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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a performance strategist? Performance marketing is – as its name suggests – marketing based on performance. It’s a term that refers to a skillful combination of online marketing and advertising campaign programs.

Did you know that between 2019 and 2020, digital marketing budgets saw an increase in an average of 13%? This upward trending budget indicates an uptake in digital marketing. Technology is constantly changing, and performance marketing uses those advancements to drive successes. Performance marketing initiatives are the latest ‘hot’ thing, and not likely to go away, in fact, it’s likely to dominate the marketing sphere for the years to come.

As a result, a performance strategist plays a key role in the future of marketing. This week, we hear more about what makes a performance strategist tick, and how our very own performance strategist, Geetha Boyani, found her way to the #2StallionFamily.

Tell us about yourself! Who are you and where did you come from?

Hey! I am Geetha. I’m a Performance Strategist at 2Stallions. To break down my job title, I build data-driven strategies to reach target audiences in the digital space. I specialize in Search Engine Marketing (think of Google!). Furthermore, I’m a tech nerd, especially when it comes to tracking what users do on a website and how they become customers.

I come from an Engineering background, with a degree in Civil Engineering. Fresh out of college, I found an interest in the financial aspects of construction projects. Later, I went on to get a Masters in Project Management. After graduating, I made the conscious decision to switch to a career that blends my interest in dollars and numbers with project management. I must say I found that golden blend in digital marketing.

Is there someone who inspires you? Or something that motivates you?

I don’t really have role models per se. Being a numbers person, I find motivation in results. I wake up every day knowing I have a challenge ready for me at work. Solving these challenges and hearing “wow, it’s solved!” is definitely inspiring. I store these reactions so I can draw on them when things get tough.

You’ve come from a non-marketing background. Was it difficult for you to work in a field that was outside of your degree specialization? Do you have any advice for fresh graduates who are currently looking for jobs and are open to explore different career paths?

The world of work has changed drastically. We’re moving away from the belief that your degree decides your entire professional life and with technology updating practically every day, new opportunities are constantly created. 

In my opinion, learning new skills based on your passions can go a long way.  For example, I learned Java programming as part of my school curriculum nine years ago. Between then and now, I hardly used it in my work. When I made the transition to digital marketing and joined 2Stallions, one of the early projects required a custom script to track how users interact with a form. The script used Javascript. Going back to the basics I learnt nine years ago, I picked up how Javascript works and then implemented the solution. 

I started my journey as a fresher in all three  companies I have worked in so far. Each experience has been different however the common learning has been to stay teachable. Also, as freshers, we come into industries with some expectations like about the kind of work we do, or the team we are in. We all need to identify what our priorities are, not every workplace has a pool table. Ask yourself, does that even matter? What worked for me was to find a mentor or  friend to talk with. Those conversations helped me manage my expectations.

Are there any tips or tricks you use to get yourself going when you might find yourself stuck with developing a strategy or tactic to help a client or even your own personal brand?

Competition is a Pandora’s Box of insights. When I develop strategic plans for clients, I take time to check out what the competition is doing. This puts me in the place of an end user. When I am stuck, I go back to that user journey and ask myself, “Why would I go for this <brand> vs the other?” This gives me a new perspective on what I am missing and how I can better provide for my client.

Can you share some of your favorite marketing guides/non-marketing books?

I prefer to listen to podcasts or read blogs for marketing aspects. Currently, I have The Paid Search Podcast and Neil Patel’s Marketing School on my playlist. The audiobook Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis is lined up as my next read.

As for non-marketing books, I found Girl, Stop Apologising by Rachel Hollis memorable. It’s a must-read for anyone feeling that they are not good enough.

Is it true that an agency life is work without play? Tell us a little bit more about the culture at 2Stallions.

Honestly, I was scared to join an agency after hearing those stories. After joining 2Stallions, I believe the team played a huge role in helping me fit in. Our agency culture is best defined as “supportive”. I found amazing friends in my co-workers. Even though we are all working from home for most of this last year, we have come together virtually (and sometimes in person) to catch up on life outside work.

What about outside of work? What makes you tick? 

Anyone who knows me associates me with the word “Toastmasters”. When I am not working, there are high chances that I will be working on Toastmasters related projects. 

Toastmasters International is a not-for-profit organization, based in the USA, committed to developing communication and leadership skills with a learn-by-doing approach. In Singapore, there are more than 200 clubs where people can practice their speaking skills. I have been part of Toastmasters for close to 10 years now, and through this movement, I have met my mentors as well as got the opportunity to mentor others. To an extent, I would credit Toastmasters for helping me identify digital marketing as a career choice.

Wrapping Up 

Connect with Geetha on LinkedIn to learn more about her work as a performance strategist or about her work with Toastmasters!

Get to know our #2Stallionsfamily with the #2Steamstories tag.  Discover the works done by our diverse team of digital marketing professionals who’ll bring your ideas to life with impactful designs. Browse and download our case studies now. 

