Is your small business ready for Ramadan? Your ultimate Ramadan guide

Hungry for growth

We’re a couple of days away from Ramadan, and if you live somewhere in the Middle East you won’t need a calendar to know that Ramadan is almost here. The Ramadan vibes and festive manifestations that enfolds neighborhoods and streets is something you definitely can’t look away from. The street decorations, lanterns hanging almost from every building, the overcrowded supermarkets and the never-ending tv series and program ads are some of the signs of Ramadan. The holy month can be harsh on some industries and pretty generous to others, yet all businesses run around trying to make the best out of this time of the year. We’ll explore tools and practices that your business can utilize for a successful month.

Lift your small business this Ramadan

  1. Create a holistic social media strategy
  2. Think campaigns
  3. Take part in a charitable initiative
  4. Offers they can’t say no to
  5. Reconnect with Email Marketing

Create a holistic social media strategy

Shorter working hours in Ramadan and long fasting hours might be the reason why social media consumption increases during this month. Businesses – of all sizes – usually take advantage of this by planning a social media strategy specifically for this month.

Facebook usage increases by 5%, while the average user viewing duration on YouTube increases by 11% and comments rise an impressive 57%.

GoDaddy Facebook Ramadan campaign

We’ve got a few tips for you to ace your social media strategy for Ramadan:

  • Re-adjust your posting times: According to an article by Khaleej Times, social media usage peaks at 3am to 5am and around 7pm during Ramadan among Facebook’s users in MENA. So, make sure you schedule your posts on social media platforms around those times.
  • Align the messages on social media with the day time: Tailor the social media content and assets according to the posting time. The messages that you post pre-iftar need to be different than the ones you post during suhoor time.
  • Don’t limit your activity to one platform, when you’re planning social content don’t limit yourself to Instagram, Facebook or perhaps Twitter only. Users usually spend their time going back and forth between different platforms. So, accommodate your content for different platforms, so you wouldn’t miss out on anyone.
  • Keeping up with the trends, this means that you need to keep a close eye on what’s trending on social media throughout the month. Trends and hot topics can change in a blink of an eye. You can check the trending hashtags on Twitter or the trending topics and searches on Google Trends to know what are people interested in and to always stay up to date.
  • Don’t forget the feast, when you’re planning your social media content remember that Ramadan is 30 days, yet the last 10 days of the month people start talking and preparing for the feast, which is an incredible chance for brands to increase their sales. So, make sure you include feast and gifting related content in your Ramadan plan.

Think campaigns

Ramadan in the MENA resembles Christmas time, this means you need to create campaigns that aren’t only creative and engaging, but also ones that resonate with the spirit of the holy month and have a personal feeling. Remember, it’s the month of giving and forming – spiritual and social – connections think of related values such as charity, hospitality, devotion and graciousness.

Below are some tips when you’re creating a campaign that will make roll in the aisles:

  • Create a dedicated YouTube campaign: Locally-based brands such as Al Marai as well as international brands like Coca-Cola seem to have benefited greatly from YouTube campaigns that promote the spirit of Ramadan instead of their products. Maybe it’s time to think out of the box and try – for example – to match the values of Ramadan with your brand values and create a YouTube campaign around it. People usually engage and prefer with emotional, sentimental and personal content.
  • Recipes and Do it yourself: During Ramadan recipe consumption is very high as food is a huge part of Ramadan, but recipes aren’t only for food you can incorporate recipes and DIY campaign. So, if you’re in the fashion industry you can create Ramadan looks for gatherings. If you have a furniture related business, you can create DIY videos for home decorations for Ramadan.
  • Think mobile: Google reported that “searches on mobile represented more than 60% of total queries. This is approximately 5% higher than the average mobile share in other months. This means that whenever you’re preparing a campaign think of mobile users first. The content has to be mobile friendly and the landing page too.
  • Consider influencer marketing, a new research by the BPG Cohn & Wolfe Influencers Survey (in association with YouGov) reveals that using social media influencers to drive consumer brand awareness has reached “record highs” within the UAE – especially for those marketers trying to target millennials.

Engagement rises during the holy month, with a majority being organic. Consider an online campaign during this month as it would be both cost-effective and effective than any other time.

Take part in a charitable initiative

Ramadan is the perfect time to be helping hand. Generosity, unselfishness and philanthropy are core values for that month and your business’s message during Ramadan should align with them. What is a better way than taking part in a charitable initiative?

Volunteering and donations are very popular in Ramadan, why wouldn’t your brand donate a portion of its sales during Ramadan for a cause? Take your team and volunteer for a day in a charitable organization? Create customized products and dedicate their sales to a certain cause? You can also incorporate this in your social media content or even better blog about it !

pepsi ramadan campaign

One of the prominent initiatives is Ramadan Sharing Fridges: Fridges are set up outside and across Dubai for you to donate food and drinks to the needy. Refreshments such as bottled water, soda, fruits, vegetables and tinned food are all welcome. Fridges are stocked up to 15 times a day and each feed at least a 100 people per day.

Offers they can’t say no to

Right before Ramadan starts families do intensive shopping for Ramadan which is mainly for food, decorations and Ramadan outfits. The spirit of gifting increases dramatically towards the end of Ramadan, mostly last 10 days before the feast. These are perfect opportunities for offers and discounts, because who doesn’t love a good deal?

Mcdonalds Ramadan Campaign

So, you can put together special offers for Ramadan on certain products or a dedicated Ramadan coupon for online shopping to increase your eCommerce website sales. Then for the feast you can create a gifting guide, and maybe a 10% discount when customers reach a certain purchasing number to up-sell your products.

Reconnect with Email Marketing

A new study recently released by Oxford Journals, concluded that Ramadan is often accompanied by a decrease in the gross domestic product (GDP) of the sector. This is mainly due, to the fact that employees in Islamic countries often work a shorter number of hours during Ramadan. However, this trend is also accompanied by an increase in consumption, which offers an opportunity for startups and entrepreneurs looking to gain more users and customers. This means that Ramadan shouldn’t be bad news for your business, even if you don’t meet this month’s target, you can still acquire more users and customers, how? Email marketing might just be the answer.

An effective email marketing campaign can leverage your customer loyalty and keeps you connected to your existing customers and after all that’s all what Ramadan is about staying connected with your family, friends, neighbors, etc.

More:

Ramadan is almost like a marketing battleground between brands, they save their advertising ideas and budget to compete. If businesses are looking for exceptional results, they need a well-rounded marketing strategy. Last year was filled with some amazing work, and some new trends challenging classic original songs and mass celebrity marketing. We’re looking forward to this year’s brand race.

Image by: Raul Cacho Oses via Unsplash.

Selina Bieber
Based in Istanbul, Selina is part of the GoDaddy EMEA team managing the Turkey and MENA regions to help grow the GoDaddy brand and business. With a background in marketing communications, Selina is passionate about small businesses, the entrepreneurial eco-system and leveraging digital technologies to get ahead of the game. Prior to joining GoDaddy, Selina led the PR activities of Facebook, VeriSign and Euler Hermes in Turkey, and was based in Amsterdam to head up regional media relations across Europe for a natural gas project. Selina is a self-professed foodie and travel addict.