Basic Guide To Internet Marketing For SMEs In Singapore

singapore small business internet marketing guide

The majority of small business owners in Singapore have to work within a limited online marketing budget. They have to get the most out of the budget and still compete with larger companies for the attention of their target audience.

How is it possible for you to remain competitive in internet marketing while operating within a limited budget? Several marketing strategies for SMEs have proven to have a significant impact in promoting their business in the highly competitive Singapore market.

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Irrespective of the type of business, these digital marketing strategies produce a high investment return, allowing you to do more with your small budget. This article goes through a basic guide on top marketing strategies for internet marketing for SMEs in Singapore.

  1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is one of the most crucial small business marketing strategies. It involves optimisation of your website’s content and structure to make it easier for search engines to crawl your site. Valuable website content with relevant keywords and other little changes in your site can go a long way toward ranking your business higher on the search engine results page. Higher ranking on Google gives you an opportunity to drive massive new traffic to your website.

SEO is crucial to the creation of a mobile-friendly website. Online users looking for a potential brand to buy from locally mostly use mobile devices; hence, you need to have a mobile-responsive site. Optimizing your content and website for local SEO gives you a higher chance of being featured in the local mobile search results.

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Improving Your Small Business SEO

A site audit is the first step towards improving the SEO of your small business. You can either conduct the side audit yourself or hire one of the many available SEO agencies in Singapore. A site audit gives you the position of your site in the search engine.

It takes a look at your site content and structure and determines the weaknesses and strengths of your website regarding search engine optimisation. It is sometimes tricky for SEO if you do not have an expert in your business with the proper expertise to optimise your site for search engines.

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Fortunately, there are available SEO marketing agencies in Singapore ready to help you promote your small business search engine rankings as you focus on managing your business. By improving your SEO, you will boost your online visibility and ensure that new customers find you on search engines.

  1. Content Marketing

Small businesses depend mostly on content marketing strategies. Content marketing involves the creation of quality content with great value for your target audience.

You will only be able to develop quality content if you understand the desires, needs, and challenges of your clients. More so, content marketing is of significance in building trust and credibility with your customers and giving a positive impression about your brand conversion of leads.

However, unlike other paid digital marketing strategies, content marketing is a long-term motive for improving your SEO. This strategy will provide a high return on investment, and you can still promote your content even after uploading the blog post. Content marketing offers new touch points that are critical in developing trust and improving online relationships that result in loyal customers.

Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing requires you to have a clear definition of your target audience. Research your audience and develop a buyer persona to place them at the centre of your content marketing goals. Some of the information contained in buyer personas includes their preferences, challenges, demographics, and behaviour.

Once you get the customer details, you need to first address their main problems through your content topics. This is through the frequently asked questions by the online users. You can use these topics to develop blogs, eBooks, infographics, and social media posts. The buyer’s journey is contained in three sections, i.e., awareness, consideration, and decision.

Content on how to solve the challenges of your potential customers may be suitable in the awareness stage, while a case study is better for the people ready to purchase, making them understand the importance of your brand. Content marketing requires consistency in both the value and relevancy of the content to attract and engage your target audience.

  1. PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising allows small businesses to place their advertisements with people looking for relevant products and services online. You will pay each time an online user clicks on your ad. The Google search engine has an algorithm that determines the advertisements that will appear on the search engine results page depending on relevance, validity, and quality.

This means that you need to use relevant keywords for your ads to appear as relevant leads. The most famous PPC advertising platform is referred to as Google AdWords. Google AdWords provides the best place for PPC advertisements, as the majority of people search for information about products and services through the Google search engine.

PPC Ads Campaign

Keyword research is the first step toward the creation of a PPC ads campaign. The process may consume much time but is essential as your whole campaign is developed on the keywords chosen. For your PPC ads keywords to be convenient and effective, they should have popular keywords, less competitive long-tail keywords, and frequently searched keywords.

Make sure that the list is exhaustive and relevant. More so, you should continuously refine and expand your keyword PPC list as the search trends continue to change. This way, you will be able to get a higher return on investment for your PPC ads campaign.

