Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone smartly activated LinkedIn to promote its new BusinessWomen Package.
Last year, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) – that currently houses over 15,000 multinational companies from more than 100 countries, covering over 50 industries – decided to focus on the promising women empowerment segment. The resulting package, and the marketing campaign that supported its launch, are testament to the timeliness of this decision.
“The 2018 World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report shows that the Middle East has a 40% gap to close in terms of gender parity in various areas of society. Closing this gap can help our country have a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Hence, there is no better time than now to evaluate the business landscape for women in the country. In the UAE, women are empowered and we have achieved a good level of equality in all aspects of society. We wanted to boost this further, by helping more women live out their entrepreneurial dream,” explains Ahmad Numan, Director of Marketing at RAKEZ.
Listening to and understanding businesswomen
RAKEZ started off by conducting in-depth research around women in business – locally, regionally and globally – to better understand their current level of participation in the business landscape, the support they are getting from authorities, and the challenges they are facing.
Next, it went on to actually engage with them. “We joined their conversations by meeting them through networking events and doing social listening on social platforms. We noted their concerns, opinions and suggestions, and revolved our strategy around these factors. Our strategy is to build a product made by women for women,” says Numan. This research yielded fascinating insights, including the fact that women need more business support and that all they need is the right platform so they can turn their ideas into businesses.
These findings led to the development of RAKEZ BusinessWomen Package, a first-of-its-kind offering that features a number of services and incentives – from a free zone license to access to shared workstations, free printing of business cards and installment plan options.
Talking to businesswomen via LinkedIn
The launch of the BusinessWomen Package was supported by a comprehensive marketing strategy, focusing on online platforms and LinkedIn in particular. “LinkedIn has a great potential as it has a stronger audience of professional individuals in various fields, especially professional women that are looking to establish and grow their businesses,” explains Numan, who adds: “The community of empowered professional women is powerful and influential on LinkedIn, and you see them supporting other businesses ran by female entrepreneurs, by sharing stories, reviews, content and more.” Ziad Rahhal, Head of Sales at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, explains further: “LinkedIn as a platform is like no other. With over 670 million members, we are uniquely positioned to reach the global business community. LinkedIn was voted the most trusted social platform from 2016-2019 by Business Insider. This member first and trust approach is also reflected in the mindset of our members, with over 61% of them engaging with content that is relevant to them and over 80% of social media B2B leads coming from LinkedIn.”
Acting as the gateway to the world’s businesses and business professionals, LinkedIn is able to reach businesses and individuals through objective-based marketing which includes building brand awareness, increasing engagement and driving conversions. “This is supported by a suite of products such as Sponsored content, Video and Message ads which is InMails and our recently launched Conversation ads, where businesses can engage the audience in conversation to qualify their needs and requirements,” says Rahhal.
The campaign had several objectives, aiming to position the RAKEZ BusinessWomen initiative as the first package designed for businesswomen in the UAE; get greater engagement on social posts and content from businesswomen and female professionals; generate more female leads visiting its website; and get a high conversion rate out of the leads received. “On an aspirational level, we target to create a supportive community of women that support women within our ecosystem,” adds Numan.
The messaging was clear and to the point, highlighting the benefits of the package and how it can enable women to launch their business dream. Similarly, “the main campaign image was clean and simple but we ensured that were able to represent women from different walks of life,” says Numan.
Indeed, RAKEZ’s strategy “was to tap different kinds of women, such as the strong entrepreneurial kind; stay-at-home mothers who want to build their own business; women who prefer to balance family, work and life but do not want to get in a traditional 9–5 work environment; and those who simply want to become their own boss,” he adds. Using the insights that RAKEZ had acquired through its research, the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team was able to look at audiences based on their interest in starting a business, entrepreneurship, and even high-net-worth women who might be thinking of setting up a business. “We didn’t want to base the campaign on just performance; we also wanted to reach as many women [as possible] with RAKEZ’s message of ‘empowering women,’” says Rahhal.
This strategy proved to be quite a success, generating over 600,000 impressions and reaching 137,578 LinkedIn members, 8,436 of whom interacted to generate 896 leads – all for a limited budget of about $30,000 over a period of six months. “If this is to prove something, it will be how strong the content is and how highly it is engaging for the audience to be attracted,” says Numan. “RAKEZ will continue to use LinkedIn for it is a powerful tool for B2B marketing. It helped us add authenticity through brand awareness, content creation and digital conversion strategies which are essential to our business for the present time and the near future,” he concluded.