Digital Marketing

All About Advertising in Singapore

Geralyn Tan, Copywriter, GENIA

3 March 2020

Overview of Advertising in Singapore

Singapore has often been dubbed as the gateway to Asia because of its economic stability and business-friendly environment. Beyond that, Singapore’s multiracial social fabric has lent itself as a perfect test market in Asia comprising of Chinese, Malay, Indian and even Eurasian citizens. This is one reason why advertising in Singapore can be so beneficial and worth companies’ time. Having a footing in advertising in an incredibly dynamic and innovative city like Singapore can exponentially improve upon your business’ overall marketing tactics.

Types of Advertisements in Singapore

A variety of advertising forms exist in Singapore – ranging from outdoor advertisements to radio broadcasts to more targeted advertising in online spaces. In constructing your marketing strategy, it is important to choose the right portfolio of advertising tools available to really enhance your reach and effectiveness when advertising.


Types of advertisements in Singapore

Digital Advertising
Technological advancements pushing for the rise of a digital economy has placed an enormous amount of emphasis on advertising and marketing in digital spaces. According to PWC’s entertainment and media outlook report, digital consumer and advertising revenue is also expected to grow at a rate of 11.7 per cent over the next five years (2019-2023), reaching S$2.9 billion, whereas non-digital is set to decline at a rate of 1.8 per cent.

Online marketing can help businesses create and maintain relationships with their customers, while potentially being able to create conversation and awareness for the brand itself as well. Digital advertising can comprise of Social Media Advertising (on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube), Online Display Advertisements, Pay Per Click Advertising, Email Advertising, Content Marketing, so on and so forth.

Much of the advertising efforts in Singapore have been directed to becoming more personalised to customers as well. Direct advertising involves connecting with customers by delivering customised market offerings to each different individual. Through online data analytics provided on consumers (which includes their spending habits, type of advertisements they prefer – visual or textual, click-through rates and etcetera), you can learn a lot about your target audience. Use these valuable insights to better advertise your product/service to customers!

Print advertisements
Print advertising has been one of the most traditionally used tools by businesses. Newspapers and magazines can help to advertise your brand. Print advertising also includes flyers and brochures that are printed in hardcopy for mass distribution through physical hands outs or direct mail advertising. For now, print advertising remains as one of the largest advertising segments in Singapore. However, it is expected to decline by 2.1 per cent per annum (2017-2021).

Radio and Television advertisements
Prior to digital advertising’s boom in the industry, radio and television advertising in Singapore has been one of the most trustworthy and go-to solutions for businesses. Even though this form of advertising can be quite costly in Singapore, it is a tool that you should consider, depending on your target demographic. Choosing the specific media vehicle to publish your advertisement on is extremely important as well, as it can dictate the success or failure of your campaign. Every media vehicle has a different consumer base, and this needs to be considered in your selection, to ensure maximum effectiveness so you get the best bang for your buck.

Outdoor advertisements
Do you remember seeing those advertisements plastered on billboards, buses and taxis all around Singapore? Those are what outdoor advertisements are essentially about. As consumers go about their daily lives, these outdoor advertisements permeate their surrounding vision and help to inject the thought of your brand into their minds, consciously or subconsciously.

Comparing between Advertisements in Singapore: Online VS Offline

At this point, you may be overwhelmed with the different advertising choices presented to you. Where should you start, and what will prove to be the most effective form of advertising?

Online and offline advertising

In short, it depends on your target audience and overall marketing goals. Who are you marketing to, and for what purpose? For instance, if you’re a small business and your goal is to target millennials looking for winter jackets, digital advertising could best fit your needs as millennials are one of the heaviest groups of users in the social media landscape. On the other hand, if you’re looking to promote healthcare services for the elderly, it could be better to use television advertisements instead.

Consider your advertising budget as well. Do you have enough resources and funds to engage in traditional forms of advertising? In most cases, digital advertising can prove to be a more cost-effective solution for brands with a smaller budget, as traditional forms of advertising in Singapore can be extremely costly. 

