The Digital Agency

The Digital Agency” is a digital marketing agency which I am founder & director of.

The Digital Agency is a digital marketing agency with offices in London and Istanbul. The Digital Agency has expertise in website production, social media communication, search engine optimization, Facebook & Google advertising through 12 years of experience with 110 brands in 400 projects.

World-class brands that trust The Digital Agency include:

  • World’s largest tire manufacturer: Michelin
  • World’s leading beauty company selling direct: Oriflame
  • World’s largest hotel chain IHG that owns Holiday Inn
  • World’s largest hosting company: Equinix
  • World’s 3rd largest biscuit producer: Yildiz Holding (owner of McVities, United Biscuits, Godiva)
  • World’s largest natural products company: Dabur
  • Europe’s largest auto service station chain: Euromaster
  • Europe’s largest integrated meat factory: Aytaç
The Digital Agency

Digi-Publish notes





Multi-channel campaigns


Branded content = Brand building tool

Trying to achieve brand uplift.

Video views are fine but what is the result of these video views? Did it resulted in improved brand perception?


Youtube is the home of longer videos. Use Instagram and stories to build around this primary content in YT.





Digital advertising is 52% of all UK advertising now.








Steady, consistent ability to build the relationship with customers that drives brand awareness and it can lead to an ongoing relationship.


Distress purchase

A purchase made out of necessity, rather than for pleasure.


Visibility is key

Make the customer feel comfortable

Remember time is of the essence

Have helpful, insightful content available

Never take advantage

Get ahead of the ‘event’



(BURAK: Last minute book present purchases?)





There needs to be a balance between branded  and non-branded content. People are there for the editorial content but you can mold commercial content with storytelling to make it through the filters of the viewers.


It is possible to apply some of the old publishing hacks into digital.


Prepare content for mobile first, social first.


Snackable content around 60 seconds that can be consumed in different times of the day.


There is a number of KPIs that you can utilize through content marketing, you might not be aware of.


Headline changes everything. You can use title / headline to make an emotional connection with the viewer / customer.


On online, you always have data. You can let the numbers do the talking.





  • Leonardo Da Vinci


We get bombarded by ads. There is a need to cut through that noise.


Only thing you can do this is : quality and interest. Brands that people are loyal to.


Consumers can access content everywhere, on a device that want. They also want privacy, they do not want to be creeped at.


Marketers have advanced tools to target customers, they have access to vast amount of data.


Visually creative way of telling stories is also important.


Viewers should want to become part of these stories.


You should have a tone of voice and stick to it.


Do not just curate, create.


Prioritize content, feature it more according to data.


Utilize heatmaps to measure how effective the content is.


You need open mindedness. You need science but you also need art. You need spark of genius.


Authenticity. Authentic to your brand values.


Get teams and people together to break barriers from artists and scientists.





Word of mouth


We prefer friendship to customers.


You can not rush friendship, you cannot buy friendship. It needs to be nurtured, organically.


Someone that you spend time with is not friend. Friends are:


You can revisit your old content.  It doesn’t need to be corrected. You can amplify it with the new tools.


Ask for customer feedback.


Customers can spot the good stuff. They can know better than you.


User led content – get ideas from viewers and then produce content. It is loved instantly, because the viewers created the demand for it. It is their idea.


Service before self.





Change is hard.


You have to invest.


No one actually likes to change. You just like the concept of change.


Do not think change is something that can happen in 6 months and everyone has new behaviours? No.


You have the plans, requirements at first. But not everything goes to plan.


Then you have cracks and problems.


When you start to change, everyone will complain about their problems.

(Burak: Assuming the change will be the solution to all their problems.)


Scope is really important. You can end with dead ends. You need to know what you need to achieve. You need to have a roadmap. You need to stick to that plan.


When you are building a business case, you need deadlines and solid outputs to get funding.

You can’t just keep iterating forever. You need to know where you are going.


You can not do change with an existing team. They have different objectives and different timeframes. They are doing a certain operation to meet 2-3 months results. You can not make them focus on 3 years ahead.


There needs to be a designated change team. People know this is the change team or advocates.


