Allen Qu - Maximising the use of Chinese digital platforms


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Allen Qu - CEO of Netconcepts

Proven strategies and tools are hard to access 600 million internet users including over 220 million active online shoppers who spend more money than any other online shoppers in the world.

An overview of business opportunities available in China for marketers. A presentation from the China Digital Marketing & Social Media Summit held on the 24th of October 2013.

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  • - China’s difference lies not only in its culture, but the way in which things are done – particularly in online marketing.
  • As of July 2012, Baidu had 82% of market share, Sogou had 7%, and Google had 6%. However, now the landscape has completely changed. Google has since moved office to Hong Kong. Since then, the Chinese government has been more lenient to Google than it has been on Facebook and Twitter, which are both totally banned. Google is still usable within China, however perhaps seven out of ten times it will not load.Thus, if businesses want to operate in China, they must ‘shake hands’ with Baidu.The initial step a business may want to consider when stepping into China is to form relationships with the top three search engines.
  • - To be successful, a combination of paid and organic search results should be used. Even on Google, paid and organic searches are simultaneously used, but for Baidu, an emphasis should be made with paid listings as Baidu has more of those. That is the main difference between Google and Baidu.
  • The general SEM landscape has Baidu coming in at the top with 64% of the market share. An allocation of 50-60% of a business budget may want to be allocated with Baidu (generally speaking), depending on the dynamics of the situation. 360 has 19% of the market share, as it is still relatively new. Since the ad network system is not so mature, very good search results can be found on 360 as opposed to poorer results on Baidu. Hence perhaps 10-15% of the budget should be allocated to 360 (as of now)Sogou+Soso have 15% of the market share, and perhaps 15-30% of the budget should be allocated. Despite having a smaller market share, it is a more mature search engine and has a mature ad system to support their biddings.Most of the time, other search engines are cheaper than Baidu in terms of CPC and ROI.Tencent is also a worthwhile investment for mobile ads, like Facebook ads in the Western social community. Not only does Tencent have WeChat, but it also has the QQ Zone and the large
  • There are search ads, content ads, social ads , and brand zones in China. It is recommended to do both PC and mobile simultaneously Brand zone is a concept, which doesn’t exist on Google, that was innovated by Baidu. Brand zoning helps with maximizing budgets effectively for a business’ branding keywords, which is what is called the ‘brand zone’. It is a fixed price depending on search volumes, known to Baidu as ‘brand search volume’, and a monthly report is generated monthly. By spending with Baidu’s brand zone, businesses will have a large portion of space on website screens with customized links and banners. It is highly recommended for businesses with strong brands to utilize a brand zone. Netconcept has done extensive testing and found a large difference between having or not having a brand zone. 360 and Sogou also have a similar format for brand zoning.
  • The general search results listed on google search page for the term ‘hotel’ can be seen on the right – organic. On Baidu, PPC results will be on top and the right hand side, with the Baidu Open Platform beneath, which relates to partners in this area. Baidu Baike (Baidu’s version of wikipedia) follows, and finally, the SEO results beneath that.
  • With a different search term, such as ‘Beijing hotel’, results will be slightly different. Up to ten PPC results may be displayed both on the main search results and also on the right hand side, taking up almost the entire first page or results. Underneath that, there will be the Baidu Open Platform. So in this screenshot, the entire first search page is occupied with paid results, and organic results will be on the second page.
  • If yet another search term is used, in this case ‘Beijing hotel review’, the results are a little better with limited PPC and more SEO.The three mentioned situations are the most common from Baidu search. Many of the searched keywords are what Baidu internally calls ‘money keywords’.These keywords can generate a lot of revenue for websites, so those websites are willing to pay more keywords like ‘beijing hotel’. But for longer search term keywrords, which may not be able to directly drive sales or do not have many advertisers bidding for them, the listings will be more organic search results.
  • Baidu copes well with sub domains. Multiple sub domains may appear on the first search page, all belonging to one website but under different domains. This is not achievable on Google.
  • Allen Qu - Maximising the use of Chinese digital platforms

    1. 1. How to Leverage Digital Platforms to Reach Your Customers Allen Qu Founder & CEO Netconcepts China
    2. 2. Founder & CEO at Netconcepts China E-mail: Website: Weibo: Skype: allen_qu Beijing Headquarters Address: Suite 1301-1306, Building A, U-town Center, No.1 Sanfengbeili, Chaoyang Dist, Beijing, China (Post Code: 100020) Shanghai Office Address: Suite 2006, Pole Tower, No.425 Yishan Road, Xuhui Dist., Shanghai, China (Postcode: 201103)
    3. 3. China is HUGE! China is GROWING! China is DIFFERENT!
    4. 4. China Search Engine Market Share (Jul 2012) SoSo 4% Others 1% Google 6% Sogou 7% Baidu 82%
    5. 5. Search Marketing Strategies in China Paid Organic Search Marketing Win
    6. 6. China SEM Landscape by Media • 63% Market Share • 50-70% Budget Share • 19% Market Share • 10-15% Budget Share Baidu Tencent • Social + Mobile • 5-20% Budget Share 360 Sogou + SoSo • 15% Market Share • 15-30% Budget Share
    7. 7. China SEM Landscape by Format Brand Zone Content Ads Search Ads PC + Mobile Social Ads
    8. 8. Understanding
    9. 9. Hotels General Search PPC Baidu Open Platform Baidu Baike SEO PPC
    10. 10. Beijing Hotels Local Search PPC Baidu Open Platform PPC
    11. 11. Beijing Hotel Review PPC SEO PPC
    12. 12. Multiple Results from One Website