What exactly is digital marketing?
The shift to digital has increased tremendously in the past decade! In the past year alone (2019), the number of internet users in Singapore increased by 258,000, and the number of social media users by 72,000. There are so many digital platforms through which people use to find information, make connections, ride on the latest social trends, and even do their shopping!
In the age of digitalisation, it is no wonder that digital marketing has been on the rise and companies are picking up digital strategies on top of traditional marketing strategies.
What exactly is digital marketing? Digital marketing is making use of digital platforms such as search engines, social media, websites, and email to reach out to audiences. The purpose is to increase traffic to your site, and ultimately drive more conversions (in other words, get audiences to take the call of action that you want them to)!
Digital marketing is in skyrocketing demand, so if you’re looking to join the industry, there are great prospects in store for you!
Here, we cover all you need to know about learning digital marketing in Singapore!
The essential skills in digital marketing!
The digital world is fast-paced and ever-transforming! Even so, there are a basic set of skills relevant to digital marketers all over the world. Likely, these set of skills will evolve in the future, and marketers will have to learn to take on new challenges with great gusto—but for the moment these are 3 of the many ever so essential technical skills involved in the dynamic world of digital marketing!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what is done to increase organic, or unpaid, traffic to a website through a search engine! Digital marketers prime their sites with keywords, links, content and more in order to rank higher up on relevant search engine searches, increasing user traffic to websites and more conversions too. SEO involves strategy, keyword research, link building, content creation, website optimization, and so much more! SEO is a crucial creative and technical marketing strategy used by digital marketers everywhere.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is used to launch paid advertisements and listings on search engines like Google; and it involves setting up paid search campaigns, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements.
When a business bids (or pays) for keywords using the right strategy, their website can be quickly pushed to the top of the search engine results page! A search for “introduction to digital marketing” on Google lists Smartcademy’s digital marketing course at the top of the page. As users searching for bid-keywords are usually already motivated to buy or take the call to action, SEM produces a high conversion rate.
While effective, SEM is limited by the amount of money a business can spend on ads each month. This means that businesses cannot rely on paid ads alone to increase traffic to their site; paid and organic marketing techniques have to work hand in hand to work effectively in the long run!
Overall, if you’re looking to step into digital marketing, it is good to learn the basics of SEO and SEM because they are fundamental to every successful digital marketing campaign!
Undoubtedly, digital marketing involves many other skills like content marketing - creating strong and engaging content through blogs, social media, videos, images - and data analytics - monitoring search trends, analysing data to understand how your strategies are doing and sharpening your methods.
Digital marketing is more than just putting content out on social media. It is technical and data-driven, and requires honed skills and knowledge for good execution! Don’t be intimidated if you haven’t perfected these skills, or have no knowledge about what they are yet—all you need to do is to take the first step, take classes or learn online what digital marketing is all about, and then practice, practice, practice!
Learn SEM and SEO techniques with Smartcademy’s digital marketing courses in Singapore. Classes are suitable for beginners.
Taking first bold steps into the brilliant world of digital marketing
(1) How do I start a career in digital marketing in Singapore?
Are you thinking about switching careers to digital marketing? Perhaps you chose a different major in university, and decide upon graduation to go into digital marketing instead. Maybe you realise in the midst of your studies that digital marketing is a possible career path for you.
Taking a step in a new direction is never easy, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible. We share some ways you can prepare yourself for a career in this vibrant industry!
1. Know the set of skills you need to gain
There are so many facets of digital marketing, which means that it’s good to identify which one you’re interested in pursuing! These are some of the areas of speciality that you can consider:
While there are many diverse specialities, all of them require familiarity with the basics of digital marketing, including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Let’s say you’re writing for digital publishing—you have to have a good understanding of how SEO works in order to effectively integrate SEO into your written content. A web designer must also have strong knowledge of SEO in order to create a website that is optimized for search engines!
Of course, each speciality requires a specific set of skills too, which is why you need to identify the area you are interested in before you can start gaining relevant knowledge and experience.
