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.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO describes the logic behind how search engines rank websites after an online user runs a search query. It can also be defined as a digital marketing strategy aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of traffic that’s directed to your website.
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?
Benefits of SEO
SEO is regarded as a long-term marketing strategy, and here are some of its long-term benefits to a business or website owner in Singapore:
- Increased Traffic:
Done right, SEO can be your greatest (and even the only) source of traffic. The amount of traffic you get through search engines should be enough to take your business to the next level.
- Better ROI:
SEO has a better long-term ROI than any other marketing strategy on the list. Compared to PPC, when you pay visitors, only 2% of the visitors end up converting. But with SEO, you have a chance of converting up to 4% of the visitors that search engines direct your way.
- Gives you an Edge:
You have a better chance of beating your competition and staying miles ahead of them by capitalising on SEO. Your competition may be conducting SEO on their end, but you have a chance of really honing in and capitalising on everything that they aren’t doing right.
- You Attract Permanent Results:
The results you attract through SEO are bound to stay with you permanently. You only lose your rank position when one of your competitors outstrips your SEO effort.
Types of SEO
SEO comes in three layers, each of which must be diligently worked on for your SEO strategy to pay off.
- On-page SEO
On-page SEO refers to any content that appears on your website – internal links, meta tags, meta description, infused keywords, improved images and their alt attribution, customised URL structure, and so on.
- Off-page SEO
Off-page refers to all the activities you perform once your website goes live. It covers post sharing, social media linking, commenting, rating, online reviews, and so on. Most people confuse it with link building, but it runs deeper than that.
Key Elements of a Successful SEO Campaign
But here are the key elements without which your SEO strategy is certain to fail:
Your website must be responsive and fluid enough to adapt to any screen size. But most importantly, it must favour mobile users.
- Improved Load Time:
Your visitors are an impatient lot. If your site takes a lot of time to load, many of them will be bouncing off, forcing Google and other search engines to drop it down through the ranks.
- Secure site with HTTPs:
It’s about security. At a time when cybercriminals are on a rampage, Google will, of course, want to favour secure sites.
- Integrate Social Media with Your Site:
This is about boosting your off-page SEO. The first step to supporting website engagement is making sure the website is integrated with your social media accounts.
- Quality Back Links:
Search engines have a way of judging the quality of your website by looking at the number of authority sites that are willing to link back to you. It’s simple logic: no one will want to be associated with a low-quality website.
- User-friendly Navigation:
Other things held constant, a site with user-friendly navigation will, of course, appear at the top of SERPs.
- Make sure your pages and web content are relevant to the kind of users you attract:
You don’t want to attract the wrong audience by targeting the wrong set of keywords.
SEO agencies optimise your website content for search engine ranking. When you start producing content for your website or blog, you want to make sure your target audience is able to find it.
SEO allows your website to appear in the search engine results pages when online users run a search query that relates to your product or brand. You just have to predict what keywords they’ll use in their query.
What’s an SEO agency?
An SEO agency is an agency dedicated to helping websites rank in search engines using strategies such as on-page optimisation and link building. In most cases, these agencies will also be focusing on content marketing, where they write custom copies that are well optimised for search engines.
What Services Does an SEO Agency Offer?
Here’s a list of services that sit under the SEO category:
- Web design
- Keyword research
- Content creation
- Link building
- Social media marketing
- Web development
- Traffic monitoring and reporting
The cost of Hiring an SEO Agency in Singapore
The most common pricing model for SEO agencies in Singapore is the monthly retainer. What happens is that you pay a fixed fee to have the agency optimise your website for an agreed number of keywords.
This amount increases with an increase in the number of keywords your website is optimised for.
Depending on the number of keywords, experience, and expertise of the agency you’re working with, the cost of SEO in Singapore tends to range from $500 to $4500 per month.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
At MediaOne, we generally use the term Search Engine Marketing to refer to paid listings, while using the more general term Search Marketing to refer to the single roof for PPC and SEO.
In SEM, 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 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 platforms are LinkedIn’s sponsored messages, Twitter Ads, and Facebook’s paid ads.
The Benefits of SEM?
SEM is one of the most valuable parts of any digital marketing strategy, and here are some of the benefits associated with it:
- A Chance to Reach Your Clients Immediately
Unlike SEO, paid search results are almost instant. You gain visibility immediately after you’re done running the ads.
- Increase Brand Awareness
Search ads give you the opportunity to expose your brand name either in the ad’s headline, description, or URL. The more people see your ad, the more they get to know your brand.
With SEM, you can target customers based on their location. You can even create ads in different languages and decide where they should appear.
- Easy to Implement and Manage Ads
Paid searches are both easy to create and implement. You can even schedule your campaign and even stop and resume them whenever you feel like it. It’s also flexible enough to accommodate any budget.
- Easy to Optimise Your Ads and Target the Right Audience
With SEM, you can target a specific segment of your target audience based on their intentions. You can make the ad appear only to a list of customers who are using a search term that closely relates to your products and services.
Quick Hacks to Improve Your SEM Campaign
Assume you’re equipped with the fundamental SEM skills, here are a few pointers that may help you improve the efficiency of your ads:
- Never run a search ad without doing a keywords research
Don’t let your mind fool you into thinking that you have everything figured out. There’s a lot you don’t know, and much to find out by using keyword research tools such as SEMRush, Ahref, and Topic Research.
