Search is the preferred entry point to content for 80% of Chinese consumers, and Beauty brands have made investments to make themselves accessible on search engines. More than half have purchased Brand Zones (tailored search results for brands with images and links) on Baidu and close to 40% purchase ads against their own brand terms and competitors. Though our Digital IQ Index: Beauty |China featured a few cheaper alternatives to improve brands’ organic search results:
Baike: Lancôme uses this Chinese equivalent of Wikipedia as party of its brand education strategy, and Baike’s informational format is an opportunity to educate consumers on the brand. Its results appear on the first page of 94% of brand searches on Baidu.
Zhidao: Procter & Gamble maintains a branded page on this interactive Q&A community (similar to Yahoo answers) to give consumers timely customer service and gather data on consumer. Zhidao is also useful for gathering data on customers. P&G has answered 1,620 questions on the site to date.
Weigou: This platform resembles Google Shopping and Polyvore, promoting links from online retails. Weigou results appear on 70% of first-page brand term search results on Baidu, but the high visibility has a downside. Results often link to unauthorized retailers.
Tieba: Tieba’s large and active community (one billion accounts and 200 million monthly active users) make it an ideal choice for brands adept at channeling engagement. Benefit Cosmetics monitors an unofficial brand community on Tieba that has 30,000 followers and 7,200 monthly active users, and 18,000 brand-related threads. Benefit takes advantage of its fan base by guiding fan discussions, answering product inquiries and hosting Q&As with influencers.