Town centre businesses across the north east are set to benefit over the coming months from the launch of the Scotland Loves Local Aberdeenshire campaign.
The initiative is being led by Aberdeenshire Council and funded through an £80,000 investment from the Scottish Government’s Scotland Loves Local Fund which is managed by Scotland’s Towns Partnership.
Delivered in two parts, VisitAberdeenshire have firstly conducted a high-level Aberdeenshire-wide town centre marketing campaign to encourage residents to stay local and to discover the secrets of Aberdeenshire’s towns.
The second part of the project has involved an audit being carried out to establish the digital needs of Aberdeenshire’s town centre businesses by Station House Media Unit (shmu).
Digital support and training and business-to-business support will be available to assist any firms looking to gain insight on how to use digital marketing platforms. Content will also be circulated to explain the facts around shopping locally, and small interactive projects will be set up to engage and to get customer interaction.
Audrey Michie, Strategic Town Centre Executive with Aberdeenshire Council, said: “The responses to the survey have enabled a programme to be developed which will include training and seminars delivered in a webinar format, production of training support materials in the form of downloadable training videos and a ‘Done For You’ approach for businesses who see the need for a digital marketing plan but who don’t have the resources or desire to deliver such a plan.
“Themes will cover online advertising, how to, when to and what to do when using social media. How to get noticed and all businesses need to know about taking and sharing videos of their business will also be covered.”
The intention is to also liaise closely with Business Gateway and local marketing and digital providers with a view to providing ongoing support and to establish some local ‘digital ambassadors’.
Cllr Peter Argyle, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “The ways in which so many of our businesses have innovated digitally both prior to and during the pandemic is remarkable, including launching online ordering and supporting delivery services.
“There are tremendous local businesses across Aberdeenshire who are making a very positive difference to people's lives and there have never been more ways in which you can support these local companies. It's vital that everyone backs them in the Love Local Aberdeenshire initiative so that they can continue to be there, protecting jobs and making their communities stronger and I look forward to this project playing a key role in supporting them.”
Murray Dawson, chief executive of shmu, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Love Local Aberdeenshire initiative. It is anticipated that the digital marketing training and development programme will assist local businesses to create greater impact with their online promotion. It aims to cater for businesses that are not sure whether digital marketing is for them as well as those that are seasoned campaigners.”
Businesses can sign up to the programme of free digital training at: