Reasons for Advertising on Baidu in English

Baidu is the biggest and most popular search engine in China, controlling almost an 80 percent share of the online market. So, if you want to expand your business operations in the country, having a business presence on Baidu is vital. However, the language issue is a common roadblock for most foreign companies in getting started with search engine marketing in China. They don’t know Chinese, and it is not a language that anyone can become proficient in overnight, and, therefore, they must rely on local or international marketing companies to help them with their marketing campaigns.

To make search engine marketing in China easier for foreign-based businesses, Baidu announced plans to launch an English version of Baidu Tuiguang, it’s PPC management platform, in 2013. The project is still underway currently, and Baidu has provided a detailed guide about how to use the English platform. So, if you were wondering if advertising on Baidu in English is possible, it is, and you can now do so.

The big question, though, is why you would want to?

While a growing number of Chinese are now proficient in English, the majority of the population in China still prefers to use their native language for online communication and commerce. Most of them tend to ignore or overlook foreign language advertisements. So, how exactly will your business benefit?

Well, it depends. While it is generally true that the Chinese language rules the roost, there are still some valid reasons why you might want to consider advertising on Baidu in English. Let’s look at some of these:

You have a better grasp of English than of Chinese

Hiring a marketing company with Chinese language skills is not inexpensive. It may not be possible for you if you are a small, upcoming business with a limited budget. In such a case, advertising in English is better than not undertaking any advertising at all. With the creative use of images, videos, and text, you may even be able to transcend the language barrier and make your advertisements understandable to the non-English speakers as well.

You want to reach the English-speaking sections of Chinese society

If the English-speaking sections of Chinese society make up the majority of your target audience, it makes sense to advertise your products and services in English. It is likely to be more convenient, time-saving, and cost-effective for you than creating advertisements in Chinese would be, and the audience too will get your message without any trouble. As long as you maintain a high quality in your marketing campaigns, they may appeal to the intended audience, increase your website traffic, and make conversions to boost your sales.

You offer English language learning business products

If your business is about providing English language learning products or classes in China, advertising in English is one way of demonstrating your expertise. However, you should still pair the English ad copy with Chinese phrases. That will make it easier for you to reach out to people who don’t speak English at all and who might be interested in learning it.

You offer English language translation services

Many Chinese companies require expert translation services as well as content creation in English for doing business abroad. By advertising on Baidu in English and tailoring your advertisements to target these companies, you will stand a higher chance of converting viewers into clients. You should make sure, though, that your advertisement copy is well-written and appealing, as potential clients are likely to view it as a sample of your English language expertise.

As you see, there are several good reasons why you might want to go for advertising on Baidu in English. However, even though Baidu is likely to make further improvements in the English version of Baidu Tuiguang, you will still need to know some amount of Chinese or, at least, work with those that do.

Business-wise, getting by solely based on your English skills is not going to be possible in China. Native level skills are necessary in search engine marketing for implementing proper keywords and localizing site content. Ideally, you should work with a reputable, experienced marketing agency that has native speakers to handle the content development and translation.

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