Dubai is the business hub of the middle-east. According to a news published in a reliable news channel, 10,455 commercial licenses were issued during the first half of the year 2017 and another 71,831 were renewed during the same period in Dubai. About 73% of the licenses issued were trading licenses, which is a strong indication of how Dubai remains one of the busiest shopping destinations in the world. Even in 2019, Dubai and the UAE, in general, remains a strong business destination globally.
In all parts of the world, a lot of new businesses start but eventually close down. One of the main reasons for the failure of businesses is, poor marketing strategies or high marketing expenses.
A lot of successful businesses in Dubai have a common element in their marketing strategies – “digital marketing”. What makes digital marketing an affordable choice for the companies is their relatively lower cost to reach the targeted audience.
Digital Marketing Tips for Startups in Dubai, UAE
While large enterprises have plenty of options for marketing, startups usually need to focus on the most effective strategies to ensure the best ROI. This is where the digital marketing agencies in Dubai can help you. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is a lot more cost-effective and also provides more targeting options to ensure your advertising budget is spent on your target audience.
Recommended digital marketing strategies for startups:
- Social Media Marketing: Engage your potential customers through social media channels. Social Media is a blessing for businesses when it comes to reaching out to a massive number of people in a short span of time. Most popular social media platforms in Dubai and other regions of the UAE are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Snapchat is also gaining popularity. All these platforms provide free as well as paid options for marketing purposes. Startups may use the free platforms to get started but the paid advertising on these channels provide more efficient ways to reach out to the targeted audience. A social media marketing agency in Dubai can help startups get an initial boost through effective social media campaigns.
- Search Engine Optimisation: Ensure your website is visible to your potential audience when they search on Google for the kind of business you offer. Asking friends and relatives about business recommendations is no longer the most convenient option for many. Almost every person living in Dubai are internet savvy and looks at Google for recommendations. So, there is no better place to showcase your website. SEO is not a quick or cheap option. Even though Google doesn’t charge you any fees to get your website listed on the search results, you will need to invest some money to build an optimal website and apply the organic SEO strategies to ensure your website rank on top of your competitors so that your website will be easily seen in the first few positions when your potential clients search. An SEO company in Dubai can help you rank your website organically on Google search results.
- Search Advertising: Showcase your business on Google through Ads to people when they search for products of businesses that you offer. Google started showing paid Ads above the organic results on the search results page several years ago. In the past few years, the number of paid advertisers have gone up significantly and Google increased the number of paid Ads as well. So, many people who search on Google may not scroll down to see the organic results but may navigate to your competitors by clicking on the Ads. Considering the businesses in UAE are very internet savvy, a good number of them are already on Google Search Ads and that alone is a good reason for you to consider Google Search Ads as a digital marketing strategy for your startup in Dubai.
- Display Advertising: Advertise your business through banner and video Ads on various websites that show Ads. Display Advertising offers the opportunity to show your products and services to people who are not really searching for it. Google Display Ads is an excellent way to advertise your business on hundreds or thousands of websites that are using Google Ad Services. You can manage all your Ads in a single place and handle the payments through a single channel. Google Display Ads is a cost-effective advertising system to reach out to a large number of people.
- Content Marketing: Share information and content on the website about your business so that people will read about your business on multiple channels, thus increasing the visibility and trust in your brand. You can write everything about you and your business on your website. But if the same is told by someone else, that adds a lot more value. Also, there could be some level of resistance by people on direct marketing. Content Marketing is a way of sharing information about your business indirectly – by talking about problems and present your services and products as the solution to such problems. This sort of indirect marketing can easily convince people to choose your business since they are reaching out to your content when they are in real need of the solution that you offer.
- Influencer Marketing: Not just you, let other people who have an influence on your potential customers talk about your business. This is an efficient way to reach out to a large number of people. There are many influencers and celebrities on the internet who have a massive number of followers. Find out a way to make them talk about your business. It will often include payments to them but it will be worth for you, provided they can recommend your business to an audience that has an interest in your products and services. Dubai has a lot of influencer bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers who often accept paid promotions through their channels. Reach out to them and find out how to utilize their services.
- Retargeting & Remarketing: How many times you have looked at some products on ecommerce websites like Amazon and since then, you repeatedly see the Ads of the same product on every website you visit? That is called “remarketing”. In a nutshell, remarketing means repeatedly advertise to the people who have previously shown interest in your products. It is a bit tricky and sophisticated to implement since it requires a certain level of technical knowledge to effectively set up a remarketing campaign. You may want to take help from a professional digital marketing company who offer remarketing services in Dubai.
- Email Marketing: Email Marketing has been used all over the world for the past decades for marketing purposes. Even though the email service providers have become smart and started giving low priority for marketing and promotional emails, many companies still use it as a low-cost marketing method. You can easily build a database of your potential clients and use Email Marketing to remind them about your services. Be sure to avoid email spamming since that can cause a negative impact on your brand. Email service providers may block your domain permanently and you may not be able to deliver important emails after that.
- Conversion Oriented Landing Pages: You may have built a wonderful website with loads of information. While providing a lot of information is a good thing and helps on SEO, your readers may get easily lost among a plethora of information. Instead of contacting you to avail your services, they keep reading some stuff and finally get lost. This is a common problem we have seen with many websites of Dubai startups. A conversion oriented landing page with proper Call To Action elements on your website can significantly increase the conversion possibility and thus bring you better ROI. If you are starting a business now, make sure you pay close attention to your website architecture. Ensure your website follows the best practices for the best conversion.
Even though these tips are prepared with the startups in Dubai, these are generally applicable for all businesses across the UAE and the rest of the world. Whether you run a business in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi or any other emirates in UAE, you can tweak these strategies depending on your marketing competition, audience behavior, local laws, popular digital platforms available in your region, etc. Experienced digital marketing agencies can help you optimize your marketing plan and help you achieve the best ROI.
Tony John is a well known digital marketer with about 20 years of experience in making and marketing web portals. He is the founder of SpiderWorks Technologies, a digital marketing company established in India in 2005. The company serves several clients in UAE and other middle east countries. Tony has previously worked with global companies like Bank of America (USA), Home Depot (USA), Hewlett Packard (India & USA), Omron Corporation (Japan) and BroadVision (USA) as a web application developer and architect.