Ever since the pandemic hit Singapore shores, there has been a rapid shift towards digitalisation. This has caused an uptick in social media consumption, with around 89.5 per cent of Singaporeans becoming active social media users.
In addition, two-thirds of Singaporeans reportedly use social media platforms to look for information about brands and products.
This new age of digitalisation forces businesses to migrate their offerings online and build a digital presence — or risk becoming obsolete.
“If you’re not online, you don’t exist,” said Lydon Ong, co-founder of digitally native men’s grooming company Bovem.
However, simply being online is not enough to succeed in today’s digital landscape. Digital trends are constantly evolving and to remain relevant, businesses need to invest in digital marketing tools to enhance their business presence and boost their sales growth.
In fact, with more businesses feeling the need to remain competitive and capture a bigger slice of the market, ad spending in the digital advertising market is projected to reach US$1.4 billion this year.
Threading through the evolving digital landscape
Within the digital marketing landscape, Kenny Choy, co-founder of Sqkii, pointed out that advertising has evolved and is rapidly shifting between social platforms, “from Facebook to Instagram, and then the TikTok medium”.
He added that the effectiveness and profitability of its gamification marketing solutions depends on how well the company can market its bespoke games to consumers, hence digital marketing is an integral part of the company’s success.
For example, Sqkii’s past ‘mouse hunt’ campaign in partnership with OCBC went viral due to the strategic use of its #HuntTheMouse hashtag, and targeted ads on its Facebook page. This feat would not have been possible without the expertise of digital marketers to identify when and where to advertise for the most traction.
For Sqkii, although the first announcement post went live on Facebook past midnight, it received more than 100 shares in less than five minutes. The image used was a box of bills to immediately drive the association between a large cash prize, enticing viewers’ curiosity.
Overall, the event website garnered over 500,000 page views, while the campaign received over two million engagements and 30,000 comments on social media. The success of this campaign provided Sqkii with a number of business opportunities as its following grew four times larger through the campaign.
On the other hand, for Bovem, the ever-changing digital landscape meant that the company needs to quickly adapt to better understand the demographics of its customers and their digital consumption habits.
Aside from that, the company also faced challenges due to the recent rise in customer acquisition costs. To cope with this, Bovem looks out for hires with advanced digital marketing and web skills to analyse its digital touchpoints, campaigns and pinpoint traffic sources to take better control of its sales funnels.
Bovem has identified this specific set of skills as key to lowering their acquisition costs and increasing Return On Investment (ROI) amidst a challenging environment.
Similarly, digital telco Circles.Life also feels the pressure when it comes to meeting the evolving digital needs of its customers. The company identifies that there is great opportunity in growing its customer base and product offerings beyond traditional telcos, but it needs to actively explore new ways to engage its customers and provide tailored solutions.
To keep up with the constantly evolving digital landscape, establishing an online presence and keeping up with the latest trends becomes essential.
Circles.Life is already well-known for its viral marketing campaigns, and digital marketing in particular, is a crucial part of their business strategy.
“A good grasp of digital marketing and social media informs how Circles.Life engages our customers across touchpoints — be it A/B testing for new products and iteration, building hype and awareness for new products, building brand advocates among customers through social media and giveaways,” said Siddarth Chaturvedi, country head of Circles.Life.
It’s clear that one thing common among these three companies is that they all look out for hires who are capable with skills in digital marketing, which is instrumental in helping them to grow their business profitability.
Equip employees with relevant digital marketing skills for the Singapore market
While hiring employees with digital marketing skills are important, it’s also worth noting that these skills can also be learned. By upskilling your employees with the right digital skills tailored to your business’ needs, it can help enhance the business’ digital presence and increase its customer base.
However, it is important that your employees and potential employees are properly certified and trained by professionals. For Circles.Life, Bovem, and Sqkii, accredited certifications from recognised institutions are important when hiring talent to authenticate their skills.
When it comes to hard skills, Circles.Life veers towards individuals who have obtained “accredited certifications from recognised institutions that have stellar reputations for producing solid talent,” said Siddarth.
This is where FirstCom Academy – a SkillsFuture Singapore-approved training organisation can help equip employees and jobseekers with the right skills in this digital era.
Its syllabus features real-world Singaporean small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) case studies and industry experience drawn from its parent company FirstCom Solutions, Singapore’s largest digital agency with over a decade of experience in the digital marketing industry.
Through FirstCom Academy’s courses, employees can glean insights on the most essential digital marketing strategies and tools, with a strong focus on practical usage and advertising that is relevant to business needs in the Singapore market.
These programmes span 7.5 days, and are made up of individual 2.5-day courses that allow greater flexibility for learners to complete the programme in just a few days, or up to three months. With this arrangement, business owners and individuals can upskill on their own terms without having to be absent from work for too long.
In addition, these programmes are delivered by a capable team of industry veterans that are ACTA/ACLP certified and possess decades worth of experiences in the digital marketing industry.
