Saudi Arabia is a country full of digital marketing opportunities. Demand for online goods and services is high. Combined with a relatively high GDP per capita of USD 30,500 and over 50% of the population under the age of 25, Saudi Arabia clearly sees significant growth in the internet in the coming decade or more.
As we well know, before a company starts an online marketing campaign, it is important to understand the context in which it will do its marketing. So, let’s get to know some of the basic information about Saudi Arabia.
The country has 26.5 million inhabitants, and from the point of view of land mass is the third largest country in the Middle East. It is extremely rich in crude oil, with an estimated 18% of the world’s oil resources, and thanks to that, citizens have an individual tax rate of just 0%. This low tax rate helps increase the discretionary income of each family for goods and services that can be purchased online. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also the most stable economy in GCC.
Saudi Arabia is a very conservative society deeply rooted in the religious traditions of Islam and the teachings of the Koran. While this may be a challenge for some types of marketers, those who are sensitive to culture see a lot of opportunities to find unique ways to reach this audience
Big part of Internet usage in Saudi Arabia is censorship. In 2007, the Saudi Arabia government set up a special commission whose task is to protect citizens against illegal content, defamation and all contradictions with Islamic values and laws. Since then, more than half a million websites have been blocked. Despite the high level of censorship in the country, Saudi Arabians feel comfortable sharing online more than any other country in the world.
Why is Video Marketing so important?
The results of online research are absolute. People do not want to read. Instead, they prefer to watch movies more often. According to analyzes by Forbes magazine, the conversion from sites that offer video on their “landing page” is 80% greater than for those with text materials. 88% of visitors stay longer if a video is shown on a given page. Video marketing, which is one of the elements of marketing strategy, is becoming more and more popular. Visual content is much more popular with the recipients – in particular, static images (photos, graphics, charts, infographics), but also moving pictures – films. The use of such materials in the content on the website, in newsletters or entries in social media increases not only their attractiveness, but also efficiency.
Visual content, which is interesting, unique and of high quality, arouses strong feelings among customers such as trust. Online videos have a big advantage over the rest of marketing content: they give the brands a human face. When real people are in the video, they gain the trust of users, and because the competition between brands grows in almost every niche online, this trust can be very important. Due to the fact that the Saudi Arabian market is highly competitive, the use of video in a marketing strategy will help reach more audiences.
When a potential client is considering doing business, he will usually look for other customers’ opinions. If the company has a reference in the form of a text with a photo, name and company name of the customer, the recipients will be convinced only partially. However, if the company puts the client’s opinion in the form of a film: they will identify with that person, which will overcome any fears they may still have.
What’s more, the use of video in a marketing strategy gives more content in a shorter time: the scope of attention of Internet users decreases each year along with changes in the type of content made available on the web. Video is a type of digital content in which an increase in use is observed, while the length of a single video is still decreasing. Also, people watch movies on the run and do not want to strain their eyes to read text, especially on a tablet or phone.
Saudi Arabia is currently the largest potential e-commerce market in the Middle East.
The entire Saudi society is moving towards a more progressive way of thinking. This modernism is reflected in the way in which they connect with each other and the rest of the world with social media and the Internet. According to statistics, it appears that the number of Internet users in Saudi Arabia quickly increased to 30 million people in early 2018. Penetration of the Internet in this country reached 91%.
Social media are beginning to play an important role in the life of Saudi Arabia, and its use is rapidly expanding. Social media has evolved into a powerful force for social change in Saudi society. The Saudi government effectively used social media to engage citizens and assess public awareness. Key members of the Saudi royal family began using their Twitter and Facebook accounts to conduct reforms throughout the Kingdom. Members of the government, such as Abdlaziz Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information, and Tawfiq al-Rabiah, Minister of Trade and Industry, use their accounts to disseminate information about government policies and initiatives
One of the main driving forces of this jump in the use of social media is the high rate of ownership of smartphones in this country. 84% of Saudi Arabians live in cities where the adoption of mobile technologies is much faster than in the whole country. Cities also offer easy access to super-fast internet connections. The average speed of connection to mobile Internet in the Kingdom has almost doubled in the last year.
In 2018, YouTube ranked longtime Facebook leader to become the most popular social platform in Saudi Arabia. YouTube can boast of 23.62 million active users, while Facebook ranks second with 21.95 million users. Instagram is the third with 17.96 million users and the fourth on Twitter with 17.9 million users. The country runs the MENA region to be accepted on Twitter. With 10.64 million Google+ users, it was the fifth most popular social platform.
Residents of Saudi Arabia use social media for an average of five hours a day, according to research conducted by the international research company YouGov. According to Northwestern University research in Qatar, daily television viewing in Saudi Arabia dropped from 65% to 49% between 2014 and 2016. As most of the population went online to watch video content. This is in line with the wider regional trend.
Unlike other places in the world, social platforms have served to improve the family and religious values of Saudi society, while opening Saudi minds to new ideas and concepts.
To sum up,video content helps build trust in the brand. The films help to establish contact with the recipients, show them what really is the company, confirm its credibility. According to a report prepared by Offon Agency, as many as 57% of respondents who used video marketing believe that this is the best form of communication with the client. And although companies still identify video productions with purely image activities, they are slowly realizing that they can also bring tangible sales results.
The Saudi society increasingly accepts new ideas and joins its perspective. In the coming years, social media channels will certainly play a major role in the country’s march towards modernity and social transformation. Internet marketing in Saudi Arabia has become a focal point of life that will continue to grow.