The Complete Guide To Digital Marketing In Singapore

digital marketing in Singapore

Table of Contents

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is used to describe the promotion and sale of products and services using a range of digital technologies, mainly the internet. The current wave of digital marketing sparked in the 1990s during the dotcom era when the internet was starting to reach the workplace and the masses. Digital marketing tends to be more profound in territories with higher internet penetration. With over 80 per cent internet penetration, Singapore is one of the countries in the world where internet marketing has been a major driving for in commerce.

digital marketing in Singapore

Source: Piktochart

Here are the ten examples of digital marketing

Search Engine Optimisation – SEO

SEO entails employing a variety of strategies to make your website appear among the top results returned by the search engine. It is used to boost the organic traffic (free traffic) to your website. Effective SEO can be achieved in 3 ways:

  • On page SEO emphasises on the content that is already on the page. It entails conducting comprehensive research on keywords so that those keywords can arrest all the readers’ questions.
  • Off Page SEO emphasises on events that happen away from the page. It entails establishing a set of backlinks, the number of outsider publishers linking to you, and the level of authority those publishers have.
  • Technical SEO emphasises on events happening behind the scenes in the website. How are the pages coded? How is the picture compression? What’s the state of your structured data?

Content marketing

This type of digital marketing entails creating and promoting excellent content to generate traffic, brand awareness, and pretty much anything else you would want from your audience. Effective content marketing can be achieved in 3 ways:

  • Publishing blog posts
  • Publishing whitepapers and e-books
  • Creating infographics

Social Media Marketing – SMM

Social Media Marketing serves to promote your content and brand on social networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. – to generate traffic and leads and boost brand awareness.

PPC – Pay Per Click

In PPC marketing, you drive traffic to your site by paying the publisher some money every time the visitor clicks on your ad. Google Ads, for instance, is a PPC platform that allows advertisers to buy the top spots on the search results returned by the search engine at a price tag that qualifies as “per click” on the defined links. Other examples of PPC platforms are LinkedIn’s sponsored messages, Twitter Ads, and Facebook’s paid ads.

Affiliate marketing

In affiliate marketing, marketers are tasked with promoting goods or services of the merchant who pays them a commission on the sales.

Affiliate marketing can be realised through several channels, including:

  • Promoting links through your social media account
  • Displaying promotional videos through the YouTube Partners Program

Native marketing

Native marketing is content-based promotion propagated on a platform that also supports non-paid content. A good example is BuzzFeed’s sponsored content. Among some digital marketing experts, social media marketing is starting to be considered to be Native Marketing.

Social media marketing – SMM

Social media marketing encompasses all promotional efforts you take on social media to promote your brand, products, or services. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. advertising qualify as social media marketing.

Automated marketing

In this type of digital marketing, the marketer employs dedicated software to perform basic marketing on behalf of the company. Automated marketing works very much like a robot – the software takes over the repetitive tasks that a human would regard to be too dull to do manually:

  • Email newsletter automation allows you to send the same email to a list of clients at a given rate
  • Social media post automation keeps your social media accounts updated with fresh posts when you are not online

Email marketing

In email marketing, a business maintains a customer mailing list to which it sends such promotional content as discounts and events notifications.

Singapore Internet Marketing Overview

Singapore has always been the preferred destination for anyone eyeing South East Asia’s market. Two reasons might be behind this preference: Singapore has the fastest internet in the ASEAN region and has one of the most extensive smartphone penetration in the world. These two factors make Singapore an excellent place to be for an ecommerce brand.

What should a brand bear in mind bear in mind before putting its tents in Singapore’s ecommerce?

The ecommerce climate in Singapore

Singapore’s ecommerce market is projected to experience stellar growth in years to come with Statista expecting it to hit S$8.7 million by the end of 2023. That’s 14.7 per cent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from S$4.9 billion expected in 2019.

Perhaps the most motivating sign is the fact that more Singaporeans are on the internet now than they’ve ever been. By the end of 2019, the number of Singaporeans on the internet is expected to stand at 4.9 million users, out of a population of 5.8 million people – that’s roughly 85 per cent penetration rate. Of those 4.9 million people over the internet, 3.6 million – or 73 per cent – purchased goods on the internet. That could mean one thing, a significant number of them are digitally knowledgeable about navigating through an ecommerce platform and making shopping decisions very much like their western counterparts, even better.

According to the findings of iPrice Singapore, Singaporeans tend to fill their baskets with a significantly larger number of items when shopping on the internet than anyone else in the ASEAN region. The cart size averages at S$92 per order.

It is worth mentioning that the glitzy shops lining the length of the Orchard Road are reported to be choking under the weight of the competition brought ecommerce shops. It is also important to mention that Singapore is the birth of some of South East Asia’s top ecommerce brands, including Shopee and Carousell. All these indicate how robust Singaporean ecommerce is at the moment.

What is the fuel that’s powering Singapore’s ecommerce to high levels?

  • Minimal barriers to entering the market
  • The rise of cashless payment
  • Impressive bargains and convenience

Impressive bargains and convenience

An average shopper has more options for the same product to choose because the market has availed more than enough deals. According to a study conducted by iPrice, one of the top reasons why Singaporeans prefer internet shopping to store visit is the ease of accessing discounts and promotions. A similar survey conducted by PwC found that over 60 per cent of Singaporeans went on social media solely to view the reviews of brands and hunt for promotions from their favourite online retailers. Paypal found out in 2018 that as much as 73 per cent of Singaporeans ordered items overseas.

The rise of cashless payment in Singapore

Singaporeans have access to several cashless payment methods – ePayments, bank transfers, credit cards, etc. – which makes it incredibly easy to pay for items purchased online. These cashless payment methods also made it possible for them to shop on global ecommerce such as Amazon and Alibaba. In addition to the widespread use of credit cards, banks and government authorities have encouraged the creation of more convenient cashless methods of payment. Such efforts include the adoption of the PayNow and the reinvented QR codes.

Minimal barriers to entering the market

Singapore is one of the easiest places to start a business in the ASEAN region. Better yet, the fact that both Mandarin and English serves as national languages eases communication between international businesses operating in the country and the locals. Figures from Singstat show that Singapore has a 97 percent literacy rate. Besides, Singapore City is regarded as one of the best transport and business hubs to do business in South East Asia. The country’s ports are some of the busiest ports in the world. Changi Airport ranks highly among the world’s finest airports.

