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Launching Advertising Campaign with VK Ads from Scratch in 4 Steps



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It bears reminding that the VK announced the launch of a new platform to promote VK Ads in April 2022. The developers managed to unite all useful features of other services (myTarget and PRO VKontakte) into a single system, so that marketing experts could work with targeted ads easier, faster, and in a more efficient way.

In 2022, everyone interested (and there were a good few of them, based upon the cases) could test the freely available platform after the log-in. At the moment, VK Ads has become a basic targeting tool and not just a new addition in use.

Let’s demonstrate how it looks. RMAA experts prepared a step-by-step guide to launch a campaign with VK Ads.

Step 1. Registration in VK Ads

As normal, it all starts with creation of a business account. In VK Ads, you can add a new account or connect myTarget. To sign in with the platform, you will need a login and a password of the personal page VK/; it is also possible to sign in with VK ID or a QR code.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

After you have logged in successfully, you need to go to account settings and fill in the company details. This action is mandatory because this data is required for marking and communication of information about advertising campaigns to the Unified Registry of Online Advertising (UROA, ERIR) in accordance with Russian law. 

Step 2. Campaign launch in VK Ads

Go to Campaigns and click on Create. There will be a list of advertised objectives on the menu where you need to choose the right one. A campaign combines several ad groups with a common advertising object or goal. Campaign settings work for all ad groups. A group includes several ads with common audience, budget, locations, and display schedule. Group settings work for all ads within a part of it.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

At the moment promotion of the following objects is available in VK-ads: product catalogs, websites, lead form, mobile applications, VK Mini Apps & Game, VK community, music, videos and broadcasts, as well as promotion of a group in Odnoklassniki and promotion in Dzen. After clicking on the objective required, let’s move to the promotion strategy.

If large coverage is needed to increase brand awareness, pay attention to these formats:

  • display ads with images or videos on all platforms of the VK ecosystem;
  • video advertising in VK videos and clips, apps, games, websites;
  • promotion of a post on the wall of a VK community;
  • promotion of articles from Dzen;
  • at the same step, you can copy the settings of another campaign previously created in this VK Advertising account.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps
Also, here we choose:

  • event for optimization – campaign target action (clicks, impressions, conversions, installs, other desired actions);
  • campaign budget optimization (yes/no) – when the budget is automatically distributed among ad groups. In some cases, this function is not convenient, so you can turn it off and set up every ad group manually.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

  • bidding strategy – min price where the campaign budget is allocated, after which the system forms the maximum number of conversions within this amount, or limit price where, apart from the budget, you need to specify the maximum cost per conversion. In the second scenario, it is recommended to specify the maximum cost with a margin in order not to narrow the audience reach. The budget is allocated in two ways: for one day of work when the specified amount is spent every day or for the entire period where the budget will be equally divided into the number of campaign days.

VK ads strategy specifics based on the advertised objective

Let’s enlarge on the choice of the target action in different cases.

When promoting the site, the campaign will show ads to users who are most likely to go to the site or perform a target action there. If a VK Ads pixel is not set up for the site, the events available will be ad impressions and clicks on ads. The platform will definitely propose you to set up a pixel as, if applicable, additional options such as conversions and automatic events will open.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

Ads with the lead form collect leads. As a rule, they are used to collect contact information of potential customers, so the lead form has only one target action — collect leads. There is neither budget optimization nor ad groups here. The budget is spent to advertise one lead form.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps
Campaigns for promotion of mobile apps are aimed at attraction of new users or involvement of existing users. There are basically two goals here: installs and targeted actions (pass a level in a game etc.). In addition, ads for applications may contain diplinks, be integrated with applications in RuStore or specifically track traffic only from iOS devices using the SKAdNetwork function.

However, VK Mini Apps are all different. There is only one target action here—Open mini app, which helps obtain the maximum number of app runs. If any other events are set inside, VK Ads will see and automatically show them. Later on, respective statistics can be checked.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

Besides, you can promote a brand community with VK Ads inside the social media network. One can choose four target actions: join community, write to community, engagement (post promotion), and buying goods and services.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

Lastly, let’s briefly discuss special features for music authors and opinion leaders.

The campaign with music as the advertised objective enabled promotion of performers’ songs. To launch it, you need to prove your right to the track or, saying it legally, to commercial use of intellectual property. The documents are uploaded once per campaign, and there is also only one target action here—listen and add music.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

The situation with video and streams is nearly the same, excluding documents. The target action is watching videos and streams.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

In both cases, ads will be seen by users who are more likely to listen to or watch the promoted content.

Dzen Promo as a new feature of VK Ads appeared in 2024. With its help, brands and authors can promote articles from channels on Dzen content platform (note - among the top 10 social networks in Russia). Dzen allows content creators to find interested users through smart algorithms that take into account users' interests and recommend content they are sure to like. More than 10,000 brands are already using Dzen to solve marketing tasks: they run their own channels and do integrations with bloggers on the platform. Now, one format of content from Dzen - an article - can be promoted through VK Advertising. It must not contain emoji or special characters, and the length of the title cannot exceed 70 characters, including spaces. 

