What is Baidu Brand Zone?

Baidu Brand Zone was launched in 2007, a revolutionary new way for companies to capture traffic through search engine results (source: China Internet Watch). It is a monthly paid-for service that gives you the opportunity to dominate the search results page with information about your brand, as well as advertisements. It has been a great success, and can significantly improve the performance of brand advertising over standard Baidu PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns.

At the time of writing, Brand Zone customers included Dell, Audi, Gucci, Apple, BMW, Nike, Rolex, and British Airways.

What does Brand Zone offer?

Brand Zone works on a similar model to Pay Per Click Baidu advertising. Companies bid for keywords which are relevant to their business, and it is against searches for these keywords that their Brand Zone will be displayed. Unlike Baidu PPC, though, only one company at a time can use certain keywords. Brands are essentially paying for exclusivity to use relevant brand keywords in their campaign.

When searches match a company’s chosen keywords, their Brand Zone will be shown at the top of the organic search results. It is a boxed off area containing images and text that can take up two thirds of the first page of search results. You can choose different formats for your Brand Zone, but they all feature a brand image, a link to your official website and a short paragraph giving an introduction to your company. Many brands will use their logo as the main image, with different formats offering multiple images, or even the use of a video or flash animation.

Additional content can be displayed below, and could include buttons linking to brand social media accounts, links to relevant brand news or special offers, or additional tabs of information. These tabs can feature text, links, and images, and can be set to scroll through automatically, so a Baidu user doesn’t have to mouse over them in order to see all of your content.

Why use Baidu Brand Zone?

Brand is an important marketing tool in China. Chinese consumers like to build a relationship with brands, and being well-known provides your target market with a sense of security and confidence. It is therefore well worth promoting your brand, especially when brand terms can often generate in excess of 90% of your total conversions (source: Webcertain).

Compared to traditional Baidu PPC advertising, Brand Zone offers a staggeringly high conversion rate. The average click-through rates on Brand Zone are reported to be anywhere between 50%-80%, and AC Nielsen believe using the Brand Zone provides a 78% increase in purchase intent (source: China Internet Watch). With the average click-through rate for Baidu PPC around 1%, and 0.2% for Google, the high price tag of Baidu Brand Zone is justified by some pretty impressive results (source: eConsultancy).

(Image source: Baidu search engine result page)