Baidu 101 and E-commerce in China – How can Marketers Get Benefited?
How huge the scope is for e-commerce in China can be understood by only one example. The example is of Singles’ Day, the biggest e-commerce day of China, celebrated annually on 11th November. For this only one single day, Tmall (Alibaba Group’s main shopping platform) will generate sale that outshines the total of the US e-commerce revenue on Cyber Monday and Black Friday ($5.8 billion)! This was observed in 2015 when Tmall achieved 91.2 billion RMB in sales, that is equivalent to $14.3 billion USD, breaking the earlier record (also set by Tmall) only halfway on the day. In 2016, Tmall’s Singles’ Day sales broke the earlier ecommerce record by 59.7% and beat the Cyber Monday/Black Friday revenue by a whopping 146%!
The enormous ecommerce activity on Singles’ Day is not confined to Tmall alone as the online shopping fever spreads throughout the whole Chinese ecommerce space. Obviously this is a great opportunity for ecommerce marketers thinking about an expansion into China.
Role of Baidu
Baidu is the largest search engine in China and is an inseparable component of the Chinese e-commerce ecosystem. In 2016, Merkle declared its official partnership with Baidu, which clears the fact that Merkle is the first US-headquartered reseller of Baidu for brands looking for growth in China. Apart from its basic function as a search engine, Baidu offers a great array of services such as Baidu Cloud (a cloud storage service), Baidu Map, Baidu Experience, travel booking, Baidu Encyclopedia, MP3 Search and more.
Baidu’s primary advertising product equivalent to Google AdWords is known as Baidu Tuiguang (‘advertising’ or ‘promoting’ in Chinese). This tool enables advertisers to display their ads on Baidu search result pages and also on other websites belonging to Baidu Union (equivalent to Google Display Network). If you are experienced in using both Baidu Tuiguang and Google AdWords, you will see that they are quite identical in terms of keyword creation, bidding adjustments and campaign management. There are additional targeting products and features as well named “Brand Industry Bidding” that works similar to Target Outranking Share Bidding product of Google.
However, the catch here is all products of Baidu are in Chinese which is a big hurdle for non-Chinese marketers. Here are some useful tips about Baidu Tuiguang shared with us by ecommercechinaagency. This will help you use Baidu to promote your products without being deterred by the language challenge.
1. Brand Zone
This kind of brand ad looks similar to RAIS (Rich Ads in Search) on Bing. They are displayed on top position on SERP (search engine results page) and include multiple links to the website. As compared to RAIS, Brand Zone has a larger space on SERP so as to have higher chances of catching people’s attention and gain a higher CTR.
2. Brand Business Card
In comparison with Brand Zone, this kind of brand ads is better for small-scale, regional businesses. In spite of a smaller space on SERP, Brand Business Card can do with a smaller budget, i.e. 2,500 RMB for 3 months. However, there are some limitations. The ads are permitted to reach only one region and each account is allowed to buy only one brand keyword.
3. Brand Starting Line
Just like Brand Business Card, this sort of ad is good for smaller businesses. Both have similar appearance too. There is a main difference though, that for Brand Starting Line, you need to purchase the space on a monthly basis and pay the amount calculated by Baidu’s system (which could be more expensive). However, you can buy more than 20 brand keywords and reach up to 5 regions.
Plus, there are several other ways offered by Baidu for brands to improve their exposure to customers and build brand reputation. You can take help of ecommercechinaagency to study them and use those ways to succeed on the front of e-commerce in China.