Blog about successful marketing strategies in russia

Why VK Ads advertising manager is so good: overview and specific features



Share this Post

In April 2022, VK, the Russian holding, (VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Dzen, and partner networks) announced the launch of the new VK Ads manager. Gradually, the beta version of the service was upgraded, and new features were added into it. Thanks to this, VK Ads has currently become a valuable convenient platform for the implementation of many targeting tasks.

RMAA experts have made a brief overview of the new VK service to clearly show how it differs from VK PRO (note - the platform stopped working at 2023) and myTarget.

VK Ads main advantages

The main emphasis of the new advertising cabinet was made on the automation of promotion within the VK network. Here you can also add a faster operation on the platform at all stages of the implementation of an advertising campaign. Let's begin with the fact that the main difference between VK ads and VK PRO is greater coverage. It means, you can launch promotion using the new service on all VK holding platforms (VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Dzen, partner networks).

Visually, VK ads is made in corporate, blue-and-white, brand colors. An advertiser can manage promotion within the platform, test hypotheses, optimize the budget between the ad groups and separate creatives.

VK Ads manager: overview, all specific features and peculiarities

The service has two types of advertising managers. The first one is for agencies. The second one is for independent launches of campaigns (advertisers). In the latter, you can transfer your details, audience settings, mobile applications, advertising account, and, of course, old active campaigns from myTarget (“Share segment" function).

Let's mention a few words about the promotion object. It can be selected from the following list: website, application (this option is no longer available in myTarget), communities, media content, catalogs, or a lead form. 

Also, the developers have paid great attention to the effectiveness of campaigns and more detailed targeting. Due to this, the following useful additions appeared in VK ads.

Three-level structure

Inside the cabinet there are 3 tabs for the convenience of users: Campaigns, Groups and Ads. This structure allows you to manage the promotion at all levels. For example, you can work with budgets for ad groups or for a separate creative.

Besides, in VK ads it is possible to duplicate any elements from the content of campaigns and save drafts for further work. But you can't copy the ads from one campaign to another. Of course, it is not so convenient. Nevertheless, the process of work with creatives has become much faster than in the old VK PRO cabinet, where it took several hours to create an ad.

Effective setting of a campaign objective, more precise targeting and statistics

If earlier, when working in VK PRO or myTarget, successful promotion depended more on the choice of a  publication format and its testing for different audiences, now, in VK ads, the approach to campaigns has changed significantly. The promotional objective has been ranked first, because it affects targeting in general and optimizations of all work mechanisms. It means that the system will not understand how to generate impressions without selecting an objective.

In addition, new parameters have been added to the optimization – more accurate geo by regions of Russia and other countries, geotargeting with a radius up to 500 m, demographics, user interests, devices and the choice of key phrases. Due to this, the promotion statistics have become even more detailed, which is effective for the targeting on the Russian market because all the above mentioned parameters, audience's queries will differ from each other in different regions.

VK Ads manager: overview, all specific features and peculiarities

Smart pixel

In the new VK ads developers stopped using the old VK PRO pixel, so the procedure of its installation should be repeated here. Smart pixel is similar in analogy to the myTarget counter code and has the ability to automatically recognize actions on the website. Many advertisers believe that this mechanism of work is similar to the Ads Manager Facebook* system and greatly facilitated the creation of conversion campaigns.

Automated bid management and selection of payment option for the result

The optimisation of the new ads manager resources has also been influenced on the budget of campaigns. It is enough to choose one of 3 parameters: impressions, clicks or website events  (by pixel). After, the system automatically evaluates the most effective options of impressions and allocates resources between ad groups or ads within the group.

VK Ads manager: overview, all specific features and peculiarities

The platform's algorithm collects data and evaluates the probability of performing the specified target action – on the basis of which it is trained to set optimal bids. As a result, more target users see ads. Therefore, the conversion also increases. 

Versatile ad format for all VK platforms

As we have already mentioned in our article about the parameters of advertising creatives on VKontakte, the main difference between VK ads and VK PRO is work with a versatile ad format, when an advertiser uploads all options of images and videos for one campaign, and the system automatically generates possible publication formats for VK sites.

VK Ads manager: overview, all specific features and peculiarities

On the one hand, such approach to work with creatives significantly saves advertisers' time, because the requirements for them have become the same depending on the type: image or video. VK PRO has different parameters for each ad format (7 main and 2 for apps). If an advertiser wants to use several formats at the same time, then he will have to spend a considerable amount of time editing the text (heading and body text requirements are also different), etc.

Although, on the other hand, the variety of creatives in VK PRO gave certain advantages. Especially, the format of a versatile post with expanded text, from which it was possible to receive a stream of applications or sales.

