Ramadan is evolving into a significant event for influencer marketing in the UAE, with platforms like TikTok reporting a spike of about 83% in influencer posts, followed by Instagram showing an increase of 21% in static posts and videos between 2021 and 2022 in the Middle East during the holy month, according to the affable.ai data.
Fashion and accessories, lifestyle, beauty, and food and beverages are some industries with the most Ramadan-related content, increasing brand sales opportunities. It's also noteworthy to see that businesses approached micro-influencers to publish material related to Ramadan. Compared to 2021, nano-influencers experienced significant growth of 12% in 2022. But, big and famous influencers' appeal has fallen.
Marketers can draw in their target market by launching an influencer campaign days before the holy month. To effectively market your company during Ramadan, you must be aware of what your target market is looking for during the month to produce material pertinent to their needs.
Bolbol, the eCommerce Lead for Nestlé Middle East and North Africa, in 2021 while launching - My Ramadan with Nestle- influencer campaign to help its Muslim customers deal with health issues like dehydration, fatigue, etc., said that it's important for the brand to be close to its customers during Ramadan, and to "really understand what shoppers want when it comes to the different flavors of food they want in the market."
This year the holy month will fall on March 22 and continue till April 21. To better understand your target audience in the holy month, affable.ai has extracted first-hand data from a database of 6M+ influencers on 5 social media channels. The audience insights below explore the trends and insights, popular social channels, and product categories with the most significant growth in influencer posts during the holy month.
Table Of Content:
(Note: The data presented in this analysis has been extracted during the Ramadan weeks of 2021 and 2022 in the UAE. By analyzing the number of influencer posts in each product category, social media platforms and type of influencers during this specific time period, we can gain valuable insights into the trends and growth of influencer marketing in the region.)
With Millennials and Gen Zs looking to social media channels for product discovery, the two platforms - Instagram and TikTok - witnessed a significant jump in Ramadan-related influencer content. At least 33,395 posts on TikTok were related to Ramadan in 2021, and it jumped to 61,154 in 2022, showing an increase of almost 83.12%. Instagram, on the other hand, had the highest count of organic and sponsored posts. From 88,576 posts in 2021, the overall content during the holy month increased by 20.68%, taking the total count to 106, 895 in 2022. Instagram is popular during Ramadan for sharing photos and videos related to fasting, prayers, and family gatherings. While TikTok is generally used to share Ramadan-related skits, dances, and tutorials.
Check out our UAE Instagram Trend Report 2022 to know how influencer marketing performed last year.
Facebook is a platform often associated with older demographics, who may be less likely to create content during Ramadan. Influencer content during the holy month plunged by 64%, from at least 22,009 posts in 2021 to 7762 posts in 2022. Since 2022, Meta's thrust has been on Instagram for creator-brand partnerships. Last year, in October, Meta shut down its live shopping feature on Facebook.
Related: UAE Facebook Trend Report 2022
Ramadan-based influencer content on Twitter is less compared to other social media platforms. In 2021, at least 1837 tweets were by influencers, which increased to over 8366 in 2022. Although there has been a hike, the space is yet to be explored for marketing and sales opportunities during the holy month.
During Ramadan, people watch a lot of content revolving around cooking, entertainment, spirituality, gaming, and beauty. Seeing a hike in demand for such content, influencers, too, come up with ideas in the same niche to stay connected with their followers and provide them with relevant information about the topics.
So here is a list of the most popular product categories influencers create content around during Ramadan.
The fashion & accessory category is the most popular product category. In 2022, influencers created over 24k posts in the niche, an increase of 65% from 2021. The growth can be attributed to the younger generations' strong desire for fashion-related information as they prepare for Eid, a significant event in Muslim culture. Many social media users search for Eid outfit ideas during the sacred month. Thus, most fashion and accessory influencers produce a lot of fashion hacks and recommendations to ensure their fans look trendy on Eid.
The category covers various products and services linked to personal and social well-being, like fitness, work-life balance, health, hobbies, and more. The sector had many influencer posts in 2021 (11,728) and 2022 (19,802), increasing by 68%. The growth in this category is because, during Ramadan, most people experience a lifestyle change for over a month. People depend on social media to follow a quality lifestyle and keep their bodies, mind, and career in check.
The beauty section experienced a significant rise in influencer posts, increasing from 6,065 in 2021 to 9,088 in 2022, indicating a growth of almost 50%. This growth is likely due to the high demand for beauty-related content such as makeup tutorials, product reviews, and skincare routines that are well-liked on Instagram and other social media platforms during the holy month.
