What is Digital Marketing?
For those of you who are new to this field, digital marketing is the use of various digital channels, such as domain websites or search engine, and formats, such as audio or video, to create targeted content for a specific audience through the integration of data and creativity. Digital marketers are able to produce a higher return on investment by utilizing online social platforms, which requires minimal investment, to increase their market share.
Overview of Digital Marketing in Singapore
Before diving into the digital marketing trends in Singapore, it is important to first understand what the digital marketing landscape is. Statistics from MediaOne taken in March 2020 show that Youtube is the second most viewed and used digital platform with 4.3 million users, followed by Facebook with 4.45 million users, and Instagram with 2.11 million users. With an 82% internet penetration rate in Singapore, we can already observe the opportunities for digital marketing due to its high user reach.
2020 was unprecedented due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has encouraged policies for lockdowns and social distancing. These policies lead to the need for people to stay connected which creates a projected surge in the number of social media users of all ages. As an aspiring digital marketer, it is necessary to be at the front line in understanding the shifts in consumer behavior to create and execute an effective digital marketing campaign. But what exactly is the outlook for digital marketing after the shifts in people’s behavior and increase in social media users?
Digital Marketing Trends
1. Videos as a staple digital marketing format
Videos had already been predicted to be necessary for 2020, based on Digital Marketing Institute’s article. But in the 2021, it is going to become as staple as eating rice in Singapore. With short videos already trending since 2019 through features such as “stories”, embedded in most social media platforms, TikTok has further expanded and standardize the use of short videos in 2020. Instagram has already added a new feature, “Reels”, involving music-embedded short videos, to compete against TikTok.
Aside from short videos, live streaming, currently available on platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram, is also another promising format that allows the audience to connect with the streamer on a variety of topics in a more authentic way. The key here is to attract attention from and engage with the audience to maintain feelings of connection and improve customer retention.
2. Optimizing social experiences digitally
E-commerce seems to be a growing field in Singapore with the average Singaporean spending over $1,000 USD online monthly, especially with the current restrictive guidelines encouraging people to adapt online shopping habits. In addition, social media platforms are making it easier for users to purchase products through the featured links on their platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook and soon-to-be TikTok. However, only 23% of marketers are currently focus on “improving customer experience” through social media.
As e-commerce continues to bloom on social media platforms, there is a growing need to create a feasible social experience for the customers that encompasses both traditional and digital social experiences of shopping on social media.
3. Embracing silence on social media As more people are spending time on the internet, it is very easy for digital marketers to assume that providing more content is better for their brand. However that is not always the case. According to Hoot Suite, 32% of Gen Z, Millenials, Gen X and Baby Boomers use social media to find entertaining content. Unless you have entertaining content it would be unwise to continue posting about your products on their social media feed. Besides, it is crucial to give your audience a break, both from your brand and from social media to retain your followers, or it could backfire and hurt your business instead.
How do you actually become a digital marketer?
Once you understand what digital marketing is and its importance, you need to learn the skills, such as data analytics and knowledge of digital formats. Two ways to do this is through education and experience.
1. Take Digital Marketing Courses Online
If you are switching your careers or want to improve your digital marketing skills, taking courses on digital marketing is a path you can take to polish your resume. Considering the current situation, most of the digital marketing courses are available online, allowing much more flexibility in incorporating it to your schedule. There are various digital marketing courses available in Singapore, and it may be difficult to choose what fits you. If so, you can start by checking out the digital marketing courses on SkillsFuture, a platform organized by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Trade and Industry to support citizens in pursuing education regardless of age. By using SkillsFuture credits, you can get a discount on any course listed on the SkillsFuture website. Make sure to check your SkillsFuture credit eligibility before signing up for a course.
Training Vision also offers a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing Campaign Strategy in partnership with the Digital Marketing Institute, which will get you certified as a Digital Marketer after completion of the program. In order to maximize learning, it is crucial to pick the course that fulfills your needs best. You can check out the reviews to find out about students’ experiences and whether that would be the experience that you are looking for to enhance your skills.
2. Gain Experience
Aside from taking courses, you can also learn by doing. In this case you can take on digital marketing projects, whether it is personal or professional, such as creating a campaign or boosting your brand’s customers using social media. This allows you to practice your skills hands-on use trial-and-error to figure out what works best. Although this method may be time-consuming, it is helpful in learning how to apply your skills in real-world setting to be able to iterate what you did on your resume.
Although two ways were mentioned, they will not guarantee that you will succeed in digital marketing. You need to be curious and a life-long learner to continue keeping up with the ever-changing trends in consumer behaviour and technology that will create a path for success in digital marketing.