The other steps include ad creation, development of a landing page, setting up an account, tracking installation and testing, launching the campaign, monitoring performance, assessing the campaign, and analysing the feedback. PPC advertising campaigns act as a perfect complement to your organic search and enable you to drive traffic to your site.

PPC advertising requires skilled and experienced personnel to manage the campaigns. Otherwise, you might spend your budget on PPC advertising tactics and strategies that will never work. There are various available Google AdWords management agencies in Singapore to hire and help manage your PPC ad campaign.

  1. Facebook Advertising

Research conducted reveals that about two million small to average-sized businesses are advertising on social media. Social media platforms, mostly Facebook, provide an efficient and cheap way for you to promote your small business. According to statistics, the majority of Singaporeans spend about three hours a day on social media platforms. This provides for a higher probability that your target audience will be reached through social media advertising.

You have a good chance of reaching your target customers through Facebook, regardless of the industry you are in. The best thing about Facebook advertising is its powerful targeting features, which help you to target your relevant audience. They are the only ones who can see your advertisement content. The targeting is based on certain factors, including gender, location, age, and online behaviour.

Facebook Ads Statistics

Statistics reveal that CTR Facebook ads across all industries range from zero to nine percent. The Facebook ad revenue goes for approximately nine point one six billion dollars. More so, about twenty percent of Facebook’s mobile ad revenue comes from Instagram.

One of the statistics that reveal the great importance of Facebook advertising is that about 26 percent of Facebook users push for purchases through ads.

Steps in Getting Started with Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertisement has an easy and quick procedure. First, ensure that you have a business page for your small business. You will then use Facebook Ads Manager to access the ad platform by going to the drop-down menu on your Facebook account.

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All the ad features are accessible after you click on Manage Ads. You also need your primary objective for Facebook advertising to be awareness, consideration, and conversion. You will then give details on your target audience to narrow down the people who get to see the ads.

Ensure that you set a daily budget of how much you spend, which you can use to calculate the amount required to sustain the ad campaigns for a certain period. You can now create your ad using a suitable format. Quality professional video and images can also be included in the creation of a compelling advertisement. You will then choose where you want to place your ads in the various areas of Facebook as well as Instagram.

Facebook Campaign Analysis

Analysing your Facebook ads campaign is essential in maximising your budget output. Though it is quick and easy to set up the campaigns, you need to check on your success over time. Make comparisons between the performance of various ads.

If some ads are more successful than others, look at what impacts the success and use it when setting up future ads. You can consult Singapore agencies that offer Facebook advertising services for small businesses to help you develop a profitable Facebook marketing strategy.

  1. Social Media Marketing

With the rising levels of digital marketing in Singapore, you have no other option other than reaching and engaging your audience through social media. What you need to ask yourself is how much budget and time you will set aside to boost your customers and leads through social media. Deciding on which social media channel to launch your marketing strategy is the first step in social media marketing. You need to consider the social media platforms on which your potential customers spend most of their time and also the ones that will help you achieve your business objectives and goals.

Social Media Channels

The social media channels available include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn marketing. Choose the perfect channel for you according to the factors stated earlier. After selecting the right channel for your SME, think of the content you want to post and how regularly you will be posting. Quality content should include blog posts, articles, branded videos, and images. A social media content calendar enables you to keep track of your social media posts on different channels.

  1. Email Marketing

The majority of consumers do not make a purchase from your business brand on their first visit to your website. This is what makes email marketing one of the best marketing strategies for your small business. You need to maintain contact with these online visitors after they have left your site. You want to use the visitor’s contact details for lead nurturing. Research shows that approximately forty percent of marketers view the generated leads from email marketing as of the highest quality. How do you get the contact information of your target audience? A lead magnet is one of the best strategies. It involves providing amazing offers for your website visitors, in which they give you their email addresses in return. The offers may include a webinar invitation, a special eBook, a white paper, or a special promotion.

