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Video Advertising as One of the Promotion Tools on the Russian Market. Trends 2022

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Over the years, video advertising has been considered one of the most effective ways to interact with an audience. According to the analytical platform invesp, more than 90% of advertising experts consider video marketing as an integral part of the product promotion strategy on the market. Besides, 80% of online businesses are using video content for the same purposes (this indicator was equal to 63% in 2021). Having studied these data, invesp analytics suggested that video advertising will account for most of the world's Internet traffic in 2022. Or more precisely, 82%.

The reasons for the effectiveness of this type of advertising are quite obvious. According to world statistics for 2021, 6 out of 10 users prefer video advertising on the Internet instead of a traditional TV commercial. Plus, such content of the format increases website traffic (by 87%) and the time of their visit (by 81%), attracts potential customers (by 83%), and helps to see all the product benefits (95%). Therefore, sales increase (by 80%), and the number of calls to the support service on various issues reduce (by 43%) thanks to the video.

In addition, invesp also estimated that in 2021 71% of users watched more videos than in the previous 2020. And 90% of consumers are sure that video advertising has helped them make the right purchasing decision. From a marketing point of view, the video format gets more views than text or graphic content (by 48% more, to put it more precisely). Therefore, this type of advertising has large coverage and results of product promotion in general.

Moreover, regardless of the market or region, these indicators will be approximately at the same level. The only difference is that for each country and depending on the product type, the channels for the promotion of video content will vary.

Especially in Russia

According to the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia, the total cost of video advertising on the Internet in 2021 reached 32.9 billion rubles, which is 1.5 times more than the total budget for radio advertising and the press (22.2 billion rubles). And that tells us about the demand for such a format of promotion on the market. However, in 2022, it completely changed the habitual means of communication with the audience.

At the beginning of this year, the Russian advertising market was dramatically changed, entailing an operational “relocation” of all advertising traffic to domestic social services. Because foreign platforms got blocked. Thus, Russian advertisers have been completely disconnected from Google Ads, they do not have access to place ad videos on Youtube and such popular services as TikTok, Instagram*, and Facebook* (owned by Meta**). Rutube, VKontakte, and other platforms “came” to replace them.

However, it should be understood that each channel has its own specifics, advantages, and disadvantages, which depend on the type of video content, audience, and other factors. RMAA experts have prepared their own expertise of popular Russian resources, and also found out what trends of video advertising appeared on the market in 2022.

Video Content Formats

In general, there are several main video advertising formats:

1) In-Stream is the most popular type of video advertising, somewhat similar to the “good old” TV commercial. The video is played automatically during watching. Moreover, the broadcast of advertising can be selected according to the following criteria: pre-roll (before the playback), mid-roll (during the broadcast), post-roll (at the end of playback), pause-roll (when exiting pause mode and continuing watching). The option to skip ads is often added into In-Stream (immediately or after a few seconds). About half of all YouTube budgets in Russia accounted for such type of video content.

2) Out-Stream is considered to be a more native format. Since then as video is located inside the content on the website or in the mobile application and is played automatically. In this case, it starts when the most part of the video player is on the smartphone or desktop screen. According to experts, out-stream is the least annoying for users, since it does not interrupt reading news resources or watching graphic elements on the website. In addition, if a user is not interested in the ad video, he can close it at any time and continue playback.

3) Rewarded video is usually used in applications or games since this video format implies a reward for watching it (for example, in-game currency). Such content is perceived by the audience more loyally than all other formats.

4) Top-line is a small banner at the top of the screen, where a video is played automatically without sound.

5) Fullscreen video appears on the full screen as a pop-up window on top of the main page. Most often, a user cannot close the video on their own and waits for the end of the video. Of course, in many cases, such advertising is annoying, because it creates a barrier in interaction with content.

6) Wow-roll is considered an unusual format of video content that attracts the attention of users. It is a video clip with animated elements that can go beyond the player and move around the screen. Accordingly, when choosing this format, you need to understand how to broadcast it correctly. For example, on the landing page, wow-roll is likely to be effective, since users purposefully went to the product page and are ready to watch everything that says about its properties.

Depending on the type of video advertising and its features, the promotion of the product on the market can be integrated with various channels that support such format (or several formats at once). Let's talk about this in more detail, and also consider the services that allow the launch of a video campaign on the Russian market and their functionality.

Rutube and YouTube - What is the Difference Now for the Russian Market?

We have combined an overview of these services since they have a similar interface and are designed to broadcast exclusively video content. At the same time, it should be understood that, from the point of view of advertising, the platforms will be distinguished by their functionality due to the market characteristics. This situation arose at the beginning of the current year due to a number of blockages and restrictions for foreign companies. Recall that YouTube belongs to Google, which is a part of the Alphabet American holding company.

In March 2022, the YouTube platform management decided to temporarily disable advertising for Russian users. At the same time, video service continues to work in Russia to be able to broadcast “independent news” amid the global political situation. In other words, video advertising integration through the Youtube advertising cabinet has become impossible.

