Internet marketing in Russia

December, 21, 2014
Author: Svetlana Meisak Category: internet marketing, Russia, Yandex

The Russian online market grows at a swift rate transforming in the biggest online market in Europe. According to statistics, the number of Internet users in Russia in 2011, 2012 and 2013 was 54.9, 58.7 and 61.9 million people respectively. The Russian Internet audience has reached about 80 million users in 2014 leaving behind online markets of such countries as Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain and many others. Approximately 41% of users in this region use Internet daily and more than 50% use it weekly.

Russian Internet market opportunities

The number of Russian Internet users will grow providing big opportunities to reach consumers via digital channels. Russia follows common international trends increasing the amount of Internet technologies and the number of smartphones, tablets, laptops and other hand-held devices. The consumption of online video, audio, gaming and social services via computers and mobile gadgets has also increased by several times compared to earlier periods. However, huge potential for profits from online marketing is available only for those foreign companies that understand fundamental principles of Internet marketing in Russia.

Specifics of the Internet marketing in Russia

To unlock lucrative opportunities of the Russian Internet marketing any company that wants to enter this segment should explore the specifics of the Russian audience including its language peculiarities, mentality and cultural characteristics.

The overwhelming majority of users in Russia search information in the Russian language. Moreover, the language is widely spoken not only in Russia, but also in such post-Soviet states as Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, etc. Unlike most digital markets in the world, Google does not take leading positions in the Russian search engine market as it is dominated by its own search engine Yandex. Yandex search tools are more adopted for the mentality of Russian Internet users, culture and language specifics. Therefore, they provide more relevant results for queries performed in Russian compared to Google search tools. Generally, search engine advertising comprises about 53% of the total online advertising share in the region (according to other resources, this figure is equal to 62%). Read more about IM Action solutions for the Russian web: Russian SEO services and Russian PPC services.

Russian social media channels

Russian Internet users are considered to spend more time on social networks than in other countries (more than 40% of connected time). However, social trends in Russia do not coincide with international ones. Facebook is not a number one social channel in Russia as Internet users prefer to create accounts in such social networks as Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. Facebook users from Russia spend up to 13 minutes per visit, while Vkontakte users spend 30 minutes or even more per visit.

Russian users also frequently visit such portals as and Live Journal. As for international networks, besides Facebook, they use Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. LinkedIn has fewer Russian users than other world-known social hubs, but their number has started to increase with the introduction of its Russian version.

Internet marketing through social media in Russia provides big opportunities for various business verticals. With various social channels it is possible to sell products and services to Russian consumers as well as increase brand awareness. Popular social networks are not tailored for the specifics of the Russian audience – when advertisers want to launch a marketing campaign in Russia. Instead there is a growing trend to use local social channels like Vkontakte.

Judging by the facts, Internet has become an influential platform for marketing and sales generation, and the Russian online market is not an exception. It continues to grow providing new opportunities for local and international business development.

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