Creating a Digital Marketing Strategy for Startups

After working with numerous startups and helping them with developing digital marketing strategies for success, we've compiled some of our learnings/questions for startups to consider when starting the process of conceptualizing and crafting the digital strategy to achieve their business goals:

1. Have you done your research?

It is vital to have a solid overview of the regional statistics and consumer trends relevant to the industry you're operating in - we focus heavily on researching current marketing trends and seeing what works best in terms of customer acquisition, growth, and innovation.

2. Have you defined your business goals?

Have you clearly defined your business objectives, target market and success criteria? So many startups just 'go for it' when it comes to digital marketing without doing the necessary groundwork first - so important to have specific targets in mind along with KPIs based on data, stats and benchmarking in order to achieve success criteria.

3. Have you explored which digital channels will help with achieving your business objectives?

Vital to delve deeper into the social platforms and digital marketing tactics to understand the best ways to use them as relevant to business objectives - where is your consumer? how does he/she interact with each digital channel? how can you leverage these interactions?

4. Have you created a content strategy plan?

We segment content strategies for each specific social media channel based on the target market, business objectives, and the way consumers utilize each social media channel. 

If you want to create a successful digital marketing strategy for your startup, then it's important to take time to explore these questions which will help you build the foundation for long-term growth and success.  



Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

This week we interviewed Dareen Charafeddine, owner of BookMunch Cafe (sidebar: BookMunch is one of our clients and we love this special cafe) as part of our weekly series of interviews with creatives, innovators, and small business owners focusing on the power of social media for their businesses. If you own a restaurant or a cafe and looking to implement a social media marketing strategy for your restaurant, this is a must read. Dareen's background is the perfect fusion of both the literary and culinary worlds. Her literary experience comes from a prestigious career in education and publishing, and her culinary know-how comes from a specialization in the bakery and catering business.

social media marketing for restaurants in dubai 


You founded, own and run BookMunch, an award-winning family cafe in Dubai - what role has social media played in launching and running your business?

We are a small community-focused business, and always looking for ways to reach new customers, while keeping our brand on the radar of our existing customer database. Social media, in general, has helped us in marketing the café, and in associating a certain voice/style with the brand. Instagram, in particular, was very helpful when launching our business. Customer tags and posts of our food, interiors, etc, had a great impact on our initial footfall. Facebook and Twitter are naturally more interactive and help us understand the market better, communicate with our customers and help enhance our image and ultimately bring in the customers. 

How has storytelling evolved in social media for F&B brands?

BookMunch is very much a community café (and bookshop), and storytelling is at the heart of our brand. Fortunately, our social media partners understood that instantly, and designed their strategy accordingly. Through social media stories, we were able to build a solid personality and a warm character for our brand, and from that created a more interactive connection with our customers. Our followers particularly like when we share short and personal stories from our team members, like the Humans of BookMunch campaign, which worked because it was real, authentic and sweet.


Which social media channel has resulted in a tangible ROI for BookMunch and why do you think this is?

I think it’s quite difficult to measure ROI accurately for our kind of business. However, we know Instagram brought in actual numbers into the shop when we opened. Facebook is more for brand awareness and connecting with our customers, rather than direct revenue. Facebook has been mostly organic, and a bit of advertising has helped give it a nudge. 







Social Media for Dubai Interior Design client

We have recently wrapped up a year long project working on social media strategy and implementation for a Dubai Interior Design industry client. Love That Design showcases regional interior and industrial designs across multiple industries in the Middle East and Africa so it was phenomenal to have been part of their stellar growth showcasing these designs and helping this publishing platform grow and scale, along with securing partnerships which resulted in revenue for the brand. 

social media for dubai interior design



Digital Marketing Trends

The way we see it there are two digital marketing trends that are going to be dominating in the next few years (and already making an impact in 2017). One of them being storytelling (be it video, customized artwork, animation, social media, social commerce, etc, etc - at the end of the day it comes down to content marketing in the form of telling and sharing really great stories that have an impact and that resonate with your target market). 

digital marketing trends - storytelling

The other one being performance-based marketing (PPC/CPC/CPL/CMP - all relevant when it comes to social & display advertising along with SEM and SEO campaigns). Performance marketing tends to show a clearer ROI when it comes to generating leads and making sales thus more and more brands are investing in performance marketing. 

perfomance marketing agency dubai

Whilst our passion lies in content marketing (storytelling is truly at the heart of an effective social media content strategy), we're also tech savvy to know that our clients like to see direct results in the form of performance based analytics. 