Related article: 6 Ways to Collaborate with Beauty and Fashion Influencers
This category had a notable rise in influencer posts, increasing from 8,160 in 2021 to 13,189 in 2022, indicating a growth of over 60%. This increase is due to the widespread popularity of food-related content during Ramadan. During this time, food bloggers and influencers share their recipes, restaurant reviews, and other culinary content with their followers to help them enjoy delicious Iftars.
The travel genre experienced a considerable boost in influencer posts, escalating from 2,953 in 2021 to 5,132 in 2022, signifying a growth of over 70%. Similarly, the aviation category had 353 posts in 2021 and 465 posts in 2022, indicating that most people like to book trips and flights during the holy month. During Ramadan, people look forward to spending time with their families, for which they book family weekend trips or back-home flights to meet their loved ones. Some even book travel trips to Pilgrim sites to extend gratitude to their god and follow spirituality.
In addition to the above categories, the Muslim audience also looks for products in technology, gaming, and entertainment niches. Home appliances, gaming software, etc., tend to sell fast in Ramadan as people like to gift them to their family, friends, and relatives.
Every week during Ramadan makes for a different phase that affects people's choices in products they buy. Leveraging the Ramadan phases helps businesses to adopt a targeted approach and encourage purchasing among potential customers throughout the month.
According to Google, 4 phases in the holy month can help you build a strategy for each phase and get the most output from your influencer campaign. Even influencers shift their content strategies during Ramadan to a more targeted one to provide relevant content to their followers.
The 4 phases are:
1. Pre-Ramadan Preparation: This is the first phase of Ramadan which is two weeks before the actual beginning of the holy month. In this phase, people usually plan and prepare for a month of fasting.
During this time, there is an increase in searches for delicious food recipes, home decor ideas, and fashion and beauty content on Google and YouTube. Brands in the related niche partner with influencers to increase awareness about their new products, services, or special offers.
The preparation phase is the right time to begin an influencer campaign to capture the audience's attention and let them know what special you're offering for the holy month.
2. The Excitement Phase: The excitement phase is the first two weeks of Ramadan when people have already stepped into the Ramadan routine with Sehri, fasting, and Iftar. During the first two weeks, there's a high demand for spirituality, food, and beauty content. People also stream gaming content on Twitch and YouTube to pass their time and reduce boredom.
In the past, the travel industry has seen a surge in demand in the first two weeks of Ramadan as most people make travel plans to spend time with their families. Travel content creators share ideas for travel-worthy places on Instagram and TikTok to target the audience looking for exciting vacation spots on social media.
Learn More: Move Over Google Maps, Gen Z Choose Instagram Maps To Find Brands
3. The Anticipation Phase: The anticipation or the pre-eid preparation phase is the last two weeks of the holy month when people start preparing for Eid. Most people look for gift products in this phase, including home decor, beauty, grooming, home appliances, and more. People also look for cheap airline deals to book their travel on Eid as most of them plan to visit family and friends during the holidays. Tickets to pilgrim places are also in high demand due to people's heightened sense of spirituality.
Influencers, in this phase, create content around dressing up for Eid, gifting ideas, food recipes, makeup tutorials, and more. The anticipation phase is the best time to offer discounts to your customers or run social commerce and live shopping influencer campaigns. People are in an impulse- buying mood and will purchase almost anything they find exciting and useful.
4. Post-Ramadan Eid: This is the most awaited Ramadan phase—Eid. People wait for Eid for a whole month as they get to break their fasts, wear new clothes, and meet their family members.
There's a peak in travel searches, gifting options, and restaurants. It is the phase when marketers offer customers hefty discounts and attractive deals to boost their sales. Influencers can help you generate awareness and then increase sales through social media.
Ramadan is the time when millions of Muslims aim to attain spirituality and togetherness. Fasting on food and water helps them think about the people around them, which is why it is the best time to educate people about the various social issues in the world, like hunger, poverty, and more.
Collaborating with influencers who are vocal about such issues can help you reach more people and convey your message the right way. Whether you're a product brand, a service-based business, or an NGO, you can run educational and awareness campaigns to teach people about something good and, at the same time, gain recognition for your business, telling people how you're contributing to the community.
Pizza2Go educated its customers about food wastage with its creative ¾ pizza box campaign, which is 25% less food wastage after Iftar. Launched in 2021, the campaign addressed a pressing issue that the brand wanted to discuss as a part of its Ramadan campaign.