Tell everyone. BCG – Boston Consulting Group says that you need to communicate things 3 times for people to understand it and remember it. You need to communicate it 9 times if it is a period of change. The reality is you need to talk about it, even if you think you have said. Over and over again.


If you don’t tell everyone, at some point people come out of the woodwork. You need to speak to everyone and dig it. If you missed even a small thing, you can not go live. Keep communication.


Try to look at what people can do. Get small wins. Keep morale high. Celebrate the small wins. We like to feel we have done a good job. If we don’t celebrate small wins, we might lose the goodwill of the team. We need all the stakeholders to help.


Momentum might start to slow at some point. You might need to do hard conversations with people. You would come up at cross roads. It is so easy to go off track. Stick to the long term.


You might eventually hit a crisis point. Hit pause, do not hit quit. You have the counter: Time is running out, money is running out. Go back to basics. Question everything. Discuss what you are trying to do in the first place. Go back to what you started with and what you are trying to come to.


You can revert back to manual anytime. It takes pressure out of everyone. Process the manual CSV for a couple of months.


You can’t always get all the bells and whistles. If you get the “thing”, it is enough.


Question: How to motivate the team?

Find the pain point. Choose the individual context for each person. Paint the picture, how it is painful now and show how it is going to better in every granular detail. Be realistic. Take people through. Mitigating, contingencies. Making people comfortable during the change.





3 main changes affecting the industry

Type of content


1- Original content demand.

400 million users in rural India, they are not ready for original content


2- Change in Format

People time poor now.

A film in 5 years time will be in whatsapp. A high quality production in 5 minutes.


3- Vernacular Content

Localizing content. Providing content for different languages spoken around the world. AI will help on this.


Future of advertising: Make advertising fun through game, people don’t want to be sold at.


Targeting people can be a challenge, could be interesting. GDPR, Block Chain.


Network and programmatic has seen a big rise.


Personalized advertising can bring in engagement with permission. When you get people’s trust.


Native advertising is the future but there is a bit of confusion what native advertising is.


Influencers, not regulated. Provides potential.


Digi-Strategy notes

How Can Artificial Intelligence Accelerate Audience Influence & Engagement

Roy Ionas – CEO and Founder, LeadSpotting



Innovation goes both ways. Top down and bottom to up.


You are trying to solve problems for your customers. Give them tools to customers and employees doing the actual work to provide suggestions.


Put customer first – like Amazon.


What value are you providing to your customers? What problems are you solving?


Gather information: To make sure that what you are doing that will solve a problem. Small trends and behaviours can mean something too. You can do mini experiments and scale them up if they work.


Small scale experiments. They don’t need to cost any budget. Get people talking about it (internally) You don’t have to involve lots of people, too.

These doesn’t have to be scientific. It just needs to give tips and hints.


Take the fear out of change and innovation.


Do you have a testing, experimental or innovation budget?




Metrics are everything. If you can not measure it, you should not be doing it.


Time spent on site is not the only metric for Facebook. They focus on meaningful time spent. (Burak note: Facebook  limit newsfeed content that is shown in each session.)


Your organisation needs to have a mindset about metrics.

(Burak: It needs to become the part of company culture. Decisions needs to be data driven compared to gut-feeling most of the time)


Good ideas can come from anywhere.

Innovation should not be done by the same team/person. Get people together for 1 day and see what kinds of ideas can come out of it (Burak: All inclusive 1 day innovation workshop for B2D and SCP?)


How to tackle culture:

You need to be open to anyone and any idea. Employees should not be afraid to suggest stupid ideas. Also make sure people needs to get credit for their ideas.


Utilize data and innovation champions in the organisation to spark ideas and engage employees.


Subconscious bias.

You need to represent customer base in decision making process.


AI in digital strategy.

Machine learning.

User engagement with the content. Recommendations.

Do you really need AI or machine learning?


New technologies?

Voice control. 50% of search will be voice in 2020.

How do we adapt to continue engage with these customers.

Voice – younger demographics.

Attribution – Google Amazon Apple, voice interaction.

You are not typing in and getting 10 results. On voice 90% will be the one choice.

AR – Augmented reality. Interacting digital with real world.  A bit over-hyped.

Make it useful not just for the sake of tech.

You can get anything as a service.

