Filipinos are among the top internet users dominating social media, especially YouTube and Facebook. According to Datareportal, YouTube is the most popular social media platform in the Philippines, with 97.2% of Filipino internet users accessing the site. Facebook follows, with almost 74 million Filipino users.
In addition, Facebook held nearly 93% of the Philippines ‘ social media market share in 2020. Filipinos relied on social networking sites to stay updated on the news and to find a platform for product development.
As for the time they spend on social media, Datareportal found that in 2020, Filipinos spent nearly four hours browsing their feeds.
As such, social media presence is highly crucial for small businesses in the Philippines. During the country’s Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period in 2020, small businesses served as the lifeline for many Filipinos who lost their jobs. Indeed, we saw different products being invented during that time, such as the “ube-cheese pandesal”, “baked sushi”, and many variations of typical baked goods. Posts about starting a business also went viral around that period, making Filipinos realize the importance of having a side-hustle or a second source of income for when a crisis occurs.
But now that the country is slowly going back to normal, we can’t help but notice that the hype over small businesses is dwindling. The novelty of the products that emerged during the ECQ has worn down, so small businesses have to double their efforts now to maintain their success.
Top Ecommerce Platforms in the Philippines
Starting a small online business in the Philippines is easy. Most retailers start using these top e-commerce platforms:
Lazada tops with more than 30 million visitors a month. For many years now, it has been a reliable platform for C2C and B2C businesses in the Philippines. Its payment methods are flexible, with diverse options such as cash on delivery, credit and debit cards, installment, GCash, and more recently, the Lazada e-wallet.
Shopee is a close second to Lazada with nearly 29 million visitors every month. But in the first half of 2020, Shopeewasthe most used e-commerce platform in the Philippines. With services and payment methods similar to Lazada, it isn’t hard to see why Filipinos favored this platform.
Zalora, meanwhile, is popular among a market niche rather than the masses. It’s the closest thing to a high-end mall during the pandemic, offering upmarket brands including Nike, Adidas, Topshop, and Zara. High-end independent brands can also use Zalora as their platform, explaining its popularity in the Philippines.
eBay, despite being a top e-commerce platform in the U.S., has a fair share of Filipino users, too. It’s a convenient site for buying overseas goods, as well as a suitable platform for cross-border sellers without a specific product brand, just like Lazada and Shopee.
Using one or two of these platforms is your first and most basic digital marketing strategy. Once your store is all set, the tricky part comes next: spreading brand awareness and increasing sales.
1. Influencer Content
Since Filipinos are avid social media users, they’re also keeping up with their favorite influencers’ lives. As such, many of their purchasing decisions are influenced by, well, those very influencers.
Find out which influencer is most likely to buy and benefit from your product. You can choose more than one, and give them free products in exchange for an honest review. If you’re willing, you can also sponsor one of their videos or any other social media post. But considering that YouTube is the most popular social media platform in the Philippines, sponsoring a video is the most preferable option.
If your chosen influencer can do a live stream featuring your product, that’s even better. Live streams are one of the top digital marketing trends this year. That’s because live streams are unfiltered and tap an “in-the-moment” connection that consumers seek.
2. User-generated Content
Tapping into user-generated content will enhance your site optimization, and increase the ROI of the SEO services you’re paying for. User-generated content is viewed as more authentic and trustworthy because it allows consumers to see products for what they really are, not under a facade called advertising. Plus, it generates content for your brand, especially during these times when marketing is limited by unfavorable circumstances.
3. A Purpose-driven Mission
Filipinos are looking for brands that give back or support advocacy. Purpose-driven missions humanize a brand and make them more trustworthy. So instead of promoting your products simply for the sake of profit, share your story too. Tell your audience how your brand was started, why, and to whom it is for. If you aren’t partnering with a charitable organization, at least show support for marginalized groups in the Philippines. These digital marketing strategies will surely evoke people’s interest in your brand. Stay consistent if your tactics work because consistency is one of the most important keys to growing your business and maintaining its great reputation.
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