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How digital marketing can help small businesses?

What is digital marketing?

In short, it means advertising and promotions in the digital world. E.g. Internet, Messaging (e.g. WhatsApp), Emailing, Facebook etc.

Small businesses in Singapore need to understand the importance and effectiveness of digital if they are not using digital marketing. Digital marketing helps your business thrive in today’s competitive landscape and lets you grow your business. Gone are days of relying on traditional forms of advertising, such as print ads and coupon mailers or even big banner signs on fences. The newer generations only look at computer screens!

For many, digital marketing may seem puzzling or nerve-wracking, especially when it comes to using the right strategies. Frequent questions arise such as:

  • I am not IT savvy, I don’t even have a Facebook account
  • Will I be wasting valuable time and money?
  • How can I be sure that it will work?

When small businesses get started, their focus is often on how to get their first group of customers to “walk in”. They may rely on traditional media of costly advertising since the previous generation taught them the same thing. They may assume that since they know they offer a good product or service, it’s only a matter of time until customers will find their way to them.

While this strategy may bring in some business, there is a better and easier way. Small businesses should consider the huge ONLINE marketplace. No small business, no matter how new, should overlook this vast marketplace.

There a countless SkillsFuture courses on digital marketing, you can a tech savvy worker to work on it or you can just engage a professional vendor to start from small.

Benefits of Online Marketing

With digital marketing, you can reach a huge audience both in a cost-effective and measurable way. We know it is a fact that we will be able to reach a wider crowd of people than locally.

Other benefits of online marketing include:

  • Define a narrow demographic. E.g. People of age 15-25 year old staying in Toa Payoh
  • The capability to interact with your potential customers and learn exactly what they are searching for
  • The capability to reach a global audiences
  • You can save money and reach more customers for less money than traditional marketing methods. E.g. Facebook ads can range from just $10 a day to reach a healthy crowd
  • Get to know your audience and allow them to know you personally which can help to create brand loyalty
  • You can track responses to your marketing efforts in real time

Your Customers Are Online

If you are not doing digital marketing now, is it because you are not ready or waiting for the business to be more established to sort it out?

Well, the problem is that customers and potential customers are already online and right now, they are searching for your products and services like yours. If they cannot find you, they are going to work with someone else.

This is how the consumer do business nowadays. When they have an interest in something or about your niche, they will simply research online. Even if they know about your brand, they will still research online about you and your competitors. You need to “social proof” your business in the digital world.

“Social Proof” means your customers are expecting to:

  • Visit your website for professional presentation, location and contact details, case studies / portfolio, and evidence of recent updates
  • Visit your Facebook for recent updates, user reviews / complains, updated operating hours and contact details, and number of followers
  • Visit your Instagram
  • Check out your certifications and 3rd party mentions about you
  • Find out about the years of experience and track records about your business

If a prospect can’t find you online, they just simply conclude that your business is not legit. They will not take your business seriously and quickly head somewhere else.

What’s Next?

Generally, setting up a Facebook account is easier, faster and cheaper than a website – get started with that first. Create a personal Facebook account first and create a <Page> for your business next. Facebook will guide your through from their wizard.

The next important milestone will be setting up a corporate website (WHO WE ARE, WHAT WE DO) or an e-store (WHAT WE HAVE, BUY NOW) with a product catalogue. There is now a Productivity and Solution Grant (PSG) from the government which you can use to build an e-store with professional service providers. The grant covers up to 70% of the cost.

Find out more from https://www.smeportal.sg/content/tech-depot/en/psg/specific-it-solution-category/e-commerce-online-shop-and-marketplace.html. New start-ups or established SMEs can use the grant with no string attached.

I will share more about social media and website strategy in future postings.