2. Take digital marketing courses
Taking a digital marketing course is the best way to understand all the most crucial fundamentals of digital marketing!
A course will help you extract the most important related knowledge, and deepen your understanding in the relevant areas. Compared to combing the internet to tediously filter the information you think you are looking for, a digital marketing course is worth taking because it helps you to learn using the most updated and relevant resources—found all in one place.
Taking an introductory digital marketing course is enough to equip you with the basic, but most crucial, skills you need. You’ll feel more confident and ready during an interview, and be able to carry these skills into the workplace—where you will then be able to grow and sharpen your skills. Some courses offer a certificate upon completion too!
If you’re looking for recommendations, Smartcademy is a digital marketing academy that offers one of the best courses in Singapore! Our courses are taught by industry experts who will guide you along with real-time feedback and provide answers to all questions you have.
Not enough? We got you covered in the section below: All you need to know about digital marketing courses in Singapore.
3. Gain valuable experience
Having gained the basic knowledge, you must put your skills into practice!
Starting out means taking up internships, doing freelance jobs, sourcing for school projects that involve digital marketing, applying for entry-level positions, working for volunteer organisations—the work you need to help you pick up skills and experience!
While you should be prepared to start somewhere, you should not have to take up non-paying internships unless you feel like it is in your best interest or capacity to! A diploma-level internship should offer you about $600 to $800 a month, and a university-level internship should offer you about $800 - $1,000 per month on average. Even while the company helps you to learn and pick up new skills, you also are offering them valuable work done.
Stay humble, curious, and always ready to learn.
4. Start building a solid online resume and portfolio
With the new work that you are doing, you can start creating a resume and build a growing portfolio!
Create an online resume on LinkedIn for the work you have been doing, and highlight the skills you have picked up in your profile headline and summary. Beefing up your LinkedIn profile is a little bit like doing SEO on your page—when recruiters search for the skills they desire, they will be able to find what they are looking for with the ‘keywords’ you put onto your page!
Include the digital marketing course(s) and certificate(s) you earned in your LinkedIn page to show recruiters what you know and to express your active interest in the industry.
If your role involves creating content, set up an online portfolio for recruiters to easily view your past works. For you who are aspiring towards a career in digital marketing, a digital portfolio is what works best.
All in all, rather than be deterred by what lies ahead of you, take small practical steps towards where you want to go! With the multitude of resources available for you today - videos, digital marketing courses, platforms to network through - you can get to where you want to be!
(2) All you need to know about digital marketing courses in Singapore!
Today, there are so many courses out there to kickstart your knowledge in digital marketing! Let’s dive right into the details of digital marketing courses available to you.
If you just do a search, you’ll be able to find online courses for digital marketing worldwide!
Some of these courses are free, while others require you to pay. You will sit through around six to twelve pre-recorded video lectures that can take 10 to 40 hours to complete. Some courses require you to do short assignments after each lecture and complete a final project before you gain a certificate. However, not all online courses offer certification.
Online courses are good if you want a flexible schedule (video lectures are pre-recorded so you can choose to watch them any time you want) and prefer learning from home, but they require lots of discipline and offer less support and hands-on opportunities.
Physical courses happen in the classroom—with instructors to impart wisdom, peers to support your learning, and the opportunity to clarify your doubts whenever you need to!
Contrary, online courses on online learning platforms are pre-recorded so you don’t usually get the chance to clarify your doubts with the instructor. While pre-recorded courses have forums for you to raise questions, you can only hope that your question doesn’t get lost amidst a never-ending scroll of forum posts.
We believe that a physical course is better than an online course simply because it encourages a ‘back and forth’ type of learning—you always get to ask questions, give input, have your work reviewed and even get advice about starting a digital marketing career!
Smartcademy’s Intro to Digital Marketing Course
A great beginner course for digital marketing in Singapore is Smartcademy’s Intro to Digital Marketing course.
The course spans across 6 scheduled lessons (3 hours each) and covers these topics:
On top of the 3-hour lessons, the course requires you to complete 3 hours’ worth of assignments and a capstone project, giving you the opportunity to learn hands-on and put your knowledge into practice.