If you’re looking for a content marketing expert, don’t hesitate to contact us

Consumer electronics, communications, marketing – elements that combine very easily if you are familiar with the market you work in. Electronic industry giants have a unique approach to market to the tech-savvy citizens of Asia. With the pandemic turning 2020 upside down, how has the industry been impacted? More importantly for us, how have its marketers adapted to the changes we are all facing this year?  

Straight out of university and into the whirlwind of experiences and growth, comes Matthew Hui. The Regional Consumer Marketing Manager for Sony Asia Pacific, Matthew started his career journey on a different path, one that took him on a roundabout journey through the industry and the region, until it brought him to Singapore and the role he is now in. Join us now with the kick-off of our Marketing Expert Series, and learn more about how Matthew has adapted and learned from the many experiences and perspectives he has encountered throughout his professional and personal life.


Welcome to the Marketing Expert Series, Matthew, thank you for joining us as its inaugural interviewee! Let’s kick off with a bit of your history. Tell us a bit about your journey so far. How did you end up in your current role? 

I joined Sony right after graduating from university as a management trainee in Hong Kong. I went through quite a few rotations during the first two years of my career, working in multiple functions to understand the whole operation flow. During these years I learned how a consumer electronic firm operated, from backend operations like customer service and logistics, sales and marketing initiatives such as online marketing, product marketing, marketing communication, and  even front end direct store sales. 

In the end, I landed in the position of Sony’s product marketing manager in Hong Kong. This role oversees decision making for product marketing – so every day I am making decisions across different units from logistics to retail, from ATL/BTL marketing to after sales services – and my experience and understanding of Sony’s operations helps me with this.

After a few more years working locally, gaining more experience, I challenged myself and took on a new regional role in B2B product marketing for Asia Pacific. 

After a couple more years, the new role of Line Up Manager gave me the opportunity to travel between Singapore and Hong Kong. 

Most recently, in 2018, I took a permanent station in Singapore and moved back to my main focus, marketing consumer electronics in South East Asia, and this is where I’m still at right now.

So, what first drew you to marketing? Was it something you always wanted to do?

I studied business, with finance as a major because I thought that becoming a fund manager would be cool.  After a few years of studying, and actually working in the finance industry, I discovered that  sometimes, in the finance industry, your efforts and contributions to society aren’t very tangible or direct. This was not for me. I wanted a job where I could work on something direct, where your effort can be visualized, seen, and really make an impact on society. Apparently, what I was looking for was marketing, and just like that, I found my career path.

Right now you work with Sony APAC, what do you enjoy most about your role with such a giant in the industry?

Working at a tech consumer electronic giant is cool, every month you are launching something new into the market. There is never an end to new experiences, new things to try, and new things to learn in a company with such a diverse product portfolio targeting such a large and variable market segment. 

And what’s it like working in the electronics industry as a marketer? 

Well, marketing in the  electronics industry may not be as advanced as in the SAAS/ App industry, where  marketers rely on real time augmented marketing driven by data collected from  customers at every touch point. 

Being a marketer in the electronics industry is very hands-on. You need to have a good sense and understanding of all the latest marketing trends, skills, and technologies as well as a well-honed  sensitivity to data. At the same time you also need to have a feel for the human touch because you have many opportunities to communicate face-to-face with dealers, customers, and/or business partners. I’d say it would be good to be an ‘all-rounder’ as an electronics industry marketer. 

Are there any professional or personal experiences that influence your marketing style?

My extensive marketing experience with both local and  regional, crossing both B2B and B2C electronic marketing allow me to be flexible to understand different perspectives. This helps with bringing new insight into current marketing decisions I have to make. 

Many industries have been impacted one way or the other by the pandemic, I imagine it’s the same for consumer electronics, has it impacted your marketing strategies in any way? 

Yes, of course. Due to the pandemic, customers are staying at home more and more and the chance that they visit brick-and-mortar shops is very low. As a result, as marketers, we have to shift our marketing strategies to be more online driven. We also have to be sympathetic to different customer situations and tailor our targeted approaches accordingly. However, I also see it as an opportunity for marketing as customer time spent online will increase which means that we can have more engagement with the customer online. 

Have you had any positive or negative surprises due to pandemic that have impacted your tactics or methods?

This situation has never happened before,  and I’ve seen a big change in human behavior because of it. I am constantly relearning how to market to our audiences these days. Recently, I’ve seen customers engage a lot more with online advertisement. They’re more influenced by the ads they see, and the influencers they follow. I am seeing a general shift throughout the industry from storefront conversion rates to online conversion rates during the lockdown. Recently, however, I’ve also seen a recovery in offline sales as well. I believe this is due to the customers now being more eager to purchase when they are able to visit a shop front than they maybe were in the past, because the chance of visiting a physical store now is more valuable. As a result, while they’re out at the shopfront they are more determined and more ready to purchase. 

