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Ramadan-related searches grew 230% in 2017: Google

New research into how Singaporeans use Search and watch YouTube in the past year tells a fascinating story of how technology is helping Singapore’s approximately 1 million Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.

Search and YouTube are sources of entertainment and help for Singapore Muslims during Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa, and they turned to these two platforms at unprecedented levels in 2017. Ramadan-related search query volume grew 230 per cent as compared to 2016, and YouTube watchtime in Singapore during Hari Raya Puasa grew by 140 per cent.

Stephanie Davis, Country Director for Google Singapore said, “Be it watching video tutorials on what to wear, or finding out the iftar timings for the day, Search and YouTube can help people find the information they need, quickly. With Hari Raya Puasa being an important part of the Singapore calendar, we are proud to play a small part in helping Singaporean Muslims continue important traditions and spend quality time with their friends and families.”

Here are some of the ways Singaporeans are using technology to help them:

1. Travel to meet family and friends: Ramadan is a time for Muslims to strengthen bonds and reconnect with loved ones at home and overseas. During Ramadan 2017, travel related searches doubled vs a regular month, while watchtime for tourism videos grew by 12 per cent.

2. Dress up in their traditional best: During Ramadan 2017, searches for beauty and personal care rose by up to 120 per cent, and fashion by up to 80 per cent. There is also an increase of 33 per cent in beauty video watchtime on YouTube in the lead up to Hari Raya Puasa (Eid al-Fitr), where families dress up in their traditional best to visit friends and family. These include how-to videos surrounding outfit inspiration and makeup tutorials.

3. Share more about their culture: During this season, themed entertainment in the form of creator content on YouTube are popular, providing sneak peeks into how Singaporeans are celebrating this moment. Watch time for entertainment videos also grew by 24 per cent and music videos by 12 per cent.

4. Get a bite to eat after the fast: Although Ramadan is centered around fasting, traditions relating to food are equally important. Ramadan and fasting searches rose by up to 13.4 times, and food and cooking searches rose by up to 220 per cent. On YouTube, watchtime for food-related videos was up 32 per cent. These include videos of the popular Ramadan bazaar at Geylang Serai, which drew crowds with its offering of scrumptious food and festive shopping, and inviting many creators to bring this festive atmosphere to Singaporeans through food reviews and vlogs.

5. Find the best seasonal deals and promotions: With Hari Raya Puasa being an important festival, many Muslims and non-Muslims alikes have turned to Search to seek out seasonal promotions and deals. Searches for promotions increased across many types of products including financial services (180 per cent), travel (140 per cent) and retail and groceries (140 per cent).

The trends in Search and YouTube provides opportunities for brands to develop effective campaigns to reach existing and new audiences. Google shared some tips for marketers:

1. Use Bumper Ads to tease brand announcements a week before Ramadan begins and Google Preferred to establish relevance to the moment, as Singaporeans start to access content surrounding this moment a month before.

2. Build awareness by using Mastheads and Roadblocks to reach your audience quickly. Stay relevant to audience through Google Preferred and Audience Lifestyles. Influence brand consideration during grocery shopping by leveraging on In-Market TrueView.

3. Most online shopping happens in the early morning (around 5am when Muslims start their fast) and lunch hours during Ramadan, so time your campaigns accordingly to reach a larger group of your customers

4. Use Bumper Ads and Google Preferred to echo your campaign three weeks after Hari Raya Puasa to reach out to Singaporeans