want to drive visitation, advocacy, promotion, or engagement? Objectives can be long-term goals rather than the short-term benefit.

  • 5. What’s the right platform for your story

    There are lots of options to tell the story of your business through different channels. Think about who your consumers are and where they’re likely to be found, and where they’re likely to engage most with your content.

    Storytelling works well with a mix of media. Instagram and Facebook allow video, audio, images and text to immerse the viewer. This gives them various ways to engage, respond and interact with your content.

    Why not take a look at some tips we have put together on how to improve your social media presence.

    Read our six tips on how to improve your social media presence.

Our Insights paper "Soul seeking in a destination - the importance of storytelling in tourism" shares many useful insights that you can apply directly to your business.

Soul seeking in a destination – the importance of storytelling in tourism

Published February 2022

The following are some key highlights from the research paper to inspire your next piece of content:

Make it emotionally meaningful to the visitor

Draw on your visitor’s interests, or key themes and topics related to your business, to motivate them to engage, visit and advocate.

In a more competitive world, there has to be something that makes a destination magical, transformational and special.

Make storytelling work for you

Scotland’s brand has all the elements to create stories that make for a magical, meaningful and emotional trip.

It’s the voices of our people who can give you the hidden gems and iconic locations that make a journey unique.

Solicit feedback

Use visitor feedback and engagement to establish how your customers feel about your product or destination.

Interpret these thoughts into strong narrative for social media channels and content.

Frame your message

Stories can act as a framework if they communicate the core values and attributes of a destination in an understandable way.

Stories can incorporate elements to promote activities, events or opportunities. They can be used as a metaphor to enhance a provider’s offering.

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