Staff Writer
Mar 4, 2024

Reel in your audience: Optimising short-form video marketing for Ramadan 2024

With Ramadan approaching, leverage the power of Meta’s AI-powered discovery engine via Reels to engage new and returning customers.

Reel in your audience: Optimising short-form video marketing for Ramadan 2024
As the most significant holiday in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is a critical time for brands to connect with audiences in Muslim-majority markets. With the appearance of the new crescent moon in mid-March, the month-long celebration begins, creating opportunities for marketers to reach consumers looking to discover products they need and love over the festive period. 
Benjamin Joe, VP, Southeast Asia & emerging markets at Meta, said, “Gifting and shopping is a big part of the Ramadan moment. People are continually preparing their homes, meals, and gifts for loved ones and are looking out for the best deals before and during the season.” Based on the Meta Ramadan Moment Study by YouGov, 71% of shoppers or observers surveyed in Indonesia and 68% in Malaysia say they often explore different product categories during the Ramadan and Eid season than they do during the rest of the year.1
“Advertisers must plan ahead to stay relevant and prepared for these shopping peaks, reminding people of what they love by tapping into their preferences. Investing in video content — and more specifically, Reels, could help advertisers do that,” continued Joe. Presenting advertisers with an effective and efficient way to deliver bite-sized content, Meta’s short-form video format has proven to be a powerful tool for discovery. A major feature of both Facebook and Instagram feeds alike since its launch, Reels are reshared 3.5 billion times a day globally, while the daily watch time of all video formats across Meta’s ecosystem has grown by 25% year-on-year.2
YouGov’s research showed that 70% of shoppers in Malaysia spend more time watching videos during Ramadan and Eid, highlighting Reels’ potential to make campaign dollars go further in festive times.In mobile-first Indonesia, the same is true — nine out of 10 people spend more time watching videos during Ramadan, and 98% of them do so on their phones.4
Considering the importance of video-led discovery during Ramadan, how can marketers tap into Reels to maximise their campaigns?
Building cultural connection through creator collaborations
Ramadan emphasises connection and community, and the festive season is a “key moment for brand storytelling — especially through engaging formats such as video and creator partnerships,” Joe explained. Reels’ down-to-earth, candid, and relatable style makes it a highly suitable marketing tool for building and deepening the authentic connection between consumer and brand. Creator collaborations also play a crucial role in this meaningful relationship; across nine markets that celebrate Ramadan, 59% of shoppers or observers are more likely to trust a brand that partners with a trustworthy creator during Ramadan and Eid.5
“Interestingly, the top creators followed in Ramadan highlight a breadth of categories,” Joe added. These include food bloggers, health influencers, entertainment celebrities, sportspeople, and more. Additionally, Meta platforms, especially Instagram and Facebook, outrank competitors as the top places where users follow creators, according to the Meta-commissioned Role of Creator Marketing study by Crowd DNA.6 Built-in music, audio, and visual effects are key features that creators can leverage to customise their Reels while propelling their content to engaged, brand-aligned audiences.

Consider the example of Watsons Malaysia, where Reels were highly successful in driving reach, improving video completion rates, and cutting down campaign costs. The company used a media-savvy approach to connect with creators in Malaysia by incorporating Reels-first content into its usual ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, achieving 20% lower CPA, 48% higher video completion rate, and 22% higher reach than its regular strategy. In addition to using the platform to actively engage their community of old and new followers, Watsons Malaysia used Reels as an opportunity to promote talented creators among its customers.

Finessing festive delivery 
With the format chosen and assets created, it’s time to talk strategy. This Ramadan, marketers have the added advantage of Meta’s growing suite of AI-powered solutions to deliver relevant messages more efficiently. New features of Advantage+ shopping campaigns include individual ad scheduling and budget scheduling, while the Advantage+ Suite also offers AI- and ML-powered single-step solutions to automatically optimise audience, creatives, and placement. 
All of the above enables marketers to prioritise bigger-picture tasks, such as designing campaign strategies. To build a media strategy that addresses different consumer needs throughout the festive period, Joe highlighted the importance of understanding the different periods of Ramadan and how they affect consumer behaviour. 
Joe recommends laying the foundation with an always-on strategy to build audiences and drive baseline purchases, then ramping up four weeks before Ramadan to build anticipation through awareness and consideration campaigns. During the sale dates, focus on conversions and driving high sales volume, and avoid changing the campaigns. Use the post-holiday period to re-target high-intent customers and maintain momentum from the audience build-up by evaluating, experimenting, and iterating strategies.
One thing that should stay consistent throughout the campaign, according to Joe, is the use of AI to reach new and unexpected audiences. “Ramadan audiences are not the same as your target audiences at other times of year, as Ramadan shoppers are open to exploring new brands and categories,” he said. “There is power in leaning into AI to drive discovery, discovering people where they are, rather than where we expect them to be.” 
For Ramadan 2024, marketers have the remarkable opportunity to influence the shopping habits of consumers during a joyous festive period through the wide-reaching appeal of Reels, made easier than ever by the power of AI.
[1] “Meta Ramadan Moment Study” by YouGov (Meta-commissioned online study of 13,232 people aged 18+ across 9 markets: AE, BD, EG, ID, MY, NG, PK, SA, TR). Minimum N=1500 per market, May 2022. Analysis based on respondents who shop for or observe Ramadan. 
[2] Meta internal data, Q4 2023
[3] “Meta Ramadan Moment Study” by YouGov, May 2022
[4] TGM Global Ramadan Insights 2023
[5] “Meta Ramadan Moment Study” by YouGov, May 2022
[6] "Role of Creator Marketing Study" by Crowd DNA (Meta-commissioned online survey of adults ages 18+ across AU, BR, DE, FR, JP, KR, MX, UK, US in March 2022)


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