Therefore, there is only one conclusion here. When working with VK advertising, you need to adapt to new conditions and experiment with options, promotion settings. Perhaps, there are fewer formats, but there are more targeting additions that allow you to increase the effectiveness of advertising.

What else? Important aspects of work with the ads manager

Taking into account all above mentioned VK Ads functions and additions, we can make some conclusions. 

Firstly, it will not be possible to quickly switch to a new account, having a lot of campaigns in VK PRO. Since it is impossible to transfer them automatically, as from myTarget. Only if an advertiser manually starts doing this, creating campaigns in the new manager in the image and likeness of the old one. Therefore, it will be more convenient and practical to gradually switch to VK ads, reducing scope of promotion in VK PRO.

Secondly, you need to change your targeting priorities. In the old manager, an advertiser had to create several ads for different audiences at the same time and constantly edit them manually, including budget rates. In the new one, the platform algorithm is responsible for for optimization. It means the focus, when working with VK ads, should be on more detailed campaign data in order to train the system the most effective marketing. This principle of work saves time and allows to achieve better results. In some ways, it is similar to the promotion of paid advertising in Yandex.Direct.

Therefore, there is a minimum of manual adjustment and a maximum of adjustment of results for each ad.

What else can be done? To experiment with format options within a versatile post, use different texts in one campaign and take at least a few days to train the promotion algorithm. In addition, to set up pixel for a website and adjust events for it. All this will reduce the cost of the target action. In order to evaluate the campaign more realistically in the future. That is, not by standard impressions and clicks, but more deeply – by the price of a high-quality application.

Perhaps, at the beginning, not all advertisers will trust the new, optimized VK advertising system. Especially those who get used to the VK PRO features. However, on the platform's website, you can get acquainted with successful cases of other companies to make sure that the algorithm is effective and it is at least worth trying it. Moreover, the transition to a VK Ads cabinet is inevitable in the near future. RMAA has been using this platform to target campaigns since 2023.

A little bit of VK analytics 

The main advantage that gives promotion through VK in Russia and in the Commonwealth of Independent States is a large reach. The monthly VKontakte audience in 2024 is 90 million users and the daily audience was 50 million. VK users watch 2.41 billion videos per day. There are more than 25 million content creators on the platform (Russian audience). The main age of VK users is 25-34 years old. 

If we talk about geography, the majority of VK users are located in Russia (85.35%). Nevertheless, the service is interesting for residents of Belarus (2.67%), Kazakhstan (1.93%), Ukraine (0.94%), and other world regions (8.3%)

VK Ads manager: overview, all specific features and peculiarities

Now, some data about another VK network – Odnoklassniki. The monthly audience is 36.5 million users, with 80% of them accessing it through mobile devices. The majority of the audience is concentrated in large Russian cities like Moscow, Saint-Petersberg, Krasnodar, and Novosibirsk. On average, Ok users are financially capable audience of 35-64 years old. Among them, 37% are male, 63% are female. Besides the fact that a large number of users enter the service, they are also active within the platform. The developers estimated that Ok collects more than 17 million reactions (note - "thumbes up") and 1,8 comments, with the topics of interest varying according to age groups. Read more about promotion in Odnoklassniki in our special material.

In addition, the network is used not only in Russia (25.48%). According to similarweb's 2024 estimate, Odnoklassniki is visited by users from Turkey (53.44%), Ukraine (5.96%), Germany (3.62%), Moldova (2.18%) and other countries (9.22%). 

VK Ads manager: overview, all specific features and peculiarities

Let's add the audience of VK partner networks here. Where only on Dzen the monthly number of users is about 81 million people. And at the end of 2023, 18 million people visited the Youla service.

The numbers speak for themselves. Targeting within the VK system provides great opportunities for effective promotion in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. With appearance of the VK advertising manager, which is based on the principle of “smart” optimization of the system of impressions and more detailed targeting by regions, these opportunities are only increasing.

We have written a special article about working with the advertising platform. Read other materials of our blog about the possibilities of promotion on the Russian market. And let's stay connected! Subscribe to our blog updates to receive the most up-to-date and useful information on marketing and advertising every month.


*Meta Platforms Inc. project, the activities of which are prohibited in Russia.

Russian Digital Market Overview

Strategic Insights into Russian Digital Marketing Landscape

Download for free

Download for FREE

Ready to partner with the specialists in Russian marketing and advertising?

Contact us

About the Author

Digital Strategist. Head of one of the project groups at RMAA. Maria started her journey in digital marketing in 2009. 

Author Maria Romanenko

We use cookies to improve your personal online experience.

Learn more