As a digital marketer in a Western society, it’s likely that you do your very best to track Google’s every move – consistently assessing and adjusting the many facets of your website to comply with the ever-changing algorithms and optimising paid search campaigns through AdWords. While Google’s power remains in Australia, if your company is currently operating in the Chinese market or plans to do so in the near future, it’s critical that you pay attention to Baidu.
Yes, we all know that China is the most populous nation in the world and that certainly demands a certain level of respect from any marketer. What many don’t realise is just how powerful the consumers in this nation are when it comes to e-commerce and search marketing. With Google pretty much out of the game in this massive consumer economy, Chinese search engine Baidu is the way to go.
Thanks to the Free Trade Agreement between China and Australia, it’s easier than ever for Australian businesses to benefit from expanding their reach all the way to China.
We’re not going to sugar coat it, there’s a lot of red tape for search marketers to deal with when it comes to Baidu (setting up your account, which takes mere minutes on Google, can take up to four weeks with Baidu). Not sure about whether or not it’s worth the effort? Below, we’ve listed five reasons you should seriously consider making this platform an integral part of your marketing plan.
1) Show me the money: In the second quarter of 2014 alone, Baidu reported nearly US$2 billion in revenue, with an operating profit of US$573.6 million, among other impressive stats. We all know money = power. It’s time to get in there.
2) Size matters: China is now the second largest search engine market in the world behind Google. For a search engine that receives the vast majority of its traffic (about 80%) from citizens of one country, that’s an astounding achievement and a clear indication that there is ample opportunity for digital businesses in China.
3) It’s Cyber Monday every day in China: Chinese consumers are all about shopping online, with new reports placing China at number two in terms of retail e-commerce revenues. In fact, online shopping increased just less than 50% in China, now accounting for 10% of total retail revenues for the country.What’s more, the value of e-commerce in China is expected to hit US$81 billion by 2018. If you have goods to sell, you should be selling them on Baidu now.
4) Leading the charge: The extreme censorship the Chinese government imposes on the internet has led many Westerners to believe the Chinese are “behind” in some way. In stark contrast to this impression, Baidu is making strides to improve and develop artificial intelligence, consistently hiring top talent (including former Google genius, Andrew Ng) to drive innovation and deliver a better product for consumers.
5) No sign of stopping: Baidu’s mobile revenues in the first quarter of 2015 were more than half of the organisation’s total revenues – 34% higher than Q1 2014 – and these trends look set to continue. Like Google, Baidu is diversifying their business beyond a simple search engine. The company has started a popular food delivery service as well as Baidu Wallet, an online payment option that is being used on roughly 26 million websites.
According to the Global Business Travel Association, China is set to overtake the United States as the world’s leading business travel destination by 2016. Get ahead of the game and invest in this search marketing superpower now.
Interested in bringing your business to China but not sure where to start? Contact the team at Croud Australia for expert strategies and implementation.