Designing Email Campaigns

A subscriber’s mailing list acts as the foundation for your email campaigns. You can now design an email campaign to help nurture your leads and develop authority. Your email list should be segmented into subscribers with similar characteristics to send more targeted and specific content. There are different types of messages that you can include in your email marketing content. Promotions and sale details are some of the most preferred messages to send to consumers through email. Other content may consist of eBooks, blog posts, and infographics. Email marketing provides the best way for your business brand to be on top of your customer base and deliver triggered content to your relevant customers.

Small Business Internet Marketing In Singapore

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According to SPRING Singapore, a government agency that supports its local firms, small businesses account for about 70% of employment in Singapore, making up 99% of all companies in this city-state. However, when it comes to competing online, these business owners still feel as if they need a lot of money to compete with other businesses. And this assumption is pretty reasonable, considering how much competition there is on the internet.

However, what most of these individuals may not realise is that their success is largely dependent on how they position themselves, rather than how large their marketing budget is. Let’s talk about 5 strategies that can make small business internet marketing in Singapore easy as well as make a business stand out among its competitors.

Strategy 1: Market Distinction in Singapore

If a business owner wants to get the most out of its marketing plan and stand out from the competition, it must first understand what makes it different. In other words, what problems does this business solve and how does it do it better than others? The good news is, this is a relatively easy thing to figure out.

The business should first find out how crowded their niche is. They can do this by performing a Google search for relevant blogs. For instance, if a business sells automotive accessories, the business owner would search ‘Automotive accessory blog.’ The number of search results, below the Google search bar, should show how large their niche and market is.

And if the search results yield tens of thousands of results, business owners can be sure that there is a lot of interest in their industry. An additional benefit of doing this search is that a business can identify blogs that could possibly become their promotional partners in the future.

Now that the business owner knows how crowded his or her niche is, it’s time to figure out how their products or services are going to stand out in that crowd. How can they place their small business in a category of its own? This can be done by answering a few simple questions:

1.) Can people easily understand the value of the product or service?

2.) Does this business offer a unique spin on pricing, features, or other significant factors?

3.) Is the business following a trend that is growing?

However, business owners should not become too attached to these answers. It’s very likely that as the business grows and the market evolves, the answers will change from time to time. So, recognising what makes a business distinctive is a continuous process. Yet, it is still a crucial part of succeeding in online marketing. Small business owners should never become too comfortable with this strategy.

Strategy 2: Court the Crowd in Singapore

There is nothing wrong with allowing a business to grow organically, however, there is a big distinction between organic growth and unexplored opportunities. Most customers are completely unaware of many small businesses. While the business could slowly and diligently build its reputation throughout the years until people began to know and trust them, there are ways to become more widely known and trusted in a fraction of that time.

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Here’s a little trick that some of the most popular online brands used when first starting: they exploited larger, relevant platforms—places where huge pools of their desired audiences already spend their time. In other words, they used other websites as stepping stones. And there are a lot of ways in which the business owner may go about this. For instance, he or she may advertise their site on a platform that is similar to it. He or she may also offer a valuable service/product for free and post it on a popular platform that the target audience frequents.

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This does not mean that a business owner should spam another website. It simply means that they should be on the lookout for platforms that are populated with their target audience and then create their news. The best circumstance is that in which a business cross-promotes another business. When two businesses have similar, but not identical, audiences, they can easily promote each other’s content when possible. In this way, a small business does not need to have a significant amount of money to stand out from the competition.

Strategy 3: Ride the News Waves

Several websites realise the value of having a news section on their website. They understand that posting the most relevant and up-to-date information about their niche will likely gain them a little attention. And it also makes the business look more knowledgeable and competent. However, not all small business owners use the news to its fullest advantage. At best, this news is a powerful marketing tool.

How can the news be used to promote your business and make you stand out? Simple, not only should small businesses report the news, but they should also consider interacting with and becoming part of it. For instance, Charmin, a brand most known for its bathroom tissue, took advantage of one of the year’s most talked about events—the red carpet. It sent out a tweet wishing celebrities good luck and telling them not to forget to look down before their speech. Along with their message was a picture of a woman in a red dress whose long train dragged a long piece of bathroom tissue behind her.