(Burak: Year of books: One book delivery per month )

Try to deliver change not in the country that you are in the world.


Most interesting things are not published. Events.


Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a design methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems.


Gaurav Bhatnagar



Thinking customer first in a time of disruption


Customer behaviour is changing constantly.

How customers are evolving?

Price, value, post purchase, experience, relevancy

Huge load of expectations.

I want it now. I don’t want to wait for 10 minutes on the phone.

Maintain customer trust in the long term.

Be authentic.

Netflix – learns from customer experiences, producing own content accordingly.

Monzo –

1- Focus on customers: Abstract customer needs, as simple as possible.

2- Move quickly to harness capabilities in the market

Cost of acquisition vs cost of retention

Cost of providing alternatives is coming down


Levers to accelerate impact.

1- Ability to gather lots of data

2- Machine learning


1- Customer first. Make it the guiding force in every place of your business.

It is not responding or reacting to every piece of feedback you get. Think long term.

You need to know how to de-prioritize.


2- Ask right questions in leadership level.

Focus on a problem customer is trying to solve.


3- Integrate deeply in the core business.


4- Execute, set up the right ways of working

Before evaluating, is it executed properly?


5- Refine your strategy

Make data and analysis accessible to the team

Manage data risk. Manage permissions.


6- Obsess about talent

Skill up your employees. Analytical skill.


7- Organise for skill

Think about what skillsets you are putting together.






Quality over quantity.

Snackable content

The New York Times bestseller, Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

People are not viewing your content isolated. They have a life going on.


Consider these when creating content:

Narrative, triggers, emotion, social currency


Allegro English ad – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO6AUFdgcgU



Action for children – https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/


Market research

Design fast – 5 days – from problem to solution

Do something in front of the people quickly. You don’t want to waste time on something is not needed or meaningful


Identifying unmet needs in growth areas

Funding pipeline

Lean product development:

Lean product development is a lean approach to counter the challenges of product development, notably: Lack of innovative solutions Long development cycle times Many redevelopment cycles High development costs Long production cycle times High production costs



Be scrappy and resourceful

Surface ideas

Think outside in not inside out

If it exists, use it – you do not need to custom build almost anything in terms of software

Start small




There are key points in omnichannel customer journey that you “have” to nail

Other touchpoints in the customer journey are there to make the whole thing better but not necessarily a show stopper


Technology Adoption

How can be bring technology quickly into the business and not be afraid of it

It is almost growth hacking

What if we fail? It is OK. We learn.

How can we reach excellence from average. We can do that through technology.


Audience segmentation

Different customers have different needs. You need to recognize this process.


Who knows, what? What are they assuming internally?


Who are your core customers?


Customer centricity. Design campaigns and structure business around that.


How to overcame challenges of implementing customer centric digital strategy internally:


1- Data. Structure. Right data flow. If not, it falls down.

Understand data sources. Is a legacy data set holding you back?


2- Company was one person at one time. And it was set up to serve a customer. To serve efficiently as possible. Through time, you add capacity. It is like a lego tower. This simple artifact is often ignored.


People making the thing needs direct contact people getting the thing (developer – customer)

(Burak: Feeding customer feedback summary back to the team)


Ultimately you are serving the customers outside. But you have customers inside that can make better products / campaigns for the customers outside.


Co-creation: How to best align.


American Express lab: Internal teams tried to pitch projects to customers.

(Burak: Customer does understand. Customer does know. You need to know how to ask.)


Digital Strategy – Young

Diversity. How can we use technology effectively to reach these people.

Get as close to the customer as possible

Buy – ready to use software, just need to configure

Partner – white label software

Build – agile devops

Robotic process automation – you can adapt to legacy platforms with this


Content Marketing

You can use fragments to move users to a place in that same post. Similar to an outline.

Get the right context and focus on every single post.

Authority, you know what you are talking about. So make sure you reflect this.


It’s all about the content

  • At the end of every link is content
  • There are lots of content type
  • Information
  • Meaning
  • Context
  • Authority
  • Credibility
  • Content that will drive traffic that will convert


Why is content important?