On top of that, the ability to test or try out a product before purchase is harder, at the moment, so people are more likely to buy sight unseen, so to speak.  All these are things that I am still  adapting to, trying to create the most effective way to market our products. I  believe that’s not not a bad thing in marketing, to adapt to changing situations,  because we must always take customer behavior changes into account.

Do you see any lasting marketing changes that you and the industry are going to have to embrace after COVID-19?

I definitely believe customers will be driven online, and I think that the online portion of above-the-line (ATL)  marketing is going to increase because of it. I also think there will be more and more  e-commerce. For offline marketing, I think brick-and-mortar stores will be increasingly focussed on customer experience building instead of converting sales, largely because of this shift to e-commerce. 

What about for you, personally, when this pandemic is over, what’s the next big thing on your horizon?

I can’t wait to travel. Being a marketer, I like to stay sharp on things that are happening in the world, and  travelling allows me to gain more insight into different perspectives and customer behaviors. I can’t wait to travel again, for business to get first hand experience in local markets and, of course, also for pleasure, to reconnect to the world. 

What is some advice you’d give to young and aspiring marketers? 

Keep exploring. Keep learning and adopting new ideas. Something that’s definitely right today won’t necessarily be right tomorrow. Being a marketer means staying close to what is happening in the world,  so don’t let narrow-mindedness or your own fixed experiences defeat you.  The more experienced you are, the more you have to jump out of your comfort zone and listen to others. Challenge yourself and dare to learn from  a wrong decision. 

Thank you for sharing these insights and experiences, Matthew! How can people connect with you if they’d like to know more?

In my free time, I love vlogging and photography to record my life. You can connect with me via my Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Can’t wait to connect with everyone!


The Marketing Expert Series features marketing and communications experts from across every industry. Every month, 2Stallions will showcase the stories and expertise of marketing experts from around the world, join us as we explore how marketers navigate the challenges of the regions and industries they work in. If you’d like to be featured in a next issue of the Marketing Expert Series. Please reach out to us via email.

If you are interested in building your own company’s marketing presence, get in touch with us today, and find out how you can optimize your digital marketing strategies.

The world almost came to a standstill as most economic activities are halted. As countries keep people at home, cities go into lockdown mode and travel gets banned, everyone is affected in one way or another. Businesses and consumers alike have to come to terms with a new way of life during this pandemic.

Every industry is adapting to a new business environment during this pandemic. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus is forcing companies and organizations around the world to rapidly adapt and change their businesses models. 

Read on to learn how companies are doing so and how your company can adopt these practices in order to remain resilient even in the face of a recession.

7 Marketing Essentials for Your Business In Times of Uncertainty

1. Prioritise business challenges

Many companies slash the budget, cancel projects, retrench employees in order to save costs and continue operations during the outbreak.

During this period, your team like most other companies is likely to be inundated with many unprecedented challenges.

But you can’t tackle them all at once. To prevent your team from feeling overwhelmed, prioritization is key. Evaluate what are the aspects of your business within your control and manage them first.

Focus on projects that will drive the best short term impact. Strategize, take action and then move on to manage tasks that are less within your control.

Examples of challenges that companies can address first:

While you prioritize important tasks that are manageable now, you should also remember to be far-sighted. Plan and prepare ahead. Identify new business opportunities and work on them.

Also, even if clients withdraw their projects now, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be possible collaborations for you in the future. Stay connected with both your existing and potential clients. Offer your help if needed. Building strong customer relationships will pave the way for more business opportunities for you in the future.

2. Reallocate rather than arbitrarily cancelling your budgets

During an economic downturn due to a crisis like a pandemic, advertisers and marketers stop budget spend immediately as one of their first cost-cutting measures.  

However, it’s actually critical for brands to continue advertising amid times of changes and uncertainty.

The key is to focus on where you get the best results. Leverage channels that enable flexibility and be more specific with your marketing efforts, targeting audiences that show the highest purchase intent.

The importance of maintaining a strong brand presence

John Williams, founder and president of Logoyes.com and contributing writer to Entrepreneur said, “Your brand is your promise to your customer.”

Building and maintaining a brand that consumers recognize and trust are one of the best ways to reduce risk when the economy takes a turn for the worst. That’s why, in each recession cycle, companies with a strong brand presence have come out on top.

No matter your business size and industry, standing by your consumers in times when they need help is critical. Maintaining a strong brand presence is needed to convey your company’s credibility, value, and experience, especially in times of uncertainty. When it comes to marketing and advertising, those that have a strong brand presence will hold an enormous competitive advantage.

Companies can consider reallocating budget from paid advertisements to content marketing. Build on sharing your brand story and convince customers to trust in you. Show your customers that your brand is ready to help even in difficult times.  

For example, our agency recognises the need to pivot our marketing strategies for business continuity. Rather than cancelling our annual networking event (#SPEAKEASYASIA), we have switched it to a series of online webinars.

