Baidu: A beginner’s guide for brands and publishers
Baidu (百度) is the biggest Chinese search engine. Often called the “Google of China,” it boasted 15.8 billion yuan (around $2.41 billion) in revenue in the first quarter of the year, up 24 percent from the same period a year prior.
When it comes to marketing, Baidu functions similar to Google, with some nuances. What follows is an explanation of its three major advertising components — Search, Baidu Union and Brand Zone — and how they work for brands and publishers.
First thing’s, first: What do brands and publishers need to know?
Baidu was born a search engine, so it’s crucial to do search engine optimization on the platform. Like Google, the way to optimize for Baidu is to have high-quality content, meet Baidu-specific technical SEO requirements and follow the Chinese government’s censorship laws.
For paid search or PPC, sponsored ads are bought based on keyword bids and rank higher than organic search results. Baidu doesn’t offer a webmaster tool like Google Adwords where anyone can set up an account for free. Because of government regulations, marketers need to file a business license and a deposit (if a foreign company) that can be used towards the bids. Then, Baidu assigns an agent to set up the account, which takes around a week. After the setup, marketers can log in and manage their account.
Since a single Chinese word may have more than five different meanings, it’s better for western marketers to hire a native Chinese who can proofread the content and make sure the correct words are used.
OK, so WTF is Baidu Union (百度联盟)?
Baidu Union is like Google Display Network. It shows ads across Baidu-owned-and-operated search products, music players and desktop apps as well as Baidu’s business partners. Baidu’s algorithms determine where and how ads are shown based on the target audience’s demographics, location and browsing history. Ad formats include banners, text links, videos, full-screen and rich media.
The Union includes Wangmeng (网盟), a network comprising 600,000 websites. In a nutshell, Union is for advertisers while Wangmeng is for publishers. Wangmeng works like Google Adsense where content sites decide ad pricing, what ad formats they want and where the highest paying ads go.
How does Brand Zone (品牌专区) work, then?
Baidu Brand Zone is located on the top of Baidu’s search results that features a specific brand. This mini branding section shows basic company information, new products and websites where viewers can make purchases. Brands that purchased a Brand Zone will have a better chance to direct visitors to its official site.
For example, when you type in “宝马(BMW),” you can see the latest BMW models, company website, related ads and schedule a test drive.
So how much is it?
Baidu posted three years ago that the price could go up to 100,000 yuan ($15,200) a month. The company hasn’t yet updated the cost since then.
How NBC’s News Group is shaping NBCUniversal’s commerce bets
The nearly 50-person group now oversees two shopping shows, commerce sub-brands across three NBC News properties and direct deal-making for a growing list of sister brands.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: How publishers with teen audiences are making their Instagram presences more inclusive
In this week's Media Briefing, media reporter Sara Guaglione reports on what Bustle and Teen Vogue are doing to make sure their Instagram accounts don't contribute to the platform's reported negative impact on teen girls' wellbeing.
‘Levers being pulled that are unseen’: Measurement errors inside Amazon’s OSP program setting publishers on edge
A series of reporting errors has become emblematic of a program that has grown increasingly frustrating for its participants over the past year.
SponsoredHow publishers can future-proof their contextual advertising strategy
Sal Cacciato, managing director, North America, video intelligence The discourse on contextual targeting has moved from “if” to “how.” Publishers are well aware that they need to be packaging their audiences in ways that enable contextual targeting, but many are still asking themselves what is the best way to achieve that goal. In a telling […]
Axios has made $1M in revenue from its eight-month-old software licensing business
Less than a year in, Axios HQ is bringing in more revenue than expected, but the challenges of a tech company are different than those of a media company.
Why The Telegraph thinks retiring some newsletters will actually help grow subscriptions
After shuttering a half-dozen newsletters this year and consolidating others, The Telegraph produces over 40 editorial newsletters, eight of which are exclusive to paid subscribers.