5 Ways to Advertise Your Brand Online in China


There are more than 800 million internet users and 98% of them are using mobile devices and you can advertise your brand online in China in many ways.

5 Ways to Advertise Your Brand Online in China
Maria Krisette Capati, Author

07 December 2018

As of this writing, there are more than 800 million internet users in China, and 98% of them are using mobile devices to browse online.

Advertising your brand online to increase exposure and engage with Chinese customers is the best way. However, there are many ways on how to do it (and also some caveats). Just like the mainstream platforms ranging from YouTube to Google PPC to Facebook ads, China’s versions have variations, too.

how to advertise your brand online in China
READ MORE >>> 4 Benefits of Hiring Chinese Copywriters to Work on Your Projects

It would be best if you had experts and social media marketers proficient enough to walk you through the process, from setting up accounts to tracking the progress and ROI (return of investments).

Here are the top 5 platforms you can start with, plus your allocated budget. It’s also recommended to hire a Chinese copywriter to write the texts on your campaigns.

1 Baidu Tuiguang

how to advertise online in china
Baidu Tuiguang is the homegrown equivalent of Google PPC platform. Since Baidu is the dominant player in the search engines, it accounts for 60% of the market share. If you want fast results and allocated budget to go all out, setting up an account isn’t free. It’s quite expensive, and the process is also a bit complicated than setting up a Google AdWords campaign.

Baidu requires companies to submit business documents, proof of ownership of the website, comply with the content rules, initial deposit as minimum as 900 USD (5000 RMB) and other things. So, overall, you need a Chinese SEO expert to help you.

2 WeChat

how does WeChat marketing works
Boasting 1 billion (MAU) monthly active users as per the latest data, foreign companies can’t overlook the power of WeChat to expose their services and products in this platform. Users spent most of their time chatting and socializing in this platform, but for companies to set up paid ads, at least one verified Official Account is required, either a Service or Subscription type.

The platform provides much exposure for a variety of brands especially those in the beauty, fashion, and luxury brands, but the cost of advertising is also high. Companies registered in Mainland China, whether local or Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises should be willing to shell out at least 8000 USD, while foreign companies for about $1500-8000 (the latest as of April 2017)

3 Sogou

what is sogou PPC
Sogou takes the second spot in China’s search engine. One key advantage for marketers who would like to use this is that it has partnerships with other local social media companies like WeChat that allows users on Sogou to search for content as well.

Paid ads are cheaper than Baidu and are in favor for companies that want to launch targeted ads for niche markets. Please take note that it may not have a high ROI and hits compared with Baidu’s Tuiguang, having only 15% of the market share.

4 Sina Weibo

Another platform to watch out for and could be an option based on your audience is what people dubbed as China’s Twitter since the name Weibo means in English as “micro-blogging.” Sina Weibo is the widely used platform among Chinese netizens, and for foreign companies, a Corporate Weibo account is required to launch these ads.

Foreign companies can go through the overseas verification process if they don’t have their trademark registered in Mainland China, plus some challenges along the way and you need to pay for about $800 to $1000 or more for the process itself. Local companies get to set up and verify the account for free but need to submit business documents.

5 Toutiao

Toutiao ads campaign
Toutiao is China’s news aggregator platform. As a News app, it has a wealth of data on preferences, topics, and interests, which makes the ads more targeted. Launching an ad can push it to the user’s feed, thus whatever matches that user’s preferences or recent searches.

The ads appear in-line that blends with the relevant headlines, entertainment, and news that the user is browsing. Toutiao also operates like a mobile reading and entertainment platform where at some point, it somehow mimics the Facebook advertising model because the content is pushed in the user’s feed, in-line with the posts and based on the previous online behavior for good matches.

If you need help in China digital marketing strategies, let us know and we’ll be happy to collaborate with you.

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