Doing so allows us to continue informing our customers about the latest market trends, provide marketing tips and keep our customers updated with the latest insights that could help them make better decisions for their business. By providing marketing tips into various aspects of digital marketing, we aim to help our consumers prepare for the digital era.

Dhawal sharing about website optimization at the 3rd webinar that is part of
#SPEAKEASYASIA edition 7

3. Research your customers’ behaviour

While it’s clear that consumers and businesses are going online amid this outbreak period,  consumer behaviour remains unpredictable.

The impact of customer behaviour on marketing strategies has become more pronounced during this pandemic. Panic buying, remote working and consumers re-prioritising purchases  are all reasons contributing to the inconsistent demand for different services. Some research experts even predict that these behaviour changes might remain even post-pandemic.

With a new economic climate, many businesses are left unsure of how they can adapt to these rapidly evolving consumption patterns. The best way to do so is to research and understand your customer base with tools such as Google Analytics or social media audience insights.

As you gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ search and consumption patterns, identify their new needs and wants. Develop customer personas to help you craft the right message to appeal to the right audience and improve conversions.

Elevate your audience targeting strategy with audience or customer segmentation to convert  groups of consumers with the highest purchase intent. A common strategy that businesses do is creating dynamic ads and dynamic retargeting ads. This allows companies to reap the greatest return on ad spend by advertising to groups of people with the highest conversion probability.

4. Analyse and track your marketing efforts closely

During periods of uncertainty, knowing exactly what kind of return each investment is providing and why it works will be your key to not just survival, but the growth of your business. That’s because companies cannot afford to waste any budget. More importantly, companies have to be smart with their budget allocation, only spending on areas which will most likely generate results.

This is when digital marketing comes in. In fact, 52% of marketers around the world have made digital transformation as their key focus for driving business growth.

Digital marketing has long been accepted as thebest low-cost, high-return marketing strategy, largely due to measurability and targeting capabilities.

An examples of using data to measure your marketing efforts:

  • A high bounce rate but long dwell time on your site could highlight that users are reading your content, but aren’t sure about the next step for their journey. Hence, customers are leaving your site without further action. In this case, it’d be worth to add a CTA button or use active voice to provide a clearer CTA.

Another advantage of digital marketing is also because companies can always track their progress and revise the strategy whenever needed. This helps businesses save time and money on their campaign to increase the effectiveness of a certain approach or strategy.

To learn more about digital marketing and how a digital marketing agency can help you manage budgets or campaigns, click here.

5. Focus on consistent communication

Keep your customers updated

We can see a shift in how brands communicate during times of crisis. Companies are making fundamental changes to their processes and communication, reflecting their evolving relevance in these unprecedented times.

One such change is the shift from physical networking events to online webinars. For example, just in March alone, there was a 330% increase in the number of webinars hosted on the platform ON24. Furthermore, the increase in demand for webinars and remote team calls have also prompted Microsoft, Google and Zoom to offer free video call services.

Email marketing and social media marketing are also communication strategies that are used to connect and engage with customers. During this period, consistent communication is critical to brand awareness. To keep your brand name at the top of people’s mind, you’ll have to make your brand known through regular updates on your social media or corporate blog. Create new customer networks by increasing “shareability” of your content.

Remember to be sensitive in your marketing messages. You must be mindful that this is not a business as usual situation. You’ll have to tweak your marketing message and tone in order to cater to the new business climate. One way to start is to send monthly newsletters and emails (marketing automation) to your customers. Show care and concern for your customers before anything else. Let them see that your brand is sincere about helping.

Support and motivate your employees through this critical period

Businesses should also not forget about their employees. These are the people supporting your business amidst a crisis, and they’re experiencing a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety as they adjust to a new working arrangement.  

As the leader of the company, you have to

  • Show empathy for your workers, acknowledge new challenges and provide support
  • Keep in touch with your team members regularly, give them words of encouragement to help boost morale
  • Make use of internal newsletters to provide positive news about the company and drive motivation among remote offices

Do not rush into task assignments and setting deadlines. Firstly, present yourself as an empathetic leader, recognise new challenges your employees are facing and make the necessary work adjustments to help them cope with remote working.

Every phase of transition comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles. During this period, don’t neglect the mental and physical health of your company’s greatest asset.

Tough times don’t last, but tough teams do. Stay connected and support each other as a team, and your company is sure to overcome any challenges now and in the future. To learn more about how you can boost morale for your team, read the full article here.

6. Omnichannel Is The Optimal Strategy

Digital marketing is the new norm in 2020 and should be a part of a company’s omnichannel marketing strategy.

Worldwide stay-at-home orders mean a large influx of customers moving online, igniting the rapid move to digital commerce  for B2C and B2B merchants. As people remain isolated and the need for essential goods remains high, they turn to online shopping.

