Internet Marketing and Lead Generation in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan and the Internet
The Republic of Azerbaijan is a country located between Western Asia and Eastern Europe and the largest in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. With an estimated population of more than 9.1 million people Azerbaijan covers an area of 33,436 square miles and has a GDP (PPP) per capita of $US10’216 and two thirds of the country is rich in oil and natural gas. The export of oil and gas has boosted the economy considerably in recent years. Azerbaijan is also known for being one of the most forward thinking and secular Islamic societies with a high ranking on the Human Development Index. It is bordered by Russia, Georgia, Iran and Armenia with the Caspian Sea to the east. Although Azerbaijan passed through years of very high inflation it has recently reformed considerably and has also been ranked as one of the top 10 reformers by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. In 2008 Azerbaijan introduced time saving reforms to make starting a business much easier cutting down the process to half the amount of time which saw business registrations increase by 40% during the first six months. . Azerbaijan moved up the ranks from 97 to 33 in the overall ease of doing business. Taxpayers can now process and pay their taxes online and there are now more than 3.3 million internet users in Azerbaijan, 35% of the total population.
Search Engine Market Share
Search engine market share is mostly occupied by Google with Google Azerbaijan having a 52% share, Google 21%, Google Russia 13%, Google UK 3% and Google Turkey with a 2% market share. Bing has a 3% share and remaining share is split between various Google country sites, Yandex, Dogpile and Yahoo.
Social Media and Facebook in Azerbaijan
Facebook users in Azerbaijan account for just 16.38% of the online population (604,180). However, the number of unique visitors from Azerbaijan to Facebook every day has increased by more than 100% over the 12 month period of 2011 from around 100,000 to 250,000 indicating a steep increase in Facebook activity among Azerbaijani internet users. Youtube.com has seen a similar increase over the same period from just 80,000 unique visitors to more than 200,000 daily. Top Facebook brand in Azerbaijan is “maxi24” the Facebook page for Maxi24 an online classified ad website. Azercell and Ideal Perfumery and Cosmetics come in second and third place as popular brands and indicate a keen interest in telecoms and beauty products even though women only account for 34% of the Facebook population. The majority of Facebook users in Azerbaijan are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.
Ecommerce Opportunities and Lead Generation
The future of ecommerce in Azerbaijan is promising for outside internet marketers considering that it was only in 2009 that online payment gateways became available. This puts Azerbaijan in the position that the UK and US were in 15 or 20 years ago which will enable lead generation experts from those markets (and elsewhere) to apply the years of learning already experienced that has brought these ecommerce markets to such an advanced level. Internet marketers need to carry out the same keyword and niche market research to expose untapped opportunities that will, no doubt, be in abundance as Azerbaijan moves forward and being at the forefront of ecommerce efforts now will pay dividends in the long run. Maxi24 appears to be in the same position that the Loot newspaper and online publication was over a decade ago and suggests that ecommerce in Azerbaijan will sky rocket. Large companies are now looking for new ways to increase their sales and internet marketers can engage in lead generation campaigns to support their transition from being on the High Street to the information Super Highway.