One year on - highlights from another successful year working with the City of Lincoln Council
Following 12-months of work with the City of Lincoln Council, it's time to review our Service Level Agreement (SLA), highlight key results and see how the past year's activity can inform and influence our future work together.
Simon Walters, MBA,ACG,MCMI, Director for Communities and Environment at City of Lincoln Council said: “For many years, the city council has engaged Visit Lincoln on a formal basis through an SLA. This has flexed and adapted over the years, helping to underpin the very strong relationship between us. The SLA defines what we require and how Visit Lincoln will meet those requirements, all for the greater good of Lincoln. It also provides vital intelligence to enable us to not only further grow the work between us, but also plan our other mainstream services. Visit Lincoln provides a hugely important insight to the visitor economy, vital information that helps us forward plan.”
A yearly review we compile for our founding partners across Lincolnshire districts, those who are supporting and enabling Destination Lincolnshire to grow and evolve, SLAs enable us and the partners in question to look back at the previous year's work and its results, as well as plan for the future with the last year's outcomes guiding our conversations and decision making processes.
SLA highlights 2021-22
We saw a jump in users as covid eased, which in itself confirms that the content being put out is both strong and effective. Events are the main point of interest on the website, with the site as a whole attracting mostly younger visitors (25–34-year-olds).
- Total page visits up 48% year on year to 2,042,603
- Unique visitors up 72% year on year to 720,280
- Event clicks up 155% year on year to 53,910
- Page views 1.9 million
Facebook remains the strongest social channel for reach and impressions. Instagram is growing in users and engagement monthly, we're investigating a new plan for TikTok to capture a younger audience, and relaunching our Pinterest account which currently gets 17K views a month.
- Instagram followers up 23%
- Instagram engagement up 777%
- Facebook followers up 6%
- Facebook engagement up 1000%
- Twitter followers up 5%
- Twitter engagement up 592%
Campaigns and destination focused activity
This increased over the last 12 months, from 5 in 2020-21 to 9 in 2021-22, a solid increase of 80% due to demand. These campaigns were:
- IN Lincoln
- Halloween IN Lincoln
- Christmas IN Lincoln
- February Half Term
- Easter IN Lincoln
- LNER Brand Campaign
- Cycle Lincolnshire
- Escape the Everyday
- Enjoy Summer Safely
Clippings and coverage across press amounted to being seen by 369.5m people, with an advertising equivalent value of £427k and PR value of £1.2 million.
As you can see from the highlights, the amount of information an SLA gives us to work from is invaluable. Combining internal development, to best deliver our action points, strategy and assets, and external activity, to heighten our visibility across the county and the rest of the UK, we are working to deliver agreements with tangible results for our partners.
Print media such as the City Guide, digital campaigns such as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, internal developments such as recruitment across digital and marketing, and research and meetings for projects including Levelling Up, Town Deals, and the Welcome Back Fund have all taken place in the last quarter alone.
Output from Destination Lincolnshire, Lotus PR and KM Media has included the new 2022 City and Countryside Guide being produced and published, supporting our promise to represent the county as a whole; PR activity which has seen press clippings reach approximately 396 million people through both regional and national titles, with destination features in The Sun, The Metro, Countryfile Magazine, Reclaim Magazine, Fabulous Magazine, BBC Berkshire and Brand Guides; consumer email competitions which have further increased our reach and database; and TV appearances across regional and national channels including National BBC News, BBC Look North and ITV Calendar News.
When it comes to our digital activity we have been working to ensure there is a 24/7 presence for the county. Such a fast-moving aspect of the DMO, our digital processes are constantly ion review to ensure we are working as efficiently and effectively as possible. Daily event updates, plus SEO improvements now ensuring we are the number two position, up from number five, in Google rankings.
Other commitments include supporting the Visitor Information Centre in Castle Square with new city centre maps and visitor guides as well as through campaigns, each of which is aligned with visitor insights and the Visit England sentiment tracker. The wider campaigns also act to further embed confidence in our digital activities too, especially while working with partners such as LNER.
Nationally we have represented the county at events such as the House of Lords Levelling Up event, and those hosted by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Every time we attend events such as these they inform our wider approach to how we continue to market Greater Lincolnshire. Always adding to our knowledge and data so we can continue to have informed and educated future conversations.
At a local level, presence at city centre recovery meetings, launching Destination Lincolnshire, sending out fortnightly newsletter to partners, offering updates on the Town Deal, rolling out Cycle Lincolnshire, representing the visitor economy in the Cultural impact zone, all remain on our agenda. Almost £1 million in funding has been secured over the past year excluding the ongoing Town Deal bids to ensure our support echoes across the board.
Collectively all the work we are putting in is working. Visit Lincoln has been singled out numerous times to provide valued input on a domestic and international platform. From being invited to a ‘closed door policy spring with DCMD’ to talk about Levelling Up agenda in tourism and being chosen by LNER for their first ‘Experience Event’ and their second ‘Wellness Train’ to being requested for a 1-2-1 in the national DMO Review and DCMS feedback on Tourism Recovery Plan.