Communicate speaks with Ahmed Younis, Head of Meta Creative Shop MENA at Meta to discuss how brands can engage with their consumers effectively this Ramadan.
While we know how critical storytelling is for brands during Ramadan, getting it right is the real struggle. According to Meta, the influence of creators in discovery on social media has grown over the past three Ramadan seasons. Creators are rapidly becoming the trusted gateway to inspiring people. Around 58% of shoppers or observers in the UAE are more likely to trust a brand that partners with a trustworthy creator.
Meta’s Head of Creative Shop across MENA, Ahmed Younis also known as, Fizo, unveils how brands can use tools and technologies on Meta’s platforms to drive emotional connections with their audiences.
In image above: Head of Creative Shop across MENA, Ahmed Younis
What do consumers care the most about during Ramadan when connecting with brands? How can brands tap into those emotions?
Ramadan is a ‘people first’ moment. At its core, Ramadan is a time for community and kindness. It’s the single kindest moment on Meta technologies, with over 7.8M interactions containing the word “kindness” taking place on Facebook on the final day of Ramadan last year.
To my witness, a lot of brands miss that out. This is what people look for when engaging with brands. People who observe Ramadan are constantly trying to be better versions of themselves, by giving more, by connecting with their community. This is why, most of the client briefs are all about promoting togetherness. But, there’s also the discovery mindset that observers are in before the month kickstarts, which refers to the course of preparing for the month. We’ve witnessed a massive appetite for discovery on all Meta platforms. Brands need to leverage the fact that people come to our platforms to engage with communities and if they continue pushing to purchase, they’re going come across as intrusive thus compromising on the quality of their content.
In what ways can brands avoid being too 'pushy' or 'over the top' during this time? What do they need to do to connect with audiences at a deeper level?
This is a trap a lot of brands fall into. Throughout the years, brands make the mistake of considering Ramadan as a backdrop. So, adding a crescent moon to every piece of communication and waiting for it to all come together is not the way to go.
An aware brand will have the needs and expectations of people built in the DNA of its Ramadan strategy. First, brands need to take a people-first approach, then work on finding the intersection between the most important Ramadan values and their brand principles. An example that comes to my mind now is that of Maggie Arabia. The brand used Meta’s platforms to inspire home cooks to show off their creativity in the kitchen while sticking to traditions during Ramadan. Since the campaign was launched right after the pandemic, the brand also managed to bring people closer with collaborations with creators from specific communities. The campaign was relevant to the audience, to the brand, and also to the time of launch which was Ramadan. Another learning the campaign flaunted was that Ramadan is different every year and that’s something brands need to keep in mind. What is the offering? Is it utility, inspiration or just a hack to make my audiences’ lives easy? That’s the question campaigns need to answer especially during this time of the year.
What kind of content do consumers enjoy? Are there any tools Meta offers on its platforms that can be used to create relevant and relatable content?
Reels are exponentially growing. There are more ways than ever to create meaningful connections this Ramadan. With brand storytelling tools - such as reels, in-stream video, branded content, and augmented reality - businesses can bring communities together through rich and immersive experiences. 58% of shoppers or observers in the UAE said they felt more connected to a brand after seeing Ramadan or Eid content on Facebook or Instagram. I advise people to make the best use of all the learnings we’re providing on our Meta For Business platform. There's a wealth of DIY, real-time workshops, and case studies that can help brands and marketers be on top of their game.
How can brands stand out from the clutter during this time?
I will reiterate that people's behavior changes during Ramadan, and we need to understand this. Consumers are very different during the holy month, they try to be better versions of themselves, connect with like-minded people, aim to give back to the community. There’s also this heightened sense of discovery in the plot. So, if you think about those three main behavioral shifts that often happen while consuming content. You will probably find a way to build a really relevant communication strategy that talks to all your consumers during that period.