- Format Your Ad Based on the Searcher Intent
Search queries can either be navigational, transactional, and informational. How search engines display these ads will vary depending on the type of query. You must therefore create your ads based on the searcher’s intent.
- Keep Tabs on Your Competition
Find out what keywords your competitors are optimising and emulate them while using a few tweaks to gain an edge over them.
SEM engine or PPC focuses on paid ads, the ads that appear at the top of search engine result pages. Typically, these ads are charged based on the number of clicks their links are getting, hence the name pay-per-click.
The difference between these links and organic SEO links is the “Ad” label that appears next to their link.
What’s an SEM Agency
An SEM agency is an agency dedicated to running online advertising campaigns for other companies. Usually, they charge you a percentage of your suggested ad money. While PPC campaigns are perfect for bringing in leads, most agencies focus on the number of leads when they should be focusing on the quality of leads coming in.
To make the most out of your PPC ad money, you’re advised to look for an agency that excels in both.
What Services Does an SEM Agency Offer?
Here are the services to expect from an SEM agency in Singapore:
- SEO: SEM has almost the same structure as SEO. So, in most cases, any company that offers SEM services will also be offering SEO services.
- Local SEO
- PPC Services
- Content Marketing
- Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
- Google Analytics Consultation
- Google AdWords Monitoring
What’s the Cost of Hiring SEM Services in Singapore?
On average, SMEs in Singapore spend about $10,000 per month on search engine marketing, which includes the cost for ad management and the actual ad spend.
Out of this, the agency may decide to take between 5 to 20% as their service money.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is an online marketing strategy that relies on social media as both a marketing and branding tool. The whole idea behind social media marketing is to create content that social media users like and wouldn’t mind sharing across various social media networks and broaden the possibility of reaching an even wider audience.
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.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can benefit any business or website owner in so many ways, as uncovered in this section of the post:
- Direct Access to Your Target Audience:
Unlike other online marketing platforms, social media gives you a chance to address your target audience directly.
- Advanced Targeting:
Social media, especially Facebook, allows you to narrow down your audience to a specific segment of it.
- Brand Awareness:
No other platform bests social media when it comes to creating brand awareness. Come to think about it, close to half (49% to be precise) of the world’s population is active on social media.
- Low Advertising Cost:
Compared to the cost of PPC and the cost of advertising on traditional media such as TV, billboards, and radio, the cost of advertising on social media is by far lower, and flexible enough to adjust to any budget size.
- More Potential and Ability to Lock in Sales:
Social media can dramatically increase your leads and sales. That’s because the platform itself allows you to target people with a developed interest in your offerings.
Key Elements for Creating an Engaging Social Media Campaign
Only a few business and website owners have mastered the art of marketing on social media. Much of what they know and do revolve around the following key elements:
- Market Research: you can start by studying your competition and target audience. Find out what your competitors are doing and figure out how to beat them.
- Content Strategy: everyone is sharing content on social media. What sets you apart from the rest of them is the strategy you employ.
- Goals: your goals will determine the outcome. You’re not just posting on social media to entertain your followers.
When to Post on Social Media and Generate the Greatest Effect
One secret to running an effective social media campaign is knowing when to post. Here are a few pointers on how to narrow down to a specific time to post:
- Define your largest market:
where is it from – Yishun, Punggol, Tengah, Woodlands, Bukit Batok, or an outside country.
- Localise the time zone:
if the bulk of your target customers are from outside, then you might want to convert their time zone into your local time.
- Determine their Peak Hours:
find out what time of the day does the audience post the most. Go through a sample list of profiles and find out what time do they have the most interactions.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) Agencies
This category covers so many social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. The name is prescriptive of what it actually means; but then again, you want to find out what social media platform your agency excels at.
What’s a Social Media Marketing Agency?
It’s an agency dedicated to helping businesses promote their brands, products, or content on various social media platforms. Social media marketing can either be done organically or by paying for ads, if not both. Either way, what’s important is for you to choose a social media channel that best resonates with your buyer persona.
What Services Does a Social Media Marketing Agency Offer?
Here are the services to expect from the social media marketing agency you hire:
- Channel-specific social media services: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, and so on.
- Strategy planning
- Account or profile creation and branding
- Content creation
- Content publishing
- Research and analysis
- Education and consulting
The Cost of Hiring a Social Media Marketing Agency in Singapore
The cost of hiring a social media marketing agency in Singapore tends to range from $1,000 to $20,000 a month, depending on the scope of work and the experience and expertise of the agency in question.
For channel-specific services, the cost of hiring Instagram or Facebook marketing services can range from $250 to $5,000 per month, depending on the agency you’re hiring and the scope of work involved.
Branding may mean different things to different people. But essentially, it’s what makes your business stand out from the crowd. It’s what gives your business its identity, the intangible value it’s associated with.
It’s got so little to do with creating a logo or website for your business, and everything to do with establishing how your employees, customers, and other stakeholders perceive your business and the position you hold in the marketplace.
What’s a Branding Agency?
A branding agency is dedicated to communicating your uniqueness, voice, and the intangible value of your business or products. They’re committed to helping you create a presence in the market places by giving your business its true identity and influencing consumer perception.