Obstacles that could retard the ecommerce boom in Singapore

Although the Singaporean ecommerce sector is experiencing immense success, few factors could prevent Singaporeans from purchasing via the internet:

  • Proximity to plenty of physical shopping malls and an array of specialised stores
  • Sceptical attitudes

Shopper proximity to plenty of physical shopping malls

If you compared how the Orchard Road how looked ten years and how it does today, you’d notice a significant decline. Fierce competition from suburban stores and ecommerce are cited to be the main reasons behind this decline.

However, the development of impressive infrastructure and suburban malls has shortened the distance between the home of an average Singaporean and a store. Although many Singaporeans may still be attracted to the sumptuous deals offered by ecommerce sites which can be as high as 90 percent, the ease of shopping at a nearby physical store may outweigh such benefits – this means ecommerce sites are starting to face more competition from the stores they tried to replace at the start.

Worse yet, some physical stores want to combine both; they avail their services and good both online and offline and lets the buyers choose whichever option they consider to be convenient at any time.

Sceptical attitudes

More and more Singaporeans are starting to be cautious with what they buy online. In 2017, several Singaporeans got ill from using contaminated foreign cosmetics. The HSA, Singapore’s health science authority, gave out advisories on an array of cosmetic items but the attitudes of consumers seem to have changed forever.

Scepticism has spread on pretty everything offered online. A study conducted by iPrice revealed that 48 per cent of Singaporeans would only buy an item via the internet after comparing the features, price, and authenticity. Because of the eroded trust, more Singaporeans are turning on online reviews before committing themselves to buy a service or item on the internet.

A business can navigate around these obstacles quite easily. To challenge the fierce competition in Singapore’s retail industry, you should create a marketing strategy that can help your brand stand out of the pack. Improving the speed at which you deliver the items to buyers can give your brand a competitive advantage as well.

To ensure that you always make a good impression every time a potential customer glances at your products, consider displaying your products in professional item photos. You can even go the extra mile and copyright some of your most treasured materials. Keep your landing page precise and easy to use.

Some Important Digital Marketing Terms and Definitions

Are you trying to understand the digital marketing landscape in Singapore, but you can’t figure out what some of the industry’s terms mean? Here is a comprehensive list of some of the most often used jargon:

Cost Per Impression – CPI

CPI is used to measure the number of times your ad appears on a given site and if users saw or interacted with it. CPI should not be mistaken with “reach” which simply measures the total number of people who saw your ad.

Click-Through Rate – CTR

CTR is used to refer to the percentage of individuals who click on a given link. The link may be on a web page, ad, email etc. High CTR means more visitors went through.

Engagement rate

All your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and similar social networks receive engagement rates from your audience. Engagement refers to the interactions your audience has with your brand’s posts; it can be in form likes, comments, shares etc. The higher the engagement, the better the content and the better your SEO could turn out to be.

Cost per Acquisition – CPA

CPA is a charging scheme adopted by advertising platforms in which they only charge their clients when conversions, sales, or leads are generated. Companies love it because they are charged for the overall results they receive.

Cost per Click – CPC

CPC is a fairly common pricing model where the SEO agency or the publisher charges the client for every click received by the client’s ad. Whether the visitor making the click proceeds to make a transaction or not doesn’t matter.

Cost per Thousand – CPM

CPM is another pricing model where the company is asked to purchase advertising impressions which are charged based on the rate the ad appears in every 1000 impressions. Publishers love this pricing scheme because they are just paid for displaying the ads, nothing else.

Conversions

When the visitor lands on your site and proceeds to take the desired action, that’s called conversion. It can be any action: membership signup, subscription, download, purchase, etc.

Impressions

Impressions refer to the total number of times your ad shows up to the target audience. In the context of a website, impressions can refer to the total number of times a given web page shows up.

Churn Rate

Churn rate refers to the total number of clients you’ve lost in a given period. If you begin the month of November with 100 customers and end up with 95 at the end of the same month, the churn rate would stand at 5 percent.

Remarketing

In remarketing, an ad is shown to the person on one site, and if that person doesn’t make a purchase, it is shown again to the same person on another person. It is often used as a tactic to lure visitors back to a website.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic refers to any traffic generated by the search engine and channelled to your website. It can originate from Bing, Yahoo, Google, or any other search engine that might support SEM and SEO.

Quality Score & Relevancy Score

Facebook puts a relevancy score on every ad to show how creative and relevant it is and how it compares to other ads.

Google does a similar thing; they’ll put a quality score on your paid ad to show how creative and relevant your ad is. So why should you worry about these scores? Having higher scores means that Facebook or Google will prioritize on your ads over your competitors’. Higher scores also lower the amount of money you’ll need to pay on every click.

B2B and B2C

B2B or business to business and B2C or business to the consumer are used to describe the person or entity the business is interacting with. If you are marketing your products or services directly to the consumers who qualify as end-users, you are doing B2C. If you are marketing, you are marketing your products and services to other businesses, you are doing B2B.

Call to Action – CTA

A CTA is a button or link that arrests the customer’s attention and makes them make a purchase, give their email, or perform any specified action. The website should immediately present the visitor with an action to do when they land.

Buyer persona

When you take the buyer persona, you put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and view your marketing campaign, products, or services from there. A buyer persona can entail any aspect of the customer: gender, interests, age, etc. More often than not, the buyer persona is obtained after intensive research on the target.

Pixel

A Pixel is a small block of code inserted in a website to track the activities of the customer on the website. It can collect data and analytics about the visitor’s movements, clicks, and even the time spent on the site. Pixels can be used to retarget clients on Facebook.

Keyword

This is any phrase or word used by the audience to search for specific topics on a search engine. If you run a bakery in the heart of Singapore City, some of the keywords that might be relevant to your business are “Buy Vanilla Cake,” “Cupcakes near me,” “Looking to buy Queencakes in Singapore City” etc.

