DUBAI: Twitter has provided crucial insights into the best ways for MENA brands to stay ahead of the marketing curve moving into Ramadan.
“We are the undisputed home for breaking news and real-time public conversation for sports, music, entertainment, business, technology, gaming, seismic cultural shifts and much more,” said Elio Khoury, customer success specialist at Twitter MENA, as he opened the #TwitterAdTalk focusing on Ramadan.
With social media becoming more cluttered, it is crucial for brands to craft their social media strategies carefully in order to stand out. “In a hyper-connected world, how and where a brand shows up has never been more important,” said Khoury.
As a platform that is part of culture, he added, brands can use Twitter to become culturally relevant, which is essential to their success — on social media and beyond.
According to a study by Twitter and Kantar, there is an 88 percent correlation between a brand’s spending and activity on Twitter and its cultural relevance. Moreover, there is a 73 percent correlation between a brand’s cultural relevance and audience purchase intent.
Brands that use Twitter have a 70 percent brand recall, 11 percent brand awareness, 15 percent message association, 4 percent favorability and 7 percent brand preference. “Brands have a massive opportunity to build cultural relevance by connecting with Ramadan on Twitter because it’s one of the most important cultural moments of the year in the world and in the region,” Khoury said.
Connecting with users during Ramadan is not only important for brand perception and favorability, but also for sales and revenue. Consumers in Saudi Arabia (50 percent), the UAE (52 percent), Egypt (61 percent) and Kuwait (49 percent) spend more during Ramadan than in the rest of the year, according to a Twitter survey.
Moreover, consumer willingness to explore new brands and products is higher during the holy month, with about 40 percent of audiences in KSA, Egypt and Kuwait, and 53 percent in the UAE, saying they are likely to explore new products and brands during the month.
When connecting with consumers around Ramadan, Khoury reminded brands that it is important to start doing so well in advance. “Most people want brands to talk about Ramadan before the start of the month, which highlights the opportunity to connect with them over a longer period and be present through the month of Ramadan,” he said.
More than 50 percent of audiences across the UAE, KSA, Egypt and Kuwait said they would like brands to talk about Ramadan before the start of the month.
The Ramadan buzz starts to accelerate 10 days before the start of the holy month and multiplies by the time we reach the first day of the month, he added.
Moreover, conversations around Ramadan are the highest during the first and last 10 days of the month.
Still, more than 50 percent of brands only run campaigns on main event days, said Sara Bouabdeli, customer success account manager at Twitter MENA. However, brands that do connect with audiences during other days as well see twice the engagement rate, three times more cost efficiency and 35 percent higher view-through rates, she added.
Bouabdeli also advised brands to make video content a cornerstone of their Ramadan strategy.
The key takeaways for brands this year, said Khoury, are to start early, keep in mind when conversation peaks, and plan content, especially videos, well in advance.
In addition to the webinar, Twitter has collaborated with regional advertising industry publication Campaign for a four-part series focused on Ramadan insights. The sessions will be held weekly throughout March and will be hosted on Twitter Spaces.