To address this shift in customer behaviour, it’s essential to build an omnichannel marketing strategy that places customers as the central focus. That means understanding what your consumers need and meeting where your customers are-which is online across multiple touchpoints.

Companies should move resources to digital marketing strategies and switch an e-commerce model to keep their business running amid uncertain market situations. Marketers should also use different possible marketing channels like social media, emails and blog articles among others to drive consumers to their online stores.

To cope with the online demand, it’s also important to ensure your website are secure and optimised to provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.  By fostering a pleasant buying experience for consumers, it will keep them coming back.

This will be beneficial for your businesses in the long run.

In fact, companies with well-defined omnichannel customer experience strategies in place achieve a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate on average, compared to organizations without omnichannel programs in place. As such, leveraging on omnichannel will cultivate strong brand awareness and brand loyalty in the long run.

Learn more about why omnichannel marketing is increasingly important now.

7. Revise and revisit your strategies

Just because one marketing strategy has worked doesn’t mean it’s fool proof. The most valuable lesson that this outbreak has taught all of us is the importance of adaptability.

Refine and evolve.

By now, you already know the importance of collecting data and analysing them for your future marketing plans. Once you’ve pulled the data each month, take the time to really look and reflect on the data. Think about what those numbers mean for your company, what it means for your customers and thus your content. Data such as web traffic, source of referrals, open rates for your EDM are good indicators of the success of your current strategy.

Once you give yourself the space to think about content performance, you’ll really start to think about how every piece is being interacted with. You can then feed that into the next pieces of content you create or go back to a piece that hasn’t done as well. Then think about how you can refine or switch it in a new format that could give you better results the next time.

Wrapping Up

Without warning and choice, brands and retailers have had to adapt to a pandemic that no one saw coming.

The most valuable lesson the pandemic has taught us is the importance of flexibility and adaptability, and how companies need to learn how to run campaigns that will reap results beyond this moment. 

It’s also important that we keep an open mind and be quick in our response in order to turn any moment of crisis into opportunity.

If you’re thinking of adopting a digital marketing strategy but unsure where to start, talk to us! We provide personalised digital solutions for clients and we’d happy to provide one for you too.

For the latest digital marketing tips, subscribe to our newsletter! 

SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is something whose outcome you’ve interacted with a billion times.

Maybe not a billion times, but you’ve probably read enough about the topic to know the basics of what SEO is all about.

You see the term “SEO” getting thrown around the Internet, you know what it is, and you’re aware of the immense benefits that SEO can bring to your business’ growth.

Over time you start to think, “Hey maybe I should adopt an SEO strategy for my company too!”

So now you dive into the process of engaging an SEO agency. You want to hire one for your company’s marketing needs to take your business further and get ahead of the competition.

Picking the right SEO agency is crucial.

Most importantly, you need to find the best SEO agency for your company and not just an agency ranking 1st on Google for most articles.

A partnership with an SEO agency is long-term. Not all SEO agencies you come across can deliver on promises of more traffic, better rankings and more leads. 

How to choose an SEO agency

To help you get started, here is a checklist of 5 questions to help you find the best SEO agency for your company.

1. Is SEO a marketing priority for my company now?

SEO is essential for any business looking to boost their online visibility. However, SEO may not be a company’s priority when it comes to marketing. Some companies work with a limited budget, and they have to be smart with how they allocate their resources.

Before engaging SEO services, you need to be aware of your company’s marketing goals. Ask yourself, do you know what you’re looking to achieve in this financial year?

If your answer is no, you need to define your marketing goals first.

Gather your insights, pull out past monthly data and identify areas your business wants to improve upon. For example, if your aim is to grow your organic traffic, SEO would the right strategy for you.

However, if you need to boost sales or scale conversions over a short period (during seasonal and holiday periods for instance), then perhaps creating landing pages coupled with dynamic social media ads would be a more viable solution.

2. Can we do SEO in-house or should we hire an SEO agency?

There are certainly basic on-site SEO tasks that marketers are capable of handling if they have the time and knowledge for it.

Here are some examples of on-site search engine optimization tasks:

  • Keyword optimization
  • Title tags
  • Building internal links

However, these are just some factors that impact SEO.

Good SEO is a complex and time-consuming process that requires one to have a deep knowledge of various analytical tools. There are over 200 google ranking factors to optimise for, both on-site and off-site, in order to rank higher in search results, and the list is continually evolving.

Your SEO Specialist must keep up-to-date on the latest algorithm changes on major search engines and adapt his or her SEO strategies to successfully improve your site’s performance.  

If you don’t have the budget for an SEO specialist in your company, it is recommended to hire an agency to manage your SEO tasks and provide you with monthly updates. You can have peace of mind knowing your SEO is in good hands while you focus on other marketing tasks.

Recently, we sat down with one of our SEO specialists to learn more about “a day in the work-life of an SEO expert”. You can read his insights before deciding on hiring an agency for your business.

