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Embed code for: Targeting the Arabic speaking woman in MENA - strategies for Brands, Publishers and Distributors
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Which publishers reach the right audience? A guide for brands trying to reach the arabic speaking woman
Strategies for Brands, Publishers and Distributors Targeting Arabic Speaking Women in MENA By Alexandra Tohme / @alextohme May 02, 2017 CONTENTS ● PART 1 ○ OLN Group and 7awi Group Comparison ● PART 2 ○ 11 Female focused sites ○ Bounce Rate and Search Analysis ○ Referral Traffic ○ Homepage Layouts ○ Ad Design and User Journeys ● PART 3 ○ Analysis ● PART 4 ○ The Brand, Distributor Publisher Relationship ○ Solutions Methodology I used a third party service to measure website traffic to various arabic B2C websites from October 2016 - March 2017 (6 month period). I looked at overall volume, traffic by country and traffic by channel as well as some organic search terms. First I compared 2 publishing groups, OLN and 7awi, who have very similar titles and target audiences (female, male and social tv / humor). Then I focused on only female sites, using the OLN and 7awi titles and a few more from other publishers (eg Diwanee and SMRG) to cover 11 titles. I also analysed site design for the female sites, the ad design and user journeys and destination to see where opportunities lay for publishers and brands. *Without access to the publishers direct analytics, obviously the numbers are not 100% accurate, but I am interested in overall trends. Read this article if you are... ● Future proof yourself against volatility in the ad supported media market ● Extract more revenue from ad clients, without paying a Middle-Man ● Better cater to your audience and provide a competitive experience ● Drive more engagement from paid media ● Implement an “always on” earning strategy ● Plug the gaps in the online sales journey ● Know where your most valuable audience is ● Understand how ad design impacts the audience A DIGITAL PUBLISHER AN ADVERTISER OLN AND 7AWI COMPARISON PART 1. Sites looked at: OLN GROUP Description 7AWI GROUP Description oln.tv Social TV / Video ra2ej.com Social Buzz / Humor nawa3em.com Fashion / Lifestyle Layalina.com Fashion / Lifestyle gheir.com Fashion / Lifestyle 3oud.com Fashion / Lifestyle chababs.com Male focused Alqiyady.com Male focused ra2ed.com Male focused Arabsturbo.com Cars Tv.koora.com Football Waseet.net Directory Justfood.tv Food dalal.waseet.net Directory Istibyani.com Survey Not included OLN GROUP Nawa3em has an extraordinarily large amount of traffic compared to the others in the group, the latter are currently averaging 150k per month as of March All sites except the social tv platform (oln.tv) experienced a decline in traffic during the last 6 months, October 2016 to March 2017. The reach of OLN extends into North Africa, with Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and of course Egypt driving significant traffic. With the exception of the heavily trafficked Nawa3em, the majority of traffic for each comes from Saudi. The UAE drives a smaller portion of visits, and interestingly only the male focused sites generate traffic from Kuwait and Qatar. Overall, the country split for Nawa3em is more heterogeneous - unclear as to if this is a reason why traffic is so high compared to the other sites. A typical OLN Group title therefore would be made up of visitors as follows: Just over one third of traffic from Saudi 10% UAE 12% Egypt About one fifth of traffic from North African countries All North Africa - 21% The high performing oln.tv site gets the majority of its traffic from social channels, which is to be expected. Nawa3em, the platform that receives the highest number of monthly visitors has the greatest share of Search traffic (just over half at 55%) and least amount from social (about one third at 33%) We may infer that the site is extremely optimized for user search terms given this data. A low portion of direct traffic across all sites may suggest that there is a majority of new users, rather than repeat ones A typical OLN Group title would have a traffic channel split as follows: Just over half the site traffic will come from Social Networks Almost 40% will come from Search A minimal amount will come from Direct channnels 7AWI GROUP Similar to OLN group, there is a clear outlier which has most of the traffic whilst the others are grouped closer together at the lower end. And, similar to OLN group it is a female focused site, Layalina The overall traffic by all 7awi sites is greater than OLN sites by a factor of 1.8x (as at March 2017, OLN Group total traffic is 1.9mln, 7awi sites total traffic is 3.55mln) All sites saw a dip in December, but Layalina has been growing steadily during Q1 this year. The