The pizza was especially prized, and 25% of the earnings were donated to the Emirates Red Crescent to help people in need during the month.
The campaign was further fueled by social media influencers, who loved the idea of a ¾ pizza box and shared their videos on their pages, including unboxing the box, tasting videos, reviews, and more.
The best kind of influencer campaign is when your customers feel heard and get a solution that they have been waiting for long. World Remit's Ramadan campaign is a great example of listening carefully to your customers and giving them what they want.
World Remit is a London-based startup that helps migrant workers send money home while saving on the transfer. Workers in other countries often need to send money to their families, which costs a fortune. So to help workers avoid the hefty transfer fee, World Remit offered free transfers to Pakistani migrant workers during Ramadan.
The company launched an influencer campaign to spread the word about its effort, which helped them boost its effectiveness by connecting with its followers and encouraging them to try the offer.
To celebrate the spirit of doing good, many brands launch charity campaigns to attract users to their products and spread the message of positivity. Many consumers have agreed that they prefer buying from brands that give back to society.
TBHF's charitable Ramadan influencer campaign is one of the best-known examples of helping people in the holy month and attracting the audience's attention. Sharjah-based humanitarian organization The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) ran a unique charitable influencer campaign in April 2022 to raise funds for people in need during Ramadan. The "Who Am I" campaign revolved around the notion that people do not need to see people in pain and suffering to lend a helping hand. Hence, the organization executed a campaign without any graphic images and videos.
The campaign was led by influencers, artists, and key opinion leaders like Max Stanton, Arwa, and more, asking their followers to share donations for education, food, and necessities. The influencers posed in front of the camera with "Who Am I" written in the background, showing their support for the campaign.
During Ramadan, people mostly look for healthy and fit ways to carry out their Roza without worrying about weight, food intake, skin problems, etc.
Running a healthcare influencer marketing campaign in the holy month is a foolproof way to entice your audience. Many social media influencers already post content about staying fit and healthy during Ramadan and share details about what they eat, what they avoid, and their overall wellness routine.
If your brand vouches for the same practices, all you need to do is collaborate with the health and wellness influencers and let them create the content they feel will resonate with the audience while subtly mentioning your brand in the content.
Such content will boost your brand's visibility and tell the customers about the benefits your product or service offers and how you can solve their problems. You can also use lifestyle, fitness, skincare, thought leaders, or gaming influencers for your healthcare campaigns.
For example, Medcare, a healthcare provider based in Dubai, launched a "Ramadan Health Tips" influencer campaign in 2018 in collaboration with Dr. Mohammed Al Hadad, a key opinion leader and specialist in family medicine and sports medicine. The thought leader provided expert advice and tips on staying healthy during Ramadan to educate the community on maintaining a balanced lifestyle, especially while fasting. The campaign included a series of social media posts, videos, and articles on Medcare's website, all of which provided practical tips and advice on staying healthy during the holy month.
Food is the most significant focus point in the holy month. Google's research shows that the search for food recipes increases way before Ramadan begins and continues to rise till Eid. People look for delicious ways to feed their families, break their fasts, and greet guests. For this, they look for Iftar-related food recipes and kitchen products.
The food campaign run by Shaan Good Global is the best example of promoting food products through Ramadan influencer marketing. Shaan Foods Global cleverly leveraged its brand image of a homely and must-have product in the Pakistani household to retarget its existing customers and attract new audiences. The brand collaborated with Pakistani influencers worldwide who posted their images with delicious home-cooked meals made with Shaan spices to encourage followers to add a homely feel to their Iftar meals.
Breaking stereotypes in Ramadan influencer marketing campaigns has become a trend in recent years as more brands seek to challenge traditional gender roles and cultural norms.
During the holy month, people are generally more open to new ideas and embracing change. Collaborating with content creators vocal about social issues like women empowerment, oppression, etc., can be a great way to run Ramadan-themed influencer campaigns.
Many women influencers today are breaking the stereotypes with their content on social media channels by sharing their personal stories, engaging with followers, partnering with diverse brands, and promoting positive messaging. Partnering with them will give your brand more visibility among those who support such content.
Note: Although such campaigns generate a lot of buzz, marketers need to be careful with their message to avoid offending anyone.
