My first social network was ok.ru aka Odnoklassniki.
After discovering VK.com aka Vkontakte, I ended up not using ok.ru anymore.
The main reason for this was that most of my friends used vk.com instead of ok.ru.
Vk.com boasts 2.2 billion visitors a month and it’s more popular than ok.ru, with only 1.1 billion visitors, according to a Similarweb statistic.
You might be asking why didn’t I start using Facebook or Twitter during that time?
During that time, I was living in Ukraine, where these specific social networks were very popular, more so than Facebook and Twitter.
Today, vk.com and ok.ru are forbidden in Ukraine because of the difficult situation between Russia and Ukraine.
The main reason is that the Ukrainian government believes that VK shares all private information of their users with the Russian army and security.
During the conflict, that continues from 2013, people have been sharing their photos with the exact location because of default settings on their phones.
The Russian military can make strategic plans of attack by using this information.
If you have a big business in Russia, especially social media networks, you must share the private information with Russian security or leave the country.
Telegram and Linkedin are blocked in Russia because these platforms denied giving Russian security access.
If your business is not a social media network then you can sell to Russian customers without sharing private information.
I sell my SEO services to Russian clients and I don’t share my private information.
Ignoring all political undertones, I will explain to you why you should be using VK.
Simply put – If you don’t want Russian clients then don’t use vk.com.
This social media network covers a smaller percentage than any other social media platform of global users on other social media platforms.
If you want to sell your products to Russian speaking customers then it’s extremely important to consider VK because of its popularity in Russia.
Also, consider the fact that 170 million people in the world speak Russian and 900,000 of them live in the US.
Canada has 1,359,655 Ukrainian people who also speak Russian.
Russian is the eighth most spoken language on Earth.
Russians use VK 4 times more than they do Facebook.
VK has 70 million active users who visit their profiles often, send messages, comment, like and spend their money to buy various products.
According to VK statistics, 97 million people visit VK each month; 400,000 companies have business accounts; 40 million replies are received from customers by businesses every day.
According to Alexa – Top sites statistics, vk.com holds the 14th position in the world – much higher than both Twitter and Instagram.
According to Ahrefs, vk.com has 322 million organically searched traffic.
The main part of organic traffic is branded keywords.
Do you think that’s a good enough reason to start using VK?
I’ll show you how to keep it really simple.
Carry on reading.
Registration on VK is simple.
It takes a few minutes.
You can also use your Facebook account to join VK.
The registration page has an English version.
When you first open vk.com you might see Russian text.
Change the language by clicking at the bottom on “all languages”.
You can use your Facebook account to join VK.
If you don’t want to share your Facebook data with VK, then register a new account on the main page.
It’s up to you.
In all cases VK requires a mobile number to confirm.
When you have registered your own account then go to the business page where you can submit all the information about your business.
Choose your organization type and add your data.
You are going to set up advertisements for Russian-speaking customers.
You then need to have a Russian website or a Russian version of your website.
My account on VK is in Russian.
It’s better to cooperate with a Russian-speaking specialist to submit data to your account and set up effective advertisements.
There are many secondary pages that help you to set up VK marketing campaigns, but they are not in English:
You might be asking – what type of advertisement can you set up on VK?
This brings me to the following chapter.
Advertising Formats & Policy
VK offers two advertising formats:
- Advertisements in the News Feed;
- Advertisements on VK Pages.
I’ll describe all these formats and their subcategories.
First of all, open the “Create Ads” page that has an English version.
Advertisements in the News Feed are divided into the following formats:
- Carousel is suitable for selling products with the “leaf through” function if you add a few pictures from 3 to 10. Set up the following elements: text, price, URL, the call-to-action (CTA) button, etc.
- Post with Button allows you to add the CTA button with the next functions: Buy, Subscribe, Join, Go to website.
- Universal post includes less than 10 elements such as text, videos, pictures, a map, etc. I use only this format for my marketing campaigns because there are no limits to the quantity of symbols allowed in my posts.
- Lead Capture Form allows you to gather information about potential leads.
- Story ads are used to list your ads in user stories.
- Website Ads help set up advertisements with a direct link to your site without taking part in any community.
Advertisements on VK pages are divided into the following formats:
- Application allows you to get traffic to your application or game that is located on vk.com.
- Community is useful for getting new followers on VK groups.