drop in traffic for 3oud is high possibly because it was recently launched, or had a campaign that drove a lot of traffic in Q4 2016, after which traffic died down. Similar to OLN group, the 7awi sites also attract traffic from north africa, and from the GCC; Saudi and the UAE. 7awi sites generate 40% or more traffic from Egypt except 3oud.com 3oud generates almost half its traffic from Kuwait (47%) and just over one third from the UAE (36%) All North Africa - 42% A typical 7awi Group title therefore would be made up of visitors as follows: Just over one third of traffic from Egypt 15% UAE 10% Saudi and Kuwait (each) 42% of traffic from North African countries Looking at the traffic by channel, the first thing I notice is there is more traffic being generated by Mail (purple bar) for these sites compared to the OLN sites. All of the sites have a higher share of Direct traffic compared to OLN group sites. 3oud in particular has >50% of Direct traffic. Social contributes 45% or more to the sites except for 3oud.com A typical 7awi Group title would have a traffic channel split as follows: Almost 40% will come from Social Just over one quarter from Search One fifth from Direct OLN GROUP 7AWI GROUP Comparing the split of traffic by country: ● OLN titles reach more Saudis ● 7awi titles reach more Egyptians ● 7awi titles reach more North Africans overall (42% of traffic, vs 21% for OLN titles) ● UAE audience is low, 10 - 15% max All North Africa - 42% All North Africa - 21% OLN GROUP 7AWI GROUP Comparing the split of traffic by channel: ● OLN titles generate a much greater share of traffic from Social channels ● OLN titles receive almost all their traffic from Social and Search ● 7awi titles generate twice as much Direct traffic compared to OLN titles ● 7awi titles generate a much greater portion of referral traffic than OLN titles ● 7awi titles receive more traffic from mail, albeit a small portion OLN to build awareness amongst Saudis If you are trying to reach a Saudi, who is active on social channels, OLN titles would be best for you. Brands trying to build awareness, amongst the Saudi audience can leverage OLN titles strength on social. The large amount of search traffic OLN titles receive may suggest that brands could invest in more text based content to be featured on OLN titles, not just display ads. Brands that want to deepen their engagement with the North African consumer will benefit from 7awi titles. Taking a presence across multiple 7awi titles will leverage their referral traffic, and a larger direct traffic share means users will repeatedly visit 7awi sites to get more info from the brand. Finally offers can be sent via email to the 7awi audience. 7awi to deepen engagement with North Africans 11 ARABIC FEMALE SITES PART 2. Sites included (n=11) PUBLISHER TITLE OLN Group nawa3em.com gheir.com 7awi Group layalina.com 3oud.com Saudi Research and Marketing Group sayidaty.net aljamila.com hiamag.com Diwanee yasmina.com 3a2ilati.com Abu Dhabi Media anazahra.com Dar al Hayat lahamag.com TRAFFIC TRENDS ● With all 11 titles, the “leader” and subsequent “grouped” effect is diminished ● Sayidaty is the most trafficked site, 4.5mln per month as at March 2017 (SMRG group) ● Diwanee Group has its 2 sites in the top 4 driving traffic (3a2ilati and yasmina) ● Peaks for OLN group titles appeared in December, whereas peaks for 7awi titles occurred in Nov ● Most sites are picking up in March Very small declines are seen in the top 2 sites that generate the most traffic, I interpret this to mean that despite some volatility during the 6 month period, there is some stability with these titles. The greatest growth is seen from Hiamag, followed by lahamag, yasmina and anazahra. One can now see the importance of Egypt as a traffic generator across most of the sites. Saudi is also a key source site, and the UAE plays a relatively small role in driving traffic with the exception of 3oud.com There is also a “long tail” of traffic origin with a large number of sites having 30% or more originating from “other” not analysed countries All North Africa - 40% A typical Arabic female title therefore would be made up of visitors as follows: One fifth from Egypt (21%) Just under one fifth from Saudi Almost 10% from Algeria 40% of traffic from North African countries Overall, traffic arrives to female sites primarily via Search and Social channels, most getting well over half their traffic from Search. Outliers are: 3oud which generates over half its traffic from Direct channels Layalina and Gheir which generate almost half their traffic from Social A typical Arabic female title would have a traffic channel split as follows: Just over a half from Search Just over one quarter from Social 12% from Direct channels Traffic from Mail and Referral <5% All North Africa - 40% Traffic from