Learn how to effectively promote your business in the Caucasus. This article explores the unique aspects of the communication landscape in the region and suggests the best promotion channels.
In this article, we have collected information about Georgia and Armenia (yes, we also work there). Earlier we talked about Central Asia — here.
Armenia: Personal Branding and Face-to-Face Communication Key to Business Promotion
Communication patterns in the country have their own specific characteristics. A significant portion of Armenians learn about news through social media (28.4%) or when communicating with friends (28.4%) and family (24.2%).
In this country, there is a lot of media coverage that is influenced by politics. Whether or not journalists communicate with you may depend on your loyalty and personal connections. Furthermore, promotion within the country should be in Armenian, as the majority of Armenians consume information in their native language.
In Armenia, business promotion is characterized by a preference for face-to-face interactions, the significant impact of personal relationships on all aspects of life, and a focus on personalized communication.
Seventy-six percent of the country’s population gets news from social media, which is the highest percentage among neighboring countries in the region. However, television still has greater coverage than social media. Facebook is the most popular social platform in Armenia. In January 2021, there were 1,798,000 Facebook users in Armenia, accounting for 61.6% of the country’s total population.
To achieve successful business development in Armenia, it is necessary to have a presence on the country’s most popular social network. Local businesses use targeted social media advertising as a tool to boost sales.
Here are the most popular Armenian Facebook pages and their ratings.
In local media, news is usually presented in relation to socio-cultural issues. When discussing a new IT service, begin by highlighting its primary mission and consider how you can discuss the product in terms of its impact on society, such as addressing social issues or other societal concerns.
In Armenia, it is easy to obtain state-level support for your project because the distance between government and business is minimal. Media publications can provide a decisive argument for solving important business tasks for the company.
Armenia has a well-developed system of various communities. This is because the country values the importance of community in daily life. Armenians are used to working and communicating within communities, often preferring offline communication as their primary channel of interaction.
Community management is an effective tool for promotion. Participants can obtain necessary information and learn about news through professional communities, which serve as an alternative to mass media and social networks.
Armenia has a number of strong IT communities.
Startup Grind Yerevan is the Armenian branch of a community that unites over 600 cities, 125 countries, and 2 million entrepreneurs. The main goal is to facilitate the exchange of experiences among aspiring businesses, experienced investors, and entrepreneurs.
HyeTech is a community comprising over 400 experts, investors, and entrepreneurs dedicated to supporting Armenian founders. The community organizes pitching sessions, brainstorming sessions, and exhibitions. While the main office is located in Silicon Valley, community members live all over the world, including in Armenia.
Itel.am is a platform created by the Mediamax news agency to cover and discuss issues related to telecommunications, the internet, IT, and innovation in Armenia.
Off-Topic 2: Personal Branding
In Armenia, communications are centered around the expert’s personality, professional abilities, and personal achievements. Even when promoting a brand or company, it is nearly impossible to do so without linking it to the CEO, founders, or top management. For example, Picsart, one of the most successful IT startups in Armenia, is closely associated with its founder, Hovhannes Avoyan.
The ability to attract financing for a particular project often depends on the scale and reputation of its leaders, making personal branding a cornerstone of business promotion strategy in Armenia.
Georgia: Developing Communications Market and Strong Social Tensions
In Georgia, the communications market is still developing, and only international companies doing business in the country can mainly afford PR in the media. Studies of the media market in the country are fragmented. Therefore, in this review, we present the most notable and obvious trends and figures that describe Georgia’s media consumption in a general form. 99% of respondents had access to news information in Georgian, and 22% had access in Russian.
The media landscape in Georgia is characterized by strong social tensions surrounding religion, LGBT rights, and the influence of Russia. Horizontal communications and word of mouth are highly developed, and recommendations from friends are a key factor in deciding on cooperation.
Therefore, networking and participation in various communities are important tools for business communication in the country.
Television is still the primary source of information in the country, followed by social media and input from friends and family members.
In the Georgian media market, the majority of advertising is allocated to television (37.2%), followed by the internet (29.4%). Print media have the smallest share at 19.3%.
Television is the preferred medium for accessing news content, with 69% of the audience opting for it. Georgia is one of the countries where young people watch TV the most, due to financial considerations and the widespread availability of television. In fact, 78% of people under 35 receive their news information from television in Georgia. Television is the primary means of forming public opinion in Georgia.
Social Media and Video Platforms
The vast majority of the population uses Facebook as a social network for sharing information, with YouTube ranking second in popularity. Georgian opinion leaders write in two languages, Russian and Georgian, in approximately equal proportions.
According to the results of a survey conducted by CRRC Georgia,
67% respondents reported using Facebook at least once a week;
57% use YouTube;
25% use Instagram;
16% use TikTok;
4% use Twitter;
4% use Odnoklassniki;
3% use Vkontakte.
The media market in Georgia is undergoing a general trend: the number of printed media is gradually decreasing, while digital media is growing. Many newspapers are published in the languages of national minorities, such as Russian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani. Additionally, the country has a developed market for English-language media.
Georgia is a multicultural country with minorities who have limited proficiency in the official language. For instance, Marneuli has a predominantly Azerbaijani composition, while Akhalkalaki is predominantly Armenian. When preparing global information campaigns and duplicating content in the language of national diasporas, it is important to consider this aspect.
When working with the media, it is important to keep in mind that their credibility in the country is very low. According to a study by Caucasus Barometer, trust in the media in the country gradually decreased from 50% to 20% between 2008 and 2019. The same data indicate that one in five Georgians does not trust the media.
The media is sometimes influenced by politics, and media owners often control editorial content. Regional and community radio stations are gaining strength as the readership of print media declines and the audience for online news grows.
The most popular messenger in the country is Facebook Messenger, used by up to 65% of the population that is active on the Internet.
The popularity of messaging apps is distributed in the following way:
Viber — 35%;
WhatsApp — 30%;
Telegram — 4%;
Signal — 2%.
Each of the countries in Central Asia or the Caucasus, which we described in the review, has a distinctive and unique media landscape. We aim to highlight the most important features of media consumption and communication in regional media markets. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to media in these countries. If you would like to learn more about how communications work in these regions, please feel free to contact us via Linkedin or Telegram :)