These lessons are usually conducted physically at the Singapore Management University (SMU) by Smartcademy’s trainers and industry experts. However, for safety during the COVID-19 period, classes are temporarily being conducted as live webinars!
The difference is, live webinars, unlike pre-recorded lecture videos, still allow you to learn from instructors and alongside your peers in real-time!
Whether conducted online or physically, this course gives you the chance to clarify your doubts with the instructors quickly, have support from fellow students in the course, and get active feedback from instructors on your assignments and projects.
Fees and Funding
Course fees are S$2,500 but that’s before funding support!
Eligible Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) can apply for funding support up to 90% (T&C apply), and eligible Singaporean students and full-time national servicemen (NSF) can apply for funding support up to 100% (T&C apply).
(3) How long does it take to learn digital marketing?
Digital marketing courses usually are about 6 – 12 lessons long. If you’re learning online, you’ll take about 10 – 40 hours to complete one. Physical courses in Singapore can take up to 6 weeks, with Smartcademy’s course taking only 6 lessons.
However, learning digital marketing doesn’t stop at the completion of a course—it’s only the beginning! After you’ve unlocked the fundamentals of digital marketing, you will continue to improve with more experiences.
Digital marketing is always evolving together with the digital world, so be excited about a lifelong journey of learning!
User experience design: It’s all about the UX-perience!
(1)What is UX design?
Just take a look around you—your house, your furniture, your phone, the website that you are browsing through right now—everything is designed! Design is so essential to how we live and interact, and can shape and determine our experiences.
Experiences might either be smooth and pleasurable or disruptive and irksome. UX design, or user experience design, is the process of designing products that create meaningful and relevant experiences for the user! The entire process of how the user receives, interacts, and even troubleshoots the product is considered and created by UX designers.
UX design applies to both physical and digital products. A physical product could be a laptop, or a phone—how does a consumer receive their new phone, how do they unbox the product, how do they use the phone – the home, lock, volume buttons? These are some questions considered in UX design in order to create a user experience that is most intuitive and seamless to users.
Digital products, on the other hand, could be applications or websites—how does the website look and feel to the user, how does the user get to the information that he or she wants, how long does the user desire to stay on the website?
UX design in digital marketing applies to digital products, and the goal is to give the user the most useful and pleasant experience so that they stay on the website or application, and even keep coming back! UX design is so crucial to digital marketing. Great content needs a great vessel to hold it—to produce the most effective results.
Demand for UX design in Singapore
The importance of user experience and the growth of the digital world translates into an increasing demand for UX designers! UX design was listed by LinkedIn as one of the top five skills that are most in-demand in 2020. Worldwide, companies need UX designers to create products that are more human-centric and intuitive in order to appeal to consumers. In Singapore, companies are also investing resources into expanding talent in UX design, and the demand for this skill has predicted huge job opportunities for UX designers in the immediate future.
Stick with us, we tell you the best ways to pick up UX design in Singapore!
(2)What do I need to start a UX design career in Singapore?
The good news for you is that UX design careers value a variety of experiences! You don’t need to have studied computer science to be a UX designer—other fields of knowledge like psychology, graphic design, research analysis, sociology etc. can bring a wealth of insight to your work in this field. If you want to start a UX design career, know the skills needed, take reliable courses, and get practicing!
1. Learn UX design skills and methods
Users’ centrality to UX design means that a lot of research and testing is involved in the job. The four main processes of UX design are: research, design, testing, and implementation.
In the research phase, UX designers find out the needs of the target audience, their preferences, habits, and dislikes, and define the context in which the product is used. Research is conducted to help understand users and their specific needs, so that a product can be designed to specifically cater to them! The technical methods of the research phase include:
- User research
- User research analysis – competitive, comparison and task analysis
- User personas
In the next phase of design, UX designers create a prototype, or simpler version of the end-product in order to test out design and flow. A prototype enables you to understand how the product will play out and helps identify flaws in the usability or design of the product—all this before the company starts investing money into creating the full-scale end-product. The design phase includes these processes:
Even after the design process is completed and everything seems to be working fine with the prototype, the product has to go through a round of testing by users! UX design’s keen focus on the needs of the user makes this step a very important one.
