Search Engine Marketing is vital for success in China

There are an astonishing 634 million internet users in China. The country boasts the highest internet penetration rate  in the world (45%). The telegraph reports that the; “Chinese will overtake English as the main language used by internet users in 2015”. This switch is due to China’s huge population, now over 1.3 billion people.

With increasing numbers of consumers moving into the digital landscape the role of search engines will only become more important to your marketing strategy in China.

Here are five top tips.

Engage in ‘Search Engine Optimization’ (SEO)

SEO or ‘Search Engine Optimization’ in China is key, the first thing a Chinese consumer will often do is enter certain keywords on search engines such as ‘Baidu’. Consumers will look for the top ‘natural’ results on the search engine (below the sponsored adverts).
You need to ensure that you are a top search result. SEO, when implemented effectively, will increase your presence and the likelihood of your brand being a top hit on the first page. This is important as the Chinese will follow these initial links thus generating a lot of traffic for your website.
For more information on SEO in China see our previous article.

Use Online News

Generating news worthy stories that others report on increases your presence further. Release interesting press releases and content about your brand that journalists will re-write and use in articles. The age old saying that ‘content is king’ is certainly the truth, search engines are primarily concerned with original content.
Creating narratives and stories is one way of generating news, elevate your brand, you are more than just a product, consumers like stories they can relate to and journalists like to report upon them. Disseminate positive ‘news’ or stories about your brand, the more people writing about you, the more effective your search engine marketing will be.

Use Forums,  Initiate Q&A Sessions

Forums cannot be ignored in China, users spend a lot more time checking forums for reviews than we do in the west. People trust other consumers and particularly their immediate social circle. Manage your reputation in these forums by promoting positive comments and incentivising users to post their reviews. You can create accounts to facilitate conversations with Chinese users.
Q&A sessions are also a good idea. Start conversations about the brand and answer consumers questions directly, people need to feel that you are trustworthy and engaging with them in popular forums will make a positive impression.

Brand Yourself Differently

Set your brand apart from the others. Organize interesting events and promotional opportunities, these will come up in the search engine results based on the popularity of the content, try to be distinct in how you market yourself to engage people’s attention.
Viral campaigns can be effective with Chinese consumers desiring interesting, shareable content. The key is to encourage conversations around your brands, it will have a direct effect on your presence on Chinese search engines.
The more digital platforms your brand are on the better, upload unique content to video sharing websites such as Youku or Renren and create accounts on Chinese social networks. This will set you apart from many other companies which do not have such a comprehensive digital strategy in China.

Search Engine Advertising (SEA)

Be cost efficient with an SEA campaign. It is more expensive to pay for sponsored links so ensure you select the best keywords. Research what Chinese users are popularly searching for and adapt your keywords accordingly. SEA can be very effective but only in conjunction with a comprehensive SEO and digital campaign which is tailored to the unique Chinese market.
Baidu SEM class
We specialize in search engine marketing in China, if you have a project in mind feel free to contact us.
– For more information on our agency click here.
– For more information on search engines in China see here.
– For more advice on marketing via Chinese social networks see our previous article.