search - 52% These figures combined suggest that there arabic speaking women in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia executing searches that are currently being fulfilled by these titles. It is to be expected that the largest amount of traffic comes from the two most populous countries in MENA, however, brands should be aware that they are very different in terms of culture, behaviour and disposable incomes. If search drives so much traffic, brands can invest in creating more text based content for the publishers, which would serve to complement any ads. However, this is not without its problems as Saudis and Egyptians tend to speak different Arabic Dialect. One way to get round this might be to serve specific content with the right dialect based on IP BOUNCE RATE AND SEARCH Growth in site traffic vs Bounce Rates 70-75% bounce rates Growth 60 - 65% bounce rates Growth 30 - 40% bounce rate Growth 3a2ilati -1.56% sayidaty -1.06% aljamila 10.53% lahamag 25.86% layalina 6.38% 3oud -61.11% yasmina 16.00% nawa3em -24.24% hiamag 64.29% anazahra 15.38% gheir -40.91% Often, an increase in overall traffic does result in a higher bounce rate. Typically traffic driving campaigns that build awareness and aren’t product specific can lead to this. For the highest bounce rates seen here, several sites are indeed witnessing a positive growth in overall traffic, but it might not be the right traffic. Further investigation is required to see where the growth is coming from. BOUNCE RATES - IS THE CONTENT RELEVANT? If our hypothesis is correct - that users are searching for things and the arabic sites are fulfilling that search - we would expect to see a relatively low bounce rate, if content matches intent. The graph above plots the percentage of search traffic (blue) against the percentage bounce rate (red) for each title. The overall peaks and valleys match up, meaning that the more traffic comes from search, the more people bounce away. The growth in overall traffic therefore appears to be driven by an increase in Search traffic Average Bounce rate: 65% So what are people searching for? Having only limited access to the top handful of organic search terms leading to sites, they fall into what may be expected for this type of content. Most of them are brand names (variations of the name of the site) with celebrity or cooking related terms. how to make brownies cooking today how to make custard orange cake cookies arabs got talent dina sherbini amr diab personality tests sex stories amr diab latest news music artists horoscopes nutrition in riyadh interpretation of dreams your luck today leo daily horoscopes zodiac signs dina sherbini mothers day amr diab International womens day watch series online Celebrity couples Hair styles fashion education istanbul Factors affecting search traffic: Search Malware Out of the 11 sites in total reviewed, I couldn’t get data for Gheir, but 9 out of the remaining 10 had traffic coming to them from browser malware “search dot mysearch dot com” and 5 out of the 10 had additional traffic from a similar malware called govome4. These are browser hijacking properties which appear to act as a legit search engine but are used to modify Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox by assigning the new tab URL, homepage, and default search engine browser settings to the mysearch or govome engines. Other packages are installed behind the scenes to make it difficult to remove. Often users are taken to through these “search engines” before landing on the desired sites. All browsing activity is monitored and sent back to the hackers. It is possible that this malware gets downloaded as a result of users downloading or pirating movies / music. Brands need to be extremely careful about the drivers of high site traffic. REFERRAL TRAFFIC The effect of Referral Traffic within Publisher sites The benefits of publishers driving traffic across sites are: ● Increasing overall traffic by surfacing more content ● Building a more detailed audience profile as they move around ● Controlling more audience eyeballs For brands, this can be a double edged sword: Pros: Opportunity to deepen the relationship across multiple titles with unique ads and content. Can build a sales funnel, from awareness to eventual purchase. Can also benefit from reduced costs for bulk buying space. Cons: If the same audience is just circulating across titles, this may be misleading to advertisers who may believe they are getting more new eyeballs than they actually are, and potentially overpaying. Interestingly, 7awi titles were all tightly linked and referred traffic to each other, whereas OLN titles did not exhibit this strategy. The importance of MSN as a referrer MSN LAYALINA 3A2ILATI YASMINA LAHA MAGAZINESAYIDATY AL JAMILA Observe MSN at the top of the