This form of advertisement is called newsjacking. The reason it’s so popular is that it is low-cost and it easily gets customers’ attention because it’s current. A business does not always have to use humour to take advantage of this strategy. It may also hold contests that are related to the news.

For instance, a company called 99 Designs, a logo design platform, got its first major boost when it piggybacked off of news about the retailer, Gap. Gap had recently changed its logo and got a negative response from its customers. People liked its old logo better. 99 Designs decided to hold a contest for designers to find out who could offer the best logo redesign for Gap. This earned the company a significant amount of attention.

Strategy 4: Market With Influence in Singapore

When it comes to online marketing, there is hardly anything more effective than influence marketing. This is the process of developing a relationship with an influential person who can eventually assist a business in making your product or service more visible. This type of marketing takes on several different forms.

For example, the influencer may write a blog post or article about the business’s product or service. The influencer may be very popular on a specific social media platform, and they may share information about the business with their followers. The influencer may also agree to the business guest posting on their popular website.

Here’s why a lot of people are drawn to this form of marketing: it’s much easier to get the attention of one person than it is of thousands. That is, it’s much simpler to sell a product or service to one person, who can then promote it to an incredibly large audience.

The great thing about tapping into influencer marketing is that it is relatively low-cost. And thanks to influencer marketplaces that connect brands with the most relevant influencers, it’s getting easier to build these types of relationships. However, it’s worth noting that business owners must be willing to build a solid rapport with these individuals as well as make sure that their product, service, or information is of significant value to their audiences.

Strategy 5: Fish For Backlinks in Singapore

A lot of small business owners understand how important it is for a website to gain a great reputation. One of the best ways to do this is by getting a lot of backlinks to the website. For example, if a small business is featured on a popular niche site, the niche site’s anchor text may be the name of the small business, which readers click on and it leads them to the company’s website. The higher the ranking of the page that refers to a business, the more attention the small business receives.

In many respects, backlinking is much like influence marketing. It relies on the success of another website in order to ensure the success of its own. However, fishing for backlinks does not necessarily require business owners to develop a rapport with site owners. Though there are several ways to go about getting backlinks from high-ranking websites, some are more effective than others.

One of the most popular and effective forms of backlink fishing is the skyscraper technique. The business owner starts by researching the most popular topics and content. It’s easy to tell how well-received a piece of content was based on the number of times the content was shared. The business then writes about the same topic but from a whole new angle, preferably one that is revolutionary or game-changing. In some cases, this may simply mean discussing the topic more in-depth or at length. Once this content has been created, the business owner may then reach out to the blogs that have linked to similar content.

Some of these techniques can be complicated and time-consuming for the average business owner. So therefore it always makes prudent sense to consult with an SEO agency such as MediaOne.

Closing Remarks

In a sense, small businesses are at a disadvantage. Not very many people are aware of them and the bigger brands have larger marketing budgets. So how can a small business stand out in such a crowded room? Small businesses need to spend time getting to know what their market lacks. They need to find out where their target audience spends most of their time and then add an unforgettable amount of value to that platform.

Small businesses need to get boosts from the most trendy news stories by inserting themselves into the conversation. It should also look for influencers who will be willing to put its products or services in front of large, loyal audiences. The strategies the business uses will ultimately depend on its specific goals.

A small budget does not limit you to utilise profitable and super powerful internet marketing strategies for your small business in Singapore. You should be aware of the benefits of each marketing strategy for your business. All these strategies give you an edge to compete in the Singapore digital market, whether your business is new or it has been running for years.

With a little effort, you will drive more traffic to your site and increase your lead conversions. There are many Singapore-based marketing agencies with experts who will help you adjust your online marketing strategies accordingly. This will boost your small business in reaching, engaging, and closing your target clients.

Speak to MediaOne today – a leading digital marketing agency trusted by SingTel, Noel Gifts, Changi Airport, Fuji Xerox, Maybank, EDB, the Ministry of Law, and many MNCs and SMEs in Singapore.

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.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Social Media




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