  • Content communicates your message
    • Brand
    • Product
    • Service
    • PR message
  • Builds a community of loyal customers
  • Helps make your brand an authority
  • Get to know your customers better
  • Improve SEO
  • Adds value


Effectiveness: The degree to which objectives are achieved and the extent to which targeted problems are solved.


Setting content goals

  • Goals give us something to measure against
  • Clearly defined success criteria
  • Understand how effective we have been
  • Modify goals based on data insights
  • Set new goals once a goal has been met


Content goals statement

  • Increase brand awareness
    • Double the number of social shares within 3 months
  • Drive more traffic to your website or blog
    • Increase the number of unique visits to my blog by 20% within a month
    • Hit 10% returning customers in 12 months
  • Generate sales leads
    • Generate at least 5 new sales leads per product video published
  • Convert more leads into customers
    • Increase conversion rate to 15% on landing pages published in the next 6 months
  • Improve retention and drive upsell
    • Increase revenue from “Customer also bought” feature by 8% over the next 4 weeks


What is content?

  • Company info
  • Sales info
  • Customer service content
  • Event content
  • Employee generated content
  • Marketing content
  • Campaign content
  • Advertising content
  • Customer generated content


Content marketing is a strategic marketing apprıach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.


What is content marketing?

  • Attracting an audience to an experience or destination you own
  • Linked to a marketing objective or business goal
  • Not overtly selling a product or service


  • Make your buyer more intelligent
  • Consistency
  • Value driven
  • Expertise
  • Knowledge
  • Part of the team / club




  • Website content page
    • Clear descriptive heading
    • Short but descriptive summary
    • Section headings
    • Links to other relevant content
    • May have a CTA
  • News article / press release
    • Headline
    • Summary
    • Body content
    • Image
    • Publish date
    • Author
  • Blog
    • Title
    • Summary
    • Body content
    • Images
    • Lists
    • Links
    • Quotes
    • Comments
    • Category
    • Tag
    • Parts
    • Quality over quantity: Generate more quality content with the same amount of time and energy.
    • Analyse, use data, make research, expert opinion
    • Use visual breaks in the blog posts to rest people’s eyes and minds
    • https://buffer.com/resources/
    • Storytelling, enough words
    • Good content, helping people with their problems






  • Social
    • Employees can link business related posts on their personal linkedin
  • Images
    • Format
    • Size
    • Resolution
    • Colour
    • Style / filters
    • Alt text
    • Usage rights
  • Videos
    • Professionally produced
    • Produced on mobile
    • Hosted
      • Youtube
      • Vimeo
    • Embedded
    • Shared
    • Meta info
    • Comments
  • Web forms
    • Gather info
    • Simple
    • Multipart
    • Surveys
    • Questionnaires
    • Dynamic
    • Embedded
    • Secure
    • Autofill
    • Rich controls
    • Make sure it is working
  • Infographics
    • Visual representation of information / data
    • Diagram
    • Chart
    • Dataflows
    • High design values
    • https://www.canva.com/
  • Podcasts
    • Digital audio file
    • Series of episodes
    • Downloadable
    • Subscription
    • Free usually
    • Can be consumed while doing something else (eg while driving)
    • Accessed via apps, itunes, google play
    • Utilize another podcast that has already have a following
  • Whitepapers
    • Heavy weight content
    • Domain expertise
    • Technical knowledge
    • Pretty valuable
    • Designed as a print or pdf
    • Formal language
    • Includes images, charts, figures and stats
    • Sometimes paid for content
    • or require email or other info before download (gather leads)
  • Comments
    • User generated content
    • Moderated and edited
    • Onsite ie blog posts – probably no one will comment on your blog
    • Easier to get comments on social
  • Testimonials
    • Provided by customers
    • Short form – quote
    • Long form – more descriptive
    • Versatile content type
    • Customer trust
    • Credibility


Who creates your content

  • Marketing department
  • Technical experts
  • Products owners / specialists
  • Suppliers
  • Customers
  • Industry experts
  • Not recommended but can be tested, relevant freelancers


Created by your business

  • How regularly will you create content
  • How will you ensure the tone is correct
  • What media items will you need to include
  • Who will check content before it is published (it should not be the author)
  • What extra support do non-marketing team members require
  • What feedback will provide
  • You can record meetings or internal talks and transcribe them into blog posts


Created by others

  • What value does their content bring
  • How can you make sure it fits your guidelines
    • Provide guidelines
    • Edit once submitted
    • Does it even matter?
  • What about deadlines?
  • Can you offer to create content for them?


