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B2B Digital strategy in Russia

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 23 Sep, 2015
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The best Digital marketing tools for B2B promotion in Russia

One of the most effective channels to attract B2B customers is Digital marketing, and Russia is no exception. A foreign marketer or an entrepreneur planning to create a comprehensive Digital strategy in Russia faces many questions – how to work here, what platforms give the best results? The strategy of attracting customers using digital channels includes a variety of solutions, such as:

  • Search engine optimization;
  • Contextual advertising (PPC);
  • E-mail marketing;
  • White papers;
  • Working with social networks.

Digital marketing tools for B2B promotion

Contextual advertising (PPC)

Contextual advertising is one of the marketing tools which allow the displaying of ads only to those users whose potential sphere of interest matches or coincides with the subject of promoted products or services.

b2b marketing

The undeniable advantage of contextual advertising is a quick result. No need to wait for months to get higher up in search results. Ads, media and contextual banners are displayed in search engines right after moderation. On average, it usually takes from 1 to 5 days from search query selection to complete elaboration, campaign customization and ad impressions launch. The cost of advertising depends on the popularity of queries and the level of competition in a particular market segment.

In RuNet there are several services of contextual ad placement, the most popular among them are Yandex.Direct, Google AdWords and Begun. Let's talk about each platform in more detail.

Yandex.Direct – an ad is displayed on the Yandex search engine result pages,Yandex search engine partners' pages (including [email protected] pages) and on Yandex Advertising Network (YAN) websites. As of the beginning of July 2015, Yandex serves more than half of the search queries of Runet users. A peculiarity of Yandex.Direct is the quality of traffic, i.e. the quality and quantity of partner websites in the advertising network. The size of the interested audience jumping to an advertiser's website with commercial motives depends on this indicator.


Google AdWords – this system belongs to the largest search engine in the world. Google search engine is ranked second in Runet, more than one third of all searches are conducted on Google. Compared to Yandex, the Russian audience coverage of Google Adwords is slightly smaller, therefore the competition level is lower. For example, cost-per-click for some industries in Yandex.Direct is 2-3 dollars, while in Adwords cost-per-click can be a few cents.

Googel AdWords

Begun – a service allowing the placement of ads in all major Runet search engines: Google, Rambler, [email protected], Yahoo.com, Yandex.Direct and also in “Begun” advertising network, with more than 150 thousand websites.


It is tacitly assumed, that the Google and Yandex audiences in Russia are different. The audience of Google - the "hipsters" of their time, people who are progressive and familiar with all advanced technologies. The audience of Yandex in Russia the quieter and less fad-prone people. 


Search engine optimization is the creation of conditions which will result in a site reaching the desired position in search engines at pre-selected search queries.

B2B-companies that have strong desires to enter the Russian market, to increase their presence in online space, to unleash the potential of their website in order to get more profit and to improve customers’ experience with a brand must invest in SEO - 90% of users searching for products and services in Google and Yandex do not look at the second page of search results. So, if your company name is not displayed in the results of organic search and contextual advertising - you will be disappointed.

Since the conversion of visitors into customers (buyers) in B2B does not usually happen in real time, being found in B2B search engine optimization is just the beginning. You should concentrate on how to present as much information as possible to a client for future consideration. You can use this factor to develop rich relationships. Your site must have a lot of optimized information content (preferably with elements of analysis and comparison). It will help partners to find you, to know more about your company, and you will be able to achieve loyalty to your firm in this anonymous space.

It goes without saying that to successfully promote your website in Russian search engines, the content must be in Russian. It’s better to entrust creation or translation of the content to a native Russian speaker.

Social networks

Currently the usage of social networks as B2B-marketing tools is quite popular in Russia, in particular – as a channel of interaction with a target audience of consumers. Driving traffic to landing pages and websites – that is the purpose of companies in creating accounts in social networks. Marketers who plan to promote projects on social networks in Russia face the problem of choosing a platform. Almost all popular networks provide professionals with unique opportunities for promoting their business. So, what platform to choose for B2B promotion in Russia?

One of the features of the Russian market - despite the fact that the most popular networks in Russia are Russian networks, is that they are not suited to B2B promotion. VK and Odnoklassniki – the most popular Russian networks, are entertainment oriented and their audiences are not inclined to business dialogue. The following social networks we find the most suitable for B2B companies’ promotions.

Facebook - the largest social network in the world. It’s a very useful platform that has rich functionality, allowing you to implement almost any marketing strategy. As of April 2015 the audience of Facebook in Russia was 24.5 million people and it’s ranked third in popularity among social networks in the country. Moreover, there is record audience involvement not only on such personal pages as the accounts of employees, but also on the corporate pages of companies in Facebook.


