This blog post was updated on 17 August 2021.
The Russian internet landscape is a peculiar place for people not used to the market.
For most of us in the West, search equals Google, social media equals Facebook and e-commerce equals Amazon.
But that is not the case in Russia. The country has its own homegrown platforms that Russians prefer over foreign alternatives, and it is these local platforms that you need to be on when targeting the country.
Here are three areas of Russian internet marketing you need to be aware are different if you want to succeed at digital marketing in Russia.
1. Search engines
If you want to improve your SEO or run PPC campaigns in Russia, then you need to focus on two search engines: Google and Yandex. These search engines have very similar market shares in the country. If you have not heard of Yandex before, you should know that it has a wide range of products, including webmaster tools, an advertising platform, an e-commerce marketplace, an online payments option and many more.
2. Social media
One very popular social network in Russia which you may not have heard of before is VK, which is used by 78% of Russian internet users. VK is often nicknamed “Russia’s Facebook” and has many similar features, including many features for businesses. Other popular social networks include Odnoklassniki, Facebook and Instagram.
The Russian e-commerce market is growing strongly and is approximately worth the equivalent of USD 24 billion. The most popular e-commerce marketplace in the country is avito.ru, followed by wildberries.ru, market.yandex.ru, ozon.ru and aliexpress.ru. The fastest growing categories of items bought online are digital music, food and personal care items. With regards to payment methods, the most popular is paying online using a credit or debit card.
I hope this has given you a useful introduction to Russian internet marketing. For more in-depth information and advice, read my full-length guide here. The guide covers:
- the current digital landscape in the country, including internet penetration rates
- the typical Russian internet user, including their gender, age and online activities
- device usage breakdowns and internet speeds in Russia
- search engine marketing in Russia
- how to localise your website for Russia
- social media marketing in Russia
- the local culture and language in Russia
- e-commerce in Russia
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