- External Website helps you to get traffic to your website.
Choose which format is more suitable for your campaign, then carefully read VK’s requirements and policy rules.
VK moderators have blocked a few of my marketing campaigns about Instagram and YouTube.
Their policy disallows paid advertisements that are directed at other social media platforms.
Check out the main policy rules:
- You can’t tout the following products: alcohol, narcotics, weapons, adult products, gambling, financial pyramids, alternative healing, etc.
- You can’t advertise products without supporting documentation for such products: drugs, medicine, financial services, insurance, jewelery, fur, food, pawnshop, charity organization, lottery, etc.
- Text in your ad needs to fit in with Russian grammar and exclude profanity, to be relevant with a link to your products, etc.
- Pictures in your ad need to be high-quality.
- VK disallows negative and R-rated adult pictures.
Before submitting a campaign – check out these rules.
In the next chapter I’ll explain to you how to set up advertising.
It’s significantly simpler than on Facebook.
Creating Effective Ads
VK marketing is really simple.
You don’t need to have any special knowledge in order to set up an effective marketing campaign.
I’ll explain step-by-step what you need to do.
The best is yet to come.
The main reason for this is that social media platforms don’t list brands’ publications in their organic search and followers feeds because the audience could leave their platforms. I don’t set up any advertisements in order to increase the quantity of followers on my social media accounts, but it’s up to you if you want to do that.
So ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you have 1,000 or 100,000 followers, if they don’t see the notifications about your new publications.
I usually set up my paid advertisements that lead prospects straight to my website.
Consider the fact that VK is a social media networking platform.
The audience has a lack of buying mood – the same as other social media networks.
I don’t create any commercial advertisements – only brand awareness.
First of all, prepare your Russian landing page where you’re going to land the VK traffic.
I usually promote my blog posts and Youtube training videos.
As mentioned previously, the most suitable format for my marketing campaigns is the universal post.
You can choose other formats which are more preferable for your requirements.
Creating marketing campaigns by using different formats is not rocket science and easily understandable for beginners, as they are very similar to each other.
I’ll explain to you how to create and ad using the Universal Post.
Click on Universal Post and go to the “Create post” button.
Your next step is to create a publication with text and other multimedia.
I set up my marketing campaign for this post – https://seoquick.ru/skolko-stoit-sdelat-sajt/
Insert a picture and a target link.
Then fill in the standard settings about your audience (buying persona).
VK helps with suggestions on the right hand-side of the page.
The “Learn more” page only contains Russian, but I don’t think you need it because all fields are totally understandable.
Choose your target country, regions, cities by excluding irrelevant or expensive regions.
For example, if you want to display your advertisement all around Russia, exclude Moscow because of the level of competition, so you won’t pay a lot for your clicks.
You can highlight the exact location If you choose it on the map.
On the “Demography” tab you can choose characteristics of your buying persona: sex, age, relationship, etc.
In this tab you can also set up special gifts for people who have a birthday today, tomorrow or within a week.
Choose Interests & Habits, include or exclude VK communities.
Activate “Show more options” by including or excluding websites.
Education and work
Choose the average education of your target audience and their job positions.
“Positions” is only available in Russian.
Additional parameters allow you to set up retargeting (visitors to your website).
You can also exclude visitors to irrelevant websites.
Consider other parameters such as: devices, iOS and web-browsers.
Audience saving settings allows you to add special events for meetings, webinars, etc.
Using the “Ad display times” you can set up the target time when your audience is online or when you want to sell your products.
In the end, choose “Create a new campaign” and click the “Create ad” button in the “Price and placement settings”.
If you missed any important fields VK will inform you.
You can use similar features from your Facebook ads.
However, VK’s audience is different from Facebook’s audience.
It’s better to do A/B-testing in order to find your preferred VK target audience.
I usually cover my test advertisements from 500,000 to 1 million people.
VK moderators need to confirm your marketing campaign first, and only thereafter it will start automatically.
If there are any violations then you will receive a notification and you need to fix them.
Click on Advertising Campaigns and you’ll receive the required metrics about the performance of your marketing campaigns.
VK is a gigantic social media platform for Russian-speaking people.
If you have Russian customers or sell your products in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan then it’s important to consider using this platform.
VK has simple features to submit your marketing campaigns and analyze your received results.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask me in the comment section.