The most fundamental thing any marketer who is planning to target Chinese consumers must take into account is the central role that Baidu plays in the lives of this massive demographic. For nearly a decade, this search engine giant has topped the list of sites with the highest amount of web traffic and has easily become the resource of choice for nearly 90% of all Chinese web searchers. If you’re just getting started with Chinese marketing, it’s important that you get up to speed on exactly what Baidu is, how it works and, of course, how you can leverage this powerful tool to your advantage.
Similar to Google, Baidu offers two options for businesses to reach more prospects online: SEO and PPC. Determining which option is best will ultimately depend on your particular business goals. In most cases, achieving a good balance of both is ideal. If you’re unsure of how to divvy up your resources and where to apply your marketing budget to achieve the best possible results, here are several things that can help you make a more informed, intelligent decision.
What is your budget?
Before you even begin to advertise on Baidu, you’ll need to get a clear picture of how much you have to spend. It’s equally important to understand that each advertising option comes with its own expense. Marketers on a tight budget may naturally gravitate toward SEO, as this is technically less costly than PPC. Just remember, however, that there are indirect costs associated with SEO, such as the time and effort it requires to research keywords and manage your campaigns.
How soon do you want to see results?
Another important thing to consider when deciding which area of advertising to focus your time and money is the urgency with which you’d like to start seeing results. Obviously most marketers would prefer to start earning ROI as quickly as possible, but some strategies are simply longer-term in nature than others. For instance, SEO takes time and patience whereas PPC is much more immediate in nature. Again, a healthy balance between the two can provide both short-term as well as sustained returns.
What is your competition up to?
When you’re evaluating your marketing strategy, it can be helpful to take a few moments to check in on what your competition has been doing. What seems to be working well for them and which areas might they have missed? Additionally, if you notice that one competitor in particular is flooding the market, it may not be the wisest decision to follow suit. Try to identify areas of opportunity where you can carve out a niche without as much direct competition. For instance, if others in your industry seem to be battling it out on PPC, focusing your efforts on SEO might be a more effective tactic.
What kind of impression are you hoping to make?
Like Google, Baidu offers users a wide variety of options for how advertisements are displayed. Some packages provide the ability to include images, videos, animated flash ads, links and more. There are a lot of advantages to leveraging these kinds of features, the most obvious being greater exposure for your brand. The flashier your ad, the more likely it will be to catch the eye of your target audience. Of course, these things come at a higher cost, so you must determine exactly the type of impact you’d like to make as well as how much you can comfortably spend and then customize your approach from there.
What are your long-term marketing goals?
The last step in strategizing your Baidu marketing campaign involves determining what your long-term goals are. As mentioned previously, PPC and SEO tend to have varying turnaround times. While SEO takes longer to gain traction, its results tend to last much longer. Conversely, while PPC ads are a more immediate way of reaching prospects, the results will dissipate as soon as the ad is removed. Most likely, you’ll have a combination of shorter-term objectives that support your long-term, overarching business goals for which a combination of both methods will be required.
If you’re still unsure which method would be best or how to develop a comprehensive and highly effective Baidu marketing campaign for your business, we’re here to help. Contact us today at +1 604 398 5223 or via our web form and let’s discuss what our team of experts can do for you.