Of the Western companies that contact us with questions about search engine marketing in China, it seems about 95% of them are only thinking about Baidu. But Baidu isn't the only search engine in town. In fact, we've had some killer campaigns on Qihoo's 360 Search (360搜索) as well.
To help you get a quick understanding of 360 Search, we interviewed Remy Wong, Regional Business Development Director of 360 international advertising unit.
Question from Tait: In short, why should people advertise on 360 Search if they are already advertising on Baidu?
Answer from Remy:
Q: 360 promotes itself to search engine users as a safer alternative to Baidu, with strong anti-virus protection and stricter guidance of advertisers. What does this mean for advertisers?
A: Yes, indeed the differentiation point of 360 is that we provide a safer, virus-free browsing & searching environment for internet users. What it means for advertisers is that they are advertising on a media that has a reputation for fighting ad fraud. And it gives an image to their target audience that they are more trustworthy, which is a core element of a company’s branding. This differentiation has become even clearer after several incidents of Baidu advertising that misled users and even caused death.
The other is our DSP platform, our technology prevents advertisers from having their ads displayed in an embarrassing environment (this happened to Google before, advertisers’ ads were shown beside a video from ISIS).
Q: In our marketing campaigns, we find that 360 is cheaper than Baidu on a cost-per-click basis, sometimes by a little bit and sometimes by up to 50%. Is this common across all verticals?
A: For most verticals, CPC in 360 is just 1/3 of Baidu. Another point worth mentioning is that we bring quality traffic to the website, and hence, increase the conversation rate.
Q: Are there any industries that you know of where it is possible to advertise on 360 but not on Baidu?
A: All companies from the financial industry can now advertise on 360. But honestly, I am not sure if Baidu accepts new advertisers from the financial industry.
Q: If a Western business is already advertising on Baidu and they also want to create a 360 campaign, should they do anything special to adapt their campaign for 360?
A: For paid search, I would suggest advertisers use the keywords that they are already using on Baidu, and then we can keep revising and optimizing.
For display banners, we will prepare a big data analysis report to the advertisers first, so that they can know the demographic & interest of their target audience to do precision targeting. For some advertisers, the targeting may not be the same as Baidu, as there is a difference between the user demographics.
Q: For Baidu, we’ve often seen resellers misbehave. We’ve seen a reseller lock a client out of their campaign. One big reseller will regularly approach the clients of their partner agencies to do direct sales. It can be a headache for small businesses and small agencies like us. Have you heard of those kinds of problems with any of QS Search’s resellers?
A: QS Search is one of the exclusive overseas agents of Qihoo 360, meaning that we serve only overseas advertisers. How we stand out from other overseas agents of 360 is that we are the only one that purely focuses on 360, we do not work with other media so far. Which means that we can get exclusive resources & support from 360 and also our team is more professional on 360 compared with other agents. David and I can promise you, we value our business relationship with our partner, so we won’t do anything that harms our business relationship and also our reputation. And for your specific questions, so far we have not encountered or heard of those problems.