Therefore, many advertisers have paid attention to the Russian equivalent service, Rutube, which allows you to broadcast video ads of various formats in unlimited quantities. And not just because of this. In the very same March of the present year, new users started coming to the platform. According to Alexander Zharov, CEO of Gazprom-Media Holding, (in an interview with RIA Novosti), video downloads on Rutube increased from 3 thousand units to 40 thousand, and the number of daily users of the service reached 450 thousand people. Also, Zharov noted that so far Rutube is technically prepared for a great activity since the service was completely upgraded at the end of 2021. However, in May 2022, Similarweb experts indicated an outflow of users on the platform (by 23 million people per month). But at the same time, Rutube ranks 4th in the list of the best websites in the category “Movies and streaming in Russia”. While YouTube remains in the leading position for Russian viewers.

Source: inclient.ru

From the video marketing point of view, the situation is following. It doesn't make sense to say that any of these services are better or worse. On the one hand, YouTube is limited in advertising opportunities, but has a larger number of users. On the other hand, Rutube makes it possible to broadcast video ads in various formats, but it takes only 4th place in terms of the number of audience. In this case, the effectiveness will depend on the type of integration. Therefore, it is important for Russian advertisers to understand which content to broadcast and on which service. In other words, YouTube will be an effective channel for integration with influencers (since they all also have high viewing rates). While Rutube help to implement other types of video advertising into the main content of the platform and set up targeting.

However, the Rutube functional capabilities do not end there, thanks to SocialJet specialists.

Rocket Video as an Addition to Rutube

Amid the situation with ad blocking on Youtube and the increasing popularity of Rutube on the Russian market, a new advertising platform RocketVideo has appeared (Developed by SocialJet). The service is completely focused on video advertising and can promote videos from the same Rutube to other external websites, including websites with video content. The developers are sure that in this way it is possible to drive additional traffic, and increase the number of video views and its popularity. According to SocialJet, the volume of video advertising, which is placed through their service, reaches 6 million views per day. Also, one of the RocetVideo benefits is the integration of content not only on news sites and entertainment portals but also thematic resources, which makes targeting more accurate.

Depending on the campaign objectives, an advertiser can choose two options for the placement: semi-automatic with the support of project managers or fully automated if the target does not require specific characteristics. Such popular video content formats as In-Stream (pre-roll) and Fullscreen for the mobile version are available on RocetVideo. The platform's capabilities make it possible to set the exact KPI for the required number of video views, and also contribute to user transitions to Rutube (using the “View on Rutube” button), that way improving its traffic.

In other words, RocketVideo is an effective addition to the promotion of video advertising on Rutube, which allows content to broadcast to external sites. And what is most important, the service allows the prompt switching of advertising activity to various websites. This option is more relevant than ever in the conditions of unstable situation on the Russian advertising market.

Online Cinemas as Websites with Large Reach

At the beginning of 2022, Telecom Daily published a report on the “Online Video Market 2020-2021". According to these data, the revenue of online video services in 2021 increased by 41% and amounted to about 55 billion rubles. Moreover, a significant part of the budget (33 billion rubles) fell in the second half of 2021.

Then, a wave of sanctions has “swept on" this market segment (as well as on others). After that, experts began to talk about a possible drop in budgets. Despite this fact, online cinemas are still leading on the market. Which is a significant plus for video marketing.

Basically, these platforms work with advertising content in In-Stream format plus add additional functionality. On ivi.ru you can use an interactive (for example, a quiz) to increase user engagement or create special projects similar to native editorial integrations. Kinopoisk.ru offers advertisers In-Stream with advanced features that allow them to see ads at the beginning and at the end of the broadcast of the main content. Since the end of 2021, another popular cinema service Okko has been offering the same functions to advertisers.

To sum up, online cinemas are an effective tool for product promotion, mainly in the In-Stream format. The advantage of these channels for integration will be the large coverage of services and the broadcast of the video campaign to a wide audience. If the promotion requires more precise characteristics of the target audience, but, at the same time, also a large reach, then the advertiser should pay attention to other popular platforms in Russia.

VKontakte and Odnoklassniki with Additional Advertising Campaign Settings

Significant advantage of these social resources, which belong to the Mail.ru holding, is the use of one advertising cabinet in the work. At the same time, the service makes it possible to set up a campaign using myTarget advertising cabinet.

Basically, myTarget is used to scale an advertising campaign and run it on several platforms at the same time (Odnoklassniki, VKontakte, My World + Mail.ru partner networks). At the same time, the advertising cabinet has quite flexible targeting settings and allows you to choose an audience based on interests, queries, etc. This provides more precise scenarios of the campaign views. For example, you can broadcast content to users who belong to certain groups or communities. Or make a selection based on a specific geolocation that a client is interested in.