What Services Does a Branding Agency Offer?
Here are some of the areas that a branding agency may choose to specialise in:
- Research and analytics
- Brand positioning
- Brand identity
- Packaging design
- Web design
- Brand strategy and management
- Online reputation
- Public relation, and so on
The Cost of Hiring a Branding Agency in Singapore
Choosing a branding agency in Singapore can be a nightmare. You have plenty of options, of course. But ask any of them for a quote, and the price you get will range anywhere from $1000 to $50, 000. On a freelance website such as Fiverr or UpWork, you may get someone to design a logo for you for less than $300, with some going as low as $50.
Online PR Agencies
Online PR is a form of marketing that focuses on stretching or expanding your online presence. In most cases, this demands that you work with journalists, bloggers, influencers, and authority figures. You also have to distribute press releases and gain high-quality backlinks, while also working on your social media mentions and SEO.
What’s an Online PR Agency?
An online PR firm refers to the professional services that businesses hire to generally produce, conceive, and manage the un-paid messages that reach the public through various media, with the intention of influencing the public opinion and the actions they undertake.
What Services Does an Online PR Firm Offer?
Here are the key services to consider when hiring a PR firm in Singapore:
- Strategy development
- Media relations
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer relations
- Events and experiential marketing
What’s the Cost of Hiring an Online PR Firm in Singapore?
PR firms mostly work with monthly retainers that can range from $2000 to $20,000. For PR consultation, the cost may range from $50 for thrifty PR consultants to $500 per hour for those at the cream of their PR profession.
Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that revolves around utilising the creation and distribution of relevant and high-value content in a more consistent manner to attract and retain a target audience.
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
Benefits of Content Marketing
Content marketing will benefit your business in the following ways:
- Build Credibility and Authority: content marketing allows you to showcase your skills and teach your target customers something useful.
- Improve Organic Traffic: content marketing is good for driving inbound traffic to your website, especially with backlinks.
- Increase Conversion Rate: by creating content that fits into the different sales funnels, you have a better chance of converting an overwhelming majority of the people that visit your website into customers.
- Build Trust and Long-term Relationship: content marketing allows you to work on your online credibility by inspiring trust.
How to Write Better Content
Everyone with a pulse can write. But it takes great skill and hard work to be a great writer. Here are a few pointers to help you write outstanding content:
- Choose an Easy Topic to Solve
You have to understand the mindset with which your customers approach your content.
- Use Better Styling
How you style your blog content determines if a reader will be enticed enough to read the whole of it or if they’ll drop it after digging through the first paragraph.
- Spell Check
Revise your content a couple of times after you’ve written, and revise it, even more, to make sure it’s void of careless grammatical mistakes.
- Use Screenshots and Images
Images and screenshots not only make your post appealing but also help you get the intended message across.
- Check for Plagiarism
After you’re done writing and polishing it through, run your content through a plagiarism checker and make sure it’s 100 percent unique. This is not only good for SEO but also for your brand reputation.
Content Marketing Agencies
This is the fastest rising category of digital marketing agencies. They either operate as a one-man-band agency or a team dedicated to helping brands market create and market their content. They differ from content creation agencies in the sense that they go beyond helping brands develop content to strategizing on how they’ll also be marketing it.
What’s a Content Marketing Agency?
A content marketing agency develops a content strategy, creates the content, tweaks the content depending on what distribution outlet they intend to use, before delivering it across platforms. They offer all-rounded content services, without limiting themselves to content creation alone.
What Services Does a Content Marketing Firm Provide?
While each content marketing firm will have its own menu of offerings, here’s a list of services you should expect the content marketing firm you partner with to provide:
- Written content or content creation/article writing/blog writing, and so on
- Marketing automation
- Video production
- Design element
- Web development and management
- Marketing consultancy and strategy
The Cost of Hiring a Content Marketing Services in Singapore
The services offered by a content marketing firm are so varied that their pricing tends to range from $2000 to $50000 per month for those using the monthly retainer pricing model.
Also, as you could have guessed, the biggest pricing factor is how much original content your company will produce and publish per month. The more content the company publishes, the higher the amount you pay.
Influencer marketing is a digital marketing strategy that relies on influencers, or people with their own voice or opinions to market a business, brand, or product, or service.
Key Elements of Running a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign in Singapore
- Clear Goals
Start by setting up clear goals or at least have something that you’re trying to achieve. Are you planning to get more traffic, make more sales, or get more people to subscribe to your email list?
- The delivery format:
Talk to your influencer and find out how they plan to deliver your message or promote your offerings. Will they be doing a letter, producing a video, or doing a podcast.
- Start-and-end Date:
Prepare an outline on when the influencer’s services will begin and end. This should help you track and measure the results you’ll be getting from your marketing campaign during this time.
- Define Your Influencer:
The most important part of running a successful influencer marketing campaign is choosing the right influencer. You have to analyse their influence and make sure they’ll expose you to the right target audience.
Key Benefits of Influencer Marketing in Singapore:
- Better ROI
Influencers affect buying decisions. Their followers trust their advice and recommendations. So, should they put out a positive word for your offerings, then that translates to more sales for you.