Paid traffic is related to paid search and describes the situation when the company makes a bid on a given list of keywords and proceeds to create ads around that set of keywords to be shown on the search engine. Paid search results are displayed separately at the bottom, top, or on the right side of the usual results.

Search Engine Optimisation – SEO

Search engine optimisation is a collection of strategies that helps a company’s website appear among the top results (SERP) returned by a search engine when a person searches any of the targeted keywords. The higher the rankings your page has, the higher the traffic it might receive.

Search Engine Results Page – SERP

SERP refers to a list of results returned by a search engine when a user searches for information about a given keyword.

Search Engine Marketing – SEM

SEM is a type of digital marketing where a company bids on a given list of keywords and gets a high placement on the search results

10 Benefits of Digital Marketing in Singapore

Source: Promotional Video Makers

For any Singaporean business, digital marketing is a powerful marketing force that can’t just be ignored. As the marketplace becomes more encroached with technology, digital marketing becomes a better alternative to offline marketing. Here are the ten benefits your business may get by promoting itself on the internet:

Digital marketing is affordable

Think of Singapore’s medium-size or small business that can’t compete aggressively with big-budgeted companies, the cost of putting ads on TV can be way above their reach.

A big company in Singapore can spend on one TV campaign what a small or medium company earns in an entire financial year. Digital marketing serves to put all these businesses on the level field by letting their marketing strategies, not money, decide the outcome. Better yet, digital marketing offers a plethora of options – PPC ads, SEM, SEO, etc. – from which the company can choose depending on the needs and budget.

Digital marketing is easily measurable

You want to invest money in a marketing campaign that you can track the progress and make changes if necessary. Unlike offline marketing, digital marketing allows you to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign relative to your ROI and determine if it is worth your investments.

Digital marketing guarantees precise targeting

Internet users give out a lot of personal data to social networks, regular websites, and search engines. There is a strong chance that Google has a rough idea of what each Singaporean likes and what s/he might want to buy at any time. Such information has proved to be valuable for businesses and can be used to target each person on the internet with the right kind of ads. Things are different with offline marketing; most of the offline marketing channels don’t have a clear understanding of who is seeing the ads.

Digital marketing helps your business reach clients at the beginning of their shopping journey

As a brand, you want to make the impact early enough by being familiar to first-time shoppers. In the digital era, it has been proven that people make their baby steps in shopping via the internet. If you market your products and services on the internet and first-timers happen to bump into them and realise that they meet their needs, they are more likely to turn into loyal customers.

Digital marketing allows the marketer to make changes to the marketing campaign

Suppose you started a campaign to target people of a certain age living in a given section Singapore City but then realised that you got your targeting wrong, you can make changes to your online campaign while it is live. This unique feature can save a business money, time, and creativity because you don’t need to start your campaign from scratch again.

Should I Do My Digital Marketing or Hire a Professional Agency?

The cost of hiring digital marketing professionals in Singapore can be high for some organizations, especially those that fall in the SME category. To such organizations, establishing an in-house digital marketing team can be the only viable alternative.

In-house digital marketing teams are beneficial but not as effective as a dedicated digital marketing agency with experienced professionals. Here are the factors to keep in mind when choosing between an in-house digital marketing team and a professional agency:

  • Your budget – How much are you willing to spend on digital marketing? The bigger the budget, the more capable you are to hire a professional agency.
  • The number of products you want – Every digital marketing plan requires multiple platforms, products, and tools. Your in-house team might not be in a position to access many tools.
  • Strategy and process – Is the strategy and process complex or simple?
  • Transparency and trust – If you don’t trust the professional agency to be transparent, you may opt for an in-house team

In-House Digital Marketing Team

Why you should DO your digital marketing

Change is only affected when needed

In-house digital marketing teams are effective for responding to changes in a macro or microenvironment in real-time. This is especially beneficial if your brand likes to stay on top of emerging trends.

Get more work completed faster

In-house teams are incredibly flexible when it comes to speed. They are operating on your timetable, unlike a professional agency that would create its timetable. Better yet, you can arrange for meeting with your team on short notice and brainstorm on ideas. The fact that communication is fast and convenient allows your in-house team to work on multiple projects simultaneously and beat tough deadlines.

Align your brand’s internal culture with its external branding

Your in-house team is deeply connected with your brand, culture, and mission. It also has a good understanding of the inner workings of the organisation. Qualities make it easier for your in-house team to incorporate your brand’s internal culture with its external branding. A professional agency would struggle to link the two.

Why you should NOT DO your own digital marketing

Exorbitant long term costs

The trouble with having your own digital marketing team is that you’ll need to hire several individuals with different qualifications – UX designers, SEO specialists, webmaster etc. – some of whom won’t be required in every project. You’ll also need to train them further to meet your brand’s requirements. The long term cost of running the team can outweigh those you would’ve incurred if you hired a professional agency.

Results to complacency

Unlike a professional agency which handles several projects from different clients with different needs, an in-house team can easily become complacent because it keeps handling the same kind of marketing projects over and over. An in-house team, therefore, may not have vast experience in dealing with different and challenging projects.

Professional Digital Marketing Agency

Why you should HIRE a professional agency

You’ll get experts with a fresh perspective

Outsiders have a different view of your brand and can provide you with a fresh perspective that your in-house team might not have. Outsider’s perspective can reveal your brand’s weaknesses, strengths, and room for improvement.

You’re dealing with instant expertise

The world of digital marketing is a multifaceted place, and each facet takes a long time for a professional to grasp. A professional agency specializes in one field, and they will hire a team of professionals who are proficient in that field. If you hire an SEO agency, for instance, you know you’re dealing with SEO experts.

You’ll don’t need to worry about specialised tools

The agency has all the necessary tools needed to complete the digital marketing campaign. Its professionals are proficient and familiar with the relevant marketing software you need. Besides, they have insider access to the most current trends in the industry. With such qualities, you’re sure that the agency will deliver excellent results.

You’ll have lesser workload

You don’t want to neglect other areas of your business by putting too much emphasis on digital marketing. A professional agency relieves you the burden of having to manage your own in-house team by taking over the task completing it for you.

Why you should NOT HIRE a professional agency

Familiarity can take time

Unlike your in-house team that already knows the ins and outs of your business, a professional agency will take time to understand your target market, determine your weaknesses and strengths, and formulate a strategy that works best for you.