Get in touch to see how we can help grow your business. 



Content marketing & copywriting - Dubai case study

Majority of small businesses in Dubai cannot afford the luxury of hiring a full-time copywriter yet they are in dire need of copywriting/content creation services for lead generation. This is where our niche digital marketing agency comes in - one of the services we offer our clients is content marketing (i.e creating smart, useful, interesting content that will further grow their business and attract their target market). 

One of our content marketing projects involved working with Love That Design, which showcases regional interior and industrial designs across multiple industries in the Middle East and Africa. We added value to the client by conceptualizing content topics for the Articles section on their website, along with creating the content in the form of copywriting the different posts. 

Some of the posts we've worked on included an 'Inside the mind of ….' series, exploring the state of the design industry in the UAE, taking a look at ergonomics (yes, we somehow managed to make ergonomics sound sexy, we're that good), along with a variety of design tips

content marketing and copywriting services dubai



Social Media Marketing for hospitality sector-Case Study

One of our key services as a digital marketing agency is helping with social media marketing for the hospitality sector in Dubai - with one of our favourite clients being the much beloved Dubai restaurant, BookMunch. 

social media marketing for dubai restaurants 

About: BookMunch is an award-winning Dubai cafe & restaurant - unique combination of great food in a reading room environment has attracted and entertained impressive numbers of customers of all ages, and with five awards in tow.

Social Media Objectives for BookMunch: To build brand awareness amongst those new to Dubai (usually expats) along with retaining current customers and attracting new customers.

Facebook & Instagram: We developed a specific tone of voice for this family friendly cafe brand to reflect the ethos of the brand along with attracting its target audience through Facebook and Instagram content that focuses heavily on much loved dishes, customer experience, the warmth of the place, and always going over and above for customers - be it at the cafe or via social media channels. BookMunch even made it on the Hotelier Middle East's ''30 F&B brands to follow on social media'' list!

social media marketing for hospitality sector in dubai 

Popular Campaign: One of the campaigns Boguslavsky & Co came up for BookMunch was to utilise one of their most popular social media channels, Facebook, to showcase their team from a storytelling, narrative perspective by launching a new Facebook series of posts titled 'Humans of BookMunch'. These series of Facebook posts have allowed us to 'show and tell' BookMunch's customers about the people with whom they interact on a daily basis with but might not know anything about. 

dubai social media campaign for restaurant



Consulting on doing business in the UAE - case study

We recently wrote a blog post about breaking into / entering the Dubai market as a consumer brand - whilst for many Dubai is a dream destination for doing business, it's not an easy market to break into if you're not aware of the local ways of doing business, and marketing products, as well as all the cultural nuances of doing business in the UAE. 

Herbex, a South African weight loss brand, got in touch with us recently to advise them on some aspects of marketing their products in the UAE. We helped them with refining their digital marketing strategy along with finessing their overall marketing plan for the region. 

Core focus of the consultancy work included:

***Analysis of previous marketing efforts 

***Advice on brand positioning for entering the Dubai market

***Recommendations for a PR strategy, influencer campaigns, and a launch event

***Social Media strategy advice in regards to the channels that would achieve their business objectives

****eCommerce for the Arab market recommendations

consulting on doing business in the UAE



Google AdWords Campaign for Dubai Client - Case Study

We've created a brief infographic highlighting some of the results from the first month of running a Google AdWords campaign for a Dubai client (we're a niche digital strategy agency and one of our specialized offerings is running targeted AdWords/PPC campaigns in order to drive traffic and increase conversions for our clients). 

Google AdWords services Dubai - digital strategy agency 



Outsourcing social media community management

Majority of well known consumer brands are inundated with questions/requests/comments/feedback/criticisms on social media so much so that most companies are not even sure of how to deal with this flurry of activity on their social media pages. For these kind of brands, it might be beneficial to explore outsourcing social media community management to maximise optimum use of internal resources and minimize a social media crisis arising due to lack of knowledge/skills in successfully managing the social media channels. 

One of our social media projects this past year involved assisting with the community management on Pringles South Africa Facebook page - whilst Pringles is a well-known FMCG brand, it is also a brand consumers like to vent about (occasionally). The trick here is converting a negative comment into something positive or at least humorous - we have managed to achieve this on a number of occasions. 