LinkedIn - the world's most popular business social network. However, LinkedIn is excluded from the most popular platforms in Runet. The size of the Russian-speaking audience on the site barely reaches one million users, a relatively small number. Despite its low popularity in Russia, this world's most popular business social network is fighting for Russian-speaking users and is gradually gaining momentum. What is more – this is the only platform with a focus on business promotion and the establishment of business contacts.


Twitter - microblogging service which allows users to quickly deliver an important message to customers who are always on the move. It’s hard to call it a fully-fledged platform for promotional purposes, but it is the best for increasing awareness and it allows you to publish information at maximum speed. Twitter is ranked 7th among the most popular social networks in Russia, as of April 2015 its audience was 7.4 million people.



One of the most popular ways to promote B2B-services is email-marketing, providing excellent opportunities for the preparation of a B2B audience. However, questions often immediately arise, such as: what should be sent to potential Russian B2B customers and where to get databases?

Firstly, the main feature of email-marketing in B2B is its content component – to make a message personal and likable, and also to persuade a person to perform some action in response (if it’s not a purchase, it should at least be an opt-in, or filling in the primary requirements for an order, i.e. brief and so on). It must be addressed to a specific person (to a decision maker).

Secondly, you need to send expert materials, not offers. For example, to use mailout to organize a conference or a business lunch, where you will sell something.

And do not forget - your letters must be in Russian. If you send them in English, the feedback from the audience will be almost zero. Special attention should be paid to errors in the e-mails.

A frequent question that we face is ‘Where to get databases for email campaigns?’ To send your material you can:

- Buy/rent at special companies or agencies (for example, with the help of our agency - RMAA Group);

- Develop/collect your own database.

What is the best way to collect a database of subscribers on your own?

  • Create unique content, such as a free White Paper, and in exchange for the White Paper download, ask a user for their email address;
  • Conduct a webinar, require people to input their email address to check in;
  • You can negotiate partners’ email lists.

These and many other ways will help you collect your own base of subscribers.

The main thing to remember – the Russian market is still emerging and therefore is very prospective. In our country, the majority do not see the difference between spam and email mailouts. That is why the attitude to both is the same - negative. When it comes to the positive aspects, the average Russian user is not overwhelmed with emails and therefore has the opportunity to view most received messages.

White Paper production and promotion

Through years of hard work, your company and employees have gained invaluable experience. Your services are an order of magnitude better than the services of your competitors. But how to inform the consumer about it? How to convince them that it is necessary to buy your products/services?

The answer is simple – you do not need to convince clients, you need to teach them. An educated customer is your customer. However, the difficulty arises – how to "teach" a client and to present "training" materials in an easily accessible form for potential customers? These days, content is king. It is an incontrovertible fact. So, create White Papers and explain how your product or service works.

A White Paper is a document that helps your potential client to make an informed decision in your company’s favor, or in a specific product’s favor. Just make sure that the White Paper does not impose anything and does not contain advertising. It helps users to solve their problems and thus attracts them to your product.

To bring a new White Paper to your target audience’s attention, you have to position its release as the mini-launch of a new product. Use different promotion techniques and stick to them as long as you see good results. Do not give up too easily on advertising and be sure to use the effective techniques listed below:

  • Create a Landing page with an excerpt from your e-book;
  • Make the announcement of the e-book on your website;
  • Send out the e-book to your base of subscribers;
  • Write about the e-book in social networks, groups of similar subject;
  • E-book distribution through thematic portals;
  • Live delivery by courier to potential customers.

Despite its obvious benefits, this tool is rarely used by Russian marketers. So we can talk about a certain “information hunger” in the Russian audience, lacking high quality and structured data that helps to solve problems.

A White Paper that is drawn up properly and is well thought-out, will help you not only to draw attention to your company, but will also enhance your credibility in the eyes of your customers.


After studying all the main channels, the question arises: how to choose those that will meet with success?

The best option - a comprehensive approach. SMM, SEO, e-mail marketing, contextual advertising: all these Digital strategy tools must work in tandem. It is clear that only a very lucky man can count solely on SMM or mobile advertising.

Just remember that there is no universal recipe for a successful website promotion on the Internet-- in Russia or in any other country. A company does not become successful in the digital field in a day or even a month. You should also keep in mind, that to succeed in digital-marketing it is not enough to try 2 or 3 technologies and to give up in the face of failure. It is necessary to create pilot projects and analyze them, analyze how strategies, technology and techniques work. Improving a website and its content is a constant task.

To find out more about Digital marketing in Russia download the White Paper for free here


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