- Authentic Endorsement
Remember: the influencer’s brand is also at stake here should they decide to endorse a shoddy brand or business. So, expect them to be selective with whom they choose to partner with.
- Better Demographics:
With influencer marketing, you have the option of choosing an influencer within your niche. That means they’ll be helping you target your desired audience and not just anyone.
- Long-term Relationships:
When you partner with an influencer, you have the opportunity of cultivating a long-term relationship not only with the influencer but also with their followers.
Marketing Automation Agencies
Marketing automation is a newly introduced aspect of digital marketing. It covers marketing tools such as Facebook, chatbots, CRM, email automation, and any other form of automation in the world of digital 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
What’s a Marketing Automation Agency?
It’s an agency that manages projects that are powered by real-time data and insights. It’s their job to help brands review, test, repair, and maintain these systems and all the other tools involved.
What Services Does a Marketing Automation Agency Offer?
Here’s a list of services a marketing automation firm may choose to provide:
- CRM Integration
- Marketing and sales alignment
- Ongoing management
- Custom system integration
The Cost of Hiring Marketing Automation Services in Singapore
Depending on the contacts and leads in your marketing database, the subscription for marketing automation can start from $1,000 and scales up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month.
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that relies on the use of emails to send messages to your target audience. It’s based on developing a relationship with customers via email as you gradually work on growing their interest until they warm up enough to take action.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Here are some of the ways email marketing may benefit your business:
stacked against traditional marketing strategies, email marketing costs way less. It’s also less demanding, which leaves you with enough time to focus on other advertising methods as well.
- Easy for Communicating
Since communication happens via email, that means you’ll be communicating with your target audience on a more personal level.
- Easy for Spreading Important Information:
With email marketing, you have a platform to share important information directly to its intended audience.
- Easy to Define Your Target Audience:
With email marketing, you can segment your audience into specific demographics and send a different marketing message to each one of them.
How to Create a Subject Line with a Better Open Rate
Here are a few pointers to help you out with this:
- Keep the subject line short:
Your subject line should be short and straight to the point.
- Have a bait or something intriguing subject line:
“Your Order Details are Inside Here” is far much better than a subject line that goes along the lines of “Click here for more information on your order details.”
- Be specific:
Cut to the chase and sum up everything. If it’s a listing, include the number of items.
- Numbers work:
“5 top Singapore sales” is better than “Sign up to find out more about Singapore Sales.”
- Be Professional:
Avoid being too casual with your subject line or using block lettering. Use mixed caps instead, where you capitalise the first letters of each word.
- Capitalise on a sense of urgency:
Your subscribers are more likely to go through with an action if you make it appear like they need to act fast, lest they end up missing on an urgent offer.
How to Write Better Emails for Your Email Marketing Campaign
- Your subject line must be professional, straight to the point, and very informative
- Your email must appear clean and easy to read through when you send
- Skimp on words by cutting on frills and by using lots of bulleted list and subheadings
- Use images, screenshots, and infographics to break the monotony of digging through huge chunks of texts
- Create a CTA that entices people to want to click through your email and read it
Email Marketing Agencies
In most cases, a company that offers email marketing services will also be offering content marketing services. That’s because there has to be a content gateway to drive the traffic generated through email marketing.
What’s an Email Marketing Agency?
An email marketing agency is committed to helping brands speed up their sales cycle. Their biggest goal is to move prospects from one stage of a sales funnel to another. They do this by sending different emails to different groups of prospects to grow their interest and motivate them to go through with a purchase.
What Services Does an Email Marketing Agency Provide?
Here are the common services email marketing agencies provide:
- Email marketing strategy
- Lead magnets
- Websites Call-to-Actions
- Advertising campaigns
- Email Marketing software
- Email newsletter
- Email list maintenance
- Email marketing reporting
- Website and landing page design and development
The Cost of Hiring Email Marketing Services in Singapore
Some agencies charge you based on the number of leads they generate. In which case, they’ll be charging you about $1 per lead.
But in most cases, you’ll be required to pay a monthly retainer that can range from $200 to $5,000 per month.
Building a brand is an ongoing process. You have to put in a lot of work in forging a strong relationship with your target audience – much of which is done through marketing.
You need a creative team to help you tell your brand story and execute your marketing strategy.
So, how do you go about searching for the right creative partner in a market bursting with them? Better, how can you tell whether it’s right for you to hire a creative agency, an ad agency, or a digital agency?
In this section of the post, we’ll try to break down everything there’s to know about creative agencies — what they are, where to find one, as well as what makes them different from the other agency.
Let’s get straight to it.
What’s a Creative Agency?
A creative agency refers to an agency that offers a range of services under the umbrella of advertising and marketing.
They’re all about creativity and strategizing.
A creative agency specializes in one service, but essentially their services include:
- Brand strategy
- Advertising strategy
- Social media strategy
- Marketing strategy
- Content strategy
Content Creation Services:
- Annual reports
- Copy editing
- Graphic design
- White papers
- Web design
- Web development
Measurement and Analysis:
- Social media analysis and management
- Influencer marketing
- Paid placement
- Media buys
- Sponsored content
In brief, a creative agency operates as your creative partner to help you tell your brand story in the best and most effective way possible.
What Does a Creative Agency’s Team Consist of?