The agency lacks industry-specific knowledge

An agency may not fit the needs of every business. It also doesn’t specialise in one area.

List of Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Singapore

There are many digital marketing strategies any business can apply, but not all for them can work for an average Singaporean company. Typically, for the digital marketing strategy to work, the marketer must put into consideration three factors:

  • A clear understanding of the business
  • Product or service which the business is selling
  • The demographics of Singapore

Digital strategy and sufficient planning are the two most essential skills the marketer can ever possess. That’s so because digital marketing doesn’t have a big room to waste your time choosing a wrong campaign – you want to get on top as fast as you can, preferably on the first attempt.

Here is a list of the most effective digital marketing strategies applicable to the Singaporean market

YouTube Preroll ads

Here are exciting figures about YouTube in Singapore

  • It is estimated that 4 in 5 Singaporeans on the internet stops on YouTube to watch videos.
  • 4 million Singaporeans use YouTube
  • Around 85 percent of Singaporeans on YouTube are aged between 35 to 60 years
  • 60 percent of Singaporeans opens YouTube to conduct research about products before buying them
  • Since 2018, at least 7 of every ten trending topics on YouTube are locally produced

These figures can’t be ignored. A business can take advantage of the popularity of YouTube in the country (it’s actually the 2nd most popular social network in Singapore after Facebook) by launching a series of all-out campaigns on the platform.

The best type of advertising strategy the business can adopt is the Pre Roll ads. Preroll ads are a type of paid content consisting of 15 – 30 seconds ads that are shown ahead of video clips that have a similar class of audience as the marketer/advertiser. If you want your Preroll ads to be a success, employ brief and memorable taglines instead of long sentences. Besides, they should be entertaining to keep the viewer hooked to the message.

Innovative Instagram tags

Here are exciting figures you need to keep in mind:

  • 63 per cent of Singaporeans on the Internet use Instagram, that’s about 19 million users
  • There are slightly more women (54 per cent) on Instagram than men (46 per cent)
  • About 85 per cent of Instagram users in Singapore are 45 years or younger
  • 33 per cent of Singaporeans aged between 55 to 65 years now understand Instagram and have signed up with the platform

To make the most out of Instagram’s sphere in Singapore, you should come up with thoughtful Instagram tags and build your marketing around them. If you aren’t innovative, it would be prudent to hire the services of social media marketing to do everything for you.

Research shows that people are more responsive to imagery more than words; that’s why Instagram is an excellent place to take you’re your most impactful campaign (because the platform is all about pictures). Provided your Instagram page is approved for shopping, utilising Instagram’s product tags is as easy as ABC. A tag and a price label should accompany every product you post. This way, a brand can generate buyers directly from the Instagram account.

Travel blogging

Travel blogging strategy can be effective if a brand intends to cover a larger area in Singapore city and the entire ASEAN region while basing its marketing campaign on adventure and stories. A brand can establish a travel app or blog which can be bundled together with a campaign encouraging customers to travel around with the company’s products or use the brand’s services.

LinkedIn sponsored content

Singapore has some amazing figures on LinkedIn:

  • 2.3 million Singaporeans are on LinkedIn, a number that makes the country one of the most well-connected nations on the globe. 2.3 million people represent 40 percent of Singapore’s population
  • Most of the Singaporeans on LinkedIn are aged between 25 and 35 years
  • An average Singaporean on LinkedIn has around 152 links

LinkedIn is an excellent place for service delivery businesses or those companies that deals with complex operations such as asset management and insurance. So how can such a company make the most out of LinkedIn? The answer is sponsored paid content. The best thing about LinkedIn is that you are targeting high-income customers where they hang often.

Going live and using audio

This strategy is excellent if you want to harness the power of multiple platforms: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. It entails hosting live webinars and in-person events that can be streamed online or distributed to contacts as an offer. These events don’t need to be formal. Anything that facilitates education or one that appears to be of good quality will stick your audience’s minds.

Top 20 Most Popular Digital Marketing Tools in Singapore

There are a plethora of tools that can be used to get the job done and enhance your digital marketing strategies. Embarking on digital marketing without proper planning could prove doom for your marketing efforts because there is a bunch of things you need to first put in order. Part of the preparation is to decide the combination of tools you’ll use. Are you just starting your digital marketing journey in Singapore? Put these tools in your consideration:

For Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Audiense Insights

Site: https://audiense.com

Price: Starts at $696 per month

This tool employs AI to give you an understanding of your audience in terms of behaviour, the unique problems they’re facing, their general needs, demographic information, hobbies, and interests (sports, their favourite celebrities, etc.). You can compare your audience with that of your competitors.


Canva

Site: https://www.canva.com/

Price: Freemium with a starting fee of 1295 per month plus 1 month trial period

The social media audience tends to be visually critical, so you need a tool that can edit your images and prepare stunning infographics that can keep your audience engaged – Canva is that tool. Canva is very much like Photoshop only that it’s based in the cloud.


Animoto

Site: https://animoto.com/

Price: Starts at $9 per month

Besides images, videos are another integral part of SMM, especially if you are targeting Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest audiences. Animoto is a video production tool that helps you make and edit videos more cheaply than other commercial applications.


BuzzSumo

Site: https://buzzsumo.com/

Price: Begins at $79 per month

BuzzSumo will analyse the internet, and social networks to identify the trending keywords and trends as well as locate the most influential influencers behind those trends. It is excellent for both social media marketing and search engine marketing.


Hootsuite

Site: https://hootsuite.com/

Price: Freemium starting at $9 per month

Hootsuite is a scheduling tool that posts on your social media accounts on your behalf while providing you with analytics about the performance of your posts and comparing the performance across multiple social media platforms.


Mention

Site: https://mention.com/en/

Price: Freemium that starts at $29 per month

Mention is an analytics tool that emphasises on the mentions received by your account or marketing campaigns. It monitors the mentions of both the social media and the “outside world” such as forums, blogs, and sites.


Built-in Social Analytics Tools

Instagram Insights

Site: https://help.instagram.com/1533933820244654

Price: N/A

Instagram analytics helps you analyse such metrics as the likes and shares on your photos, demographics of your audience, and the growth of your account over a given period.


