How SMEs can unlock the power of digital advertising through adtech

Wondering how SMEs can make the most of their digital presence? The answer lies in adtech.

Digital advertising is becoming increasingly accessible with advances in advertising technology. For a majority of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore that are at the starter level of digital maturity, these businesses are missing out on the opportunities and benefits that this technology can offer. 

But just what exactly is digital advertising technology (adtech), and how can SMEs get started? 

The lowdown on adtech - and how it can help your business secure big wins

Most SMEs would be familiar with social media advertising which uses social networks to promote brands, products, and services. The reach for social media advertisements relies very much on the platform (only users will see the ad). Digital advertising, which covers all of the Internet, has a far wider reach and even extends into the offline world, such as through digital billboards. Today, adtech software and tools have made it possible to buy, target, deliver, manage, analyse, and optimise digital advertising campaigns easily through automation. 

A website — no matter how simple — initiates a SMEs’ online presence and is the first step towards building brand understanding, credibility, trust, and customer engagement. Whilst websites and social media pages are the foundations of a brand’s digital presence, adtech is the powerful amplifier. With adtech, SMEs can strategically define and select target audiences they would like to advertise to, what websites they want to advertise on, and when the ad should appear, including specific parameters like time of day and geographic location — powered by the ease of automation that eliminates manual negotiation, buying, and scheduling. 

Many SMEs default to social media advertising as their only option, thinking that only larger firms can afford or see ROI from digital advertising on the vast open web. In reality, adtech has levelled the playing field for all, with SMEs now able to reap cost-effectiveness and efficiency that streamlines their often-limited marketing resources by focusing on efforts that yield real impact. And in the case of privacy and security, adtech tools help ensure your brand only appears on safe and credible platforms your customers trust.

How adtech can power possibilities for SMEs

Whether you’re selling products, services, and solutions to businesses or directly to consumers, customers today are continuously immersed in a digital environment. From phones, desktops, laptops, tablets, and smart TVs to eye-catching digital billboards, these are touchpoints between your customers and your business. Adtech helps you level up your digital advertising campaigns to take advantage of these by creating moments for your brand to be seen and to connect with customers.

Here is a great example: investment firm Schroders partnered with Yahoo to inform and educate people in Singapore about their sustainable investment products and capabilities. The omnichannel digital advertising campaign involved a series of ads across digital billboards in Orchard and the Central Business District (CBD). People who saw these digital billboards were subsequently exposed to follow-up ads when they went online (via mobile or desktop), inviting people to find out more information. The approach provided a seamless experience for people and enabled Schroders to efficiently and impactfully connect with their customers throughout the process — from awareness to consideration. 

There are various formats that SMEs can leverage, for example, display ads (banners that stand out on a webpage) or native ads (ads that blend into the content on a webpage) to present static or video content such as information and promotions. In addition, formats such as branded content (a sponsored article that can be aligned with your goals) and immersive experiences (such as augmented reality or virtual reality) can help customers better understand your brand story. 

How SMEs can get started

Adtech has changed how SMEs leverage digital advertising, unlocking significant growth potential. Understanding the power of adtech and how one can use the variety of tools and technologies at their disposal can pay off significantly for any business. First: familiarise yourself with the landscape. 

Consider your business needs and marketing goals, including brand awareness and recognition, products or service promotions, generating new customer leads, and making sales. Various strategies and tools are available for different budgets and needs and it’s important to define your requirements from the start clearly.

Work with a trusted partner who offers various adtech tools and solutions within a full-stack platform and can help make sense of the ever-changing landscape. Tap those who can provide end-to-end solutions — including unforgettable brand experiences and innovative ad solutions in ways that respect privacy with reach across content sites people trust. 

The digital advertising journey for SMEs begins here. Learn how you can get started with Yahoo Adtech.

By Carol Tay, Senior Director of Sales, Southeast Asia, Yahoo

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