This option implies two integration formats for video advertising:

1. Super Video is a Fullscreen advertising video that appears after you switch to the website.

2. Video post that has a native type of content. In other words, such a video is as similar as possible to a regular post from a user, including text and links. This integration format is played automatically mute, that is why subtitles are most often included in it.

Such an extensive myTarget functionality appeared as a result of data collection by the system from all Mail.ru services. Plus, it counts information about users, including search queries, counter data, pixels, etc.

In addition to all of the above advantages of the services, the growth of their popularity among Russians in 2022 should be also noted. According to Sergey Borisov, Odnoklassniki Strategic Development Manager ( in an interview with the SMMplanner portal), the number of registrations on the platform increased by 66%, 36% of users restored their accounts (compared to February 2022) and activity on the social network increased by an average of 40% in March of this year. It should be noted that the Odnoklassniki constant audience is about 40 million people - people from 30 to 50 years old, as well as a young audience up to 25 years old (30% of all registrations in 2021).

Approximately at the same time, another service of the holding, VKontakte, set a new record for itself. On March 27, the activity of social network users reached 1.31 billion video views (+28% compared to February 2022) and 840 million clip views (+125) per day. The developers also recorded the mass registration of new authors and the amount of published video content (horizontal one - posts, vertical one - stories). According to Brand Analytics, VKontakte became the most popular platform in February and March of the current year. Then, a slight outflow of users followed, but it did not affect the stability of the high indicators of the social network in any way. As of May 15, 2022: the number of VKontakte authors was 3.96 million (+18% compared to February 24), and the volume of published content is kept at approximately 13.5 million units per day (+12%).

Source: Brand Analytics, May 2022

Besides, the developers of the platform are actively introducing new means of monetization of video content. For VKontakte professional authors, there is a support program where they receive income from all advertising social network tools in full. And in addition to all the new features of the platform, an application for Smart TV was released at the beginning of 2022, allowing to cover all users' devices.

In other words, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki can be considered one of the most universal channels in terms of promoting video content today. In addition to them, other domestic services began to gain popularity.

Yandex.Video + Yandex.Zen. Various Video Integration Formats

Yandex and its projects became another popular service in Russia in 2022. According to the analytical data of the developers, the monthly audience of all Yandex services amounted to approximately 355 million users this May. Such indicators give good opportunities for advertising, in particular video, since this format is in demand by the audience. Moreover, the broadcast of video advertising on the service is possible in two ways.

Source: Yandex.Radar, July 2022

The first of them is the use of video content in Yandex.Direct, distributed throughout the advertising network. It means that users of all Yandex services, including the Poster, Kinopoisk, TV Program, etc. plus partner sites of the platform will see such advertising. The integration has several possible video formats: an ad with video elements (up to 60 sec) that are embedded in the text or appear while watching a video (In-Stream), as well as a standard In-Stream or Rewarded video for apps.

Another possible way to broadcast video ads is to use the Yandex.Zen blog platform. A special feature of working with the service is that Zen content mainly consists of longer videos with a duration of at least 20 seconds. The average reading of an advertising publication in Zen is more than 2 minutes. And the developers consider the main advantage of Zen to be a focus on the nativeness of the posted content. In other words, when targeting ads, the platform takes into account such indicators as user interests, subscriptions to popular Zen channels, behavioral reactions (likes, comments, dislikes, etc.), browsing history in the service itself, and browsing history in the browser, impression statistics. All this contributes to the fact that advertising is perceived by users as a natural continuation of content according to their interests. In addition, the advertiser can directly agree about integration with the platform's influencers.

All these possibilities give advertisers a wide choice of formats and services for promotion through video advertising on Yandex resources. And even despite the large coverage, the algorithm of the advertising platform allows you to customize advertising to the right audience according to various criteria. As in the case of the aforementioned myTarget functionality, working on Odnoklassniki and VKontakte. However, there is still a difference between them. If myTarget allows advertisers to make the necessary settings themselves, then in the case of Yandex, you will have to trust the system algorithm. By the way, all developer services are built based on this principle.

Good Opportunities in all Respects. Instead of Conclusion

In spite of the blocking of the YouTube Advertising Cabinets, leading on the video advertising market, Russian advertisers have alternative content distribution channels in 2022. Moreover, each of them, either Yandex services or Mail.ru social networks, or Rutube with an additional bonus in the form of the Rocket Video platform, has a fairly wide audience coverage and extensive opportunities for narrow targeting. At the same time, it is still too early to dismiss YouTube in Russia, since integrations with influencers are still successful as part of service work.

Let's add to this the fact that video advertising itself has a number of advantages over other types and greater loyalty among users. As a result, we get the following: the effectiveness of product promotion using video content directly depends on the channels of its distribution, as well as competent targeting.

Entrust this task to RMAA specialists who know all the nuances of working with popular video services on the Russian market.

*Blocked and recognized as extremist social networks in Russia.

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About the Author

Author of the RMAA Blog

Author Natali Gorenkova
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