A creative agency employs a mix of talents and marketing experts, including:
- Art Director
- Content strategists
- Creative director
- Writers, proofreaders, and editors
- Account managers and directors
- Graphic designs
- Web designers
- Content distributors and promoters
Depending on the area of specialism, a creative agency has to work with a mix of different talents.
How’s a Creative Agency Different from Other Agencies?
We get asked this question a lot. The services of a creative agency overlap with those of other agencies. But what makes it different is the fact that, while the services of a creative agency will be all over the place, most of the time, the services of other agencies will be focused on one particular category or services:
Here’s a simple overview:
- Design Agencies: A design agency focuses on visuals, both digital and print. They make your products, offerings, and ads more enticing to the user.
- Digital Agencies: A digital agency offers a range of digital marketing services, including SEO, social media marketing, lead generation, and so on.
- Advertising Agencies: An advertising agency specializes in ads (TV, print, radio, digital, etc.). While they do not necessarily have to provide marketing services, some ad agencies offer them both.
- PR Agencies: PR agencies are all about creating awareness and fixing your online reputation. They do this by distributing and promoting your content, both online and offline.
- SEO Agencies: SEO agencies are focused on optimizing your website for search engines. They’re all about helping you gain more search engine visibility and drive more organic search traffic.
- Social media agencies: Social media agencies specialize in social strategies and management.
A creative agency will be providing two or more of the services above.
How a Creative Agency Can Help Your Brand
Creative agencies offer a variety of services. Whether it’s to fill in a gap or handle your marketing needs as a whole, a creative agency offers to help you out with the following:
- Create a Strategy: If you’re not so sure about what you’re doing, where to start, or if you’re headed in the right direction, a creative agency is a great place to turn to for guidance. They can help you outline a proper marketing structure that inches you even closer to your marketing goals.
- Execute Your Strategy: You might have the best strategy. But until you get it executed right, it might not bring you the results you want. So, why not hire a creative agency to help you execute it, whether it’s through content creation, editorial planning, social advertising, or media placement.
- Expert Knowledge: A creative agency has both the experience and expertise to get you results. They know what works and what doesn’t.
They have a large network of marketers, content creators, and website owners.
Some full-service creative agencies only specialize in one particular offering or industry, such as entertainment or B2B tech.
So, how Can You Tell If Your Business Needs a Creative Agency
A creative agency comes with its share of benefits. But that’s not to say every business needs to hire one.
If you already have an in-house team that’s pretty efficient at running your marketing campaigns, then there’s no point in hiring a creative agency. But you might want to consider hiring one if it turns out:
- You don’t have enough resources to set up an in-house team: If you can’t afford the huge overheads that come with hiring different marketing experts to set up an in-house, then you should perhaps consider hiring a creative agency.
- No Marketing Knowledge: Creative agencies are staffed with a variety of marketing experts, with varied skills and expertise, for creating different types of content. Not forgetting the industry practices to observe.
- No Bandwidth: Marketing can be hard and tiring. It takes hours of research, strategizing, content creation, graphic design, and so on to run an effective marketing campaign.
If your team is already involved with other projects, then you don’t need to bog them further down with more projects. Instead, hire a creative agency to help you create consistent, high-quality content at a scale.
- If You’re Struggling to See Results: If after experimenting with different strategies and marketing tactics, you’re still not getting the results you want, then you might want to consider hiring a creative agency to help you tweak, revise, and improve your marketing strategy.
Video marketing, as the name suggests, focuses on promoting your business through video content on platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video-streaming platform out there.
How to Create Engaging Video Content
The video you create must really capture your viewers’ attention, and here are a few ingredients to help you out with this:
- Forget about selling and Instead focus on the message: A good video solves a problem your customers or prospects have. So, forget about what you’re trying to sell and instead focus on sending the right message out there.
- Make Good Use of the First Few Seconds of Your Video: You only have a few seconds to capture your viewers’ attention and get them interested in watching the entire video. This is where you direct much of your effort.
- Understand Your Target Audience: Find out more about your target audience. What’s their gender, location, language, age range, and more.
Programmatic advertising is another digital marketing strategy that involves the use of software or special program to buy digital ads. It relies on algorithms and machines to buy display space.
Is Programmatic Advertising Efficient?
Quite simply: yes.
It’s efficient because it saves on both time and resources. Essentially, it was designed to get rid of the now outmoded hit-or-miss campaign design, which notoriously did cost marketers too much money.
How Programmatic Advertising Works
Programmatic advertising is designed to not only launch your ads but also monitor your ad spend and improve on its overall performance.
Benefits of Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency
You may be familiar with what a marketing agency does in general, but are you aware of all of the benefits it can offer your business? Here are just a few of the advantages you will get when working with a professional firm:
First and foremost you get the benefit of expertise. While you may be extremely knowledgeable about your products or services, that does not always mean that you will know exactly how to market them. The awesome part about working with a marketing agency is that these individuals are well versed in marketing techniques and strategies. They know exactly how to appeal to your audience and what is most likely to get their attention. When you combine your expertise with that of a marketing agency, you will soon find it to be the perfect marriage.
