With over 896m people currently using the internet via their mobiles in China, and Google’s 2019 report citing China as the ‘Masters of Mobile’, it is clear that China is a mobile-first market.
With Baidu dominating search engine marketing in China, this article explores how brands can utilise Baidu’s native advertising service (in-feed ads), in order to successfully reach mobile users in China.
Why Baidu native adverts?
Baidu native adverts, also commonly known as Baidu in-feed ads, allow advertisers to show their adverts across Baidu-owned platforms including the Baidu app, Baidu Tieba (an online forum), Baidu’s search engine homepage, and their mobile browser.
According to Baidu’s 2020 Q1 financial report, despite seeing revenue drop by 13% YoY due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baidu app saw its daily users increase by 28% in comparison to March 2019. The report also highlighted that users spent up to 51% of their time on the Baidu feed.
Given the incremental growth in mobile users, it is likely that Baidu will continue to invest heavily in their mobile ecosystem in order to bring a better user experience to its users. This provides a lucrative opportunity for marketers to reach a wider and more engaged audience base, through native advertising on Baidu.
Best practices for native adverts on Baidu
When you are setting up native adverts on Baidu there are a few things to consider to ensure you’re maximising your campaign’s success rate. Firstly, Baidu native adverts support a select few ad formats, and the most preferable is large banner-style ads, but you need to ensure you’re using a high-resolution image.You should also consider using a variety of creatives to allow Baidu to programmatically combine variations for the best results.
Additionally, aim for your ads to look as organic as possible in-feed by steering away from blatant sponsored ad styles, this will also help to increase the success rate of your campaign.
A common mistake made by advertisers is re-sizing the same ad creatives used on their Twitter & Facebook feed for Baidu, this can often result in these creatives becoming illegible. So making sure your ad creatives are optimised to appear mobile-friendly is vital.
Powerful in-platform landing pages
As China continues its efforts to roll out 5G networks, it is clear that there is a need for speed when it comes to mobile experience in China. So the loading speed of your adverts is more important than ever.
Moreover, whilst mainland China is the current leader in the APAC region for page loading speed, at 5.4 seconds, it is also common for many international businesses to set up their website server outside of China, due to the global scale of the operation. This approach is likely to have a negative impact on your loading speed. However, rather than relocating your website server, Baidu presents an alternative way to speed up page load times on mobile devices.
Baidu’s in-platform mobile landing pages enable advertisers to design and set up landing pages on the Baidu platform itself. The benefit of this is that advertisers can streamline the journey between their native ads to the landing page.
Additionally, Baidu has also announced the launch of PC landing pages, with the aim of speeding up the desktop experience for international advertisers and Croud has been whitelisted to test this new feature for clients.
To find out more about native advertising on Baidu, and how to accelerate your marketing in China, get in touch.