What is the Best Way to Market my Business in Saudi Arabia?

Shannon Correia March 04, 2021

One of the best ways to reach your Saudi Arabian market is through digital marketing. It holds its spot due to the many benefits of this method, met by the high internet usage in the country and its youthful population. In this article, we'll be guiding you on how to market your business this way, as well as some best practices to ensure its success.

Digital Marketing To Market Your Business

The vast majority of Saudi Arabia's population have smartphones and use the internet daily. Marketers are therefore capitalizing on this as an avenue to reach their target audiences. This has led to a boom in e-commerce in the region, which is a great avenue for businesses to be a part of as well, though notably, paying in cash is still highly prevalent.  To build credibility in your brand, you should construct your online presence accordingly. Having a website that is well-designed and informative is a good start. Then, work on developing a marketing strategy.

YouTube is the most visited website in Saudi Arabia, with hours of content streamed each day. It goes without saying that advertising on YouTube is a great way to reach these audiences. This goes hand in hand with social media marketing in general, with Saudi's being among the world's most active social media users. Snapchat is the second most popular networking app in the country, with 9 million active users. The rest of the popular platforms follow suit, namely Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

When working on your digital marketing strategy, you should also include content marketing. Since the language of this content will be in Arabic, your business can capitalize on the low rate of competition when it comes to SEO rankings. Additionally, for your digital marketing to be as effective and automated as possible, we recommend using a HubSpot customer relations management system. This will help you ensure that your customers enjoy their journey with your brand while getting personalized experiences — this is key to pleasing a rich nation that favors quality. With such a system in place, you can also pick up on important customer trends and audience insights.

Businesses can also market themselves using traditional marketing methods. It will require a larger budget and allow you to target mass audiences. The best channels for this include newspaper radio and outdoor advertising. For the average business, however, the best is to opt for digital marketing and carry it out using various channels for a well-rounded rollout that becomes memorable in consumers' minds. Once you gain trust within the region, your marketing will pay off in the form of having a volume of loyal customers.

market a business ksa

Best Practices for Marketing your Business in Saudi Arabia

There are three keys to mastering best practices for a business that your business requires if its marketing efforts are to be well received and effective:

1 - Speak the Language

The best way to market a business in Saudi Arabia is to build trust with the audience by seamlessly fitting in with the country's culture and lifestyle. For most businesses, this means speaking the preferred language, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). There are many nuances in Arabic, depending on the part of the world you're in. There are also three regional dialects spoken by Saudis, namely: Hejazi, Najdi, and Gulf Arabic, which is good to known for niche targeting, though most businesses are advised to stick with MSA.

When it comes to translating content, it's therefore important to work with someone who knows the area and localities, as this can save you from minor blunders that could damage your business's image. It is also said to be best to address your audience formally through your marketing communications.

2 - Fitting In

It is best for a brand to seamlessly fit in with the existing culture and norms in Saudi. Marketers need to be thorough with their research so that a deep level of understanding is reached. Your brand's success or failure relies on your ability to be respectful of the Islamic faith and values — which, in many cases, is more conservative than in other parts of the world.

This research will also tell you more about this wealthy nation, a young, tech-savvy population. This will help you in deciding which avenues and needs your business can appeal to. Saudi Arabia encourages its population to do business with local businesses, so if you have or can create an authentic link to one of these, it will help your business fit in and perform better. There are. However, measures being put in place to encourage foreign investment, though it does take time to make your mark in the marketplace.

3 - Know the Days

Like much of the Middle East, working days begin on Sunday and end on Thursday. This format accommodates Muslims as Fridays are then Jummah occurs, a weekly lecture before the day's prayers. Some businesses operate on Saturdays as well, though most will close during prayer times.
Being a Muslim majority country, Saudi Arabia also follows the Hijri calendar, which follows lunar cycles and sets the Islamic holidays. Holy cities Mecca and Medina also welcome thousands of pilgrims on an annual basis. This can provide you with tourist-based customer groups, depending on where your business is located and what you're selling.

The Quick Answer

While each business is different, the best way for a business to market itself in Saudi Arabia is through digital marketing. It makes sense for most budgets, the market at the moment, and for the future. Create a strategy and follow our three best practices to ensure success in the region.

Achieve the Results You're After With an Experienced Agency

Nexa is a digital marketing agency based in Dubai, with experience working in the Saudi Arabian market. We can connect your business to the Middle Eastern audience, from services like translations to full strategy implementation. Get in touch with us to find out more.