Ramadan Marketing Strategies : Making an impact with Digital Marketinglmwsadmin
Ramadan begins this month and Muslims around the world will be taking part in ritual fasting and abstinence for 30 days. The date on which Ramadan begins changes each year. It is determined by the first confirmed sighting of the new moon – but there is often controversy about when it starts, with different countries observing it on different days. In Malaysia and in most of the countries in Southeast Asia, Ramadan 2018 begins on 15 May and finishes on 14 June.
How is Ramadan observed?
Fasting is the most well-known and important part of the month. Muslims are not allowed to eat between sunrise and sunset to help teach “self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity”. It is common to have one meal, the suhoor, just before sunrise and another known as the iftar directly after sunset.
Ramadan may be focused on virtuous acts and religious celebrations, but people are on their mobile phones and devices more than ever. They are also more engaged and excited to engage with brands that hold true to the themes and feelings of the holy month.
Ramadan and Digital Marketing Strategies
Ramadan is the most significant time of the year. Tapping into this window of opportunity is not expedient; on the contrary it’s offering a service. Ramadan marketing strategies will help you prepare your digital marketing.
Facebook usage increases by 5%, while the average user viewing duration on YouTube increases by 11% and comments rise an impressive 57%. This is most likely due to the shorter work hours, as well as a need for distraction while fasting.
There are specific times during Ramadan when online users search for content around faith and religion. A song, a movie, even a quote can resonate strongly. This is a time of meaning, and soul searching and your marketing needs to respect this. Offering spa treatments and decadent days in the sun are not only inappropriate but could be deemed as insensitive.
In 2017, Tesco came under fire for including Smokey Bacon flavoured crisps in a ramadan display, which led to controversy as consuming pork products is strictly forbidden within Islamic culture.
Adding to the embarrassment, this display was positioned directly under a banner promoting the celebration of Ramadan, which lead to confusion and irritation amongst consumers. Brands may cause huge offense to their target market if they do not appreciate the cultural context they are incorporating into their marketing.
With online users are using social media to pass the time until Iftar, now is the time for brands and businesses to re-think about their strategies to engage and interact with people in Ramadan.
Digital Marketing Strategies in Ramadan
The global islamic economy, including halal food, modest fashion, islamic banking, halal media and more is predicted to be worth trillions by 2021, growing at almost double the rate of the global worldwide economy.
During Ramadan, around two-thirds of muslims prepare financially for the holiday period, and charitable donations increase during this time by 500%.
1- Start Early
Brands and businesses should start earlier with awareness and burst campaigns to secure access to coveted ad slots. This is an important step in the strategy to get ahead of the competition in advance of the busy pre-Ramadan sales period.
2- Integrate and combine all strategies
For larger companies who are able to afford the increase in costs for TV and Radio ads during Ramadan, it is important to note that integrating an offline campaign and including digital elements has been known to improve campaign results almost ten-fold.
Engagement rises during the holy month exponentially, with a majority being organic. An online campaign during this time could be more cost-effective than in any other time. While TV spots increase in amount and cost, YouTube’s cost metrics “maintained the same cost-per-view and view-through rates on YouTube as they did in other months.” (Google)
Putting teasers or even the full ad on YouTube can help increase brand exposure and awareness due to a large increase in the social media platform’s usage during the month, viewers watching longer content and actively engaging more often. Facebook is also a popular location to post teasers and sponsored videos, with the social giant providing an 8% increase in reach for campaigns using both Facebook and TV.
3- Keep up momentum
The purchase rate rises sharply in the week before Ramadan as consumers prepare for a month of fasting and family time, and also during the second week of Ramadan as consumers place purchases that will arrive in time for the celebration at the end of Ramadan.
These are the optimal time frames to take advantage of your marketing in reaching top rankings and the large numbers of audiences acquired in the weeks prior to Ramadan. Running sustainable, ongoing campaigns, in which users are targeted with specials and discounts, will boost engagement and thus sales.
4- Interact with Ramadan
Create Ramadan-specific content. Ramadan comes with its own themes and rules, and there is a reason why many companies do not deviate and walk away from them. During Ramadan, it is important to find at least one theme that can be associated with your brand. Whether it be charity, family, religion or appropriate entertainment, brands can increase their brand equity by simply focusing on one of themes.
It is also important to note that most brands turn towards a more conversational tone during this time. People love to engage with the people behind the brand, and personalizing communications during a month of increased engagement can boost brand equity and strength for the rest of the year.
5- Be Relevant
Tailor your efforts during Ramadan with customized, relevant promotions such as discounts and cash-back offers targeted during peak purchase periods (the week before Ramadan begins and the week before it ends). It is also important to ensure that campaigns are relevant to users’ Ramadan needs. Using sustainable campaigns to push items which are often bought during the fasting month, such as religious clothing and electronics, is key to ensuring maximum engagement and purchase rates.
The holy month of Ramadan is known for its religious nature but also for its increased spending, charitable endeavors and family competition.
According to Facebook, 57% of UAE users surveyed stated that their families compete to show off their style during the month. This includes clothing, gifts given and festive feasts. Facebook and Google both also note that in the month before Ramadan, searches and planning of large purchases such as clothing, automobiles and jewelry increase, making it a great time to release online ads to engage consumers.
Conversations on mobile, through Facebook, happen 4.84 time mores than usual, 69% of people in the KSA surveyed by Facebook state they use Instagram to search for gift ideas and 70% of UAE surveyed stated Facebook.
Instagram’s inspiration factor jumps to peak levels during Ramadan, with people more likely to discuss topics on Instagram than Facebook; topics such as fashion (7x more likely) and recipe ideas (5x.) With consumers looking for extravagant gifts, luxury brands shine the most during the last few days of Ramadan.
With an increase in spending, and online usage to search for gift ideas for others and themselves, now is the right time to be inspiring users with your products or services. Search engine advertising and sponsored ads would provide brands with an increased brand reach and awareness, as well as increased possibility of sale during this time. The best time for these ads would be during the peak shopping and social media usage times of 12am and 5 am.
The global Islamic economy continues to spread as the world’s fastest-growing major religion, coaxing restaurants and food & beverage companies, travel and fashion industries to approach the Holy Month with renewed Ramadan marketing strategies. The most important thing to do is to have the marketing strategies for changes in behavior and be willing to adapt as necessary. This is the only way to have rockstar results every time.