Are you a Singaporean Gen Z or millennial? My guess is that if you are, you probably use Telegram. But besides efficient and sticker-laden messaging, did you know that Telegram can be used by firms to market their products and services as well? Convenient, inexpensive, and novel, Telegram has made its way up the pedestal and shown phenomenal growth.
With competitor WhatsApp facing outages and privacy issues in the past, Telegram has outshone its competition, with the number of newly registered users steadily rising over time. Today, it purportedly has around 500 million active monthly users.
With diverse features ranging from channels to chatbots, and a slew of inutitive functions, here are 5 reasons why more brands should be utilising Telegram as a marketing tool in Singapore.
1. Large reach (channels)
With no limit set on group sizes or channel sizes, firms or brands are able to reach an extremely vast consumer base through the creation of channels.
Additionally, with the ability to include links in posts, Telegram serves as a medium to boost consumer traffic to various destinations. For example, firms who are advertising the new release of a product can include links or hyperlinks in the caption, directly to the online store to increase sales and consumer engagement.
Image adapted from: SG Food Deals
Interestingly, this new era of Telegram birthed a new form of marketing. Take Telegram Collective, a company that runs telegram channels promotions and makes a profit from advertisements.
One such channel from the Telegram Collective network is the 120K-subscriber SG Food Deals. SG Food Deals regularly posts organic as well as exclusive food deals and discounts that keep subscribers eager on the tip of their toes waiting for more.
As such, SG Food Deals’ subscriber base has been steadily growing, thus creating a platform that advertisers can pay to utilise– this means that F&B firms can pay to seed SG Food Deals with their own advertisements.
Placing an advertisement on SG Food Deals has a low cost, yet links placed on SG Food Deals posts regularly enjoy high click-through rates. This creates a mutually beneficial system where all parties – consumers, firms and Telegram Collective – benefit.
2. High engagement
Social marketing mediums like Facebook and Instagram are subjected to the whims of algorithms – no matter how good your content or promotion is, sometimes it just isn’t seen. This is especially since the algorithm is ever-changing and prioritises posts you’ve highly interacted with in the past to suggest what comes up in your feed.
The downside for businesses, especially the smaller ones, means that you can be at an disadvantage at getting your brand out in the first place.
Telegram, on the other hand, has no such hang-ups. Telegram channels have no algorithm – every post is 100% seen by subscribers, and unfiltered by any customisation. According to research, Telegram has a higher view rate of 20% as compared to Instagram (3%) and Facebook (4%), possibly due to the interactivity of GIFs and the likelihood of users seeing the notifications of your post while communicating with others within the app.
The sky’s also the limit when it comes to reaching your audiences on Telegram, too. Unlike Whatsapp which caps its group numbers to 200 pax, Telegram has no such requirement, allowing popular groups to gain huge followings and as many as thousands of subscribers. For example, the popular SG Food Deals channel boasts over 120K subscribers with average views of 40.8K – that’s a whopping 35% seen rate!
Another popular Telegram channel SG Weekend Plans with high seen rates, as folks are inclined to check out what to do on weekends easily.
Image adapted from: SG Weekend Plans
3. Zero to low cost
With no cap on the number of messages sent and no stipulated cost for using the messaging app, Telegram brags zero to low cost.
Where modern marketing in the form of radio, Facebook and Youtube advertisements would add up, Telegram is a platform that lets firms significantly save on marketing expenses, given that marketers can communicate and interact with consumers directly for free.
Additionally, small businesses who are starting out need not take hosting charges into account, as entire stores and communities can reside within the Telegram platform, thus eradicating the need for third party e-commerce service providers. For example, maintaining a presence on the e-commerce provider BigCommerce can go up to USD299.95 (SGD417.14) per month.
With zero to low cost comes zero to low risk; anyone trying to set up a small online business via Telegram need not worry much about repercussions related to cost in the event of a failed business, unlike a physical store.
On top of small businesses starting out on Telegram, big and well-known conglomerates such as Capitaland, Sentosa, and Charles & Keith were eager to hop on the Telegram marketing bandwagon too.
With more than 13k subscribers in Sentosa’s channel, 5k in Charles & Keith’s, and 5k in Capitaland’s, it is safe to say that these brands managed to boost their existing following and even reach younger audiences.
After all, according to statistics, the people who spend the most time on Telegram fall under the 25-34-year-old category, and this is a group attractive to businesses as they have generally high spending power.
Image adapted from: Sentosa’s Telegram, Charles & Keith’s Telegram
A feature that sets Telegram apart from other messaging platforms is the brilliant end-to-end encryption that Telegram offers all of its users. Defined as a “method of secure communication that prevents third parties from accessing data while it’s transferred from one end system or device to another”, firms who use Telegram as a marketing platform need not fret over the potential leakage of information.
Additionally, another safety feature that Telegram offers consumers is anonymity. With the ability to hide a phone number from those not in one’s contact list, consumers are likely to feel more protected and therefore less hesitant to communicate with firms via Telegram.
Image adapted from: Telegram
5. Ease of communication
Communication is key when it comes to selling a product. With Telegram, firms can easily converse with customers via direct chats. These conversations range from selling products to answering questions and keeping the audience informed on upcoming sales and hot offers in a timely manner. For instance, SG Budget Babes is a beauty and fashion Telegram channel packed full of postings about the latest sales, credit card promotions, and even where to get freebies and samples.
Image adapted from: SG Budget Babes
As all administrators of a channel need to do is to find a suitable image and craft the copy mechanics, it’s definitely a much faster (and affordable) way of marketing versus printing large banners touting your latest sale.
Another useful function Telegram offers would be the poll function, where administrators can do informal market research and answer customer queries in real-time. For example, local blogshop Lovet regularly polls its subscribers to get a sensing of what fashion items are most popular.
Some of the polls and responses in the official Lovet Telegram Channel.
Image adapted from: Lovet Telegram
Additionally, within these channels, the administrator can manage the Telegram group by removing unwanted comments or users, and can even disable the chat function altogether.
Using Telegram as a tool for marketing in Singapore
Image credit: Ashley Chia
In today’s fast-paced and increasingly digitised world, attention is reserved for engaging, bite-sized information. Telegram presented a solution to a modern problem – with Telegram, consumers can readily get information through mobile notifications. Telegram also provides Telegram users with the liberty to mute channels or chats, should they not wish to receive notifications.
As for firms, Telegram has shown that with the features available, if used creatively, there are endless marketing possibilities that will benefit these businesses and firms for years to come.
Check out these Telegram channels:
? @sgadulting101 – Personal finance
? @uchify_sg – Home & Living tips
? @techngames – Free games
?? @sgfitnesshealth – Fitspo things
? @sgnewmovies – Latest shows
✈️ @sgtravelpromos – Cheap hotels
? @sgcabcodes – Ride deals
✨ @sgweekend – Things to do
?? @sgparenthings – Child-friendly
? @sgfooddeals – Food promos
?? @sgstudentpromos – Student deals
? @budgetbabes – Beauty/Fashion
Cover image adapted from: Canva