How can brands get started with Yandex?

With the majority of Muscovites still confined to their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, Yandex’s delivery apps have seen a significant surge in demand, with a 75% growth in users since March 2020.

In line with this, visitors to its search, blogging, and video streaming platforms have also skyrocketed. So how can brands advertising – or looking to start advertising – in Russia respond? We asked one of our Russian Croudies to tell us more.

From Russia’s Google to its Amazon

Yandex has often been referred to as Russia’s Google, particularly because it is one of the few search engines worldwide to maintain dominance in its local market. However, following its recent attempts to branch out, particularly with the launch of its ecommerce platform and ‘Alisa’, its Alexa-style virtual assistant, it has been likened more closely to Amazon.

Yandex’s CEO, Greg Abovsky, recently commented on the platform’s update during the pandemic to say ‘we potentially have an opportunity to build a FedEx in the space of a few months.’ So there is a great opportunity for brands looking to reach the Russian market to capitalise on Yandex’s ever-growing popularity in order to do so.

Understanding consumer behaviour

Yandex’s own research shows that during the coronavirus pandemic, interest in video services has increased significantly, with searches for online cinemas, for instance, increasing by six times from mid-March to early April. This interest in video content has unsurprisingly been sustained throughout lockdown, with search volumes for video content remaining high, as shown in the chart below.

Additionally, audio sites have seen three times the number of usual visitors. Yandex’s data has also highlighted a sharp increase in the number of searches for food delivery from restaurants, as well as  supermarkets, as well as an uplift in people looking to use the time to upskill through online courses.

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Fig 1. Search trends for video content on Yandex

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Fig 2. Food delivery search trends on Yandex

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Fig 3. Search trends for online courses on Yandex

With an increased demand for audio and visual content, Yandex suggests that brands looking to reach audiences in Russia should consider investing more in their visual and audio advertising, rather than using traditional search ads alone. In order to allow advertisers to use video ads at ease, Yandex allows you to create video ads directly within its interface using the different templates available, without the need for external resources.

In addition to video ads, Yandex Music and Yandex Radio, which have been likened to Spotify, provide advertisers with platforms where they can create and share audio ads.

Support for new advertisers

Yandex has made substantial investment in providing support to advertisers looking to utilise their platform. For example, in April they gave around 280m rubles (US$4.1m) to advertisers across 40+ companies, in order to help them with their campaigns. More recently, during the coronavirus pandemic, Yandex offered to provide all small to medium-sized businesses with 15k rubles to support them in building advertising campaigns across their network.

For this reason, Yandex proves to be a valuable platform for SMBs and larger corporates alike looking to reach the Russian market. Companies looking to use Yandex’s advertising services can receive support on the creation, setting up and implementation of their campaigns across their advertising network, so it could be a good time for any businesses keen to explore the potential of the Russian market to test the waters with Yandex.

To find out more about advertising on Yandex and how Croud can support, get in touch.

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