It’s essential to recognise digital advertising’s upward trend in Singapore. Many companies are now hiring in-house digital marketers or external digital marketing agencies to aid in their online advertising campaigns. Some services that these digital marketing agencies in Singapore provide includes Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Social Media account handling and advertising, and more. This is not to say that traditional forms of advertising are redundant now. It is still very prevalent and important, especially when it comes to targeting older demographics. Television and radio still remain as a top advertising tool choice as it can reach a large mass of audience! Ultimately, it really depends on your business goals and target demographic.

Tips On How To Start Advertising in Singapore 

The best advertisements often conduct a meaningful brand exchange with your customers. It offers value to your clients and creates a lasting positive impression of your brand. To do that, consider a marketing directive that is inspiring or relatable.

Advertising in Singapore requires you to consider the cultural nuances that exist as well. Ads in Singapore that do well are often wholesome family-friendly content or humourous ones. Remember to be culturally sensitive and avoid sensitive topics like race or religion as it can be easily misconstrued.

Conducting the right research on your target audience can help to exponentially improve upon your results. With a plethora of media advertising and data analytic tools available for your use, it is easier than ever to gather crucial data and consumer insights that can really take your advertising efforts to the next level.

Here are some things you can consider while starting out on your advertising strategy in Singapore:

1. Creating a free Facebook/Instagram account for your business, allowing customers to reach you easily

2. Creating a content plan to maintain your social media accounts

3. Reaching out to lifestyle magazines with content pitches for your brand

4. Creating a website that can help you appear more professional and act as a 24/7 store

5. Listing your business on both online and offline directories

Outsourcing your marketing or advertising efforts to experienced media agencies can prove to be highly efficient as these professionals know what they’re doing. It may be overwhelming for business owners to try and juggle advertising, along with other business operations. In such situations, reaching out to advertising agencies can help to streamline your business operations and even produce better quality advertising for your brand.

Advertising Alternatives 

Advertising is not the only way to get your brand out there. As advertising can be rather costly, businesses can look to a more cost-effective solution, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). In short, SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results. Most online traffic is driven by search engines like Google, and the best part? It’s free. While it is true that there will be costs in attempting to rank on the first page of Google, be it by hiring an in-house team or engaging an agency to help you with SEO, it is still significantly lower in costs as compared to advertising.

Beyond that, SEO is also a long-term tactic. Unlike advertising, you don’t have to consistently pay huge amounts of money just to get your ad shown. You don’t get taken off Google just because you stop SEO. On the other hand, if you stop paying for ads, you’ll be removed completely, regardless of the platform you’re advertising on. According to Moz, it is one of the only marketing channels that can continue to pay you dividends over time, when done right. If you’re interested in finding out more about SEO, read our article on the cost of implementing SEO, or you can contact us here.

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For many small business owners, getting started on social media can be a little daunting, especially when you are boot-strapped or face lack of manpower and time. However, it does not have to cost very much to grow your business on social media such as LinkedIn. 

Here are 15 ways on how small businesses can grow their connections organically on LinkedIn.

  1. Define your purpose.

Identify at which stage of your marketing funnel you want your business to focus on and set goals to reach them. Is it to build awareness of your business, garner more engagement or convert people to transact with you? Knowing your business goal will help you work on a strategic social media strategy that will produce successful outcomes at every stage of the funnel.

  1. Build a LinkedIn business page.

According to Forbes, only 57% of companies have business pages. The remaining 43% are missing out on a free opportunity to generate leads, talent, and, ultimately, revenue. A business page allows you to post content, advertise your solutions and how it can alleviate your target audience’s pain points. While building your own LinkedIn personal page is important, a business page allows you to focus on providing value-added information that your customers can relate to.

Online and offline advertising
Types of advertisements in Singapore
Online and offline advertising

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