Industry Insights
The Russian Gold Rush: How Zorka.Mobi Drives Efficiency for Mobile UA

stanislau-litvinau-zorka-mobi

Stanislau Litvinau
CEO
Zorka.mobi

zorka-mobi-russian-mobile-ad-network


 

For those of us that aren’t familiar with Zorka.Mobi, please tell us a little more about your offering. 

Zorka.Mobi is a mobile advertising platform specialized in media buying and delivery of mobile traffic by bringing high-quality users from top social networks as well as from Zorka’s own partner network.

We focus on improvement of client`s existing media buying results (in 95% of cases there is room for significant improvement). We also welcome new companies that look for mobile user acquisition based on CPI/CPA model.

Zorka.Mobi strives for client’s satisfaction by delivering expected results supported by excellent account management.

With offices in Moscow, Belarus and Europe we work with Russian and Western developers, agencies and brands, who need reliable and professional partner in mobile user acquisition.

 

There is rapid growth in Russia/CIS in terms of mobile adoption, and as a consequence, mobile advertising. How does this correlate with the data you’ve seen internally?

We acknowledge this trend based on our practice. There is very fluent growth regardless general crisis tendency in Russia and CIS. The amount of mobile offers in our system is constantly increasing. It should be also noted that these are not only foreign offers but also offers from Russian companies.

Moreover, we have noticed that expertise and awareness of the developers is also increasing. During early stages of mobile marketing development in Russia and CIS we had to explain to advertisers a lot of basic things. Today we can see that they became very competent in issues concerning mobile UA.

 

Are there distinguishable differences in the way to approach user acquisition in Russia/CIS, as compared to other geos? If so, what are some of these differences?

The main difference is that around 90% of quality traffic is coming from MyTarget system. MyTarget is one of the largest advertising platforms in CIS that consolidates main Russian social networks, such as Odnoklassniki.ru, VK.com and mobile Mail.ru. Facebook’s share was very small 2 years ago but it is increasing as well. However MyTarget still remains the largest source for mobile advertising at the moment.

What concerns search traffic, the main difference between Russia, CIS and other geos is that Yandex is the most popular search engine leaving Google the 2nd place. According to LiveInternet.ru (www.liveinternet.ru/stat/ru/), in July 2013 preferences of Russian users regarding search engines look like that:

russian-search-engine-traffic

 

Some key trends of late are: mobile video, native ad units, and programmatic advertising. What is your take on each of these?

These trends also take place on Russian and CIS markets. And we try to follow modern tendencies and embed new tools too.

We often use native ad units as it is the main advertising instrument in MyTarget.

We strive for launching mobile video ads but it is quite difficult at current development stage.

We see the maximum perspective for programmatic advertising both on the market and individually for us. Right now we are developing new programmatic platform that we’re planning to introduce in 2016.

 

What are some of the biggest challenges in the Russian mobile user acquisition market?

At the moment the main challenge for Russian UA is mastering typical for the West advertising channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We currently observe high prices for user acquisition in Facebook and that considerably slows down development of this channel.

Twitter is one of the traffic sources that may rise significantly in the nearest few years. Audience of Twitter in Russia is fairly large. However, due to some difficulties of use and high price for UA this traffic source hasn’t been that popular until now.

This year Instagram had a rapid growth as mobile UA source in Russia. Before many advertisers used Mass Follower bot in order to attract the audience. Today with the introduction of official advertising in Instagram this objective became mush easier to achieve.

 

What are your suggestions to an indie app developer that is looking to enter the Russian market? (localization, App Store Optimization, organic UA, paid UA?)

Russian market is quite loyal to indie developers. But this concerns mainly Russian developers, as foreign counterparts may face certain localization difficulties – Russian language is not the easiest one for localization.

App Store Optimization is not that hard to implement. The main objective in this case is acquisition of organic traffic. There are a lot of quite affordable ways to acquire this traffic that may work for indie developers. But I have to warn you that in this case a lot depends on your product and certain percentage of luck. If we regard cheap ways of UA, then usually they base on you networking and personal relationship or on the fact that web-master or the owner a resource really liked the app and decided to promote it for free.

Paid user acquisition may be too expensive for indie developers. Prices are not like in the US or Europe, but they are still quite high. For example, for a game it may be around $1-$1.5 per user depending on the platform. It is quite hard for indie developer to get organic traffic as there is high level of competition on the market right now. It is also possible to get in top of app stores through incentivized buying but because of complication of algorithms in Google Play and AppStore it becomes less profitable than UA.

(At the moment there’s a tendency to bring app in the top with non-incent traffic and if you like we can provide you with our own case with popular Russian app Edadeal.)

 

When are the most competitive seasons of the year for user acquisition in the Russian/CIS market, for each genre?

The most competitive season for UA in Russia traditionally is autumn. Apart from that it is Christmas and New Year’s Eve as everywhere in the world. During this time there is a chance to get in AppStore tops and stay there for all holidays. In Russia Christmas holidays last for 10 days that’s why during this time users have time to download and play the game. A lot of developers compete to use this great opportunity to get more traffic.

 

What are some average CPI rates you’ve seen by app genre for the Russia/CIS geo?

CPI for soft is around $0.5 for Android and $1 for iOS. For games it’s $1 and $1.5 respectively depending on game genre. In other CIS countries such as Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan you should deduct around 30% of this price to get reasonable CPI.

 

How easy (or difficult) is it to scale up and succeed as an indie developer in the Russian/CIS market, and achieve a positive ROI?

This is a very good question. At the moment the market is already quite saturated. That is why Russia isn’t an easy market for any indie developer. However, we believe that you should try anyway and be confident that everything will work. In case of the game with quality content and gameplay the success is near! (In order to enter the market without considerable loss we suggest to contact Russian advertising networks as they have required expertise and experience)

 

Lastly, what do you think the future of mobile user acquisition in Russia/CIS is?

We strongly believe that UA will be on top for quite a long time. Developers will always need quality traffic. The main question is what forms of UA will be more successful in certain moment of time on certain market.

We already can say that the future of UA will be connected with programmatic technologies. Different tools of advertising automation are developing now. Opportunities and drawbacks of RTB system cause a lot of discussions. There are a lot of opinions but the fact is that programmatic technologies are currently on the agenda of mobile marketing. And we believe that the market will develop in this direction for the nearest years.

 


 

Zorka.Mobi is a new mobile advertising platform specialized at media buying and delivery of mobile traffic by bringing high-quality users from top social networks as well as from Zorka’s own partner network.

We focus on improvement of your existing media buying results (in 95% of cases there is room for significant improvement). We also welcome new companies that look for mobile user acquisition based on CPI/CPA model.

Zorka.Mobi strives for client’s satisfaction by delivering expected results supported by excellent account management.
With offices in Moscow, Belarus and Europe we work with Russian and Western developers, agencies and brands, who need reliable and professional partner in mobile user acquisition.

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