Promotion can be launched by any advertiser who has a channel in Dzen and a VK Advertising account. To start promoting content, you need to link the VK Advertising account to the Dzen Studio. 
Next, in VK Ads you should select a Dzen advertising campaign and set the promotion period. At the company group level, select the payment model (note - clicks or impressions), budget and audience characteristics. 

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps
Step 3. Setting up ad groups

When the advertised objective is chosen and the campaign goals are set, let’s move to target settings in ad groups.

To begin with, you need to specify the campaign’s duration and show time. The second option is facultative on the chance that you have an idea when your target audience can see the ad.

Further on, you need to specify the region (a city, a Russian region, or any other available enlisted region) or to geo-tag a place on the map.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

Going to demographic parameters, you can choose gender, minimum and maximum age, age restriction (if you promote information products). 

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

Besides, the platform enables interests targeting. You need to select them from the list so that the system could choose users to broadcast ads, based on what these people had been looking for or watching for the last three months. What matters is if you select several interests, your audience will widen. To narrow it, you need to add exclusions.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

The alternative is contextual targeting. In order to use it, you need to specify key phrases and minus-phrases. The search period will take from 1 to 30 days, during which the system will be considering data about every target/off-target user. Conveniently, you can connect already existing audiences from myTarget or another VK advertising account here.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

In the below block, URL Parameters, you can choose if you need to add UTM tags to ads, and if yes, whether automatically or manually. 

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

In the “Devices” section, choose whether ads will be shown on mobile devices or desktop devices - or both.

The last step when setting up ad groups is choosing platforms for placement. As a reminder, placements are automatic by default. If this feature is disabled, you can select platforms manually: VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, ad network or VK projects. Depending on the placement, ads will be displayed in various ways. If all platforms are selected automatically, the system will generate an optimal ad display on its own (note - feed, side column, in-stream in a video, etc.).

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

At this point, Step 3 is over. Let’s move on to the final step.

Step 4. Working with ad creatives

Let’s proceed with the ad launch. Fill in the title on the top of the screen and set up ad elements in the card. Do not forget to add the logo. The more fields you fill in, the better it is for the maximum coverage.

Another important consideration is about the text. You need to fill in all fields—title, short and long descriptions, advertiser data. For this purpose, you can use a creative text generator, clicking on the ‘wand’ in every field. Next, upload visuals and see what comes out of this in the end. You will see in the preview window on the right which shows how your ad will look like in the placements set up for the campaign. The last thing is about websites and landing pages. You can change a link to them a bit lower on the left and choose a title on the button out of 27 versions.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

You are all set! You can start the campaign or add more ads to the current one. In our experience, we can note that one ad is not quite enough for successful promotion. There should be at least 2-3 creatives with images and videos of different sizes when possible.

What comes next?

After you click on ‘Publish’, the campaign needs to be moderated. As long as the approval is over, the campaign status will change to ‘Active’ or ‘Inactive’.

In the latter case, there will be rejection reasons in the Status field. You need to mouse over them to see the clarifications.

VK Ads Advertising Campaign Launch Tutorial: 4 Easy Steps

Besides, you can pause, archive, and draft campaigns halfway through—for example, you can change its budget or duration.


Let’s briefly say it again that VK Ads is a quite convenient targeting tool. According to the developers, the platform features will be added for more successful campaigns in various product categories.

You need to take into account three aspects for a more effective result.

  1. Do not wait for the result the next day as the system needs time to learn.

  2. Continual adjustments and analyses are required.

  3. Creatives have to be updated from time to time.

Speaking of creatives. We have prepared a useful material describing the technical parameters of visuals in VK Ads.


  • How to launch an advertising campaign with VK Ads from a mobile phone?

To open the advertising settings menu in the VKontakte (VK) app, you need to go to the "Services" section, tap on "More" in the list of services, scroll through the list, and select "Advertising." After starting the advertising campaign, this menu will display the current balance and statistics for views, actions, and expenses over the past week.

  • What types of advertising are not allowed on VK?

The following content is not allowed in VKontakte (VK) advertisements: alcohol, smoking, drugs, alcoholic beverages and products containing alcohol, including alcohol manufacturing supplies, tobacco products and smoking accessories, including hookahs, electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, vapes, and their components.

  • Why does VK block advertising?

All advertising campaigns on VKontakte (VK) undergo manual moderation within 24 hours. This means they are reviewed by real people. Therefore, even if you didn't follow the the rules of the social network, a moderator may inadvertently approve your advertisement due to oversight.

  • What budget is needed for advertising on VK?

The minimum budget for topping up your VKontakte (VK) advertising account is 500 rubles. You cannot deposit an amount lower than this to your account, and without it, you won't be able to launch advertising on VK.

  • What CTR is considered good on VK?

Based on our experience, a good CTR for VKontakte is considered to be 0.5-0.8%.


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About the Author

A content lead. Natalia runs marketing projects promotion with different digital tools in the Russian-speaking market. 


Author Natalia Gorenkova

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