3. How credible are the SEO agencies that I am considering?

Make an effort to understand the company that you’ll be hiring.

Don’t rely only on listicles like “top 10 best agencies of 2020” or “the best SEO agencies in X country”. The best way to check the credibility of an SEO company is for you to reach out to the company and having a conversation about your SEO needs.

An easier way to find a credible SEO agency would be asking for referrals from your business partners in the industry. They may already have an established relationship with an SEO agency that they are happy to refer due to their good work. These trusted sources of yours can also recommend tips on how to search for your ideal SEO agency.

Additionally, you should conduct your own research to find an agency that will deliver the best results while providing you with a great working partnership. One effective way to check the reliability of an SEO agency is to download and read their case studies to understand:

  • The agency’s SEO approach (understand the agency’s work process)
  • Their SEO campaign objectives (what matters when it comes to SEO campaigns)
  • Their campaign results (understand the key metrics used to measure “success”)

Other things you should read about include client testimonials and the list of awards that the agency has won over the years. Awards are not just badges of honour, they are a testament to an agency’s capability to drive results for clients.

It’s also important to keep in mind what your needs are and your preferred style of communication. If you’re someone who likes to be involved in the work process, you need to keep a lookout for an agency focused on transparent communication with their clients. Hence, read up on the company’s mission and values to know the team that you’ll be hiring and working with.

SEO agency vs full-service digital agency

You may also wonder about hiring an agency specialised in SEO versus working with a full-service digital agency that could help you with other digital needs as well.

This decision is highly dependent on your marketing goals and available budget. If you’re working with a smaller budget allocated only towards an SEO project, an agency specialised in SEO may be the better option.

A full-service digital agency offers various marketing services, including search engine marketing, programmatic advertising and creative services.

The biggest advantage of a full-service digital marketing agency is that they approach your digital needs from a macro-perspective based on your marketing objectives and recommend services most likely to benefit your company by reaching your goals. They would be able to recommend SEO strategies that are aligned with your overall marketing plans.

Another big plus point of having a full-service agency managing both your SEM and SEO is that they can use the insights from the SEM campaigns to further refine your SEO strategy. Additionally, they can identify other areas of improvement on top of SEO services for your business. 

4. Local SEO agency vs overseas SEO agency – which is the better option?

More often than not, companies are attracted to agencies based overseas on the premise that they can provide cost-competitive SEO packages. However, that is a common pitfall that companies should avoid when considering which SEO agency they should hire.

That’s not to say overseas agencies do not provide quality service, because local agencies sometimes fail to deliver on their promises as well.

When you consider hiring an agency, you must weigh the quality of their work against the price that you’re paying. Are you obtaining greater value than the price you’re paying? Does the company have a proven track record of producing stellar results that justify the price they’re asking for?

It’s dangerous to assume:

  • Competitive rates = Lower quality of work/service
  • Expensive rates = Greater quality of work/service

Price Is an important factor, but it shouldn’t be the only factor.

Other areas of consideration such as credibility and types of services offered should also be critical to your hiring decision. Pay attention to the agency’s proposal and note their SEO approach. Is the agency hearing your concerns and proposing strategies that serve your needs while advising you on the key metrics that matter? 

Look through all the factors and consider carefully. Picking the right agency can make or break your success with SEO, so choose wisely and consider beyond the price and location of an agency.

5. When should I talk to an SEO consultant from an agency?

You should ask for an SEO consultation from an agency only when you have done enough research and after you’re sure of hiring an SEO agency.

While most agencies offer free SEO consultations, it is best that you come having done your homework.

Prepare a list of questions, define your SEO targets and SEO budget. This would facilitate an efficient meeting that wouldn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed with excessive information likely to be shared during the consultation session.

Of course, you should also expect the agency to come prepared. A sloppy presentation with unclear strategies is a warning sign that you should look for an alternative agency!

Be smart with your hiring decision and budget spend. Otherwise, you can risk spending more than needed or regret hiring an agency that’s not the best fit for your company.

Wrapping Up

This is the year of digital acceleration, with ever more companies joining the space of e-commerce and digital marketing. Many businesses are keeping a lookout for SEO agencies to fix their sites for optimal performance. While hopping onto the bandwagon of searching for an SEO agency, keep in mind that you’re looking for the ideal agency for your company. When you hire the agency that’s the best fit your company, it can pave the way to a long-lasting partnership. You might even be able to pick up important SEO tips along the way!

Kick your search off with the 5 questions we’ve provided and you’ll be well on your way to picking the best agency for your SEO needs!

We are a full-service digital marketing agency based in Singapore. From strategy to execution, we provide personalised SEO solutions for over 300+ clients ranging from government institutions to SMEs. Find out how you may grow your business with us. Contact us today!

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a phrase every marketer knows but not one that every marketer fully understands.

Most articles that seek to teach the layman about Search engine optimization focus on keyword research, keyword optimization and link building. This creates the impression that SEO is simply the science of manipulating keywords and link building to boost a site’s ranking.

