It may be 2 months away, but any marketer and brand that knows anything knows that Ramadan planning started before today. And how else to plan for this year’s major advertising super bowl than a new report by Google?
In an exclusive roundtable with handpicked journalists and writers, Google released their newest research on the Egyptian consumer journey during Ramadan. Salma Mohamed, Head of Ads Marketing at Google MENA, sat with us to go through the report.
The time for lanterns, konafa, family gatherings and tv binging is around the corner, and just like last year, it is coming with a football finisher. Last year set the precedent for how brands can either choose one or merge the two fan-favorite seasons; World Cup mania took over the advertising scene with only a few choosing to merge the two seasons and doing it well.
Check out last year’s Ramadan recap > Ramadan 2018 Top Trends Recap. Here’s what brands need to know
What to know for Ramadan 2019 with Google
As we know, Ramadan increases binge watching habits. Google states that YouTube watch time increases by 40%, last year they reported the increase as 3x more than outside Ramadan season, but interestingly, they also state that more than 50% prefer watching with family and friends.
According to Google, “the study conducted by Google assesses the top consumers’ interests online during Ramadan; food, series & programs, sports, and travel destinations.”
Starting with one of the most popular, Food. According to their report, there is a 40% increase in searches related to cooking on Google Search while YouTube sees a 70% increase for cooking shows.
People are not only searching for recipes, but also restaurants, with an increase of search queries related to restaurants in Ramadan between 6-8pm and 12-2am. Restaurants with Ramadan vibes will attract more people, so a quick tip is to update your Google My Business photos with your newest Ramadan decor.
Binge eating and binge watching go together during the holy month. Google reports that “people use Google Search to look for Mosalsalat and program timings during Ramadan. [There is a] 70% increase in searches related to Mosalsalat, in comparison to one month before Ramadan.”
“In Ramadan, people watch more Mosalsalat on YouTube. Due to the platform’s flexibility and convenience, people tend to continue watching their favorite Mosalsalat and programs even two weeks after Ramadan.” Last year’s report also noted this; video views spike throughout Ramadan and continues to peak up to 2 weeks after.
For those that caught our Top YouTube ads of 2018, you’ll notice that a lot of them are musical ads for Ramadan. This could come from the fact that music videos derived from Mosalsalat and Ramadan ads receive 40% more average watch time.
During last year’s merging of the World Cup and Ramadan seasons, YouTube noted a 60% increase in watching sports and football videos.
Just like last year, the company mentioned that YouTube watchers are more likely to enjoy watching longer videos during Ramadan, with a 60% YoY growth noted last year.
Post Ramadan, Eid, travel search inquires continue to be a growing subject online. The main travel search categories are religious tourism, local tourism and international tourism. Many users use Google search to look for travel agencies for the pilgrimage of Umrah.
The search engine saw “results doubling (x2) for Umrah and related terms on Google Search.” Mecca is also in second place for the most searched travel location outside of Egypt.
For local tourism, Hurghada apparently wins the distinction of being the most favored place to travel within Egypt.
Other than summer, the biggest vacation/travel season has always been Eid. The report notes this by stating that views on tourism and travel reviews increased by 54% during Ramadan.
To be effective in today’s market, you have to be online. Yet, being simply online through a Facebook page isn’t always enough.
Google recommends updating or creating your Google My Business account, to ensure that when people search, they will find your location on Google Maps and updated images.
With Google search inquiries increasing during the holy month, one of the best practices for businesses is to ensure your Google My Business is properly set and updated with relevant information.