Five Quick Tips for Advertising on Baidu in English

While the huge Chinese market promises plenty of lucre for businesses desiring to expand operations in the country, the language issue can come up as a daunting barrier. Many outsiders may not know Chinese or find it too difficult to learn in a short amount of time. And knowing the language is essential for running a business in China. You will need to engage with your customers, after all, and also conduct PPC and SEM campaigns for brand promotion. How will you even manage?

Fortunately, you have many options. A growing number of Chinese are fluent in English, and you can reach out to them on Baidu, the biggest and most popular search engine in China. In 2013, the search behemoth announced plans to launch an English version. While that still seems to be a work-in-progress, Baidu has become more sophisticated and increasingly makes use of automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Pair that with translation enabling services like Chrome browser, Google Translate, and others, and you stand a decent chance of getting the word out there about your business to even English non-speakers.

So, if you want to consider it, here are five quick tips for advertising on Baidu in English:

1. Do your homework

It may seem obvious, but it needs to be said. Before you rush off to apply for a Baidu business account, review your business model in the context of Chinese consumers. Just because the market is huge doesn’t mean it has a demand for what you have to offer. A good example of this is Home Depot, who found out the hard way that the Chinese don’t really care too much about DIY tools or the DIY culture in general. Rather than find yourself in the same position, consider honestly if your products and services are likely to appeal to the Chinese. And, if so, if there are popular Chinese versions that can make market entry tough for you?

2. Buy a local domain and hosting

Baidu gives preference to locally hosted websites with the Chinese domain extension. So, if you want your business website to figure higher in the search engine results for your targeted keywords, you need a site that ends with a .cn. You will also need to optimize your site for speed, as that is another criterion for topping Baidu’s search results.

3. Pay special attention to keywords

The keywords you use are extremely important for advertising on Baidu in English. Baidu’s search services make use of text inputs, visual search, voice search with AI, and even augmented reality search. So, when you select keywords, it won’t do to only think in terms of text inputs. The word you select will also be spoken. Ideally, you should pick words that don’t require too many vocal gymnastics.

You want to use keywords that Chinese searchers commonly use to find products and services like yours. At the same time, you shouldn’t translate directly from the Chinese language and use the results as keywords. Those might differ to a great extent from what an English non-speaker might actually input in the search box. So, far from directing users to your business, you might send instead send them off in an entirely different direction.

4. Create content for advertising

Your advertising campaigns must display a certain level of sophistication to appeal to the highly-educated tier that speaks English. So, create advertising banners, videos, images, texts, and other relevant content that is infused with personality, creativity, and humor. If you can make it appealing enough, you might successfully ford language barriers and attract clicks even from English non-speakers.

5. Team up with a native speaker

Even though you are advertising on Baidu in English, you still need to make sure that automated language translators don’t mangle up your painstakingly written advertising copy. Automated language translators are not capable of understanding context and nuances. If you rely solely on them, you could end up with unintended results that are more laughable than useful. Have the native speaker vet your copy and follow their recommendations.

Hopefully, with these five quick tips, you will find advertising on Baidu in English convenient, easy to manage, and quite effective too.

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