“Ramadan is a key month for our industry, when people gather and connect to watch their favorite Arabic content. As the leading Arabic streaming platform in the MENA region, it was a natural step for Shahid VIP to expand into international markets at this key moment, in particular, targeting mainly countries with large Arabic-speaking communities. With the right creative approach and consistent support from the Facebook team, we were able to build and run a highly successful campaign that crossed all borders and reached a large number of households across the world.” – Ali Aktas, Head of Performance Marketing at Shahid VIP.
Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, Shahid is the first and largest Arabic content streaming platform operating worldwide, from the MENA region to Australia, the US, and Canada.
Initially launched by the MBC GROUP in 2008 as a free video-on-demand streaming platform, Shahid offers today a two-tier service featuring, on the one hand, free, advertising-supported Arabic content and, on the other hand, its premium subscription-based service, introduced as Shahid Plus in 2014 and rebranded to Shahid VIP in 2020.
Shahid VIP provides a large range of content, such as Shahid Original series, long window premieres, pre-theatrical movies, access to MBC’s TV channels; as well as western content, documentaries, and offerings for kids.
This Ramadan, Shahid VIP was keen on connecting with its Arabic users in the US and in Canada to further drive their awareness about its premium Ramadan content. To do so, it leveraged a highly engaged Arabic-speaking audience, both on Facebook and Instagram, using short-form, mobile-first videos from its top Ramadan series. This cross-border, entertainment-based strategy not only resulted in a remarkable lift in key brand metrics, from ad recall to message association and action intent in Canada and the US; but it also generated significant subscription intent and incremental conversions from those users, ultimately driving premium subscriptions.
Here’s what Ali Aktas, Head of Performance Marketing at Shahid VIP, told us about the campaign.
What were the main goals for the digital campaign that ran on Facebook platforms?
Shahid VIP was keen to promote its premium Ramadan content to Arabic-speaking users in the US and Canada. The aim of this cross-border activation was, on the one hand, to lift brand awareness and get users excited about content of the highest caliber while, at the same time, lifting subscription intent and generating actual conversions. In the streaming industry, content is king, and with Shahid’s breadth and quality of Arabic content, the campaign was key to introducing global users to the brand and getting them to start watching.
Why did you choose Facebook’s marketing solutions, out of many alternatives?
Facebook is a highly visible platform worldwide, with amazing campaign and targeting versatility; we couldn’t think about any other solution provider.
Which Facebook/Instagram solutions/products did you use for this campaign?
Aiming to have an impact across the full funnel in each of the two countries, we leveraged a pre-Ramadan traffic campaign to gather momentum and awareness and to drive users to the platform. We then doubled down with a conversion campaign during Ramadan capitalizing on all of the signals that we had acquired earlier. Given Shahid’s strength in Arabic content, we primarily focused on targeting interest-based Arabic users by leveraging a set of short clips showcasing snapshots of the amazing series available.
What were the results of the campaign and did you achieve your goals?
The results were impressive! We were able to generate positive and significant uplift across the funnel for both countries, exceeding the North American and Entertainment & Media averages for all BLS questions. In the US, we saw a lift in ad recall of 12.2 pts, a lift in campaign awareness of 7.3 pts, and a lift in action intent of 3.2 pts, along with a lift in sign-ups by 8.2pts. The same happened in Canada where we observed a 16.2 pts lift in ad recall, an 8.4 pts lift in campaign awareness, and a 3.9 pts lift in action intent with a 6.9 pts lift in sign-up events. With all the accomplishments, Shahid doubled its international base during Ramadan.
Which measurement methods did you use to gain new learnings?
We used a combination of Facebook brand and conversion lift studies to measure any incremental uplift in brand and conversion metrics across the funnel, ad recall, campaign awareness, action intent, content consumption, and sign-up event. The results of the lift study were remarkable, as mentioned above, and the team will leverage these learnings when launching campaigns in new markets. The ability to leverage premium Arabic content and to target Arabic-speaking users during Ramadan in countries across the globe has proven to be a winning strategy.