Baidu Advertising: How to Find an Agency That’s Right for You

Many people don’t consider just how difficult it is to make a foray into the world of Chinese advertising because it is nothing like you’ve experienced before. If you have experience using social media marketing techniques to promote your brand in other countries, rest assured you’re in for a shock. For a country that constitutes almost 19% of the world’s population, you would be surprised by the technical capabilities and UX design of some of their top social media platforms, one of which is Baidu. 

Baidu Advertising: Getting A Head Start

As we’ve already covered, using Baidu can be incredibly difficult, especially if you’re used to using the Western counterparts, like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. This is usually when the shock sets in when you get to China and get started on discussing social media marketing, specifically, Baidu Advertising, and come across the difficulties of using the platform, let alone marketing using it. In times like this, your best shot is hiring a local expert who will be able to guide you through the process, given they do just that for a living. Here’s the question though: how do you know which Baidu advertising agency to pick? There are countless of them in the market. What are some of the criteria you can use to shortlist your options? 

Compatibility with Regard to Setting Up

Baidu advertising, much like any other marketing technique in China can be a daunting task to start off with. There are many things to consider, such as legal documentation, and touching base with a Baidu salesperson. This is nothing like opening a Google Adwords account, and the process is not straightforward. When you’re looking for a Baidu advertising agency that’ll do this for you, make sure they are transparent about their process. Ask them questions like how they would tackle the issue of diligently following requests from the salesperson, and quiz them on their efficiency at setting up business accounts for other companies using Baidu advertising. Since everything must be approved by a government censor, find out how open they are about timelines, and if the goals they set for you are practical. If the goals sound even remotely far-fetched, you know you must keep looking. 

A quick tip: Keep in mind that anything deemed even remotely sensitive by the government- inclusive of foreign investments, medical, and cryptocurrencies, will render in a flat rejection. Give the agency such a scenario and find out how quick they are at pointing out this factor to you. 

Dealing with the Language Barrier

Baidu advertising can only be done in Mandarin this is not specific to Baidu, but any social media platform used for advertising in China. So the Baidu advertising agency that you hire must be proficient in Mandarin but also be aware of the technical vocabulary. In other words, they should have localization experts who can give their two cents about your brand and extend to the Chinese customer exactly what you put out in other countries, in a local fashion. Again, use real-time scenarios and find out how they would be able to do so.

Designing Style: Appealing to the Chinese Customer

There is a major disconnect when it comes to the average western customer and the Chinese customer. If your brand already has a global market brand book that works in every other country of the world, rest assured, it will not work in China. Be it the color, the font, or even the use of bold and italics. Make sure your agency challenges you and tells you upfront that they may have to delve into the style guides that work in China, as opposed to the existing style on your website. The goal is to find what’s best for your brand, not an agency that is compliant with whatever you demand. 

Your Budget will Tell You a Lot 

Keep in mind that most Baidu advertising agencies keep a fixed percentage of your advertising budget, typically from 5-15%, depending on the size of your project. While this is a normal ask, you know how much you can afford to spend on a Baidu advertising agency. If it’s not within your budget, keep looking for one that fits your criteria and budget. Also, if they’re asking more than this range, you know they’re probably trying to rip you off! Remember, a high rate does not equate to quality work.