Islamic Relief, by using YouTube In-Stream advertising and tightly targeted Google Display Network campaigns.

Islamic Relief, by using YouTube In-Stream advertising and tightly targeted Google Display Network campaigns, saw a 51% reduction in CPA and an increase of 17% in online donations year-on-year.

Islamic Relief is an international aid and development charity, which aims to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people. Their vision, inspired by their Islamic faith and guided by their values, is to develop a caring world where communities are empowered, social obligations are fulfilled and people respond as one

About Islamic Relief:

– International aid and development charity

– Aim to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest people

to the suffering of others. The month of Ramadan is hugely important in the Islamic Calendar, and the Ramadan campaign is a major fundraising -promotion for the charity.
Through this campaign they aim to engage with their core supporters and also recruit new patrons. Hassan Imtiazi, Digital Media Specialist explains, “ We have a holistic advertising approach for our Ramadan campaign, encompassing online, broadcast, print and radio, specifically targeting ethnic communities. Although online donations have been increasing in recent years, the majority of income still comes through offline channels. Our goal this year was to increase online donations through advertising on the Google Display Network and YouTube.”

Their goal:

– Develop a successful online strategy to promote Ramadan campaign

The campaign:

– Leveraged their TV assets across YouTube

– Ran YouTube In-Stream video ads

The results:

– Significant increase in conversions

– Reduced their CPA by 51% compared to desktop search

About Google AdWords:

Google AdWords is a performance based advertising program that enables businesses large and small to advertise on Google and its network of partner websites. Hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide use AdWords for text, image, and video ads priced on a cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM) basis. Built on an auction based system, AdWords is a highly quantifiable and cost-effective way to reach potential customers.

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Complementing TV advertising with TrueView In–Stream ads

Islamic Relief run TV advertising as part of their offline advertising strategy to build brand awareness and appeal for donations. When looking at ways to increase brand awareness online, YouTube was discussed as a medium for leveraging their existing TV assets. Hassan explains that the level of targeting on YouTube was unique to that of TV, and this enabled them to reach the right audience at a fraction of the cost of TV advertising. “With video usage increasing online, we felt that YouTube was the next step for us to raise brand awareness. The engagement value of video on YouTube excites us, as users are actively choosing what they want to watch and are therefore more attentive to our call to action.”

Using Google Analytics and YouTube insights reports they were able to easily identify their target audience and tailor their message to each audience group. Islamic Relief ran TrueView In-Stream campaigns lasting two months prior to, and during, Ramadan. TrueView In-Stream ads enable advertisers to reach an engaged audience by only paying when a user chooses not to skip their ad. “Initially the campaign was to engage users with the Islamic Relief brand but it actually turned out to be a great direct response medium.”, said Hassan. Advertising on YouTube drove a significant number of conversions, which reduced their CPA by 51% compared to desktop search.

Clever targeting on the Google Display Network (GDN)

Islamic Relief successfully trialed GDN campaigns previously, and after noticing an uplift in online searches for their brand, they were keen to use the GDN for the Ramadan campaign. As Hassan explains, “The number of people we can reach on the GDN is phenomenal. Also, as there is no minimum budget commitment and as we are able to make changes while the campaign is live, we maximize the campaign.”

Islamic Relief implemented a number of targeting options including interest category marketing, remarketing and layering keywords with topics. They focused on ethnic interests including Arab and Middle Eastern food and countries such as Iran, Turkey and Palestine. In addition, they also set up a remarketing campaign allowing them to target people who had already visited their website. Knowing they had previously been to the site, Hassan was able to create more tailored ads with clear call to actions.

The combined campaigns drove significantly higher donations in 2012, representing a 17% increase compared to 2011 and a 45% increase from 2010. Reflecting on the campaigns Hassan said, “The number of opportunities provided by Google is enormous; all you have to do is to explore it. It is impossible to get that level of reporting from offline channels compared to online. We achieved cost efficiencies with our limited charity budget and saw outstanding results.”