Distinctive features of blog marketing in Russia

Russians are diligent in reading and writing blogs, and this is the only one explanation why people spend on average more than 9 hours per month on social media there, more than in any other place in the world.

The popularity of blogs and bloggers has made them a viable marketing channel. For example, many bloggers and blogging groups have visited Finland in order to write about places to visit here, products and the country in general.

Blogging as well as marketing is a social and cultural phenomena. Therefore, it is good to be aware of the features that create this significant nature of blogs in Russia. The following are the main points to be brought up.

1. In Russia blogging is communal. The most popular blog publishing platform in Russia is LiveJournal.com that also provides users with the opportunity to interact with each other. In Russia, blogging is also a form of not-published communication. This fact should be considered also in conventional marketing that does not always fit the nature of Russian blogs.

2. Bloggers differ from each other. A blogger is a popular profession in Russia. A popular blogger has millions of readers and hundreds of thousands of followers in blog communities. Well-known professional bloggers can be also called celebrities. They are famous people who enjoy the glow of publicity, have their own way to do things and want to maintain their own public image. In this case, the marketing projects’ goals and strategies may cause problems to own values and freedom of top bloggers.

Of course, there many less popular bloggers in Russia who do not care so much about their own image and are not ready to adjust to different assignments. Their readerships and impressiveness of posts are not even nearly close to top bloggers.

3. Although Russian Internet commercialism is a known and recognized fact, it is necessary to avoid the use of excessive marketing. Communities wait not only for new publications, but also for further reviews and opinions. Excessive marketing and ”paid news” often arouse rapid comments from readers. That is the reason why Russian blogging obtains some guerrilla marketing features. The main aim of each blog is to provoke thoughts, reveal things and attract attention.

4. Russian blogs are visual. Russian culture is aesthetic, so blogs’ readers expect visually-provoking publications and do not care so much about the factual text. So, graphics are extremely important and should be applied.

5. Russian blogs are entertaining. Bloggers and readers play games in which the sense of humour plays an important role. What is more, it is important to keep in mind that Russian humour is often black and provocative.

A good example of Russian blogging can be Ivan Varlamovin’s publication where he explains step by step how to cook pilau. This post was shared by different Russian social media channels. It has attracted huge audiences and collected almost five hundred comments. Most of those comments concern Ivan’s bad cooking skills, however, Ivan told that it was just the described meal preparation, and his Michelin chef friend cooked it following all the rules.

To sum up, using blogs in Russia can be an effective marketing tool. However, it is often drastically different from the Finnish "sober style", and this should be always taken into consideration.