traffic driving tree when it comes to referral traffic. (although it makes up a small fraction of traffic overall) This flow chart shows how MSN drives traffic to all female sites Also: MSN was a traffic referrer to all of 7awi’s titles (male and female) BUILDING A SALES FUNNEL ACROSS TITLES MSN LAYALINA 3A2ILATI YASMINA LAHA MAGAZINESAYIDATY AL JAMILA The first thing I notice is that MSN appears to be at the top of the traffic driving tree when it comes to referral traffic. (although it makes up a small fraction of traffic overall) This flow chart shows how MSN drives traffic to all female sites Also: MSN was a traffic referrer to all of 7awi’s titles (male and female) Awareness Interest Consideration Purchase HOMEPAGE DESIGN AND AD JOURNEYS Homepage snapshots Ad Journeys Sayidaty Ad leads to basic info page on Al Tayer Group brands page Sayidaty have their own “mall.sayidaty.net” site for shopping 3a2ilati Ad leads to Huawei landing page (for info) Laha Mag Ad pushes down content to reveal video, then you link to Huawei landing page Ad leads to Boss UK english ecom site Laha Mag (scrolling down homepage) Ad takes you to Van Cleef website in arabic Yasmina Ad leads to 3rd party ecom store Wojooh But you have to scroll down to find the right product Layalina Ad leads to Mercedes landing page in arabic Multiple display ads overlapping on one page Layalina 1. Moulinex video plays in overlay - arabic 2. Leads to Moulinex page in English 3. CTA leads to Souq page in English Al Jamila Ad takes you to Al Jamila inside page, where another ad for Sayidaty Mall is shown. Ad now takes you to directly to Sayidaty mall ecommerce site Nawa3em Ad takes you to local Sephora ecommerce site (arabic) Nawa3em (inside page) Ad takes you to Hugo Boss UK website, in english Hia Mag Hia advertises its own “boutique” (which is on a subdomain of main site) but aggregates other ecommerce stores, therefore acting as an affiliate Hia Mag boutique From Hia Boutique you can link out to several shops via each product image Mixture of english and arabic stores Anazahra Arabic display ad for audi leads to brand landing page in english The Outnet ad, displayed in English and Arabic leads to an english site Gheir Ad leads to Al Tayer Group brand page ANALYSIS PART 3. SITE LAYOUT Design wise, the sites all follow roughly the same format with a simple tiled approach. The similarities can be advantageous as the target audience will feel more familiar when consuming multiple titles. However, this can also make it difficult for a user to precisely recall a brand, and may lead to decreased loyalty. This hypothesis might be confirmed by the low volume of direct traffic and the reliance on search. It is possible that where the user currently gets their content from in this area is not as important as what the news is. AD FORMATS AND DESIGN Given the large volume of traffic to the sites, one would have expected slightly more adtech. There was a limited amount seen in pushdowns and video overlays, but of course more interactivity does not necessarily add to the UX. And, depending on bandwidth, it may slow loading times, such that the ad is not seen at all. In some cases, ad units were overlapping, which detracts from the premium brand being advertised (Mercedes) and the perception of the site. Many brands ran the same banner in multiple locations on the same page. What might be more engaging would be different parts of the rich ad running in those units, or each of them forming part of a larger whole. AD JOURNEYS AND LANGUAGES Ideally, an arabic language ad would run in an arabic site, leading to an arabic destination. In many cases this didn’t happen. Whilst it can be argued that language capability correlates with socio economic status (an audience that can buy premium brands would more likely be able to consume content in both languages), and that the audience of these sites may well be willing to flip between two languages; it does interrupt the overall user journey not least because of the page layout jumping from RTL to LTR. Any interruption in flow can ultimately lead to user drop off. For advertisers to get maximum ROI, care should be taken to develop more arabic destination content if targeting users on arabic language sites. PUBLISHERS + THEIR OWN ECOMMERCE SITES Sayidaty.com has its own shopping platform, mall.sayidaty.com, and the site runs several ads to drive traffic there. Ads on other sites from the same publisher (eg Al Jamila) also eventually lead the user there. Hiamag has taken a different approach with its “boutique” sitting on a subdomain, rather than a standalone site. It aggregates products from multiple vendors and when a user clicks on an item they are taken to an external store. I couldn’t not get the amount of traffic to the subdomain where the boutique is held, but