The many internet users who have integrated Search Engine Marketing (SEM) into their marketing efforts can attest to its effectiveness. One sometimes unintended effect that arises from this type of online marketing is reaching an audience that may be outside of the designated target market. The internet makes it possible to sell to anyone, anywhere. Given the restrictions and differences in culture in regions like Asia, one may ask the question, ‘’to tap into a huge market like China, do I need to change my SEM strategy?’’
Significance of SEM in A Country like China
China has in excess of 600 million internet users to date. It is recorded as having the biggest internet penetration rate worldwide. As a result, a massive number of Chinese consumers buy their goods and services on the internet. By specifically targeting such markets, an internet proprietor may be able to drastically increase sales.
SEO Techniques That Work
It is of great importance that one understands the intricacies of SEO in China. While the technicalities, such as content creation, keywords etc, are the same as anywhere in the world, there are some unique aspects too. For starters creating articles and press releases that feature on Chinese online news sites can be very beneficial to one’s SEM process. Because of such restrictions as censorship, the amount of information available to the average Chinese consumer is limited. Posting on local sites is a good way to penetrate this market in a credible and efficient manner.
Create Trust through Personalized Engagement
In most parts of the world social media has become a good source of valid information and credible reviews. However, in China, many consumers look to more personal channels like forums and group sessions, in which they interact on an intimate level. In 2015 for instance, about 90.3% of Chinese mobile consumers interfaced using the popular mobile channel QQ. Trust is gained by creating relationships that are characterized by familiarity and one – to – one communication.
SEM Oriented Branding
A crippling mistake that an online marketer could make is to implement a generic SEM strategy for a market like China. Consider how a brick and mortar company would approach establishing a premise in China. It is critical that one’s branding be culture and location sensitive. Content should reflect the interests of the local market and posted on sites such as Youku Tudou and Renren. It is also a good idea to create accounts on the different Chinese social sites in order to connect with consumers at an individual level.
Offer Unrivaled Value
These pointers can help a marketer to edge the competition in China:
- Use keywords that relate to Chinese markets
- Create Chinese social media accounts
- List products on search sites like Baidu and Sogou
- Sign up for IM services popular in China, like QQ and Wechat
While geography used to be a barrier in traditional marketing, SEM has given online marketers an effective way of accessing faraway markets.