We’re well into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which began on May 26th and lasts until June 24th, and we’ve already seen a lot of online video content related to this time of prayer and fasting. Tubular Labs looked at videos uploaded during Ramadan of last year (6/6/16 – 7/5/16) to find trends in content related to the holy month and to see whose videos people were engaging with.

You can download the exclusive insights below to see how influencer-generated content uploaded to YouTube during Ramadan 2016 accounted for 54% of overall views for that topic. Connected to that, live prayer videos uploaded during Ramadan 2016 were 7.2 times more engaging than the average YouTube video and prayer live streams during Ramadan 2016 were twice as engaging as the average live stream on Facebook. It’s clear that the shared experience of a month of fasting and remembrance has carried over into the type of content resonating with online audiences during Ramadan.

Ramadan Related Video Views

2016 Ramadan Related Video Views (All Data Via Tubular labs)

However, prayer videos aren’t the only type of content surrounding this spiritual event that people are engaging with online. Episodic content accounted for 16% of all views of YouTube content uploaded during Ramadan in 2016. Prank and comedy videos can also provide a lighthearted opportunity to engage during holidays and religious events. As they say, laughter can definitely bring people together.

Let’s take a closer look at the videos uploaded during the Muslim holy month in 2016 that were successful online. The videos that work can help identify what type of content creates engagement online during holidays or periods of celebration and remembrance. Holidays and spiritual events connect people, which is exactly what the Internet does, so if these videos are done right they are perfect way to generate online engagement.

A Personal Touch: Ramadan Influencers

As we mentioned above, influencer-generated content was responsible for 54% of views during Ramadan 2016. Celebrity Mohamed Ramadan received 213 million views for just 45 uploads during Ramadan in 2016, cementing his place as the top influencer for videos uploaded during this period.

With over 4.9 million followers on Facebook alone, Mohamed Ramadan is a major influencer. If you look at Facebook videos uploaded by Mohamed Ramadan between 6/6/2016 and 7/5/2016, the top two most-viewed videos have 578,000 and 543,000 views respectively in just the first 30 days since each video was uploaded. In addition, the most viewed video received 3.2 times the average engagements per view in its first 30 days online:

The second most viewed Facebook video uploaded during Ramadan 2016 by Mohamed Ramadan received 2.9 times the average engagements per view in the first 30 days since it was uploaded.

If we look at the second most viewed Facebook video uploaded by Mohamed Ramadan in the period from 2/26/2017 to 5/26/2017 (the 90 day period before Ramadan began this year), we see that it received 235,000 views in its first 30 days online and 2.4 times the average engagements per view in the first 30 days since the video was uploaded. Although the videos uploaded during Ramadan 2016 might not be specifically related to the actual celebration of the month, the fact that this influencer (who also happens to have the month’s name in his handle) received more views and engagement during that time than during the 90-day period before Ramadan this year is significant.

Episodic Content: Something to Come Back to

Mohamed Ramadan’s official YouTube channel was also partially responsible for 16% of YouTube video views during Ramadan being for Episodic Content. During last year’s holy month, Mohamed Ramadan uploaded 43 videos and received 168 million total views. Actually, with 5.5 billion views, episodic content uploaded during Ramadan took up the bulk of views ahead of any other type of content. Other top episodic content uploaders during Ramadan 2016 included major media channel MBC with 58 uploads and 84.7 million views and official show-specific channel Nelly & Sheridan with 31 uploads and 174 million views.

It’s not so much of a stretch to imagine that during a month that involves fasting and prayer and people coming together, episodic online content gives audiences something to discuss and something that continues.

Laughing Together: Prank & Comedy Content 

A popular category on most platforms, comedic online content and more specifically, prank videos offer a great opportunity to increase views online. Before a month where people are going to be fasting and praying, how-to and comedy/prank videos involving recipes and tips for healthy fasting, music (religious and celebratory), and prayers might see a spike in popularity. So essentially, the time of year provides an opportunity in terms of subject matter and as vehicles for those subjects, how-to videos and comedy/prank videos are evergreen in their ability to draw in views and create engagement.

During Ramadan 2016, all different types of creators uploaded prank content. Some of the top videos for this segment were uploaded by brands, media companies, and influencers alike. MBC, a top media channel we mentioned earlier, uploaded a video where they pranked the star of one of their top shows and received nearly 3 million views.

Ramadan Videos Generate Engagement

It’s a safe assumption that the videos uploaded during Ramadan 2016 that generated the most engagement were religious ones. In fact, religious content was over 4 times more engaging than the average video. Prayers and recitations specifically were the most engaging of all content uploaded during Ramadan 2016.

It should also be noted that live religious content is especially engaging, as live prayers were 7.2 times more engaging than the average video and live recitations were 6.8 times more engaging than the average video. Live prayer content was very popular on Facebook and as we mentioned earlier, it was twice as engaging as the average Facebook live stream. Live religious with people praying at the same time as the viewer create a special kind of connection.

Holidays and religious events provide an opportunity for views and engagement whether you’re an individual or a large company. It helps to work with influencers, create videos in evergreen verticals like comedy or how-to, and incorporate themes related to the time period, whether it’s religion, eating/fasting, or even music. Following these tips will help create videos that generate engagement and bring people together.

Download Insights into Online Video Around Ramadan Now

Download our exclusive report into Ramadan and online video views and engagement by filling in the form below.