some figures on the Sayidaty mall are on the following slide. Mall.sayidaty.net - SUMMARY PERFORMANCE A peak of 500k in December dropping down to a current 200k Top Organic Search Terms leading to the site: ● Dammam Mall ● Hail Mall ● Tiffany ● Mothercare ● Marina Mall Bahrain 76% of traffic comes from search with 10% from referrals such as the main sayidaty.net subdomains Only 3% is from social channels. AD DESTINATIONS Awareness may be the name of the game here, given the traffic volume, but, user journeys and the final destination are still important and given the growth of ecommerce - will become increasingly so. On the next few pages you’ll see how the user journey can be optimized for the advertiser: Marli (Al Tayer) Both Sayidaty and Gheir ran ads for Al Tayer brands, leading to the Al Tayer Group Brand pages, offering no further action. The particular brands advertised (David Yurman and Marli) are also present on the Al Tayer luxury ecommerce platform Ounass.ae. A potential missed opportunity to drive to checkout. Lead directly to the Al Tayer owned Ounass shopping site Instead of leading to this page... Moulinex Instead of leading to another content page….. And expecting the user to continue the journey…. Lead straight to Souq to purchase! If the final destination is a potential purchase, you want to make it as quick and easy as possible. The use of the video on the content site is detailed enough to avoid having to go to an informational brand page. One thing Moulinex could do, is use the API from Souq and place it directly on the content site, so publisher earns money as an affiliate and Moulinex increases likelihood of purchase Cavalli Instead of leading to a category page And expecting the user to continue navigating Lead straight to the individual product page Cavalli does drive directly to Wojooh but the user lands on a category page and not directly on the female product it is advertising, requiring the user to scroll down then click through to an actual product page Depending on its retailers, Cavalli might want to compare purchase stats by leading half the traffic to Wojooh and half to Sephora. Hugo Boss It appears that the Hugo Boss ad seen on a few mags is not appearing through Adsense and it is a direct buy, which makes the final destination puzzling (the uk Hugo Boss ecommerce site). The distributor for Boss here (BinHendi) doesn’t have any ecommerce portals like Al Futtaim or Al Tayer. THE BRAND, DISTRIBUTOR, PUBLISHER RELATIONSHIP PART 4. The Brand, Distributor, Publisher relationship Brand UAE Distributor Moulinex Al Khayyat Investments Hugo Boss BinHendi Marli Al Tayer Distributor usually responsible for retail operations Brand usually responsible for advertising and marketing activities Media Agency Publishers Stores (consumer) The Brand, Distributor, Publisher + ecom relationship Brand UAE Distributor Moulinex Al Khayyat Investments Hugo Boss BinHendi Marli Al Tayer Distributor usually responsible for retail operations Brand usually responsible for advertising and marketing activities Media Agency Publishers Stores ECOM Stores Who’s responsible for these though? Threats to the ad model Brand UAE Distributor Moulinex Al Khayyat Investments Hugo Boss BinHendi Marli Al Tayer Brand usually responsible for advertising and marketing activities Media Agency Publishers Stores Distributors who hold multiple brands might decide to take all the publisher ad space to drive to their products / stores Threats to the ad model Brand UAE Distributor Moulinex Al Khayyat Investments Hugo Boss BinHendi Marli Al Tayer Media Agency Publishers Brands and distributors could be in competition for the same space, artificially driving the price of ad space up. SOLUTIONS! ADVERTISING BRANDS As more of your marketing budget goes digital, there is the opportunity to close the loop to drive to purchase, and therefore realise an increased ROI. In the short to mid-term, customers should be driven to purchase on 3rd party ecommerce sites, or where available, distributor ecommerce sites. Picking publishers with high traffic therefore is not enough to guarantee success. Investigate the traffic channels driving visits and create a path to purchase accordingly. Design of ads is important, focus on product images and videos, and less text within the ad unit. Develop multiple creatives and test what works best BRANDS - ACTION PLAN UAE Distributor E-Stores 3rd party Ecom sites Eg: Ounass (Al Tayer) Souq Eg: Wojooh (Chalhoub Group) JadoPado TaqTaq Wojooh Sephora Brands should map out the full landscape of where a customer could purchase online, try and expand platforms…. ...Run multiple ads leading to varied destinations to test out which converts better PUBLISHERS Acquiring audience is important, but driving CPAs down may come at a risk of attracting an audience