Roughly 100 million people in Russia visit at least one social network every day. The most visited social networks in Russia are as follows, in order.
The audiences strongly differ. Eighty percent of all VKontakte — VK — users are under 34 years old. Odnoklassniki targets a middle-aged audience, between 34-45. Facebook and Twitter are mainly used by people with advanced technical, social, or business skills, such as managers and executives. Instagram is more popular among females aged 13-34. YouTube users come from all of those demographics.
The most active users live in big cities. Almost 70 percent of all social media visits come from mobile devices.
VK is the most visited social network in Russia. SimilarWeb gives it a global traffic rank of 7. Alexa ranks it 15th. The network itself claims 97 million monthly visitors. Most of them speak Russian, but it’s open to the world and supports over 80 languages, including English and Arabic, as well as Asian languages. Roughly 2 million accounts on VK have “USA” in their location field.
What makes VK different from other networks is that you can upload, store, share, and find any files you want, even music and videos. All of that media can be used in ads. VK attempts to protect copyrights, but mostly when copyright holder complains.
VK is heavily used to promote products and services. This does not irritate users. In fact, Russians do not find promotions annoying. Eighty percent of users follow their favorite brands to stay up to date with new products and special offers.
The most watched advertisements are for fashion, health, events, gadgets and travel. Ads about fashion have the highest conversion: about 40 percent. Next is wellness and health, at 32 percent.
Interestingly, Russians prefer searching for products on VK from mobile devices, but frequently make a purchase from a desktop.
Promotions on VK
Advertisers on VK must first create on account, which requires an email address and a mobile phone number. The number is required to send an activation code and, also, inform you about critical actions with your account. Thus having a mobile number attached to a VK account makes it difficult for hackers to take over the account.
If you use Facebook, you can easily manage VK. There are many advertising options on the platform. The most used are community ads, on-page ads, news feed ads, stories (which are a copy of Snapchat Stories), and Live video. All ads have many targeting options.
Your first step to start advertising in VK will be to create a Community and then build the audience with compelling content: text, pictures, video, audio, and downloadable files. You can also create menus and add products for sale, in a mini storefront.
- Community ads. After creating a Community, you will get access to advertising tools. VK has its own built-in placement marketplace to find the right Community for your existing posts or to offer your Community audience to other advertisers. One post in the fashion and beauty category that can reach 1 million impressions will cost around $70. Overall, ad prices vary significantly, depending on the category and the audience quality.
- On-page ads. These ads appear on the left side of VK pages, but only on desktop computers. Advertisers pay by impressions or by clicks. One thousand impressions will cost around $0.25 — 25 cents. One click will be close to $1.
- News feed ads. You can advertise your posts in users’ News feeds. They will see the ad among other posts while scrolling down the feed. One thousand impressions will cost around $4.
- Stories are a way to share your pictures and short videos without publishing them on your page. Your friends and subscribers will be seeing the Story on the top of their news feed in a separate block for 24 hours after publishing. You can add signs and stickers to your content to enrich it.
- Live. Live broadcasts look like regular videos. They start playing automatically when seen on the news feed. As soon as you start a Live video, subscribers and friends get notified and can join with one click. Live is available only on mobile.
VK is not difficult to use. And don’t be scared of language difference. Remember, more than half of Russians can speak English.