- Outside Perspective
Any new business owner will tell you that they spend almost 24 hours a day working on their business. This is understandable because there are a lot of details involved and all of them require your attention. However, the longer you work on your business, the less subjective your opinion becomes. And this can make it very difficult to make the most logical moves, especially when it comes to the area of marketing. One of the benefits of working with a marketing agency is that you get an “outsider’s” opinion of your business. They can easily see the areas in which you are lacking and make quick suggestions on how you can improve.
- Return on Investment
Working on your own can be quite risky because you never know exactly what technique will work. It’s all a matter of throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks. However, an agency can offer metrics that give you more predictable results. In this way, you are not continuously throwing money at the problem and getting nothing in return. Marketing agencies can help bring in leads and this is exactly what it takes to get an ROI.
- Access to the Latest Trends
One of the best parts of working with agencies is that you never miss out on the latest trends. This is especially the case if you own an online business. It’s the agency’s job to be familiar with all of the newest skills and strategies required to get your audience’s attention. This ensures that you will always be able to keep up with or remain ahead of the competition. Working with a marketing agency is particularly valuable when your industry experiences huge changes.
Working with an agency frees you up to focus more intently on your core business. Essentially, you are diving your company into sections–one for everyday business activities and another for marketing. And a marketing agency will help to lighten the load. Use the extra time to improve your products and services and strengthen your relationship with your customers.
Qualities To Look For In A Credible Singapore Marketing Agency
As you can see, there are several advantages to working with a good marketing team. However, this does not mean that all Singapore agencies are created equal. So you need to be very selective when shopping around. Here are 7 key qualities that you should look for in an agency:
- Proven Track Record
The most credible agencies have a proven track record. While this may seem like common sense, you would be surprised to learn that there are businesses that base their decision on other factors. For instance, some may be impressed with the agency’s visual branding and assume that the agency will be able to offer them the same type of branding. They may be drawn in by the design of the agency’s website and the promises they advertise there. However, if the agency cannot show proof of a successful campaign, you should keep looking.
The agency’s portfolio and case studies will tell you a lot about their pedigree, in addition to showing you their core capabilities. Many digital marketing agencies post their portfolio on their website. So be sure to check it out and find out about the type of projects they’ve been involved with and their quality of work.
When first interviewing a firm, ask them how many successful projects they have worked on. Ask for a few references and speak to their former clients. Were their clients pleased with the results? You may also consider reading online reviews. By taking the time to confirm that the agency has had several successful projects, you can establish that they have quantifiable results and will be able to deliver the same to you.
If an agency is genuinely invested in professional digital marketing services and industry best practices, then it should have no trouble aligning itself with relevant industry associations. Usually, reputable professional accreditations require continuing adherence to industry best practices that inspire trust among clients. For example, Facebook accreditation stands as highly-regarded a digital agency certification.
- Clear Plan of Action
The most credible agencies have a clear plan of action. When you first meet with a potential firm, explain what products and services you offer as well as the things you are struggling with. The best and most credible agencies will be able to immediately offer a few ideas on how to improve or perform a total overhaul of your current marketing campaign.
So before signing a contract, ask them a few questions about what they envision for your business. What do they see as your immediate need and what are the changes you could make immediately? Does this agency address larger objectives such as revenue growth, retention, and lead generation? Do they have any plans to speak to your customers? The best agencies are often full of great ideas, even upon your first meeting.
- Their KPIs
Most agencies track vanity metrics – numbers that appear to really matter when they actually have no connection to your business goals. For instance, you don’t want to settle for an agency that tracks the number of likes you’re getting on Facebook when you’re serious about generating revenue for your business.
- In-depth Knowledge Of Your Industry
The most credible agencies have in-depth knowledge of your industry. While an agency may have a proven track record of success and be full of great ideas, this does not always mean that they are the right fit for you. You see, each industry has its own nuances. For example, if you own an accounting firm, your agency should be familiar with cost accounting and financial services. The more they know, the more effective your campaign will be. This will also save you time because you will not have to worry about rehashing all of the industry basics.
So always think about how much experience an agency has with a business like yours. Take a look at their client list and see if they have worked with others in your industry. If so, how successful were their campaigns?
The most credible marketing agencies are transparent. This is your company and brand, so there should be no secrets between you and the firms that are advertising for you. The best companies will always let you know what you should expect. Sure, you may be their client, but you are also a part of the team. They will fill you in on all of their goals, metrics as well as step-by-step plans for the future.
It is also much you can learn about an agency by just talking to their staff. Ask the staff about their tenure with the company, their experience, their expertise, and so on.
- Great Communication
The most credible marketing agencies have great communication skills. The success of your campaign is going to depend on how well you and your marketing agency communicate. Are they methodical in the way they explain their process to you? Are they patient with you when you have questions?
Do they ask your questions about the future of your business and where you see it going in the upcoming years? You should also be on the lookout for agencies that regularly check in with their clients because this means that have the desire to make sure that you always know what’s going on with your campaign. Great communication helps to ensure that you get the most out of your time and money.
The most credible agencies have their boundaries. What does this mean? Well, it means that they are willing to say no to you. You see, a lot of business owners approach marketing firms with various creative ideas for their campaign, but that doesn’t mean that these are ideas will be good for the company’s brand.