Ingredients of effective content (for humans)

  • Information
  • Attraction
    • Being different
  • Engagement
    • Being funny is a way of doing it
  • Strong message
  • Memorable
  • Be developed with an audience in mind
  • Consistent


Ingredients of effective content (for search engines)

  • Well written, natural content (like humans like to read)
  • Semantically well formed
  • Descriptive content
  • Inbound links
  • Good use of images (don’t forget alt tags here)
  • Design
  • Well UX really
  • Bounce rates are a good indication of the quality of your user experience
  • SEO for beginners by Moz



  • Understanding who you are developing content for is very important
  • Style
  • Tone
  • Language
  • Attention span
  • Level on knowledge
  • Propensity to share
  • Appetite


Content Marketing Infographics





Why Design Matters?

  • Good design sells
  • Strong consumer trust
  • Perception of your product or service
  • User-friendly content
  • Good first impression
  • Sets you apart from competitors
  • Consistency  = quality
  • People get attracted to design.
    • But they do get attracted to different things, different designs
  • Motivate people to take action
  • Design is more than how it looks, it is how it works, too. (User experience)


Designing effective web content

  • Ensure your html is correctly formed
  • Ensure all relevant tags and attributes are included
    • Meta tags
    • Image alt tags
  • Clearly defined section headings
  • Short concise paragraphs
  • Responsive content
  • Whitespace is important
  • Lightweight
    • Performance
    • Device
    • Connections
  • Consistency




  • Usually a standalone web page
  • Communicates a single message
    • A promotion
    • A product launch
    • A whitepaper download
    • A newsletter signup


Before you start for the landing page

  • What is the goal
    • Buy something
    • Fill out a contact form
    • Signup for a newsletter
    • Define the conversion
  • Who is my audience
    • Who are you hoping to attract and convert?
    • We’ll do more on personas later
  • How did they get to my landing page?


Anatomy of a landing page

  • clean , uncluttered and short is key
  • Impeccable grammar – you can’t afford to lose trust due to a silly mistake
  • High quality content
  • Single idea
  • Testimonials are great – trust indicator
  • Buttons and CTAs should stand out – make it really easy to convert
  • Make sure the design is really good – you only have a moment to impress
  • Limit your links – do not distract users
  • Use images and videos that relate to the copy – strong imagery
  • Shorter to conversion, the better


What is the call to action (CTA)

  • CTA is an element on a webpage that invites a user to commit an aciton
  • CTA is a priority item on a page
  • Every page ideally have a single CTA


Content strategy steps

  • Define customer personas
  • Create a keyword list
  • Identify which types of content you are going to create
  • Develop an attractive personality and style
  • Determine a frequency problem
  • Decide how you are going to promote your content


What is a persona

  • Represent a major user group for your website
  • Express and focus on the major needs and expectations of each user group
  • Give a clear picture of the user’s expectations
  • Describe how users are likely to use your site
  • Help to uncover universal features and functionality
  • Describe real people with backgrounds, goals and values


How to create a persona

  • Describe the user
    • Age,gender
    • Highest level of education / expertise
  • Profession
    • Professional background
  • Motivation
    • What is your person motivated by?
    • What are they looking for?
    • What is your person looking to do?
    • What are their needs?


Keyword Research


Choosing Content Types

  • What content do your customers currently engage with
  • What are they asking for – do you get asked the same questions a lot
  • What do your competitors do
  • Do you have the skills
  • Does the content type fit with your overall goals
  • Can you calculate a ROI
  • What tools are out there that I can use


Personality and style

  • Conversational
  • Formal
  • Technical
  • Funny


  • B2B
  • Consumer
  • Adult
  • Teen
  • Children


  • High design values
  • Quick and dirty


Content Promotion

  • What channels are you going to target
  • How will you promote?
    • Organic SEO
    • Social shares
    • Paid advertising
  • Are there specific channels for different content types
  • How can you use your community
  • Promotion calendar / schedule


