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



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In April 2022, VK, the Russian holding, (VKontakte, Odnoklassniki 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 marketing tasks.

At the same time, VK developers have not refused to use older services yet. It is worth reminding that there are two of them: VK PRO (will stop working at 31 July) which broadcasts ads on VKontakte, and myTarget, which covers all the company's networks. Due to the improved functionality, advertisers began to switch gradually to VK Ads. 

RMAA experts have made a brief overview of the new VK service to clearly show how it differs from VK PRO 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, 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.

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, catalogs, or a lead form. In the future, the number of options will be increased to make the cabinet as versatile as possible.

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.


Example of campaign statistics by Russian regions
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.

Work with smart pixel inside the ads manager
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.


Example of budget optimization and allocation for an advertising campaign
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.

Examples of placement of versatile ad formats for desktop and mobile versions
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 new 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 contextual 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 new cabinet is inevitable in the near future.
A little bit of analytics or why to launch targeted advertising on VK networks

The main advantage that gives promotion through VK in Russia and in the Commonwealth of Independent States is a large reach. According to the company, the monthly VKontakte audience at the end of 2022 was 76.9 million users (+6.9% compared to the previous period), and the daily audience was 49.4 million (+7.1%). Of these, 38.4 million are the active audience of applications and games within the network.

If we talk about geography, the majority of VK users are located in Russia (82.61%). Nevertheless, the service is interesting for residents of Belarus (3.16%), Ukraine (2.88%), Kazakhstan (2.24%) and other world regions (8.23%)

VKontakte traffic statistics according to similarweb data for January 2023

Now, some data about another VK network – Odnoklassniki. The monthly audience is 40 million users, most of whom live in major Russian cities (Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Krasnodar, etc.). In 2022, the audience began to log in more from mobile devices (by 73%), and the average age of users was 25-54 years. That is, Odnoklassniki, like VKontakte, is a platform with an active paying audience that can respond to advertising.

In addition, the network is used not only in Russia. According to similarweb's January 2023 estimate, Odnoklassniki is visited by users from Belarus (4.15%), Ukraine (3.87%), Germany (3.48%), Kazakhstan (2.64%) and other countries (10.20%).

Odnoklassniki traffic statistics according to similarweb data for January 2023

Let's add the audience of VK partner networks here. Where only on at the end of 2022, the monthly number of users was about 51 million people. And at the end of January 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 new 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.

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.

*Service belonging to an extremist organization whose activities are prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation.

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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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