Twitter Analytics

Site: https://analytics.twitter.com/

Price: N/A

Twitter analytics works very much like Instagram insights; it provides you with performance data about your posts and your audience. You can also compare your Twitter page with other pages.


Facebook Audience Insights

Site: https://www.facebook.com/business/insights/tools/audience-insights

Price: N/A

Facebook Audience Insights provides you with almost any kind of information about your Facebook audience: followers, likes, number of engagements, ad performance, post performance, etc.


For Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)Tools

Google Keyword Planner

Site: https://ads.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/

Price: N/A

Google Keyword is part of Google Adwords and can be accessed via the Tools menu. It works very much like Google Trends except that it gives you real numbers to work with. With this keyword planner, you can select a country and the likely language to be popular in a certain area and see the approximation of how often that keyword is searched in that area. The tool also helps you determine if the competition for that keyword is “Low,” “Medium,” or “High.”


Ahref

Site: https://ahrefs.com/

Pricing: Starts at $99 per month

Ahref lets you discover where your competitors source their traffic, who links to their sites, how many backlinks they have, and what kind of keywords they are using. You can receive alerts every time your competitor gets mentioned somewhere or ranks for a given keyword.


SerpStats

Site: https://serpstat.com/?ref=23461

Price: Starts at $69 per month

Serpstat resembles Ahref in performance. It is used to make a comparison between multiple sets of data from different sources.


SimilarWeb

Site: https://www.similarweb.com/

Price: Starts at $199 per month

SimilarWeb gives you an estimate of the traffic received by a website, the source of that traffic, the countries, the keywords on which the site ranks for among other cool insights.

 

For Email Marketing

SendInBlue

Site: https://www.sendinblue.com/

Price: Starts at $15 per month

SendInBlue was initially meant for sending multiple transaction-oriented emails but has been revamped to include SMS and email campaigns. You can optimise the email’s layout, manage your campaigns, and generate the necessary reports.


GetResponse

Site: https://www.getresponse.com/

Price: $12 per month

GetResponse is used to send engaging emails to an emailing list, automate the marketing by availing ready-made workflows, generating leads with effective landing pages, and providing ready-made autofunnels.


Constant Contact

Site: https://www.constantcontact.com/global/home-page

Price: Starts at $20

Contact helps you in managing your email list, email templates, contacts, marketing, among other frequent operations done in email marketing. It also comes with impressive social media marketing features that can help you in segmenting your list and integrating your campaigns with Facebook Ads.


ConvertKit

Site: www.convertkit.com/

Price: Starts at $29 per month

This is one of the must-have email marketing tools for authors, marketers, and bloggers. It is used for incentives and content upgrades with email sign-up forms. You can also use it to segment your subscribers into groups consisting of those who have already bought your items and those who are interested.


For App Store Optimisation (ASO) Marketing

App Annie

Site: https://www.appannie.com/

Price: Both a Free and a Premium and starts at $59 per month

If you are a marketing manager who would like to get the most of your company’s app, or you’re just an app developer, you need the services of Appannie. This tool can be used to track the activities of your competitors in any app store on the internet. It is also an excellent app for ASO because it shows you the rankings of your app in a given location on the Apple Store or Google Play.


Why is Digital Marketing so Important to Singapore Businesses?

Digital marketing started as just another way new way of promoting your brand on the internet. In the last few decades, it has morphed into one of the important channels of marketing. Many businesses in Singapore run traditional and digital marketing in tandem. Why is digital marketing so important to Singapore businesses?

For SMEs (small and medium enterprises)

Because it is a better growth option

Digital marketing can be a money saver to small and medium organisations. The small budgets set aside by Singaporean SMEs for marketing are too meager to fund a robust offline marketing campaign. SMEs can’t even think of competing with larger corporations that allocates a lot of funds on both digital and offline marketing.

Digital marketing serves to put all these businesses on the level field by letting their marketing strategies, not money, decide the outcome. Better yet, digital marketing offers a plethora of options – PPC ads, SEM, SEO, etc. – from which the company can choose depending on the needs and budget.

Because you’re able to promote the brand on the global scene

The distance between an average Singaporean SME and the global audience has been reduced to a click of a mouse. It has become easier for a local SME to ship items to clients located in the ASEAN region and globally; the only thing the brand is required to do is create an impactful marketing campaign and ensure that the shipping mechanism is efficient.

To both SMEs and larger corporations

Because you can measure the impact of your campaigns

If you can’t measure the performance of your campaigns, it becomes hard to know whether your marketing efforts are worthwhile or not. Whether you are marketing your products or services on social media or Google search engine, you can easily find analytics tools to measure the performance of your marketing campaigns and make decisions accordingly.

Because it brings higher ROI

The fact that you can measure the performance of your marketing campaigns means that you can make improvements or other changes in those campaigns and boost their performance.

This also helps a brand avoid the marketing pitfalls that might produce negative results. By fine-tuning everything this way, you can generate a steady flow of organic traffic that can into sales and useful leads. The faster the business generates organic traffic, the faster it can achieve high ROI.

Because it wins people’s trust

Digital marketing takes advantage of online testimonials, reviews, social proof, and social media signals from real consumers who’ve previously bought the service or product marketed by the brand. Study shows that over two-thirds of Singaporean online shoppers read reviews of a product before purchasing it.

Because digital marketing persuades potential clients to take appropriate action

Digital marketing is known to make heavy use of call-to-action, which works like magic. If you want someone to buy a toy as a Christmas gift for her child, you’ll showcase how it works plus a short, enticing story beside it complete with a “Buy Now” button and a tiny crate on it!

Because digital marketing can be the only way to your brand’s online survival

Please try to figure a hypothetical business X in Singapore with a website that receives hordes of monthly visitors who never convert and business Y with just fifty or so visitors who end up buying its products, which business is well off? Digital marketing generates traffic to your website, and your business could entirely survive on that traffic.

Because of digital marketing levels the playing field

As aforementioned, digital marketing is a major money saver, especially if you compare it to offline marketing. However, for two rival brands competing for the online audience, the amount of the money they spend on marketing doesn’t matter most of the time. What matters is how effective the marketing campaign is, and how innovative the marketer can be.

