Tourism businesses can take a fully funded online Instagram course to develop their online marketing skills.

Business Lincolnshire and Visit Lincoln are offering a fully funded online Instagram course to encourage tourism businesses to develop their online marketing skills.

With one billion active users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms and considered to be an essential tool for small businesses.  With the right social media marketing strategy, businesses can promote products and services, boost their brand and increase sales on the platform.

The Greater Lincolnshire visitor economy is currently estimated to be worth over £2.24bn per annum and supports over 39,000 jobs. However, COVID-19 has had a huge effect on tourism in the county, which is facing many challenges as a sector.

One of the priorities of Lincolnshire County Council and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP is to grow the visitor economy, working with Visit Lincoln. As well as supporting investment into products and infrastructure, the organisations aim to equip and upskill Greater Lincolnshire businesses. 

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.

Samantha Harrison, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Social distancing and restrictions have meant that for many, the only source of engagement with customers has been digital. In response to this Business Lincolnshire – the business arm of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP - has commissioned 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.

"Visit Lincoln is 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. 

"However, tourism businesses can be a difficult to reach as an audience as they often don't have the time to attend workshops. 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, added: "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 – so that’s what we are addressing in this free course. As well as learning how to use Instagram, 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."

Celia Lockley is the founder and owner of Boudica, a virtually-based creative agency specialising in branding, business strategy and digital marketing. Early in her career, Celia helped to pioneer the social media presence for Visit Lincolnshire and its members before moving into digital consulting.

The Instagram Bootcamp courses are available at no cost to all businesses from this month.

Click here to find out more.