It’s just about the richest country on the planet in terms of income per capita, with political and economic clout way ahead of its diminutive size. And when it comes to the Internet, almost 90% of its population are active users. Have you figured out the country yet? The 2022 FIFA World Cup is another clue. Give yourself a slap on the back if you said the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
Helping businesses to make the most of the burgeoning online activity currently taking place all across the Arab world is Qatar-based digital media agency Spark Digital. The company recently launched a handy new tool which it calls the Advertisement Estimator – Ad Estimator for short. The easy-to-use tool simulates what a digital advertising agency could do to help business owners reach out to their target audience.
The Qatari banking sector is one that has been far from slow in recognising the advantages which the Internet brings customers, whether retail or business. Indeed, it would be impossible to compete efficiently without the ubiquitous business bank account which nowadays is so much part of the commercial landscape. However, understanding all the different and fast-evolving facets which make up the Internet today, and then being able to use the media to effectively market a business and its services or products, is a whole different ballgame. Facebook is a case in point.
According to Spark Digital, someone in the Middle East signs up to Facebook every three seconds . Digital advertising is the fastest growing media platform in the Arab region, reaching more people than newspapers, magazines, radio or billboards. It represents an incredible opportunity.
Of the six countries which make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Qatar posted a dramatic increase in Facebook users last year, achieving 165% growth and a more than doubling of its user base. Oman increased growth by 84%, followed by Saudi Arabia (33%), United Arab Emirates (32%), Bahrain (31%) and Kuwait (2%). Saudi Arabia has the greatest number of Facebook users at just under 6 million followed by the United Arab Emirates with almost 3.5 million users.
The company says, “Social media is big. Over 1 billion active users on Facebook. Twitter delivers 1 billion tweets each week. YouTube is seen by nearly 1 billion people every month. You know that you need to be on it, but what’s the best way to do it? Hiring a social media agency is a cost-effective way to get a team of experienced professionals to be responsible for your social media initiatives.”
Spark Digital lists a number of major reasons for working with a social media agency including cost effectiveness. By outsourcing social media needs, a company can save money by not having to hire and manage its own in-house social media team. For less than the cost of one full time employee, a company can get an entire team working on its account. A typical team consists of a community manager, copywriter, English/Arabic translator, website developer, photographer and graphic designer.
The use of a reliable and dedicated team is another strong reason for outsourcing, says Spark Digital, adding, “Social media marketing is not like a traditional ad campaign – the tone and message are very different. And keeping the content fresh and constantly updated is why we have dedicated teams for each client. And multiple people on a team are much more reliable than a single in-house social media manager.”
A third reason cited is technical know-how. Sites like Facebook and Twitter keep updating their interface and APIs to provide new features and functionality.
“You need to be well-versed in technology to integrate them to their full effect across all channels including your website. And our search engine optimization experts can make sure people find you and interact with your brand organically.”