The digital marketing market in Saudi Arabia is growing due to several factors, including the increasing number of internet users and smartphone users. The popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is also driving market growth, as well as the growing trend of online shopping among Saudi consumers. The government's efforts to promote digital transformation are expected to further boost market growth. However, challenges such as the high cost of digital marketing services and a shortage of skilled professionals may hinder growth in the future.
6Wresearch predicts that the Saudi Arabia digital marketing market will experience growth between 2023-2029. Saudi Arabia is a significant economy in the Middle East region, driven by its oil reserves and production, as well as government initiatives to diversify the economy and attract foreign investment. With the country's rapidly increasing internet penetration rate, the demand for digital marketing services is expected to continue growing. The Saudi Arabia digital marketing market is part of both the Middle East and global digital marketing markets.
Search Engine Marketing in Saudi Arabia
According to Statista, the largest segment in the Saudi Arabian marketing industry is Search Advertising, which is expected to reach a market volume of US$0.76bn in 2023. Additionally, 90% of Digital Advertising revenue in Saudi Arabia is projected to be generated through programmatic advertising in 2027. It is projected that the average ad spending per user in this segment will be US$22.61 in 2023.
Google dominates the search engine market in Saudi Arabia, holding a 97% share. However, residents of Saudi Arabia also use Arabic search engines such as Arabji, MarWeb, Ajeeb, Egypt, Iraq Directory, Egypt.com, Masrawy, and Anya. Saudi consumers are known for being brand loyal, particularly if the brand has a strong presence in the market.
Search Engine Optimization in Saudi Arabia
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a majority of searches in the Persian Gulf region are conducted in Arabic, with less than a quarter performed in English. This highlights the importance of Arabic language in SEO efforts as it has the potential to become the most influential language for search engine optimization.
Google prioritizes local websites, making the use of .com.sa domain a beneficial choice as it ranks faster on local search engines. Unlike other countries, SEO efforts in Saudi Arabia can produce better results with fewer links needed for good rankings and success. Citing sources is also not given much attention as both writers and publishers rely on sources for information without necessarily linking back to them, leading to limited benefits of citation.
However, it is important to note that other websites also face similar challenges in acquiring organic links. To make a positive impact on both Arabic and English SEO campaigns in Saudi Arabia, it is recommended to obtain regional links for a better chance at success.
Social Media in Saudi Arabia
In 2022, the number of social media users in Saudi Arabia was 29.30 million, which accounted for 82.3% of the total population. It is worth noting that this figure may include duplicate accounts. The Kepios analysis revealed that the number of social media users in Saudi Arabia increased by 1.5 million between 2021 and 2022, making it the country with the largest number of active users on social media platforms such as Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. Saudis spend an average of 3 hours and 2 minutes per day on social media. According to Meta's advertising data, Facebook had 11.40 million users in Saudi Arabia in early 2022, reaching 32.7% of the local internet user base.
YouTube users in Saudi Arabia
According to recent updates from Google's advertising resources, the number of YouTube users in Saudi Arabia in 2022 was 29.30 million, which is equivalent to 82.3% of the country's total population. In terms of ad reach, YouTube ads were able to reach 84.1% of Saudi Arabia's total internet user base.
Instagram users in Saudi Arabia
According to advertising data from Meta, Instagram had approximately 15.45 million users in Saudi Arabia in 2022, indicating that Instagram's advertising reach in Saudi Arabia reached around 43.4% of the total population. Additionally, Instagram's ad reach in Saudi Arabia in 2022 was around 44.3% of the local internet user base.
LinkedIn users in Saudi Arabia
LinkedIn had approximately 6.10 million registered members in Saudi Arabia in 2022, according to LinkedIn's advertising resources. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn's audience reach data is based on total registered members rather than monthly active users. Based on this, LinkedIn's audience in Saudi Arabia was around 17.1% of the total population.
Snapchat users in Saudi Arabia
According to data published in Snap's advertising resources, Snapchat had 20.20 million users in Saudi Arabia in 2022. This indicates that Snapchat's ad reach in Saudi Arabia was equal to 56.8% of the total population.
Twitter users in Saudi Arabia
Twitter's advertising resources reveal that there were 14.10 million users of Twitter in Saudi Arabia in 2022. This figure suggests that Twitter's ad reach in Saudi Arabia was equivalent to 39.6% of the total population at the time. Additionally, Twitter's ad reach in Saudi Arabia was equal to 40.5% of the local internet user base.
Mobile Advertising in Saudi Arabia
Mobile devices are becoming increasingly important in the world today, with customers using them for a variety of tasks from browsing the internet to watching videos. As a result, it is essential for businesses to have a strong mobile marketing strategy, which can be provided by a reliable mobile app development company. As per Statista, in the Digital Advertising market, mobile advertising is expected to account for 51% of total ad spending by 2027.
According to a report, over half of the population in Saudi Arabia are smartphone users, including older demographics. This means that businesses can reach a wider audience through mobile advertising, with nearly 96.6% of users using their smartphones to watch online videos, making advertising on platforms like YouTube highly beneficial. Additionally, search engines are the go-to for 50% of people when it comes to discovering new brands and obtaining product information.
As Saudi Arabia is a growing economy with major emphasis on digital transformation, companies in the GCC region must consider digital marketing to promote their products and services. A reliable digital communications partner is crucial to navigate the market's challenges and take advantage of its opportunities.
To learn more on how ThinkLab Communications, can help in your communication plans for Saudi Arabia, click here.