Because digital marketing can be personalised

Digital marketing thrives on personalisation and segmentation. Segmentation is a process of dividing the audience into discrete groups based on one or several criteria.

Personalisation, on another hand, entails keeping mind all the preferences and needs of the audience so that your brand can market the correct product to the correct person at the correct time. This way, it becomes hard to get it wrong in your marketing efforts.


How Does Google Advertising Work?

Google Ads (formerly Google Adsense) is the control room from where all ads on Google can be managed. It is the most popular digital marketing platform on the internet today.

How Google Ads work?

Google Ads is Google’s advertising service, which can be used by use to advertise products and services on Google Search (Google Search engine) or other individually owned websites whose owners have permitted Google to place ads on them.

The lifeblood of Google Ads is personalisation which is made possible by the wealth of voluntary personal data that Google collects from internet users who use its products and services. As such, Google Ads can offer the following types of advertising:

Google Search – This involves SERP (Search Engine Results Page), where your ads will be placed somewhere on the search results returned to the person “Googling” a given keyword in the Google Search engine. This type of advertising is offered in two forms:

Paid Search or PPC (Pay Per Click) which requires you to pay some money for your ad to show up on top of the search results. In other words, you pay Google every time a visitor clicks on your ad.

Bidding – In this method, you are allowed to bid on a given list of keywords. This type of marketing can adopt two models CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per impression).

Video advertising – YouTube is Google’s main platform for video advertising. Users are shown snippets of your video ad for around 30 seconds.

Basic Principles of Google Ads

Since you aren’t the only one trying to attract the attention of the audience, Google requires you to bid for keywords against other marketers. If you opt for PPC, you’ll pay for every click our ad receives.

The more money you pay per PPC, the likely your advert will show up in the search results. Google uses Ad Rank to determine the specific order in which all paid search adverts are shown on the SERP. As you can guess, the advert with the highest rank will show up in the very top position. Several factors affect your Ad Rank, they include:

  • The format of the ad and its extension
  • The context of the search including time, query, location, type of device, etc
  • The threshold of the Ad Rank
  • The quality of your landing page and ads

To an advertiser, this is how Google Ads work

Step 1: The advertiser sets the goal

What results do you want to achieve?

  • Get more calls
  • Boost visits to your physical or online store
  • Drive traffic to your website etc.
Step 2: The advertiser decides where to place the ads

Do you want to stay local or go global? What geographical region do you want your ad to be displayed?

Step 3: The advertiser creates the message

The advertiser formulates a three-sentence message that’s more likely to excite the audience. Alternatively, the advertiser can choose to create a compelling banner ad by incorporating images.

Step 4: The advertiser sets the budget cap

Google allows the advertiser to set a monthly cap that can be paused or adjusted anytime. The advertiser can view the estimated results for the budget.

Step 5: The advertiser goes live

Google displays the advertiser’s ad when people from the right audience search for services or products the advertiser is offering.


How Does Facebook Advertising Work?

Take the traditional paid search marketing, flip it, and you have Facebook Advertising. Paid social campaigns, Facebook’s class of digital advertising, works in the opposite way the traditional paid search does.

While paid search marketing helps the target find/discover your brand, paid social campaigns help your brand find potential customers – many people have trouble distinguishing these two strategies.

But the method of targeting the audience is the same; just like Google, Facebook collects immense personal data about its user’s daily activities, demographics, and other metrics. These data are fed to Facebook’s algorithm, which then decides what kind of ads should be shown to who and at what time.

The advertiser is encouraged to understand the following factors before creating a paid social campaign:

  • The goal or reason why the business would like to run the ad
  • A proper understanding of the target of the ad
  • A lifetime or daily budget for the paid social campaign
  • Videos or photos that will go along with the ad

A typical Facebook Ad consists of 6 parts:

Ad Creative: A combination of text and a picture that delivers your message to the right audience

Targeting: This is the audience that is the target of your ad

Placement: Here, you decide the geographical region you want your ad to air

Bid: The amount of money you are willing to pay Facebook to display the ad to the audience so that they can respond to it

Budget: The gross amount you plan to spend on your social campaign

Schedule: The period which add will be live

The ideal length headline of a typical Facebook Ad is just four words. Each ad needs to consist of text and an image.


How Does WeChat Marketing Work?

WeChat combines the elements of messaging and mobile payment, a feature that makes it an excellent place to promote your brand. Data relating to the targets’ location, type of account, and demographics are collected and used by an algorithm to show the ads to the right groups of people. The messenger supports three types of advertising:

  1. WeChat Moments Advertising – Moments are to WeChat what Timeline is to Facebook. This class of ads, therefore, floats on the targeted audience’s moments.
  2. WeChat banner advertising – They are similar to the usual banner ads you often see on websites except that, in WeChat’s context, they are displayed at the very bottom of any message written by an official account.
  3. WeChat Opinion Leader Advertising – On WeChat, Key Opinion Leaders are equivalent to social media influencers. Advertising with Key Opinion Leaders means paying influential WeChat bloggers for them to promote your brand on their WeChat accounts.

How Does Remarketing Work?

Remarketing/retargeting is a practice of showing ads to people who’ve already visited your site but did not make the engagement you wanted them to complete. You essentially “follow” them around on the internet, bombarding them with ads in hopes that they’ll return to transact with you.

Some websites will prompt you to accept their cookies when you visit them. These cookies are used to track the movement of the user on the internet. In the context of remarketing, cookies can act as a huge signpost on your head that helps the dispatcher of those cookies to locate you anywhere on the internet. So if you stop at a certain website to read something, the cookies tell the advertising platform where you are, a signal to which the advertiser will respond by delivering the right advert to you where you are. This is why you may keep seeing adverts from an ecommerce site whose products you left in the cart without completing the purchase.


Singapore Government Grants for Digital Marketing

Productivity Solution Grant (PSG)

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/capabilities/productivity-growth/productivity-solutions-grant-psg.html

PSG was rolled out on 1st April 2018 to encourage the application of digital productivity in businesses across Singapore. At the moment, PSG offers to fund as much as 70 percent of all costs incurred for qualifying activities in these sectors:

  • Construction
  • Landscaping
  • Wholesale
  • Precision engineering
  • Logistics
  • Food
  • Retail

Businesses are also allowed to apply for PSG to enable solutions in areas such as data analytics, customer management, and inventory tracking. The applicants must be registered to do business in Singapore besides affirming that those solutions will be used in Singapore.


