My company enters Russian market. What should I know?

This article is dedicated to marketing and digital marketing executives whose company expands to the Russian market. When it comes to social media and search marketing , advertisers need to use completely different platforms unknown for North American and Western Europe users.

Search Engine Marketing

Marketers have successfully adopted SEM, because it is an effective channel that generates purchases, sign-ups or leads. It allows to show your ads to users at the moment when they are looking for solutions. Google is the most popular search engine world wide. Google has acquired 70% of Search Engine Market. At the same time, Google is not the first Search Engine. Google has acquired 38% of search engine market following Yandex with 60.4% market share. Google’s market share is growing slowly by 3% every day due to growth of users who searches on mobile devices. Eventually it is believed Google will surpass Yandex , but in the near future all companies should be using Yandex.

1.pngYandex has 60.4% in Russia. It is very popular in other countries situated close to Russia, like Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Yandex is getting popular in Turkey as well. It is believed among users that Yandex provides much better search results comparing to Google, because of its ability to recognise inflections in search queries. Yandex provides other services like Yandex Maps, Yandex Mail, Yandex Video which allows to acquire additional data about users. In order to place ads on Yandex, advertisers need to use Yandex.Direct. Yandex allows to place banners with 300×250 resolution along with search results, which is not allowed in in Google:


Yandex have successfully adopted shopping campaigns. Advertisers can create product based ads, which will be displayed along with search results:


Social Networks:

The most popular social network is VKontakte, whereas Facebook reached only 3.7 million users with very low engagement, on average users spend only 5 minutes a day on Facebook. The success of Vkontakte on CIS market is due to access to piracy media content. Users can access video and audio content, which is strictly forbidden on Facebook. Moreover, VK was launched first on CIS market, and due to low competition it acquired the market quickly. Vkontakte has 4 types of ads: community, apps, videos and external websites. One of the biggest disadvantages is very poor targeting options:

  • Geography.
  • Demography.
  • Interest.
  • Education.
  • Additional parameters (device, operation system).


Instagram was adopted in Russia successfully. There are 4.4 million users with majority age of 18 – 44. Comparing to Facebook, Instagram ranks 9th website and 6th in top 10 apps. Female users tend to post content about fashion and traveling, whereas male audience post content about sports, fitness and cars.

Online shopping behaviour

There is a big problem with online scams, when scammers pretend to be online retailers. Therefore, when purchasing for the first time, mostly users prefer to pay at the moment of delivery. Moreover, aggressive advertising techniques tends to fail in this market. There is a huge undiscovered online market in Russia, which opens many opportunities for foreign companies.


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