Case-in-point one of our favourite examples of effective community management - taking an angry customer from 'That's BS' to 'I love you Pringles' thanks to an entertaining community management comment.

Outsourcing social media community management to digital agency


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Outsourcing Content Writing

Last year we worked with Exclusive Tables, a mobile app startup disrupting the entertainment industry in Dubai and Spain, and aside from advising on social media strategy and its implementation, we also created niche content for this client in the form of blog posts.

digital agency working with startups in Dubai & South Africa

Majority of startups and small businesses don't have internal resources needed to create smart, well-written, targeted content on a weekly basis for their websites. For these kind of brands, it might be beneficial to explore outsourcing content writing to maximise the ROI on their website. A skilled digital agency will have the knowledge and expertise to write content that not only achieves a specific brand positioning through style of writing, tone, and subject matter, but also takes into account SEO to increase targeted traffic to the website. 

Our content strategy for Exclusive Tables focused on writing entertaining blog posts with a sophisticated/trendy/playful tone that would appeal to the target market being mostly well educated, well earning men looking for a decadent lifestyle. This was Exclusive Tables' primary target market at the time. Some of the core content themes revolved around nightclubs with a difference, bar hacks, best vodkas in the world, and dressing for a night out, amongst other post ideas. 

outsourcing content writing 

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An audit for digital transformation

Part of the initial digital audit phase when working with our B2B clients is assessing their current processes and digital platforms. The focus is usually on agile development and focusing on how we can add value to their business in the areas of speed, scale, and customer experience.

To accomplish this, we explore and research the following areas:

  • If the entire organization has a set of common objectives, goals and benchmarks in place
  • Analysis of the stakeholders involved, especially in regards to feedback and approvals for specific projects
  • The impact of new initiatives on current business processes
  • The processes in place that guide shared learning within the organization
  • Communicating the benefits of new initiatives to internal teams and customers
  • The type of data collection process in places and the the key performance metrics
  • How success is quantified within the organization
  • Aspects of the business that can be automated to streamline operations
  • Tools available to improve customer experience

If your business is looking at digital transformation but not sure where to get started, get in touch with us. 

digital audit - digital strategy agency dubai & cape town



Social media marketing for consumer brands

The 'secret' (there's no secret - it takes skills, experience, hard work, and a little bit of experimentation) to successful social media marketing for consumer brands is to focus on these key areas:

  • Understand the nuances of each social media channel and the way consumers interact on each channel - you need to be sharing/speaking/communicating the way the users of each specific platform like to interact and engage with that platform. 

For example, GoPro's high-quality user-generated content strategy is one of the main reasons they have over 9 million followers on Instagram. GoPro doesn’t use Instagram to push their products, rather they share user-generated content to celebrate a lifestyle of adventure. 

social media marketing for consumer brands - gopro


  • When conceptualizing and creating your social media strategy, make sure you know your audience (target market), your objectives (main reasons for utilizing social media) and create content that is relevant to your target market, your business objectives, and the specific social media channel (vital have a different content strategy for each platform)

Captain Morgan does a fantastic job of this with their YouTube content strategy - cheeky with a bit of attitude, just like the brand itself. With over half a million views per video, it's a content strategy that is definitely working. 

great youtube content strategy example


  • Measure, measure, measure - have social analytics in place in order to be able to measure performance of each post and to modify based on analysis. 

We're big fans of Socialbakers. We fid their customized reports in-depth, cohesive and phenomenal for monitoring the kind of social media content that works best in terms of growth and engagement. It’s also a fantastic analytics tool in terms of the demographic breakdown of the fans and followers and their growth over a specific period of time. 

social media analysis of film marketing 


  • Be an authentic brand and true to what your consumers/customers expect of you. 

This is where narrative marketing and storytelling come into play - you or your brand is likely to have a powerful story. Share it. Showcase it. Consumers want to know why you care - they want a reason to care also. We recently collaborated with BookMunch to utilise one of their most popular social media channels, Facebook, to showcase their team from a storytelling, narrative perspective by launching a new Facebook series of posts titled 'Humans of BookMunch'.  These series of Facebook posts have allowed us to 'show and tell' BookMunch's customers about the people with whom they interact on a daily basis with but might not know anything about. 

Humans of BookMunch campaign