Only an SEO specialist will understand all the nitty-gritty of SEO and the copious amount of effort needed to optimize any site’s performance.

To help you better understand the role of an SEO expert, we sat down with J.C. Aranzado, one of the SEO specialists here at 2Stallions, to give you a closer look at SEO and how his typical workday looks like.

Please describe your job. Why did you choose SEO as a career?

I work as an SEO Specialist at 2Stallions. I manage SEO campaigns for various brands and help them improve their online visibility, rankings and overall site health. SEO reporting is a critical part of my job. I create reports to share insights and developments for my SEO campaigns.

I took SEO as a career path by chance. Back in 2013, I worked as a Lead Generation Specialist in a company. From there, I started to learn about SEO and fell in love with it. I find SEO both fun and challenging. It’s also rewarding to see clients constantly challenging themselves to rank their sites higher on Google and eventually succeed in improving their online presence.

What is expected of an SEO expert?

An SEO expert must not only know the SEO fundamentals and tools but must also know how to implement them. To be considered as such, one must be able to do the following:

  • Find popular and relevant keywords with good search traffic
  • Analyse different competitors’ websites to develop an SEO strategy
  • Optimize websites and content for the search engines and users alike
  • Build high-quality links to improve a website’s ranking on search engines
  • Keep up with the industry’s ever-evolving trends and strategies

Also, an SEO expert typically spends time working with other teams to align goals and strategies. Among these departments are content marketing, paid search marketing, social media marketing, and web development. Click here to learn more about these other departments.

What are your day-to-day activities?

SEO specialists perform various tasks each day, but we usually spend our working days around the following SEO tasks:

Keyword research. Good keyword research is the foundation of a solid SEO strategy. With the right keyword and phrase choices, a website can rise the ranks to the top search engine results.

As an SEO specialist, I research popular keywords that are relevant to the target audience that the client wants to attract. The main tools I use in my daily work are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Ahrefs.

Optimization. SEO isn’t only about targeting the best possible keywords for conversion. It’s also very much about optimizing web content. Optimization is one of the significant roles of SEO professionals, and it can be broken down into two types—on-page and off-page SEO.

On-page SEO optimization happens within the website. At a very high level, this involves ensuring that the webpage copy (i.e. landing pages, blogs, etc.) has the target keywords, and meta descriptions, as well as title tags and alt tags are optimized, and the HTML code is structured correctly. I further take into account the overall content quality, content structure, as well as page performance.

Off-page SEO refers to all the activities that occur outside the website. Examples of such activities are getting inbound links, guest article posting, increasing traffic from social media to the website, and more.

Link building. A backlink or inbound link is one of the most crucial ranking factors. At a high level, when a website is linked to another, Google grants the linked website more domain authority, thus boosting its ranking on their search results.

This off-page activity is an important part of my job as an SEO specialist. I find opportunities to get other websites to legitimately link to our clients’ sites.

Performance Analytics. Analytics is another essential part of any SEO strategy. This helps measure the impact of ongoing efforts for a business’ SEO campaign.

To ensure our clients’ SEO campaigns are headed towards success, I regularly check analytics to see how their websites, landing pages and keywords are performing. Doing this also helps us pivot our priorities when something isn’t working.

What are some of the notable SEO campaigns you have worked on at 2Stallions?

I have managed/am managing SEO campaigns for 2Stallions’ clients such as AQ Services, MedTrainer and TC Acoustics, amongst others. As mentioned above, performing keyword research, optimization, and link building are part of my day-to-day activities.

Here’s a typical list of tasks that I do for clients:

On-page SEO

  • Optimizing metadata such as titles, descriptions, and header tags
  • Optimizing image alt text
  • Updating XML sitemap and robots.txt
  • Implementing Schema markup
  • URL optimization
  • Setting up Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Tag Manager accounts
  • Monitoring and preparing SEO reports

Off-page SEO

  • Article posting
  • Local citations
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Guest posting

Recently, I’ve also started work on App Store Optimization for LU Global. The objective of the project is to improve their app’s visibility within Google Play and Apple App stores to increase downloads of their app.

What is your advice to aspiring SEO experts?

While SEO is a fun and rewarding career, it’s also a challenging job. SEO aspirants must realize that search engine optimization is not a one-time process. Instead, it’s a job that is constantly changing and evolving.

Anyone interested in an SEO career should also undergo SEO training to learn the basics of how search engines work and understand SEO strategies and concepts. They should also familiarize themselves with key SEO tools to understand websites better when they’re optimizing them for SEO and conversions.

Also, an SEO role might require technical skills. It helps if they have basic knowledge on HTML, CSS and JavaScript to identify technical obstacles that hinder search engine ranking improvements.

I would also advise them to join a company like 2Stallions, which has experienced SEO specialists, who can provide invaluable guidance as they are learning and help them to level up their skills faster.

