Baidu PPC: Four Tips to Running a Successful Campaign

May 06, 2019

By Eddie Tabakman, Director of Marketing + Communications at WPIC

With more than 700 million users, and a 90% penetration rate across the Chinese internet, Baidu is perhaps the most important source of internet traffic across the PRC. It is estimated that roughly two-thirds of all traffic originates from the search engine, which is why it has been given the nickname of “Chinese Google”.

Global companies operating in China exert a tremendous amount of effort in optimizing their Baidu strategy. And beyond organic search, Baidu is also the number one channel in China for paid search market. However, despite operating in a way that’s similar to Google, a quick analysis reveals an internal structure and process that’s quite different. 

Brands would do well to remember these crucial tips in order to ensure their brands succeed on this key platform:

  • Localization

While certain elements of China’s consumption patterns are similar to that of the West, it’s important to remember that any brand that wants to resonate with Chinese consumers needs to be localized for the market. 

Because of the differences in consumer preferences and tastes, it’s important for product and service offerings to be tweaked and optimized for Chinese audiences. However, mere translations of advertisements are not enough to drive conversions and certainly are not enough to drive a connection. 

At a minimum, all ads and websites must be re-interpreted (go beyond translation!) using simplified Chinese language. Brands that succeed well will leverage truly native speakers who understand the nuances of Chinese language when they are translating copy. 

Beyond that, however, to get the most out of a PPC campaign, all keywords research, A/B testing, copywriting, and more, must have a China-centric intelligence behind them. Hire and partner with individuals and organizations who know the market inside and out.

  • 24/7 customer service

Not only do Chinese consumers love chatting online, but it’s a vital part of their shopping experiences. So, brands who want to convert individuals from “window” shoppers to repeat customers need to engage in conversations with those individuals.

For increased engagement, it is recommended that each brand have real-time chat capabilities embedded on their websites and e-commerce stores, so that customers are able to ask questions. More importantly, however, that sort of functionality gives organizations the opportunity to interact with their customers and build a relationship with them. 

In short, it behooves brands not to miss a chance to build brand loyalty with their Chinese customers- it goes twice as far in China as it does in the West.

  • Emphasize the foreign nature of your products

If a product is designed or manufactured outside of China, there is likely a certain cachet attached to it. Just like Western consumers trust German automobiles, Swiss Chocolates, and Japanese electronics, so too do Chinese consumers associate a high level of quality with those products.

To differentiate a brand and its products in the market, it is important to emphasize how those items are different from the ones that Chinese consumers typically interact with. 

And even though a company’s messaging and product mix need to be specifically localized for the Chinese market (per the first point), brands would still do well to showcase their unique offerings.

  • Campaign Optimization

Leaning on web analytics and data reports are a big part of the analysis of any campaign in the West, and the importance of these tools applies in China as well. 

However, unlike Google AdWords, Baidu PPC doesn’t integrate with Google Analytics inside the Great Firewall, and Baidu’s own analytics suite has been labeled as “malware” by some of the leading independent security companies in the world.

Fortunately for brands, WPIC has developed Chinalytics®, an omni-channel web analytics platform for China, which gives organizations accurate insights that they can leverage to make key business decisions. Organizations can integrate their Baidu PPC ads with Chinalytics® to receive a detailed data flow, and also have access to heat-mapping, click-tracking, and more.

As mentioned above, Baidu PPC is a great option to drive website traffic, get qualified leads, and efficiently increase ROI in the market. By following these suggestions, organizations are likely to improve their campaigns’ PPC returns. Interested in learning more about Baidu PPC and SEO campaigns in China? For more information, contact info@wpic.co