For example, Careem, a Dubai-based app for hailing rides and deliveries, launched a Ramadan influencer marketing campaign to promote women's empowerment in the Middle East. The "Girls Can Drive" campaign featured videos, social media posts, and billboards of Careem female drivers sharing their personal stories of overcoming obstacles and becoming women drivers in the Middle East. The campaign was a successful Ramadan influencer marketing effort as the female drivers posed as powerful influencers who encouraged more women to pursue their dreams.
The number of posts made by nano-influencers has increased slightly from 2021 to 2022. They are the sought-after influencers for close-connectivity with their audiences. Nano influencers have fewer opportunities for sponsored partnerships than larger influencers, as brands may prioritize working with influencers with a larger reach. To maintain authenticity and avoid saturation some nano influencers may choose not to accept many sponsored partnerships.
Micro-influencers continue to have the highest number of posts and sponsored posts, with 40,087 posts and 190 sponsored posts in 2022 during the holy month of Ramadan.
Mid-tier influencers have slightly fewer posts in 2022 than in 2021, but fewer sponsored posts in 2022 than in 2021. Macro influencers and mega influencers both have a higher number of posts and sponsored posts in 2022 than in 2021. On the other hand, celebrity influencers have a lower number in 2022 compared to 2021.
The data suggest that the trends observed in 2021 continue into 2022, with micro-influencers being the most active on Instagram and mid-tier influencers seeing a decrease in sponsored posts. However, there are some shifts in the number of posts and sponsored posts made by different influencers, indicating that the influencer landscape on Instagram is dynamic and constantly evolving.
Noufal Karat is one of the highest engagement-generating influencers on Instagram who has a knack for travel and photography. She mostly posts videos and images of her traveling with her husband. Her content generates an 81.68% engagement rate which means her content is well-received by her followers. According to affable.ai's audience insights, around 85% of her audience is above the age of 21 years, of which a majority are males.
LAISAN is a well-known travel content creator on Instagram generating tons of engagement through her aesthetically pleasing content. She posts images and reels of traveling worldwide and visiting famous tourist spots. She has also collaborated with multiple travel, hospitality, and airline brands like Visit Dubai, Cape Town Travel, World Kyoto, and more. Her content mostly includes snippets of traveling and visiting tourist spots. She also posts content like things to do in a particular country, etc.
She is the best collaboration for brands looking to create travel content in the holy month to suggest new places or things to do in a country, places to visit, etc. Her high engagement rate of 38% is higher than similar influencers in her niche.
Hanan El Kabat is a Dubai-based journalist who is a nano Instagram content creator who posts content about lifestyle and beauty. Her profile includes content from her life, including makeup looks and outfits she wears to different events. She caters to a high percentage of the audience in the UAE, of which 68.09% are males. Her high engagement rate of 11.31% shows that she creates relevant content for her audience.
Alma is a Ghana-based fashion and lifestyle influencer who loves documenting everything on her Instagram page. Businesses like Luxury Hair Brand, Posh Hair GH, and Cachie&Cachie, reach out to her to create makeup, fashion, and haircare-related content. Her 66.52% engagement rate proves the high quality of content she creates. It also shows that she influences her followers and that they would follow her recommendations.
Living in the UAE, MARIAM is a beauty and lifestyle influencer and a curly hair enthusiast. Her curly hair hacks and beauty tips have won the hearts of more than 160k followers on Instagram. Her content generates a high engagement rate of 18.8%, showing the quality of his content. She has collaborated with well-known brands like Sephora, Dove India, Lakme, MAC Cosmetics, and more big names in the beauty industry. MARIAM has an almost equal distribution of female and male followers – 53.33% and 46.67%, respectively.
Ramadan brings numerous opportunities for marketers to gain brand recognition, boost visibility, drive more website traffic, and increase sales. However, a lot of it won't be possible without influencers. The content creators act as catalysts to a campaign that impacts the effectiveness and brings faster results.
Although influencer marketing is a gold mine for marketers, managing content creators can be challenging even for seasoned marketers. The hefty management required in influencer marketing takes off the focus from more important activities like building stronger brand-influencer relationships and tracking campaign performance.
affable.ai has a solution for you! affable.ai is an influencer marketing platform that helps global brands and agencies manage end-to-end campaigns from a single dashboard. The AI software makes finding, collaborating, and managing creators easy. Its database of 6M+ creators helps brands find relevant influencers in their niche and collaborate with them for multiple campaigns. The platform also allows you to track the influencers' performance and carry out other activities like product seeding, fake follower search, and more!
Book a free trial to connect with our experts and learn more!
Get new blogs, case studies and our Market Landscape reports directly in your inbox.
We don't spam.