Hire an SEO Expert

Search engine optimization is integral to the Internet. As long as people continue searching for websites online, businesses need to optimize their own websites to be found on search engines.

Business owners must hire a skilled SEO professional or a reputable SEO agency who can build website popularity and authority. If they’re not sure how to hire the right agency, they can start here. Increasing search engine visibility can directly impact web site traffic, company branding and revenue, so it’s best to tap the services of an SEO expert.

Speak to us if you’d like to start building a SEO strategy for your company, or learn how you can kick-start your digital marketing journey with our beginner’s guide.


Consumers are going digital in a big way and businesses need to follow suit. If your company is not yet online, you are likely missing out on a majority of consumers looking for you. A solid digital marketing strategy is an essential piece for building a successful online presence.

A strategy provides your business with a digital direction and goal. It may even reveal opportunities to expand your reach. In fact, companies with a clear digital marketing plan see a 60% faster growth than those without any plan. So how can you kick start your own digital marketing strategy?

Kickstart Your Digital Marketing Strategy

The key to successful online marketing is to build a dedicated strategy that results in a strong return on investment (ROI). Marketing is iterative so it is good to keep your strategy simple. You can always reference and refine it as you go along.

The marketing strategy we recommend is a 3-step process.

You can define and structure your digital strategy in an effective way by breaking down your online marketing plan into this 3-step process.

1.  Business strategy

The first step to an online marketing strategy is to understand your own business, and the market surrounding it. You begin with a review of your company’s strengths and competitive advantage. These are distinct values that differentiate you from your competitors.

This exercise also illuminates areas you should focus on to market your business. So what makes up the business strategy?

a.   Mission statement

Start with your mission statement. It should be a one-sentence summary that defines what your company does.

b.   Objectives

Objectives refer to organizational objectives that are necessary to keep the business running and to maintain your brand identity.

c.   Value proposition

Value proposition is about your company’s unique selling point or the competitive advantage that you have over your competitors.

d.   Elevator pitch

An elevator pitch would be a short summary of your brand’s value proposition. It will be a short sentence that concisely expresses your brand’s value proposition. 

Here is a sample of a business strategy worksheet filled in for a fictitious brand called “H+ Sports”.

After you create your business strategy, you should have a fundamental understanding of your business. The next step is to identify your customers and determine where you find them online.

2.  Customer Strategy

A customer strategy helps you identify who and where your customers are. This makes it easier for you to develop marketing messages specific to each group of customers. Tailoring your marketing message for each customer group results in quality leads and conversions.

The key, once again, is to keep it simple. Here is the sample customer strategy worksheet for H+ Sports.

a.   Target Audience

One marketing message may not answer the needs of all customers. You should categorize your customers into groups based on a common criterion. For H+ Sports, the target audience is split into 3 groups based on gender and interest. This will make it easier for their business to create specific marketing messages for each group.

a.   Audience Goals

Identify the specific targeted audience’s goals. Find out what they are looking to accomplish. Figure out their needs. It is your job to ensure you can fulfill these needs, otherwise, customers have no reason to purchase from you.

b.   Audience technology  

Finally, with audience technology, you want to identify what channels your audience is using so that you can work on reaching out to them there.

Now that you have identified your targeted customer groups and the potential marketing channels, it is time to develop marketing strategies for each of the channels.

3.  Marketing Strategy

The last of the 3-step strategy process is to create a marketing strategy. This will be your guide as you explore different marketing channels. At this stage, you will develop individual marketing plans tailored to the goals of each audience segment.

a.   Goal

Your goal needs to be specific to the results you want to achieve from your marketing efforts. For H+ Sports, their goal is to sell H+ nutritional supplements. Hence, the marketing messages for each channel should follow this goal.

b.   Channel

Continuing with our example of H+ Sports, let us focus on one of the target groups. Let us females aged 18-35 who are interested in fitness. Here we look at the channels where this group is likely to be found, and hence where we should focus our marketing on. From there, develop a marketing idea for each of the media available: paid, earned and owned

c.   Types of Media

Paid media is essentially you paying to promote content. For earned media, it is usually a combined result of strong organic rankings on the Search Engines, and content distributed by the brand. Owned media is any web property that you can control.

It is up to you to decide the type of content you want to publish on each channel. Remember to push out content that will help you engage the audience best on each channel. Once you are done crafting the marketing content for each channel, you are good to go. At this stage, you would have created a cohesive digital strategy that will work for you.

Wrapping Up

Developing a marketing strategy is an iterative process, not a plan set in stone. As your customer behavior continues to change, your business will have to adapt the strategies it adopts.

You can stay ahead of the competition with continued research of your market and customers. Always compare your business relative to your competitors. Gain an advantage by being the first to reach customers and stay relevant to the marketing channels available to you. This will ensure your business maximizes all opportunities to gain the best return of investment (ROI).

What are you waiting for? Get started with your digital strategy now!

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