In fact, these ideas may also hurt the agency’s brand. So the best agencies are conscious of this. They want to ensure that the project is something that they truly believe in and are proud of. So if you find that a company says yes to every idea you have, it may be a red flag.
- Innovation & Creativity
The most credible agencies are extremely innovative. A good agency will meet your goals and expectations and will send you a bill for the work that they have done. However, a great company will do its best to completely revolutionize your industry. They want to market your business in a way that has never been done before. They want to set a higher bar for your competitors. The best agencies want you to be seen as the best in your industry. They understand the connection between your success and their own. So try not to settle for the average, everyday firm.
Any digital marketing agency with a proven track record must be able to wheel out a glowing list of testimonials and references. There has been a tremendous chunk of happy customers that are willing to put out a positive word for the agency. Clients’ testimonials can be found on the agency’s website, but be sure to also check out Google reviews.
Before You Rush Out, First Evaluate Your Business Needs
Before you begin vetting different digital marketing agencies to choose the right one, you have to evaluate the internal needs of your business or company. The results you get should guide you to the right agency. First, you have to determine what you hope to achieve through digital marketing.
The reasons for outsourcing digital marketing services will always vary depending on your goals and vision for the company. Whatever the reason, you want to define them clearly before you approach any agency.
Here are a few questions you may have to answer:
- If you have an in-house team of digital marketers, what skills do they already possess?
- What’s your budget?
- How much time do you wish to invest in the partnership? If it’s short-term, then you might want to drop things like SEO for SEM and so forth.
Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is no doubt one of the most important moving parts of your online business. However, it can sometimes feel like an unending maze due to the many factors and processes. Here are frequently asked questions to help you understand it better and take full advantage of the countless opportunities to scale up your brand.
Can Social Media Really Help My Business Grow?
Globally, there are more than 3.96 billion active social media users. Singapore alone has 4.82 million active users. Investing in social media marketing will expose your brand to millions of people in the country and abroad.
For instance, a stellar video showcasing your new product or service will likely go viral, thereby giving your brand a firm footing. Note that most people consider social media one of the best sources of information about a product or service before making a purchase.
How Can I Measure Social Media Marketing ROI?
Like other digital marketing strategies, it is important to keep track of the performance of every social media marketing campaign. The metrics to look out for include traffic, leads, conversion/customers, and engagement level.
Identify posts or content formats that accrue the highest engagement level regarding lives and comments and focus on them more. Currently, videos, infographics, images, memes, and GIFs spur more engagement than general posts.
Social Media Marketing is Best for B2B or B2C Businesses?
This form of digital marketing is ideal for both, but the results vary due to the different dynamics of each. B2C businesses can profit from fun and witty social media posts such as GIFs and light-hearted memes.
On the other hand, B2B businesses should focus on posting informative content about the industry to show their authority.
Either way, both B2B and B2C businesses can count on social media to establish solid connections with potential customers.
Is Email Marketing Still Relevant?
Email marketing is the most effective way of connecting with customers. Consider this, when you post an image or a new blog on the website, you hope that the target audience will visit to read it, right? Unfortunately, not everyone will know you posted the blog.
How do you inform this select group of potential customers? Sending them an email will get the work done. Even if they choose not to open the email, they will see the company name and subject line. Most likely, they will open and click on the link to the blog when they get a chance.
Isn’t Social Media Marketing Replacing Email Marketing?
Statistics show that email marketing reaches 3x more people than Twitter and Facebook combined. That statistic took everyone by surprise, but it’s a true reflection of how customers prefer to engage with brands.
That said, the popularity of social media marketing is growing at an exponential rate every day, but it will take years, if not decades, for it to replace email marketing. Remember, not everyone spends time on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Therefore, relying on those platforms online won’t cut it.
We recommend you combine social media and email marketing campaigns to get the best possible results. Be sure to remain consistent both in branding and the writing style to avoid confusing the customers.
Is it Good to Buy a List When Starting Email Marketing?
Most businesses are tempted to buy a list when starting, but unfortunately, it’s not advisable. Most of the companies that sell the lists don’t take the time to segment them for different niches. Therefore, most of your emails will end up being marked as spam by the recipients.
The best and only way to establish an email subscriber list that will benefit your Singapore business is by growing it organically. Unlike in the past, most email service providers don’t offer services to clients with purchased lists. More importantly, most of the email addresses in the list are not of high-quality or qualified leads.
Be patient and focus on collecting email addresses of genuinely interested in your services and products.
How to Grow an Email List?
As mentioned earlier, the best way to grow an email list is by doing it organically instead of taking shortcuts. One of the best ways of achieving this goal is by offering appropriate incentives to the audience in exchange for signing up to your email list.
For instance, you can decide to offer a 5% discount to people who subscribe to your newsletter. Spread the word about the offer via social media pages to connect with as many interested customers as possible. The leads will automatically qualify themselves when they submit required personal information such as email addresses and names.
Should We Use Plain Text or HTML-Based Email?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Some brands prefer sending out HTML emails with captivating images, while others swear by simple text. Different audiences respond to each version differently.
The only way to know which format to use is by carrying out A/B tests. Note that the average email users only spend 20 seconds reading an email. Stick to this threshold, but if it is longer, ensure that you deliver the most important information within the first 20 seconds.