What happens in this phase is that the prototype is given to users, and then feedback is gathered to understand where the product succeeds and where it fails or needs improvement—this process is named user testing. The prototype is also tested with usability testing by observing users’ behaviour when they interact with the product (instead of asking for feedback).
- User testing
- Usability testing
All in all, UX design involves multiple steps, all of which are all technical and require you to have at least fundamental understanding before you can get the job done. With this in mind, if you are serious about getting into a UX design career, you should take a trustworthy UX design course in Singapore to help you get that head start.
2. Earn certification for UX design
While you don’t need a cert to be qualified for a UX design position, earning a certificate sets you aside from other aspiring UX designers! A certificate shows that you are eager to learn, have the basic sets of skills needed, and are serious about doing what it takes to get the job.
You can earn a certificate through online or physical courses—same as the digital marketing courses mentioned above.
However, as user experience design is not all that simple, you may want to consider signing up for a course in Singapore that provides you updated Singapore-industry relevant knowledge and skills, offers you strong support (a tutor or instructor that works closely with students), and gives you an opportunity to work on projects!
Working on a project allows you to put your knowledge to the test, and discover your gaps in knowledge early. When you step into a job, the work that you do will be all hands-on, so diving into projects helps you to prepare well and start building a portfolio.
The Intro to User Experience Design course by Smartcademy offers you all this in 6 lessons, with up to 90% of funding support for eligible Singaporeans and PRs (T&C apply). Check your eligibility for funding and sign up for our course to learn the fundamentals of user experience design today.
Starting from scratch with web development
(1)What is web development?
If we think of a website as a house, web and UX designers are the ones who design the architecture of the house, and web developers are the ones who build and maintain it. Simply put - though not simply done - web development is the process of building websites and web applications!
With web application development, you definitely want to choose a credible course in Singapore with expert instructors who can attend immediately to your questions—or, chances are, you’ll get lost in an overwhelming avalanche of code!
Web development can be divided into two general categories: front-end development and back-end development.
Front-end web developers, or ‘devs’, code the frontend of a website—the part of the website that the user sees (such as design and layout) and interacts with! The interactive and navigational elements of a website include words, images, buttons, scroll bars and links—all of which are coded by a front-end dev. Front-end devs use HyperText Mark Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to organise and style the content within a website—such as specify headlines and paragraphs and also embed media like images or videos.
The above is a code from Smartcademy’s web application development course webpage. HTML and CSS insert content (‘Web Design and Development | Application Courses Singapore’) and define it as the page’s title (‘<title> … </title>’). Instead of seeing the code, the user sees the elegant end-product of the webpage. In this case, it is the small box that appears when a user hovers over the webpage tab:
(2)Career prospects for web development in Singapore
After taking a course and learning all the basics of web application development, what’s next for you?
With your acquired knowledge, you can start a career as a web developer! The average entry-level web developer salary in Singapore is $3,500 a month and it will continue to rise over the course of your career! You can also consider becoming a software engineer, which earns you an average $3,900 a month at entry-level and increases to an average $5,400 at mid-career level, or consider branching into web design!
All in all, digitalisation has led to booming growth in the tech and digital industry in Singapore, and companies are needing more than ever to build a digital brand presence and reach out through digital platforms. In our digital times, digital marketers, UX designers and web developers are highly valued professions!
Starting a career in these specialisations can definitely be done if you put your heart to it and learn with the best resources! On top of doing your own research, you should invest in trusted digital marketing, UX design or web development courses in Singapore so that you have access to the most relevant and updated information and skills required!
Choose Smartcademy’s courses to get a head start in the knowledge of the different digital industries. Stay eager, keep learning, and don’t give up. We look forward to seeing you excel with our courses and succeed in your chosen career!