Although digital marketing seems like it should be the same everywhere — the Internet has few boundaries, after all — local advertisers should be aware of the differences between marketing in Singapore and in the US. A common mistake that many marketers in Singapore make is to simply replicate the tactics used by US marketers. Here are a few reasons why such campaigns may not work.
Businesses often ask which channel they should use when getting started on their digital marketing campaigns. It’s actually simple, just stick with the two giant platforms: Facebook and Google.
You may start to think about other channels more commonly used in other countries such as Snapchat, Twitter, Wechat, Vine, Yahoo and so on, but really it’s better to go with Google and Facebook.
Firstly, Facebook and Google alone have 4 million Singaporean users each (equivalent to the entire population of Singapore), making it the most optimal platform for any type of local enterprise.
Secondly, the sophisticated ads technology on Facebook. Although Facebook Ads wasn’t that sophisticated at the start, its AI and targeting precision have improved significantly, indicating that it can offer businesses pretty good returns should they decide to use it. Apart from Facebook and Google, other platforms just aren’t as good in terms of their ad technology.
Thirdly, the use of these two platforms will make your campaign much more scalable. The longer your advertisements stay on Facebook, the more information it will obtain about your target audience and the better the accuracy of your targeting.
Finally, unlike other platforms that give you only a few consumers at the initial stage, Facebook and Google will provide you with a consistent flow of consumers every month. This number depends on your budget, but nevertheless, it is much needed by Singapore-based SMEs.
Some may argue that there’s just too much competition ad space on Google and Facebook (we’ll get to this later on).
For now, our advice is applicable to average Singapore advertisers. Unless you are spending about 6 figures every month on digital advertising, you likely have yet to reach your limit on Google and Facebook. Don’t worry if this is the case for you: just stick to Google and Facebook till you’ve reached the cap and you’ll be fine.
Facebook’s targeting capabilities
Facebook’s data mining tools enable users to target the most ideal potential customers out there. There are, however, a few limits to the kind of data and hence targeting options Facebook can provide in Singapore. Data on factors like income, type of housing, specific buying behaviors and b2b purchasers cannot be collected.
The real value in Facebook targeting is in its machine learning capabilities—pointing out which users we should be targeting. More data is collected while your ads are run and this increases the accuracy of your targeting. To add, the ads technology from Facebook was designed for countries with hundreds of millions of users. That’s why it is so easy for Facebook to target your intended consumers.
While the ads technology might be impressive, bear in mind that it is still important to produce the best ad messages possible for your campaign. This is because there’s always going to be an overlap in the types of audiences that get targeted by Facebook.
Focus on writing ads that will persuade your target audience to take up your desired action such as clicking of the ads. This way, Facebook can get some idea of who your ideal customers are, and show it to users of the same demographic. In Singapore, nothing beats focusing your efforts on crafting the best ads possible.
The buying process: on vs offline
Some of the most successful US marketers often recommend using sales funnels that are online and sometimes even automated. Usually, they run ads that deliver traffic to Internet-based seminars or automatically send a series of emails. These methods help to increase the rate of conversions and eventually lead to online purchases of your company’s products.
But in Singapore, consumers prefer to see the goods in person before they decide on buying, especially when it comes to items costing in the hundreds and thousands of dollars.
To tackle this, an online-to-offline O2O strategy is needed. It might go something like this: you run the online campaign and post your ads on your desired platform, while the call-to-action is carried out offline. This can be in the form of getting people to register for a free trial, consultation, workshop, etc. By offering your potential customers extra value at no extra cost, you’re giving people an incentive to come down to your business.
The cost of Facebook and Google ads has shot up in recent years but fortunately, in Singapore, this has yet to reach its peak. Compared to the US where the most expensive keywords are priced as high as $47/click, the exact same keywords may cost anywhere from $17 to just $2/click in Singapore. When ranked amongst other countries, Singapore is probably at the 50th percentile when it comes to advertising costs.
According to Wordstream, the average marketing budget ranges from $9000 – $10000 for a small-medium enterprise in the US. On the flip side, SMEs in Singapore spend about $500 – $4000 a month.
Given Singapore’s high penetration rate on social media (93%), there is a huge potential for SMEs looking to build an online presence in Singapore.
Final tips: appealing to Singaporeans
Remember that Singapore has its own laws, and things run very differently compared to the US. don’t publish false content and if your business belongs to an industry like healthcare, remember to avoid using statements like “No.1” or the “best” — there are laws regulating this. Honest marketing is the best form of marketing: Singaporeans are mostly educated and know their facts, so don’t lie to them.
Another useful tip to make use of is to leverage on the ‘kiasu’ culture here. Singaporeans will flock to any shop or business if there’s a long queue. You can take advantage of this form of social proof by posting the statistics of customers online, testimonials as well as articles written by the media.
Finally, remember the marketing basics — do your research and make sure you really understand your target audience. This article may have provided you with some ideas about the Singapore marketplace, but you will have to do deeper research to get real results. But if you’re not sure you have the resources to run a marketing campaign by yourself, you can always try this digital marketing agency singapore, which is guaranteed to give you the best results.