How to Grow Your Brand with Baidu SEM

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a particularly powerful way to connect with your audiences. In China, it is even more powerful because Baidu, China’s top search engine, is one of the only search engines used in the entire country. This makes Baidu SEM not only extremely effective but seen by one of the largest groups of people on the planet, in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Baidu SEM marketing isn’t a simple transfer from the SEM happening in North America, however. There are different rules and different things to know before you start. Here are a few tips on how to grow your brand properly with Baidu SEM.


1. Hire Native Chinese Speakers

When people read something, and the wording is just slightly off, they leave. This is only more prevalent online, where a single bad sentence can make someone hit the back button, never to return. This is true in the English-speaking parts of the world, and it’s the same in China. Without native Chinese speakers helping you out with everything from translation to original marketing, you could risk sounding suspicious and losing potential customers as a result.


2. Get the License

Baidu works a little differently than Google or Bing in that you need a license before you can start a Baidu SEM campaign. Without a license, you won’t be able to market a thing. Thankfully, the process is fairly simple, and an experienced marketing team can help you get the paperwork and set up correctly to start your campaign.


3. Host Your Website in China

Foreign hosting is discouraged in China which is why most businesses use Chinese hosting services for their websites. The Chinese government carefully monitors sites hosted in China for better control which means they prefer sites that are hosted locally.


4. Aim for the Coveted Blue “V”

Do you know how Twitter gives certain users a blue checkmark? Well, Baidu does this with their preferred businesses and advertisers. It can make your business more legitimate and desirable to users, but you have to earn that mark. To do so, you will need to be seen as extremely reliable and compliant with Baidu. The result is a higher ranking in their searches.


5. Think about Other Search Engines

While Baidu is by far the most popular search engine in China, it can be a good idea to look at the other options, which can provide you with less expensive ad space for more specific demographics. Just as Bing is great for targeting office workers, search engines like Shenma and Haosu can help you tap into the right markets for less.

Chinese search engine marketing is very similar to SEM in the rest of the world, but the differences are important enough that hiring a professional and experienced marketing team is key. Without the right advice and knowledge of the processes and language in Chinese SEM, you could end up having an unsuccessful campaign. If you are looking to start Baidu SEM, be sure to contact Westwin. We have the skills and experience to launch your campaign and help you get incredible results on China’s most popular search engine.

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