Enterprise Development Grant – EDG

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/capabilities/productivity-growth/Enterprise-Development-Grant-EDG.html

EDG was rolled out in November 2018 to support businesses in three areas:

  • Innovation and productivity
  • Business and market development

This grant combined two previous grants: Global Company Partnerships Scheme the Capacity Development Gran – CDG. The company must be licensed to operate in Singapore to benefit from this grant.

The annual of the company should be at least S$100 million and staff size of 200 employees or less. In addition, at least 30 percent of its shares should be locally owned. A qualified SME will enjoy 70 percent of funding support from the government. A non-SME will get a 20 percent hike on comparable support previously offered by the CDG.


PACT (Extended Grant)

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/capabilities/technology-and-innovation/PACT-Programme.html

PACT is an extended grant based on a previous grand of the same name. The old PACT aimed at enhancing mutually beneficial partnership between local companies and larger global companies.

The new PACT, which came into effect on 1st April 2018, takes this collaboration a notch higher by supporting the partnership between Singapore-based companies of any size. Lead Enterprises, a company established by PACT, oversees all the collaborations. The projects created in the collaborations cuts across several areas:

  • Alliances and shared resources
  • Capability development and upgrading of technological capabilities

Double Tax Deductions for Internationalisation DTDi (Extended Grant)

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/bizguides/finance/2015/property-tax_g.html

DTDi is an extended pact created to spur international expansion by Singapore businesses. Any Singapore business with global activities will qualify for a 200 per cent tax waiver up to $150,000. This waiver is an increment from the previous $100,000 on all costs incurred on these activities:

  • Overseas promotional or advertising campaigns
  • Due diligence and investment feasibility studies
  • Overseas trade fairs
  • Overseas business-oriented development trips
  • Feasibility studies and market surveys
  • Expenses incurred on Singaporean staff operating overseas

The applicant needs to be licensed to operate in Singapore. Foreign companies present in Singapore can be considered based on the case.


Market Readiness Assistance – MRA (Extended Grant)

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/capabilities/internationalisation/market-readiness-assistance-mra-grant.html

MRA is an extended grant (initially introduced in 2013) aimed at helping SMEs in accessing overseas opportunities. Initially, a company would be eligible for a 50 percent support for a list of qualifying activities. The new MRA (brought to effect in 2018) has the support increased to 70 percent. For a company to be eligible for the MRA grant, it needs to venture in the following activities:

  • Overseas marketing and promotion
  • Identification of overseas trading partners
  • Overseas market setup including documentation and legal expenses

Also, the company should be registered in Singapore, has a staff of 200 employees or less, and have an annual turnover of $100 million or less.

SME ‘Go Digital’ Programs

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/capabilities/productivity-growth/smes-go-digital.html

This grant is aimed at helping Singapore SMEs in staying abreast with the pace of innovation and technological change in the country’s digital marketing economy. It is more focused on areas that have more potential for growth with technology, such areas as whole trade, cleaning and security, food services, and retail. Free advice will be offered to SMEs by appropriate SME Centres about the right technologies to apply and grow. The applicant is required to register with the appropriate SME Centre to benefit from this grant.


Venture Debt Program –VDP (Extended Grant)

URL: https://www.edb.gov.sg/en/our-industries/information-and-communications-technology.html

Many Singapore companies, especially those outside the tech field, have traditionally had hardship in capital sourcing. This has been the problem partly because venture capitalists are more interested in the tech industry than any other area. The government of Singapore came up with the VDP in 2015 to allow promising SMEs to access affordable loans up to $5 million. This loan can be used for asset financing, acquisition and mergers, working capital, and project financing. The SME needs to be at least 30 per cent locally owned and have a staff of 200 employees or less.


Business Improvement Fund – BIF

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/bizguides/business-development.html

BIF aims at helping businesses adopt technology and redesign their business models, especially in the tourism industry, to boost their competitiveness and productivity. For a business to qualify for this grant, it needs to fall either in the tourism or tech sectors. The support offered by the grant can be used to strengthen such areas as product development, automation, service excellence, and human capital management, among others.


Energy Efficiency Fund – E2F

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/footer/partners/energy-market-company-pte-ltd.html

E2F aims at helping industrial companies lower their facilities’ operating costs through the adoption of efficient energy production. To attain this, E2F encourages co-funding of development of efficient facility design, energy-efficient technologies & equipment, and energy assessment.

The funding will cater for 70 percent of all costs incurred in hiring third-party professionals to conduct level-3 energy assessments and evaluate the design of the facilities. It also guarantees 30 percent support on costs incurred in implementing energy efficiency plans on the facilities. To qualify for this grant, the company should be based in Singapore and be in partnership with EENP.


Enhanced Training Support

This grant is exclusively aimed at SMEs to help them get the necessary funding needed in training the employees and upgrading their skills. It also avails over 8,000 CET (continuing education & training) courses to SME employees. To be eligible for this grant, an SME needs to meet these requirements:

  • Be registered in Singapore
  • Be 30 per cent owned locally
  • Be compliant to Singapore Employment Act
  • Have a staff of 200 employees or less
  • Have an annual turnover of $100 million or less
  • The employees should be Singaporean by birth or permanent residents of Singapore

Capability Transfer Program – CTP

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/capabilities/jobs-and-skills/Capability-Transfer-Programme.html

There have been massive capability gaps between the foreign specialists and local workforce. The Capability Transfer Program is aimed at plugging this gap by engaging the highly skilled foreign specialists working in Singapore to transfer their capabilities to the locals. It also aims at supporting the training of Singaporeans abroad to acquire relevant technical skills.

How the CTP works

The chief aim of CTP is to improve the synch factor between the foreign and local workforce by supporting the transfer of the capabilities to the less experienced locals. This will encourage:

  • Organisations and professional bodies to acquire and develop new capabilities
  • A culture of capabilities transfer across entities and sectors

For a company’s employees to be eligible for this grant, it needs to be compliant to Singapore’s Employment Act and have 30 percent local ownership. An identifiable gap will be identified first before the project is considered. In addition, the potential benefit of the transfer of relevant capabilities will be evaluated.