Sharing your content

  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Direct email (B2B)
  • Industry websites / publications
  • 3rd party websites



  • What time is best
  • What platforms are best
  • Cumulative campaigns
  • Re-scheduling


Social media scheduling tools

  • Buffer
  • Hootsuite
  • Sprout social
  • Viralheat
  • Socialoomph
  • Tweetdeck
  • Sprinklr
  • Watch out: Algorithms are demoting content posted by these tools


Testing your content

  • Content goals statement
  • Measuring success
  • Improving our content
  • Repeating what works
  • Stop doing what doesn’t work
  • Our Facebook page appears busier
    • Instead, double the number of shares in 3 months
  • Data is key


A/B Testing

  • Also known as split testing
  • Compare 2 versions of a web page
  • Discover which performs better
  • Experiment with 2 or more variants
  • Variants shown at random to users
  • Statistical analysis
  • Results based on predefined goals


Issues with A/B Testing

  • Usually tests small variations
  • Small changes often regress back to the mean
    • Small changes = small results


Google Optimize


International eCommerce


  • Be visible
    • Advertise, no one knows you are there
  • Build trust
    • Is the currency in their own currency?
  • Deliver great individual customer service
  • Have the right product or service
  • Most companies get into international ecommerce accidentally. Do your research.


  • Logistics
  • Taxes and Import Duty
  • Data policies
  • Translation and Localisation
  • Payment
  • Process / Customer service and returns
  • Cost
  • How and where to start


  • Direct shipping, drop shipping
  • Amazon FBA
  • 3rd Party logistics


  • No deal Brexit guidelines
  • Now: From UK to EU: Pay VAT to UK
  • If you ship more than 50-100k EUR to EU companies you might need to register in those companies
  • From UK to US. You do not need to pay VAT
  • If it is under 800 USD – no import duties
  • Nexus – business entity in USA. If you do not have nexus in USA no local sales tax. Which means tax free. If you are pricing exactly as UK, there is an extra 20% you can play with (as there is no VAT)
  • If you are hosting stock in USA, it is complicated. Ask an expert.


  • Germany and France ecommerce is growing.
  • Japan is different from S. Korea in terms of culturally but similar in ecommerce.
  • USA, different behaviours in different states. Amazon is 50% of ecommerce in USA.
  • China ecommerce 1 trillion GBP revenue in 2020. It is different than rest of the world.
    • Great firewall of China. Different apps and platforms.
    • You do not need registered business in China now. But need right partners.
  • Middle east – ecommerce is filling mid range products. Tech savvy. Logistics is challenge.


  • Global Market Finder
  • G Analytics
  • G Keyword planner
  • G Trends
  • G Shopper Insights
  • G Consumer Barometer
  • Paypal Passport
  • Santander or Lloyds Trade Portal
  • The Paypers


  • Objective of the website
  • Target audience – their triggers and barriers
  • Are there multiple user journeys?
  • Conversion points?
  • Catalogue Management
  • Payment gateways
    • Paypal – bad exchange rates. Stripe is better for localized payments. You can get payments in different currencies in Stripe.
  • Management and maintenance
  • Ease of use, user experience
  • Scalability
  • Multi-channel integration
  • Translation
    • Google Translate can work to an extend. It is better with AI in 2018.
  • Localization
    • Local language – Google Translate for mass translations. Manually translate important bits
    • Use metric measurements relevant to that country
    • Currency converter / local currencies
    • Provide information about duties and taxes in different markets
    • Make sure contact form fields accept different language



  • Access to customer in a trusted environment
  • You keep control of the brand
  • Stock control
  • Pricing control
  • Less listing and transaction fees
  • Excellent way to test the local demand for your products
  • Research opportunity for customer behaviour


  • Multi channel integrators, Integration partner
  • Order management system
    • Channeladvisor platform – very expensive
    • Anatwine – fashion only
    • Linnworks – order management
    • Pentagon interactive – SE Asian market


  • Have bad rep in the UK
  • Work very well on many other countries
  • You can put your products on different country sites for it not to affect UK
  • Subscription models (Printer – ink model)


  • B2B e-marketplaces
    • Alibaba
  • Directories
  • Product Listing
  • Niche or procurement platforms
    • Product feed, API, EDI