that will not ultimately purchase advertised products. Focus on increasing direct traffic and referrals to keep audience quality high. A competitive approach would be to diversify revenue streams by implementing a mix of CPM and CPA models, as well as an “always on” earning strategy which would see your title act as an affiliate for a brand. Publishers that can get ahead of the curve and identify the ecommerce sites that have APIs and affiliate programs will be able to secure a greater share of brand budgets. Finally, developing more content around the advertisers products can help with organic search ranking, which will eventually lower bounce rates PUBLISHERS - ACTION PLAN E-Stores Affiliate model Ounass (Al Tayer) Eg no Wojooh (Chalhoub Group) Eg no Souq Eg yes JadoPado Eg yes TaqTaq Eg no Sephora Eg no Wojooh Eg yes Research which sales platforms offer affiliate programs and partner with them asap... ...invest in technical talent to manage these programs and actively acquire more brands to advertise this way. Bonus: email programs to your audience can offer the ability to shop from within the mail itself DISTRIBUTORS As a distributor with multiple brands and products, the opportunity to dominate the publishing space is high. Rather than leave all this activity to the marketing teams of the brands you franchise, a more active role can be played that generates more revenue. Short term - try and place as much of your inventory as possible on 3rd party ecommerce sites. Focus on marketing activities by sharing the risk with the brand you represent, and gathering data on which sites convert best. Develop your own content titles to market brands you own. Because of the wide variety of brands, there is much more room to develop very segmented content. Example: if you represent a Baby brand, a Fitness brand and a high end womenswear brand, you can develop content that targets professional mothers who like to work out. She’ll be more engaged with this type of content than the generic content that currently exists. DISTRIBUTORS Mid to long term - Prioritize your own ecommerce platforms. Set up your own affiliate programs and market these to other publishers and install on your own content titles (if you have developed them) First movers here can ensure a majority of ad space is reserved for them across multiple titles. Publishers will want to work with distributors that have well known brands and a wide range of brands to maximize their affiliate earning potential. Alexandra Tohme Digital Strategy Consultant May 02 2017 @alextohme activities Media Agency Publishers Stores Distributors who hold multiple brands might decide to take all the publisher ad space to drive to their products / stores Threats to the ad model Brand UAE Distributor Moulinex Al Khayyat Investments Hugo Boss BinHendi Marli Al Tayer Media Agency Publishers Brands and distributors could be in competition for the same space, artificially driving the price of ad space up. SOLUTIONS! ADVERTISING BRANDS As more of your marketing budget goes digital, there is the opportunity to close the loop to drive to purchase, and therefore realise an increased ROI. In the short to mid-term, customers should be driven to purchase on 3rd party ecommerce sites, or where available, distributor ecommerce sites. Picking publishers with high traffic therefore is not enough to guarantee success. Investigate the traffic channels driving visits and create a path to purchase accordingly. Design of ads is important, focus on product images and videos, and less text within the ad unit. Develop multiple creatives and test what works best BRANDS - ACTION PLAN UAE Distributor E-Stores 3rd party Ecom sites Eg: Ounass (Al Tayer) Souq Eg: Wojooh (Chalhoub Group) JadoPado TaqTaq Wojooh Sephora Brands should map out the full landscape of where a customer could purchase online, try and expand platforms…. ...Run multiple ads leading to varied destinations to test out which converts better PUBLISHERS Acquiring audience is important, but driving CPAs down may come at a risk of attracting an audience that will not ultimately purchase advertised products. Focus on increasing direct traffic and referrals to keep audience quality high. A competitive approach would be to diversify revenue streams by implementing a mix of CPM and CPA models, as well as an “always on” earning strategy which would see your title act as an affiliate for a brand. Publishers that can get ahead of the curve and identify the ecommerce sites that have APIs and affiliate programs will be able to secure a greater share of brand budgets. Finally, developing more content around the advertisers products can help with organic search ranking, which will eventually lower bounce rates PUBLISHERS - ACTION PLAN E-Stores Affiliate model Ounass (Al Tayer) Eg no Wojooh (C