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Ballymena BID helps businesses enhance digital marketing skills

Pictured standing on Ballymena town centre street are Ballymena business owners pictured with James Scullion, owner of Rapid Agency and Clare Moore, Ballymena BID who organised the 8-week course.
Pictured are Ballymena business owners pictured with James Scullion, owner of Rapid Agency and Clare Moore, Ballymena BID who organised the 8-week course.

Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID) is celebrating the completion of a hugely successful 8-week business breakfast series designed to help inform, educate and upskill businesses on their digital marketing stills.


The weekly morning workshops were delivered by Ballymena-born James Scullion, founder of multi-award-winning Rapid Agency, a creativity-led, data-driven, digitally native studio dedicated to accelerating growth.


Topics covered in the workshops included, digital strategy creation, how to write social media captions, blog posts and emails to customers, revenue and confidence growth to Google, Facebook and Instagram adverts.

The workshop was attended by over 30 business owners and their staff from the town throughout the duration of the course.


Emma McCrea, BID Manager said:

“One of our overarching objectives for the Ballymena BID is supporting town centre businesses through a coordinated programme of marketing, promotions and events.


“Digital marketing is a hot topic and one which can be confusing and complicated for business owners and their teams who are trying to juggle so many aspects of their business, from serving customers, ordering stock, health and safety through to sales.


“We wanted to help demystify the subject and help to give people both the confidence and the skills, in bit-sized chunks with real examples that they can integrate digital improvements into their own businesses".


Emma concluded: “The feedback has been excellent, and we hope to expand on this course in the future.”


Angela Richie from Elite Lighting said:

“I would be a novice as far as Digital Marketing is concerned, so I found the courses to be very helpful and easy to understand. In my opinion this has been one of the most productive provisions that the Ballymena BID has provided to the businesses in the town. A brilliant idea to help us all understand what Digital Marketing means to your business”.


James Scullion, owner of Rapid Agency is delighted with the uptake in the course. He said:

“The past 8 weeks have been fantastic. To help businesses understand the potential and scope that digital marketing has been wonderful. Our team have taken the attendees on a journey over the past 8 weeks and to see them grow their understanding and to hear the feedback is just so rewarding.”


Karen Johnston, Marketing Manager at McKillens Department store said:

“I have learnt so much in such a short space of time, which has improved my confidence, from the use of hashtags in our posts to how to keep our branding consistent through fantastic online tools. I really want to thank BID for this fantastic opportunity.”


Julie Martin, Marketing Manager at Ballymena Credit Union said:

“I really feel I now have a much better understanding of the workings of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Google in terms of both organic and paid-advertising. It was also a great networking opportunity with other businesses in the town for shared learning and community involvement.”


Eunice Campbell from Staffline Recruitment said:

“This was a brilliant 8 weeks and has opened my eyes in terms of opportunities for sharing our story and knowing our audience. It has allowed us to take stock of what we are currently doing digitally, and we are now committed to improving that.”


Ballymena was the first BID to be established in Northern Ireland in 2015 and since then it has been committed to the improvement of the town centre.

They have a £1M budget with a remit to invest back into the town centre to attract further trade over the following three years of the BID term. The money is allocated between marketing and promotion, making the town a safer, cleaner and more welcoming place for all and also providing additional business support to the businesses. BID also work hard to secure additional funding to help support local businesses.


For details of the Ballymena BID’s business plan visit


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