Stay abreast of social media trends and develop your brand awareness
Here is a look at some of the courses that FirstCom Academy offers:
Digital Marketing – Social Media Advertising Programme
With more than 5.3 million active social media users in Singapore, keeping on top of social trends is essential for any businesses. By understanding and keeping up with the latest trends, brands can develop effective campaigns to generate leads and increase sales.
For instance, Circles.Life’s marketing and social teams always keep a pulse on the latest trends, and develop their content and customer engagement strategies on their social media platforms based on these trends to create greater connectivity and brand affinity with its customers.
FirstCom Academy’s Social Media Advertising Programme can be the first step towards onboarding and advertising your brand on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and ultimately increase its brand awareness.
Digital Marketing – Google Marketing Programme
Besides social media advertising, FirstCom Academy also equips learners with knowledge on utilising popular search engine optimisation (SEO) tools such as Keywords Trends, Google Analytics, and search engine marketing (SEM) through their Google marketing programme.
Through its Search Engine Marketing (SEM) training certification course, employees will be able to understand search demand for industry businesses and launch cost effective SEM campaigns that can produce immediate results.
The Google marketing course offered by FirstCom Academy also deep dives into utilising Google Analytics – a free and readily available tool – effectively to analyse trends and effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Skills obtained through this programme can prove to be essential for companies like Sqkii, which are constantly on the lookout for new ways to grow its following. By using SEO tools and utilising data from the company’s website, Sqkii can further increase its current pool of 120,000 people following its games and online traffic.
Digital Marketing – Digital Content Creator Programme
As the average Internet user in Singapore spends about two hours each day consuming content from popular social media platforms, content strategy and creation skills are important to produce eye-catching and engaging content that appeal to these social media users.
For example, Bovem gained traction and caught the eye of several local and global influencers through the playful nature of their product and marketing campaigns.
As a startup, Bovem did not have a large production budget for advertisements but it managed to stand out from more established competitors and build a significant social media following by producing humorous content. In the span of two months, Bovem’s TikTok account garnered over 19,500 followers, which helped the brand hit six-figure revenues shortly after.
Through FirstCom Academy’s digital content creator and strategist programme, businesses can equip employees with relevant skillsets that will help their business stand out without having to invest in professional equipment and pay a hefty sum for advertising. Employees will learn how to take professional-looking photos and utilise free tools such as Powtoon, Canva and Pixlr to produce attractive animations and eye-catching graphics that resonate with audiences.
Soft Skills – Effective Leadership Programme
Besides tech-savvy skills, FirstCom Academy also offers courses that teach employees essential soft skills to excel in the workplace. This includes selling, presentation and people management skills that are applicable across any industry.
Its effective selling skills course can help employees build the relevant skills and strategies to achieve a company’s sales target while equipping them with the tools needed to build rapport that helps break down potential barriers to purchase.
Presentation skills on the other hand, enables employees to build confidence in public speaking, enhance communication skills and deliver engaging presentations that can captivate their audiences.
Lastly, FirstCom Academy’s people management course helps develop strong leaders who are able to inspire their teams whilst developing and retaining existing talent.
These soft skills are highly sought after by employers, and can often complement other skillsets. According to Kenny from Sqkii, while immersing people in the digital world is a big part of the company, Sqkii focuses more on an employee’s soft skills rather than hard skills in this ever-changing landscape.
Aside from these aforementioned courses, FirstCom Academy also offers a slew of other courses that fit varied business needs such as web design, which enables employees to obtain hands-on experiences using website builder Wix and Shopify.
Government pre-approved and nett funded up to 70 per cent
While many businesses recognise that upskilling is essential, some worry that upskilling employees may be an expensive affair or may cause key employees to be away from work for an extended period of time.
FirstCom Academy alleviates these concerns because it grants learners the flexibility to complete the programmes on their own terms. Furthermore, their courses are pre-approved and nett funded by up to 70 per cent by the Singapore government for individuals and SMEs.
The government has also provided eligible SMEs with a one-off S$10,000 SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit to invest in enterprise transformation and capabilities of their employees, which can be utilised towards equipping their employees with digital skills through any approved training organisation such as FirstCom Academy.
In addition, businesses can tap on additional support through the government’s absentee payroll funding, which defrays the manpower costs incurred when employees are sent to such courses.
It is evident that finding success in Singapore’s digitally native market comes down to having the right digital skills to keep up with evolving trends and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
With the support of the government and FirstCom Academy’s flexible programmes, businesses can upskill employees without worrying about taking a hit to finances or disrupting operations.
If you’re a business owner that has not leveraged on digital platforms, equip your employees with digital skills and scale your business to new heights with FirstCom Academy. Check out their digital marketing programmes here.
This article was written in collaboration with FirstCom Academy.
Featured Image Credit: iStock