Ramadan 2021 is the second to take place in the shadow of the pandemic, here’s how marketers should adapt their strategies.
What and when is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture. Most of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims will observe it. During Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset, but it is also a time for families to gather and celebrate. At the end of Ramadan there’s a three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.
In 2021, Ramadan will run from Monday 12 April – Wednesday 12 May.
Why is it important for marketers?
Changes in day-to-day behaviour have an impact on purchasing behaviour – and that creates sales opportunities for brands. From planning food for family gatherings to buying new clothes for social occasions, buying luxury goods and booking travel, there are uplifts across a number of verticals.
With everyone focused on eating – or not eating – food and cooking are key areas of interest. In the month before Ramadan, 33% of people in UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt said there would be an increase in their grocery shopping, according to research from Facebook and Kantar. 24% also buy household appliances during this time.
Fashion is important during Ramadan too. Brands like Mango, Cos and Oscar de la Renta have created Ramadan collections in the past. Even in 2020, when celebrations were disrupted by the pandemic, Islamic goods and fashion items remained high on Ramadan shopper’s lists.
According to Ogilvy’s ‘The Great British Ramadan’ report, Muslims in the UK spend an estimated £200m during the Ramadan season.
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How can brands connect through social media?
Don’t just add a moon graphic and call it Ramadan content. Use these three tips to adapt your campaigns and connect with your customers.
Understand your audience – and their challenges
Ramadan 2021 is the second to take place in the shadow of the pandemic, making the traditional family gatherings and shopping trips synonymous with the celebration difficult. Understanding these restrictions and how they impact your customers will help you to deliver sensitive and relevant content.
Ramadan usually causes people to consume more content online. Google says that YouTube cooking videos increase one month before Ramadan, peaking 30% higher than average in the first week of the Holy Month. Consider this appetite for content in your strategy and remember that with continuing restrictions, online content and virtual events will be even more important.
Last year in the UK, brands and organisations considered COVID-19 restrictions in their communications:
- The Muslim Council of Britain encouraged people to hold virtual iftars on social media.
- McDonald’s created a live, virtual Ramadan hourglass to show when it was OK to break fast.
- Tesco acknowledged families unable to get together with ads that showed their customers making ‘Not Quite Auntie’s Sumac Chicken’.
UK Muslims (who contribute £31bn to the UK economy annually) are disappointed when it comes to engagement during Ramadan according to Ogilvy. 62% say that they are not being served well by brands. So prove you understand your customers with content formats and themes that add value to their lives.
And don’t overlook the obvious. Your customers may well be hungry or sleep deprived! Use clear calls to action that make it easy and point them in the right direction.
Tell an inclusive story
You can personalise your marketing campaigns further by engaging Muslim influencers. Storytelling is the most authentic way to prove you understand the intricacies of Ramadan and influencers are expert storytellers. They will be able to share your products with their audiences using their own experiences and expertise.
Vamp’s platform has connected brands with influencers for a number of Ramadan-focused campaigns, which prove their versatility:
- Dole Food Company used influencers to raise awareness of their products as a tasty and healthy treat for the family during the Ramadan and Eid period.
- Beauty brand Laneige took a similar approach, using influencers to share their Ramadan kits through high-quality images and videos which went out to a social audience of over 1M.
- Influencers are also a great way for brands to generate engaging video content. TikTok asked Vamp creators to share their Ramadan moments and drive their followers to the platform in a campaign that generated almost 99k clicks.
- Meanwhile Honor invited Vamp creators to Live broadcast on their Instagram account to showcase their 9X phone, Magic Watch and Earbuds.
This persuasive and relatable content helps brands effectively break through to their customers during a time in which they are inundated by content.
Adopt social commerce
During Ramadan, people spend even more time on social media. According to Facebook’s managing director for Middle East and North Africa, Ramez Shehadi, ”consumption and time spent on our platforms increases.” Later nights and more downtime means there’s a 5% increased use of Facebook’s platforms. It may sound small, but that translates to nearly 58 million additional hours!
Instagram also reported 16 million uses of the word Ramadan on its platform during the 2019 celebration.
Your customers will be using social media for connection and entertainment – but also for product discovery and shopping. Make the most of this captive audience by adopting social commerce features that drive your customers to shop, the moment inspiration strikes.
Try tagging shoppable products in your feed posts and Stories with shoppable tags, and give your customers the option to make an on the spot purchase. Or if you’re already investing in influencer content, consider boosting it. Boosted posts allow you to target influencer content at your customers with precision and add a clear call to action, driving them directly to an ecommerce site.
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