7 steps to winning video ads for the Russian market with Yandex.Direct

Yandex experts create a workflow for setting up video ads with Yandex.Direct

Yandex team recently published this video ad creation checklist to make advertisers’ job a little easier (available here in Russian, including a downloadable PDF). In this post, we’re summarizing the steps listed in the Russian article.


Step 1: choose CPC or CPM

Depending on your business goals, you can choose between a pay-per-click option and a pay per 1,000 impressions option.

If your goal is to drive sales and conversion optimization for an existing product, CPC is the way to go.

However, if your goal is to increase the click-through rate and get more viewers to finish watching your ad – either for brand awareness or as the first step of ad campaign optimization ­– then CPM is a better option.

Step 2: set up your targeting

You can choose geo-targeting down to a specific city or town and incorporate customer demographics and behavior in your ad settings. Here are the audience targeting options:

  • demographics, such as gender, age, and level of income
  • online behavior
  • marital status, profession, whether or not they have kids
  • short-term and long-term interests
  • Audience segments
  • Metrica segments and goals

If you’re not sure about the settings, Yandex.Metrica can help you determine the characteristics of your converting customers or website visitors.

The goal of setting ad targeting criteria is to help you achieve your ad campaign goals. If your aim is to expose more online viewers to your brand or product, then setting specific targeting parameters is not a priority.

For increasing branded searches, you can define your audience based on your information about online users already conducting branded searches.

Yandex experts studied results achieved by various businesses and identified the winning combinations of settings based on business size.

For large businesses, the most common targeting settings combine demographics criteria with one more characteristic. The most popular settings are:

  • demographics + audience interests
  • demographics + Yandex.Audience or Yandex.Metrica segments

In terms of ad performance, the view-through rate is the highest for ads targeting viewers based on their demographics (for example, gender), or demographics + audience interests.

Ads with the highest CTR, however, are the ones that combine targeting based on demographics with additional criteria, such as behavior, Yandex.Audience or Yandex.Metrica segmentation, and information about profession, marital status, or parenting status.

Medium-sized businesses use the same targeting strategies, but get higher VTRs when using demographic targeting along with Yandex.Audience or Yandex.Metrica segmentation. The same ad targeting settings get the highest CTRs. Full information on targeting in video ads is available here (in Russian).

Step 3: choose your ad format

The following video ad options are available to Yandex advertisers:

  • in-stream placement in video content, from movies to shows
  • in-page placement
  • in apps before content is loaded or updated (interstitial)
  • in-banner placements in mobile apps
  • rewarded ads in gaming apps

7 steps to set up your ad on Yandex.DirectStep 4: optimize for weather conditions

Yandex data shows that some products are more in-demand on sunny days, such as gardening products, and some are more popular on rainy days, for example food delivery services.

If demand for your product or service also depends on the weather conditions, from temperature to humidity, adjust the ad settings to capitalize on demand surges.

Step 5: create your video ad collateral

Here are some recommendations based on Yandex best practices:

  • video length between 5 and 15 seconds is ideal
  • mention your brand in the beginning for better retention
  • add product photos for product ads

Here are some tips from Russian marketers on what works for the Russian audience.

Step 6: add a call to action

According to Yandex experts, the following CTAs were the most effective in video ads:

  • no-text button shaped as an arrow in the center or to the right
  • “View more” button with a similar placement
  • static text combined with an image at the end of the video

You can find out more about winning CTA placements for the Russian market in this Yandex presentation (in Russian).

Step 7: evaluate results

Yandex.Direct and Yandex.Metrica allow you to track conversions post-click and post-view, as well as brand lift. In addition, you can request additional reports from Yandex, including further information on the audience, search lift, conversion rates, and more.

Looking for additional resources on setting up video ads in Yandex.Direct? Here are some past Russian Search Marketing articles that can help:

You can also reach out to our bilingual experts for help with setting up video ads for your Russian audience.