In a bid to encourage tourism businesses to develop their online marketing skills, Business Lincolnshire and Visit Lincoln have joined forces to offer a fully-funded online Instagram course
The Greater Lincolnshire Visitor Economy is currently estimated to be worth over £2.24 billion per annum and supports over 39,000 jobs. However, COVID-19 has had a huge effect on tourism in the county, along with the rest of the UK, and is facing many challenges as a sector.
Despite these challenges, one of Lincolnshire County Council’s and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s priorities is to grow the visitor economy, working with the Destination Management Organisation Visit Lincoln.
As well as supporting investment into products and infrastructure, the organisations aim to equip and upskill Greater Lincolnshire businesses. This is even more fundamental within the current climate.
Taking advantage of user-generated content is part of the initiative to engage with visitors to Greater Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire County Council and the LEP feel photos, videos and more could be utilised in a much wider context to promote our county’s tourism sector.
“Social distancing and restrictions have meant that for many, the only source of engagement with customers has been digital,” said Samantha Harrison Head of Economic Development and Regeneration at Lincolnshire County Council.
“In response to this Business Lincolnshire – the business arm of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP – has commissioned leading digital marketing agency Boudica to create a fully-funded course to teach businesses how to use the social media platform Instagram to market their business.
“Destination marketing experts Visit Lincoln, who are working on a number of joint ventures with Business Lincolnshire and the LEP, are keen to take user-generated content to a new level and give visitors around the world the ability to actually book inspirational places and activities.
“Marketing – especially digital marketing – will be crucial to the recovery and relaunch of Greater Lincolnshire’s tourism industry. Especially as digital engagement has been the only way many businesses have been able to communicate with their customers.
“However, tourism businesses can be difficult to reach as an audience who often do not have the time to take a few hours out of their schedules to attend workshops. Therefore, Business Lincolnshire will be sharing this content online in the form of e-learning bundles, podcasts and more to encourage businesses to participate.”
Charlotte Goy, CEO of Visit Lincoln, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Business Lincolnshire on this exciting project, we have been using Instagram in our digital markets for years and wanted to share the impact and reach it can have with tourism businesses.
“Often the barrier to someone using it is a lack of information on how to get started – that’s what we are addressing in this free course. As well as learning how to use Instagram – and the full depth of its features – business owners can also start building really good quality content that markets not only them – but all of Lincolnshire too.
“Instagram is an essential marketing tool for all tourism and hospitality businesses and this course will turn even the most novice social media user into a professional.”
The Instagram Bootcamp courses will be available at no cost to all businesses from August 2020.