Lean Enterprise Development – LED

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/capabilities/productivity-growth/Lean-Enterprise-Development-LED-Scheme.html

This grant gives companies access to transitional foreign manpower and funding to help them become manpower-lean. The grant has three broad objectives:

  • To help SMEs grow and transform into manpower-lean organisations
  • To develop a better and quality workforce
  • To give companies access to transitional manpower support
  • To foster inter-agency cooperation

Operation and Technology Roadmapping –OTR

URL: https://www.smeportal.sg/content/smeportal/en/capabilities/technology-and-innovation/operation-and-technology-roadmapping-OTR.html

This grant is aimed at helping businesses develop technology roadmaps that are aligned to the business goals and strategies. It costs up to $25,000. The eligible business should be owned by a Singaporean or have 30 percent local ownership.


10 Most Important Questions You Should Ask Before Engaging A Digital Marketing Agency

There are tens or perhaps of digital marketing companies in Singapore, all of which comes in different sizes. Digital marketing itself is a critical venture that you must get right or risk losing a lot of money. Of course, it will only take the best digital marketing agency to produce the best results. It is quite easy to select the best agency from the pack – sometimes all you need to do is to ask the agencies’ representatives some few questions about various aspects of their agencies. Here are ten essential questions you need to ask when evaluating if the agency is competent for the job:

Q1 – What Is Your Agency’s Marketing Process in Helping My Brand Achieve Its Marketing Goals?

Rather than asking the agency to outline how they will help your brand achieve the goals you’ve set, begin by asking for the process they will employ. You’ll get more insights from an outline of the process itself than how the agency will help you achieve your goals. If an agency can’t cant outline the process in clear details, then it could be unqualified to work on your project.

Q2 – Would You Please Provide Me with Your Track Records, Including the Testimonials you’re most proud of?

Most agencies begin by outlining what they have for you and what they are capable of delivering – excellent SEO, PPC, etc. – and, for these reasons, you should consider buying their services. What an agency already delivered to previous client matters more than what it is capable of delivering. If the agency can provide records of previous projects and a list of few satisfied clients, it means the team is skilled enough to deliver satisfactory results for you.

Q3 – What Industry Are You Proficient With?

cieMany digital marketing agen are generalists. That’s advantageous and disadvantageous at the same time. But hiring a specialist is better because such agencies tend to come with immense industry-specific experience. Specialist agencies are also flexible and good at targeting the audience.

Q4 – Will You Work with My Company’s Team and If So, To What Extent?

The digital marketing agency should be able and willing to communicate with your team about the details of what needs to be done. Furthermore, it should be able and willing to train your team on how to run the system. It doesn’t end there; the agency should be able to support your team during the entire time your marketing campaign will be running.

Q5 – What marketing strategies did you employ for your brand?

An agency would implement the best digital marketing strategies for itself. You can be a little intrusive and ask them to show them to you because, after all, you want the best for your company as well. Ask them:

  • How they came to settle on a given strategy
  • If they keep up with the industry trends
  • How successful the strategy has been

An excellent digital marketing agency would practise what it preaches, and if it does that it so, it would be the best agency for you.

Q6 – How Much Will You Charge Me? What’s the Budget?

Ask the agency about the overall cost of implementing the marketing campaigns. While cheaper might sound good, it doesn’t always mean better results. Remember to dig a little deeper and ask the agency to provide you with an estimate of the ROI of the campaign. Ask for the estimated duration of the contract will take, the deliverables to expect, and what would happen if you terminate the contract.

Q 7 – How Will You Make The Measurements To Determine The Success Of My Campaign?

Digital marketing is both an art and a science – once you’ve set everything as required, you’ll need to measure the success of your campaign. Setting up the best call-to-actions on an impressively looking landing is nothing if the agency can’t collect the relevant data and use it to measure the performance of your campaign.

Let the agency’s experts elaborate on the marketing jargon in the simplest language you understand. Also, ask about what parameters are subject to measurements, how often you should expect the reports, and what adjustments would be necessary if the campaign failed to deliver.

Q8 – When Should I Expect The Results?

A marketing agency worth its credentials won’t promise substantial immediately or a short time after the start of the campaign. Most digital marketing strategies, especially those based on inbound methodologies, take longer to yield the desired results.

A competent agency would tell you to consider it your long-term investment whose compound interests are realisable after sustained efforts over a long period. Suppose everything is set as it’s supposed to, an average digital marketing campaign would take between 6 to 8 months to show positive results. To get substantial growth in traffic, you’ll need to wait for 12 to 24 months.

Q9 – Do The Analytics Cost Extra To Produce?

Some agencies can charge you extra to crunch the analytics for you. You don’t want to get caught off-guard with extra costs. It is not recommendable to hire an agency that would break the project into tiny segments that would be charged separately. Such tactics can make you pay a lot of money on something that would have been cheaper had it been charged as a whole.

Q10 – Do You Offer Free Consultation?

You’re probably on a tight budget, so you are eager to know what you could get for free from the table after paying for everything else – or if there is any free service you can get before committing to the program. Asking your agency if they offer free consultation allows you and their team of experts to mix ideas, evaluate the relationship and see if it will work, and get firsthand feel of how the agency’s team works. Any agency eager to work on your campaign would offer a free consultation, but that’s not always the case.

Bottom line

One last thing, do not forget to ask the agency about the overall time it will take to complete the contract. You could be guaranteed impressive results but, what if the contract takes three years to complete? Such a long time could make the team forget what it was doing at the beginning. You also don’t want to be kept waiting. The contract should take the utmost one year with a room for an extension that could last one or two months.

Get in touch with us today on +65 6789 9852 for professional digital marketing services in Singapore. 

 

Author Bio

Tom Koh is the CEO of MediaOne, a leading Asia digital agency. He comes packed with 2 decades of international digital marketing experience. In his spare time of maybe 20 minutes a day, he loves coaching, blogging about all things digital and trying to figure out how to make his dog do the roll.
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December 01, 2019

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