If you’re a citizen or resident of the United Arab Emirates, you are already aware that app-based calling has been banned in the federation since December 2017. This includes Skype and WhatsApp calling, the two most popular apps for Voice over IP (VoIP) calling in the rest of the world.
Etisalat and Du, the two licensed telecom operators in the UAE, confirmed in their tweets that Skype has been banned since it provides unlicensed VoIP service that classifies under prohibited content. While WhatsApp continues to function as a messenger service, the WhatsApp Calling feature has been blocked.
So, what is the alternative for the people in the UAE to make VoIP calls? As it appears – BOTIM. Recommended by Etisalat, BOTIM is developed by Algento, a private American technology company that is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Algento designs, develops and sells mobile products as well as services.
BOTIM’s pitch is rather typical – It is a voice and video calling app that allows users in the UAE to make FREE voice and video calls to anyone around the world. BOTIM caters to different nationalities - Omanis, Indians, Chinese and many more. The voice and video calls can be made over 2G, 3G, 4G networks or Wi-Fi connection. BOTIM also has the distinction of being perhaps the primary VoIP app in UAW, holding the largest market share in the region.
Encrypted chats and calls, group chat supporting up to 500 people, a built-in collection of expressive emojis on a dashboard are other features of BOTIM. The app allows users to share photos, videos, voice messages, and a whole lot more.
Which brings us to the question of the hour – can BOTIM be used as a Marketing Tool? Marketers are always looking to leverage newer ways and avenues that can give them and their brand the edge over their competitors. Does BOTIM prove to be a useful protagonist in this narrative of new-age marketing?
At Wisoft, we took a deeper look into the potential of BOTIM as a marketing avenue. Here’s what we found:
Reach and penetration in the UAE:
BOTIM has a whopping 1,512,346 unique users in the UAE alone. 78% of these use BOTIM on Wi-Fi while the remaining 22% avail the app on a 3G/4G network.
The ad requests are alone at a staggering number of 219,616,815, with 77% on Android and the remaining 23% on iOS.
69% of the users of BOTIM are between 30-40 years of age and 21% are between 25-30 years of age. The residual 10% of users are in the age group of 40-45 years. These numbers clearly indicate the promising marketing opportunity that BOTIM possesses.
How to market with BOTIM:
The best way for free apps like BOTIM to make money is to start monetizing through ad displays or in-app purchases. And this is exactly the route that the app is headed in. Businesses and brands in UAE can advertise their offerings on BOTIM through ad displays, giving them the perfect landscape to market their products and/ or services. BOTIM, on the other hand, benefits monetarily from displaying these ads. Ads are displayed in the BOTIM app during chat falls, through calls and live ad previews. This win-win situation can prove to immensely benefit businesses looking for newer avenues of marketing and advertising.
So, here’s all a brand needs to get started with advertising on BOTIM:
- A native icon (128px X 128px)
- A banner image (1200px X 627px)
- A customized headline
- Text for the body
- Call To Action (CTA) button
Quite simple a deal for most brands, we reckon.
Targeting the right audience:
In BOTIM advertising campaigns, brands can choose the type of people who get to see the ads. The intended audience can be targeted using any of these parameters - Country, City, device type, OS, Wi-fi / 4G.
A word of advice worth keeping in mind:
With reducing attention spans of users, Wisoft’s ‘few-seconds to impact’ theory is of particular significance here. As in most cases, in-app ads are most likely to be closed if they don’t appeal to the user at the very first sight. So, if you as a brand aren’t focussing on creating and displaying quality and convincing ads, marketing via BOTIM is perhaps not worth your effort.
Yes, brands can leverage the fresh potential of BOTIM in developing and sustaining an offbeat advertising strategy. Although in its nascent stages, BOTIM marketing is sure to reach greater heights in the UAE, leaving Brand Marketers racing to make it work well for them. After all, who doesn’t know the importance of getting an early start in promising territories that are unchartered?
Looking to incorporate BOTIM Marketing into your digital marketing mix but unsure of how to go about it? Wisoft can help you there! Give us a call and we’ll tell you more.