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By 2016, PayFort estimate that worldwide mobile payments are expected to reach £314 Billion, an increase of 40% on 2014. At the forefront of this is the Middle East, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia leading the global smartphone penetration rankings, helped in part, by their large population of tech savvy under 40’s with rising disposable incomes.

For marketers in the Middle East, these statistics are extremely encouraging. In recent years, Google have gone to greater lengths to improve their AdWords mobile offering as we have entered into a multi-screen age, making it easier to develop an effective mobile strategy.

1. Get to Position One

Mobile CTR

According to Google, consumers spend around 15 hours per week on mobile research, making it vital to be in the right place, at the right time. Results show this is synonymous across multiple regions and languages. Position one ads in the UAE achieve 50% more clicks than their position two counterparts. Ranking first on mobile search engine results pages (SERPs) really is premium real-estate, so make sure you’re featured at the number one spot as frequently as possible.

2. AdMob for Apps

By 2017, 12% of the world’s app users are forecasted to come from the MENA region, totalling 528 million users. This gives huge opportunity for online marketers, as users are willing to immerse themselves into brands and build up levels of trust.

Mobile usage frequency

Admob is a mobile advertising platform that offers you the chance to grow, monetise and analyse your app through AdWords, with app promotion across the iOS and Android networks of smartphones and tablets, with Android dominating the MENA market with around 40% of the share. With no conversion pixel needed due to Google Play and AdWords integration, time spent on campaign setup is significantly reduced.

Video app install ads require creative on YouTube, however, by making the extra investment, you are also tapping into a favourite Arabian pastime – watching YouTube videos. One Latitude MENA video app campaign recently achieved conversion rates over 33%, highlighting its clear potential.

3. YouTube TrueView and Masthead

YouTube has become an essential part of daily lives across the MENA region, offering entertainment not available on TV. Consequently, penetration figures are extremely high. Saudis watch around 190 million YouTube videos a day, averaging around 6 views per citizen, with 50% watched viewed via mobile. These viewing figures make it the perfect platform for businesses to attract and retain customers.

YouTube in MENA

YouTube allows you to move key customer segments down the funnel by:

1)      Building broad awareness to create excitement and buzz about your brand through a YouTube Masthead, benchmarked at 4.9 million daily impressions in the UAE and 13.3 million in KSA.

2)      Engaging your audience by targeting their favourite videos through TrueView, with the advertiser only paying when the video is being watched.

3)      Driving sales through remarketing and maximising brand search coverage on AdWords.

For more ways on how to reach mobile users in the Middle East and North Africa with search, apps and YouTube advertising, download our free ThinkWorks Snapshot here: