14 Ways Startups in Singapore Can Market Themselves on a Tight Budget

14 Ways Singapore Startups Can Market Themselves on a Tight Budget

Is it possible for Startups in Singapore to market themselves without spending a fortune? Singapore has the highest digital consumption rates in the world. 83% of the total population in the country are active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

A majority of Singaporeans prefer using smartphones and mobile phones to access the internet. The Global Digital Report 2018 shows that the average Singaporean spends 2 hours and 6 minutes per day on social media. Singapore businesses are aware of these facts and invest thousands of dollars in digital marketing.

Here are 14 proven ways Singapore startups can market themselves on a tight budget.

Create an Elevator Pitch

Competition for attention in Singapore digital space is fierce and only the best win. As a startup that is committed and determined to succeed, you should be marketing your brand all the time regardless of where you are.

To do this, you need to create an elevator pitch, that is, a pitch that you can use to convince a potential customer that you come across during your normal daily errands. The average attention span for most adults is 6-8 seconds. That is all the time that you have to grab and hold the attention of the client and finally build trust.

Take time to create a stellar pitch and use it at every opportunity that you get to engage and connect with the target audiences. It will pay huge dividends in terms of creating opportunities for your Singapore business to thrive.

Take Advantage of your Community

As a new business, you most likely do not have the financial freedom that the already established businesses have built over the years. Even though you should set high goals, they should be realistic and in line with your budget. Think locally to establish a strong foundation for your business.

For example, you can decide to sponsor one of the local soccer teams or a charity walk. Print bookmarks and supply them to the local libraries for free. These simple activities will boost your brand awareness efforts and create a positive image of your brand.

Research to know your ideal clients’ needs, where, and how they spent their time on weekdays and weekends. All this information will help you create an effective local digital marketing campaign that will later on, help you to spread your wings to other areas and countries.


Create a list of non-competitive and synergistic businesses in your locality and organize a meeting to discuss how you can all collaborate and cross-promote each other. You can use reciprocal website links, coupons, fliers, social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and bundled promotions to do this.

Concisely, collaborating with such businesses will help you to expand your clientele base because you will be connecting with new people are interested in your products or services.


Networking is one of the superior ways of building a successful Startups in Singapore. Get to know people in your industry or niche, attend conferences and meetups, connect via social media platforms, and share ideas about the industry in general.

Note that networking is time demanding and does not always provide instant gratification. However, a strong network is one of the most valuable assets any entrepreneur can have. Your network is your net worth; keep that in mind as you create a marketing campaign for your Singapore startup.

Create Buzz

In the past, creating a buzz was an expensive and challenging task that most Singapore startups would not dare to venture into due to the uncertainties. Thanks to advancement in technology, it is now possible to create a buzz online without necessarily hiring a professional digital marketing firm. However, eventually, you will need to hire a digital marketing agency to create, monitor, and run the campaigns on your behalf.

Help a Reporter Out is one of the programs that you can join to get the word out there about your brand. On this platform, you will get a chance to respond to hundreds of queries from reporters looking for story resources and ideas.

Social media promotions can also help you achieve this objective on a shoestring budget. Do your research to know the type of freebies to give out during the promotion. The freebies should be relevant to the customers you are targeting and of value. If you decide to provide discounted products, carry out a cost-benefit analysis to avoid any financial constraints down the road.

Focus on Building Relationships with Customers

The first thing to note is that it is costly to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. Focus on building strong and healthy relationships with your clients. You can do this by keeping in touch through email marketing and special offers. Request email addresses when they visit the website for purposes of building an emailing list.

Your communication via email or on any other online platform should be helpful, professional, and informative. Make the customers look forward to receiving your next email. Customers who are loyal to your brand will not hesitate to refer your brand to their friends, colleagues, and family members.

Offer Coupons

A majority of successful Singapore startups use coupons to attract new clients and retain the existing ones. Many research studies have proven that customers will go out of their way to use coupons when shopping both offline and online to save money.

Coupons that guarantee discounts on future purchases will motivate first-time customers to come back and shop at your store. There is a high probability that they will come back for more if the deal is good enough.

Consider Volunteering to Give Speeches

Most people hate public speaking; however, there are many trade associations and organizations in Singapore looking for subject-matter experts to speak to their audience during events such as summits and conferences. Take a bold step and capitalize on these opportunities to establish yourself and the brand as an authority in the niche.

Note that you do not have to a pro, make sure that the information that you provide is accurate, helpful, and relevant to the audience. Spice up your speech by highlighting your company and connecting the services you offer with the speech.

For example, if you are invited to give a speech about digital marketing trends in Singapore, mention that you have a company that provides digital marketing services in the country. Distribute flyers to the attendees but before you do that seek permission from the event organizers.

Write Relevant Content and Share it

Write content that is relevant to the target audience and publish it on your blog to increase your visibility and credibility online. For example, if you have a catering company in Singapore, you can share off-menu recipes that you or your team personally developed. A resume consulting firm can use before-and-after posts to show potential clients what they can expect from the service. Be creative and think outside the box so that your content stands out from the crowd.

Posting the content on your blog will help you get more website traffic and visibility online, but you can achieve more results if you share the articles on social media platforms. If the posts are excellent, they will go viral and could be seen more the more than 4 million Singaporeans.

Join Relevant Communities

Join groups and communities that are in one way or another connected to your business or industry on social media platforms such as Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn. Be confident and offer good recommendations and advice to other group members. For example, be proactive in answering questions and queries and participate in discussions and forums.

Eventually, your posts will be noticed, and people will start visiting your profile. To win, make sure that you include a link that the visitors can click on to visit your official website.

Attend Local Events

Local events are great for networking; they will increase your presence in the locality. This strategy does not work well for all businesses. If you provide products and services directly to other Singapore startups, then local networking is a perfect option for you. It might turn out to be more rewarding than selling the same products online.

That said; it is important to note that virtually any time of networking helps, even if it is to exchange ideas and inspiration with other entrepreneurs.

Social Media Marketing

Most social media platforms such as Facebook allow businesses to open and operate business pages for free. You will only be charged if you opt for the paid ads. Use the page to market your brand to the ever-increasing social media users in the Singapore. Concisely, use the platforms to get the word out about your company and products.

It is recommended not to use your personal account, as it limits your reach to your friends. Your account can also detract from your professional image. For example, you can post pictures of your products, how-to videos, customer testimonials, and other marketing materials on this page. Be sure to respond to the comments posted by the followers to keep the conversations going. The page should also have a link that the followers can click on to visit your website to learn more about what you offer.

Google My Business Listing

Google My Business Listing will put your business on the map and give you numerous promotional options that you can use to market your brand. It also gives you an opportunity to interact with your target customers online for free. Make sure that you provide information about your company such as location, business hours, photos, busy periods, phone number, and call button to assist potential customers get in touch with you quickly.

Closing Remarks

Indeed, there is no shortage of marketing opportunities and ideas that Singapore startups can use to market themselves on a tight budget. Use all or some of these strategies to establish and increase your clientele base in the country.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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