The call to action and valuable links should be at the top, such that the recipient will view them without scrolling down.
What is CAN-SPAM law?
Writing a stellar email copy does not mean that the recipient will react positively to it. The CAN-SPAM law was put in place to protect users from been bombarded with commercial emails. All brands sending out commercial emails are required to include an unsubscribe link in each email.
The company name and physical address should also be provided. In addition, you are required to honour the subscriber’s request not to get emails from you again. Failure to comply with this law can result in a fine of S$25 per email.
What is Content Marketing?
Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing does not just focus on brands, products, and services but pays more attention to the customers’ needs. The primary goal is to offer genuinely valuable and helpful information to the target customers for free.
The content is meant to establish a cordial relationship between the consumer and brand. It also helps them make the right purchasing decisions.
What Qualifies as Content?
The first thing that comes to mind when most marketers think about content marketing is a blog. Certainly, a blog is the simple and basic part of content marketing. However, it is not the only type of content included in a content marketing strategy.
Any valuable information that can be conveyed to the target customers via different mediums is classified as content. This includes infographics, blogs, podcasts, videos, webinars, ebooks, slideshares, GIFs, and many more.
Monitor how your audience responds and interacts with the different formats to know which one to focus your energies on to avoid wasting time and money on ineffective content.
How to Develop a Solid Content Marketing Plan?
First, content marketing is the heart and soul of your branding efforts. So, before you make any step, you need to carry out extensive research to identify your legit target audience. Find out as much information about them as:
- Economic class
- Education level
- Needs and preferences
This information will enable you to come up with accurate customer personas to whom your content addresses. The personas will help you create an ideal brand image, determine the company’s voice and the primary types of content you will be publishing.
The content should be utterly valuable, informative, interesting, engaging, and relevant to the target customers as a general rule. As you progress, you will segment the customers into groups based on their specific characteristics and needs. Tweaking the strategy to adapt to changes in the market is allowed to continue staying ahead of the curve.
How Often Should I Post New Content on the Site?
Different demographics and industries have different content consumption patterns. But based on experience, fresh content should be posted not less than twice per week. There is no upper limit since Google and other search engines continuously crawl websites and index new content.
Some studies show that posting once or several times per day is the most effective way to increase traffic to websites, especially the new ones. Create a schedule for creating and posting the content without sidelining other equally important business processes.
It is recommendable to hire a content management agency to produce the content on your behalf. The agency will do essential processes such as keyword research and competition analysis to ensure that every piece you publish meets the set standards and has the muscle to outrank your competitors.
What is the Difference Between B2B and B2C Content Marketing?
The primary goal of investing in content marketing is to convey the intended message to customers in the best way possible. Even though the purpose is the same, the goals will vary due to the nature of the business.
B2B content should be professional to show customers that the brand is an authority or expert in the niche. Concisely, it should be more business-oriented. On the contrary, B2C content is conversational, and there is a lot of freedom in terms of topics.
Is it OK to Add Big Content to My Strategy?
For starters, big content refers to ebooks and white papers. As an online business, you should strive to convince the customers that you are the best option. Incorporating big content into your content marketing strategy will show them you are an expert.
It will help build trust and confidence before placing an order or even contacting you for more information. Simple blog posts and evergreen content is great, but big content will supercharge your content marketing campaigns.
More importantly, it will help you get more email subscribers, especially if you produce the content weekly or biweekly. That way, the audience will always be expecting a new whitepaper or ebook on a particular day.
What is the Difference Between PPC and SEO?
PPC and SEO are different even though they both work in tandem to guarantee search engine marketing success (SEM). Simply put, SEO is an organic or natural way of improving your website’s ranking and visibility to search engines and searchers. It relies heavily on organic content.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign allows marketers to bid on the target keywords to show their ads on top of the conventional search engine results. The ads will be displayed whenever a searcher uses the target keyword to look for information on Google.
The difference is that traffic generated through SEO strategies is free while PPC traffic is paid.
How Long Does SEO Take to Show Results?
When looking to invest in any marketing service, businesses usually wonder how long the service will show tangible results. To best answer, this question, consider SEO as a long-term investment or project that will eventually help your business get to the next level.
Google and other search engine algorithms have a major impact on how fast a website gets ranked on the first page and starts generating traffic. Be patient and be ready to continuously adjust the strategies to adhere to the search engine’s requirements.
Why Should I Spend Money on Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing is one of the most powerful ways of generating qualified leads. Compared to other online and offline marketing strategies, it is cost-effective. Even if the customers don’t click on the ads, you will still profit from free branding since they will know your company name. Also, they may decide to visit your website at a later date without clicking on the ad, thereby saving you money.
How do I Measure the Success of an SEM campaign?
A search engine marketing campaign is highly measurable. The metrics to focus on depends on the objectives. For example, if your goal is to create awareness, track impressions and clicks on the paid search engine ads.
Suppose the goal is to measure text ad creative or brand preference performance, monitor both conversions and click-through rates. If the goal is to generate leads, monitor new online registrations, sign-ups, downloads, email inquiries, or any other desired action.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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
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
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
- WeChat Moments Advertising – Moments are to WeChat what Timeline is to Facebook. This class of ads, therefore, floats on the targeted audience’s moments.
- 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.
- 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.