It all started on June 18, but rather the week of June 18: June 15-21. A client of ours is based in the MENA region, where Islam is the primary religion. In their faith, there is a very sacred tradition called Ramadan, where they fast from almost everything—food, internet browsing, or anything that would distract them from the solemnity of the moment. It will run for 28 days—exactly four weeks. Afterwards, they cap it off with a grand celebration called Eid Al Fitr, a breaking of fast. This goes on for about a week. So essentially, we’re looking at a five-week window of inactivity.
Understandably, this will affect our business and at some point, we were expecting for this. But needless to say, it wasn’t a sight to behold.
Almost everything went rogue red. Week after week, there was a descent in numbers and percentages.
The storm lasted for five weeks and the impact was pretty evident:
From 3,328 sessions, we were down to 1,975—a difference of 1,353 or a 41% plummet.
19,784 page views receded to 8,441—a difference of 11,343 or an eye-whopping 57% less views.
The only barely pulsing bright spot amid all these is the performance of our social media channel and email newsletter, which persisted but did not leave unscathed. The traffic from social media & our newsletter kept us afloat amidst the conundrum. We managed to do this by employing these strategies:
1. Used the power of visuals and posting best practices
We found out that the best performing posts we had are those with heart warming, cute, and funny video and image content. Secondly, we used Jeff Bullas’s strategy to increase fan engagements and it worked. Because of this, we managed to add more than 1000 engagements compared to even before Ramadan started.
2. Engaged the audience.
Every comment and share was met with warm citation from our part. This garnered positive reactions from our audience and kept them in the loop.
3. Stuck with a working content strategy.
For our blog, we took the best performing topics based on shares, views, and engagements. We found out that shifting the focus of our content to become more audience-centric, instead of just spoon feeding the audience of what we think is interesting.
4. A/B testing the newsletter.
Our previous practice before was to change our newsletter every week. This produced erratic results because each layout never gained too much traction for us to definitively decide which works or not. That’s why we went ahead with collecting our highest performing layouts and pitted them against each other. We decided that the one that will come out on top will be our default layout, and it worked! Before, there traffic was less than 847. But now it’s up to 1,177, and has officially overtaken Direct traffic as the top referrer.
5. Took advantage of the observance.
When life throws you lemons, make lemonade. That never rung truer than before in our case. We took advantage of the current observance to engage with our audience. We made reminders, blog posts, and image posts that correspond to the current setting, and because of this, our audience engaged with us more.
After Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr and applying these strategies, the next report looked more affirming.
It is worth noting that the metrics that benefited from the strategies the most is the social media metrics, where we experienced quite a large bump up.