PPC in China - Getting Your Ducks in a Row

Sat, 07/30/2011 - 09:46

At Nanjing Marketing Group, we do a lot of PPC management, mostly for Baidu. A typical first email from a potential client of ours goes something like this:

“I’m interested in running a pay per click campaign on Baidu for www.rubberduckworld.com. Let’s chat.” (No, rubberduckworld.com didn’t contact us, but 'example.com' is just so lame, right?)

Problem: They’re looking for a PPC management service, but we don’t just want to do that. “Whazzat?” you say, “You don’t want to sell the service they want to pay you for?” Nope. I mean we do…but only if there’s a very good chance they’ll be able to make money or otherwise meet their business goals.

Solution: It’s my job to inform these forward-thinking marketers what else they’re going to need to do to get all their Chinese PPC ducks in a row, so to speak.

If you want to run a Chinese PPC campaign, you’ll need to consider at least these 4 points.

Ducks in a Row. Image from http://perfectlittlestitches.com.
Image from Perfect Little Stitches.

1 – Chinese Content / Website Translation

If you don’t have your key pages in Chinese, Baidu won’t even let you sign up for their PPC marketing program. Uh oh. :(

But that’s not the only issue. If Chinese Internet users land on your English landing pages, they’re quite likely to hit the road before you can even introduce yourself. At the very least, you’ll need to have Chinese-language versions of your landing pages and key informational pages about your products and your company. At best, you’ll want to make sure the Chinese copy is as smooth and persuasive as possible. After all, that’s what you’d demand of your English website, right? So why expect to sell in China with sub-par marketing copy?

2 – Keyword Analysis / Competitive Analysis

Is there enough search volume for your product or service to justify the initial expense? Is PPC your best choice for reaching out to Chinese Internet users? What’s your competitive advantage? Questions like these need to be given some thought before jumping in!

When entering a new market, even something as key to your business strategy as your competitive advantage may not be what you think it is. The positioning of your competitors is likely different as well.

Here are two common scenarios that we see:

  • A company that can compete on price in their home market, but not in China. If you’re cheap rubber duckies are flying off the virtual shelves in USA, you shouldn’t necessarily expect to be able to compete on price in China. After some careful analysis, perhaps you’ll find that featuring your low-end duck toys isn’t likely going to be as profitable as featuring your authentic Sugar Factory duck t-shirts.
  • A company that has little or no direct competition in China. In the best cases, you may have several competitors on the English intertubes and none yet in the Chinasphere! That really gives you some room to breathe, right? It would also give you room to experiment with several different angles, which could include different keywords, different ads and different landing pages.

3 – Analytics

What are your goals and how do you value them? How will you identify and fix bottlenecks in your conversion process? What types of micro-conversions are possible on your website? How will you evaluate your level of success?

To answer these kind of questions, you’ll first need to consider how much various visitor actions would be worth to your company. Then you’ll need to configure your analytics platform to monitor user behaviour based on those business goals.

The data gained from proper analysis of user behaviour on your website and with your ads will allow you to optimize both your website and PPC ad campaign.

4 – Ability to Speak to Customers in Chinese

Finally, you’ll need to be able to respond to Chinese-language inquiries! At the beginning of a small test campaign, perhaps even just asking your Chinese-speaking friend to help you out will be sufficient. At some point you’ll certainly need to consider what kind of help you’re going to need to maximize sales to your new Chinese-speaking, Chinese-writing leads.




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