Entering the market of Russia, it is necessary to know how to promote products there. As is well-known, online marketing is a cost-effective option for new businesses. Here are the main advertising channels in Russia and marketing tools for them.
Tags: SEO, content marketing, ORM, SMM
What is the article about?
SEO is an improvement of a website so that it comes first for definite search queries. A company gets more traffic from search engines and its sales rise as a result. SEO consists of many activities such as fixing the bugs in the source code, improving website usability, optimising images, working on website content and others.
Yandex and Google are two popular search engines in Russia. What is notable, the first one has a 49% share among Russian internet users while Google ranks second with a 47% share (September 2022). It is atypical as Google holds the great majority of search traffic in many countries around the globe but, as we have seen, not in Russia. Therefore, new companies should consider Yandex and use its potential as much as possible.
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A search engine result page (SERP) is one of the channels for engaging new customers. Contextual advertising allows a company to take top positions on this page, according to search queries. In addition, ad banners are placed on the relevant thematic sources. This tool is one of the most effective on the web when people already know about a product. The company considerably boosts its sales with contextual advertising.
Due to recent events, Google has suspended advertising in Russia but Yandex advertising tools are still available and will not be stopped. Local market players use the so-called Yandex Direct to set up advertising campaigns. This process includes a complex of activities: selecting keywords, creating advertising materials, and analysing big data.
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The aim of ORM is to create a positive brand image. Reputation agents respond to users' comments on products on review platforms (e.g. IRecommend and Otzovik). There are also map services. The popular ones in Russia are Google, Yandex and 2GIS maps. People use them to find restaurants, bars, grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, drugstores, clinics, hospitals and beauty shops. So, having a company card on these services is a mandatory part of online marketing.
All listed activities affect how a search engine result page about a company and its products looks like. Search Engine Reputation Management (SERM) works with it in detail. Business uses this tool if search results mostly consist of pages with negative comments on a brand or in a case when customers have not known it yet. As practice shows, ORM and SERM drive sales, forming a company's positive image.
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There are four major marketplaces in Russia: Ozon, Wildberries, Yandex Market and SberMegaMarket. These platforms have warehouses, shipping and payment services as well as Amazon and eBay. They commonly come first on search engine result pages when people look for clothes, household goods and other popular products. Moreover, marketplace users come to marketplaces with the intent to buy something and it is a great opportunity for businesses to use these ‘warm’ leads.
Thus, companies should place their goods and sell them on the marketplaces but it is not all yet. Product card descriptions need to be informative. If there are a lot of good reviews, a product will have more chances to be sold. Affiliate programs also increase sales as marketplaces promote partners’ products on other sources.
Besides, new businesses can profit from classified advertisement websites. The biggest one in Russia is Avito. Companies place their products or services on it, promote ads among users and communicate with them while the website does not participate in transactions.
73% of Russian people use social networks. VK is a market leader here and has more than 70 mln monthly active users (MAU). A messenger Telegram takes second place with 69 mln MAU and its coverage has risen sharply for the last eight months. Companies can use these social media to promote their brand and goods with official pages.
Following Google, Meta* blocked Russian advertisers on Facebook* and Instagram*. Now one of the most effective options for business is targeted advertising on VK. Besides, there is an advertising platform myTarget for ads on different partner sources (including VK) at the same time. A company can reach its audience by focusing on different characteristics: location, interests, behaviour and sociodemographics. The performance of targeted ads directly depends on how accurate they are set up.
The company’s blogs on external platforms are aimed to keep in touch with the target audience. Moreover, companies can monetise their content with social media platforms if it collects many views.
One such source is vc.ru, a Russian social media platform for entrepreneurs, investors, managers and other socioeconomic groups. Having a corporate page there, a company informs its customers about new products and their features, prepares helpful articles on business, shares corporate experience, etc.
Lately, vc.ru has become a platform where people give feedback about companies and almost all of them are negative. These posts often attract the attention of users and get plenty of comments. If a company ignores them, it can affect its reputation and image.
Another popular platform for blog marketing is Dzen. This social media platform allows companies to reach a mass audience with videos and articles.
Starting selling in Russia, companies can use several main marketing channels. They are search engines, review platforms and map services, marketplaces, classified advertisements websites and social media. Comprehensive marketing on them includes such tools as search engine optimisation (SEO), contextual advertising, online reputation management (ORM), promotion on marketplaces, targeted ads on social networks and blog marketing. Mixing all these tools gives bigger outcomes for the business.
*Facebook and Instagram belong to Meta Platforms Inc. which is declared an extremist organisation in Russia.
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