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Digital marketing initiative a hit with businesses

13 March 2018

The Mayor, Councillor Paul Hamill with Carmel Donaldson from Solas Homeopathy and Cecilia Timoney from Physiotherapy Associates, who participated in the Build Your Own Website programme.


Entrepreneurs delighted with websites from Council’s Build Your Own Website project

A total of 20 small and medium-size businesses in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area have benefitted from newly designed websites as part of Council’s Build Your Own Website programme.

The skills-based programme launched at the end of 2017 and finished up at the end of February this year. Delivered by Ardean Marketing & Business Development, it created new commercial websites for each participating business and included two digital marketing workshops. These addressed how to write quality SEO content for the websites and best practice in digital marketing, equipping businesses with valuable skills to help market themselves online.

A variety of businesses took part in the initiative, ranging from a finance firm, pharmacy and removals company, to an artist, an insurance provider and a local band. Companies from the beauty industry also participated, along with playgroups and those in the childcare sector. 

Carmel Donaldson from Solas Homeopathy said the entire process was brilliant, with lots of support provided throughout the programme.

“It was great having that expertise available and to learn how to manage the website myself,” she said. “It makes maintaining it much easier and I’m more confident now in that.”

“It looks really well and I’m very happy with how everything went. I also particularly enjoyed the workshop on social media, where everyone shared what had worked for them and the pitfalls they’d experienced. I would absolutely recommend the programme to other businesses.”

Cecilia Timoney from Physiotherapy Associates, who has been in business for the past 21 years, also took part in the programme, as she wanted to improve her current website.

She said: “I needed pages added to my website so it helped a lot with the tech side of things. I wanted to rebrand as a physiotherapy and wellbeing centre and to promote my other therapies online, along with our studio for classes. The new website profiles our services much better. I was grateful to get a place on the programme and would certainly recommend it.”

The Mayor, Councillor Paul Hamill, said the Build Your Own Website programme had been a great success for all involved, and that the participating businesses now had an enhanced online presence.

He added: “Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council had a very good response to the original pilot project in 2016, which led to the launch of this programme. Again, local entrepreneurs have embraced the training on offer and have benefitted from expert input to help make themselves more globally competitive in the digital world.”

“It’s a fantastic initiative and all part of Council’s commitment to upskilling local businesses and helping them to become more commercially viable.”