Knowledge Marketing: This was initially called “Brand Starting Line”, and is designed for small to medium sized businesses that would like to improve their brand reputation and enhance their search conversions. Some searchers decide to buy a product once they feel they’ve collected enough information about the product, while others may want to know the brand reputation and users’ comments about the product before they make purchasing decisions. Knowledge Marketing presents your ad to searchers in the normal search channel, but, at the same time, also provides answers about your brand reputation and product quality in the Baidu ‘Know’ channel. So your ads will be promoted in two channels. The ads will be triggered by brand keywords or exclusive product keywords.
Education Marketing: This is exclusively designed for education or training organisations based on their features such as courses and examinations, and show their ads (organisation cards, course cards, or examination cards) to searchers in the search results pages.
Health Marketing: Baidu has developed a health platform called ‘Baidu Health’ that helps thousands of patients to look for hospitals, ask questions to doctors, book appointments, and give feedback to hospitals/doctors. PPC advertising related to health can be done on this platform.
Baike Marketing: Baidu also has an encyclopaedia platform. You need to register your brand, products or business name with it. If your registration is successful and passes the verification process, your entries and Baike page will be marked as verified and thus be seen as more trustworthy. You can also provide some brand keywords to be linked to your Baike page. When searchers ask questions related to these keywords, your Baike page will appear on the top of the search results page. This is also known as ‘Question & Answer’ advertising.
Limitations of Tuiguang
Not easy to set up an account in Search Ads
In AdWords, users can set up a new AdWords account in minutes.
However, it is a very different process in Tuiguang. Before you open a new account, you are required to provide a business license and proof of ownership of your website to Baidu for verification. The deposit for opening the account is at least 50,000 Chinese Yuan (roughly £5,000). The full account opening process takes about one and a half months.
Not easy to log in
You can log in to an AdWords account in just seconds, however, sometimes, it can take a long time to log in to a Tuiguang account.
For security reasons, when you first log in to an account, you are required to provide a Chinese mobile number. Thereafter, you will not be asked to provide the number again if you use the same computer. This sounds fine in theory, however, sometimes, if the account is accessed from a different computer (by you or someone else), you will need to provide the mobile number again when you log in. Up until this point it is still fine, but the trouble is that once the account has been accessed from several computers in a short time period, just providing the phone number isn’t enough when you attempt to log in. Tuiguang will send a verification code to the mobile, and you need to input the code within a minute. However, if the mobile holder is in China, but you’re working in another country and, due to the time difference, your working time is the mobile holder’s sleeping time, how are you meant to get the verification code in such a short time?! You will have to Skype or email the holder to book an appointment to sort out the problem together another day. This can be rather time consuming!
If mobile numbers from other countries could be accepted by Tuiguang, and verification code could be delivered to these foreign mobiles, the above problem would be sorted out.
You cannot advertise different websites from one account
In AdWords, you can advertise different websites from one account as long as they are in separate campaigns. However, in Baidu Tuiguang, you cannot do so even if the websites are owned by the same client.
Each campaign is required to have a minimum daily budget of 50 Chinese yuan
Unlike Google AdWords, the daily budget for a Tuiguang campaign cannot be set up as small as you want. The minimum daily budget for a campaign must be 50 Chinese Yuan (about £5) or over.
Suppose you have an account that contains 20 campaigns in total. 5 of them are exclusive campaigns that target specific industries respectively. The daily budget for the whole account is 20,000 Chinese Yuan, but 19,500 Chinese Yuan is required to go on the 5 exclusive campaigns, so only 500 Chinese Yuan is allotted to the remaining 15 campaigns. Each campaign must be kept alive. What are you going to do?
In AdWords, it would be quite simple because you can set up daily budget for a campaign as small as you want. But in Tuiguang, the minimum daily budget for 15 campaigns should be at least 750 Chinese Yuan, 500 Chinese Yuan is obviously not enough. In order to make 15 campaigns spend 500 Chinese Yuan or less, ad scheduling will have to be used to control their online time, even only going online for 1 hour if needed.
Budget control in Tuiguang can sometimes be more complicated than in AdWords!
A certain pre-paid threshold is needed, and its transfer needs at least one week
Pre-payment is required for Tuiguang accounts. You need to pre-pay the money before its balance has been used up. Each time, your pre-payment must be over a certain pre-paid threshold required by Baidu. If you transfer money from other countries into your Tuiguang account, the settlement of exchange is very time-consuming. It will take at least one week to get the money into the account since you have finished transfer transition with your bank. So, to prevent your Tuiguang campaigns from being paused because of money shortage, you are suggested to make your pre-payment earlier and also properly control your daily budget. Comparatively, in AdWords, you will never experience the minimum pre-payment requirement and such a time-consuming process.
Same keyword with different match types cannot be mixed into same group
In AdWords, the same keyword with different match types can be mixed together and put into the same group. However, you cannot do so in Tuiguang. If you do need to use the same keywords with different match types in your campaign, you’re suggested to set up a broad match group, phrase match group, and exact match group for some or all keywords respectively.
Cannot show average (or current) position metric in dashboard
There is no average (or current) position metric in the Tuiguang dashboard. This can make it difficult to decide whether you should change your bids for some keywords or not, because the most important metric and reference is missing! If you really want to get information about keyword positioning, you can put your chosen keywords into the “Convenient management” section. However, you cannot get data such as CTR, conversions, and CPA for the keywords here, which can also make it difficult to make bidding decisions.
Automatic bidding options are quite limited
You can do automatic bidding in Tuiguang, but are limited to the top 3 positions. However, you would have a lot of choices for automatic bidding in AdWords, e.g. automatic bidding to maximise clicks, conversion optimisation, various automatic bidding rules and strategies, and Adwords scripts.
Cannot manually change bids by percentage, estimated top of page or first page bid
In AdWords, you can manually increase or reduce bids by percentage for one or several keywords, or raise bids to estimated top of page or first page bid if they are too low. But you cannot do so in Tuiguang.
No filter and segmentation functions
As we know, AdWords has a lot of filter and segmentation functions. You can conveniently use them to filter out or segment what you want to do bidding or data analysis. However, Tuiguang doesn’t have such functions.
No label function
AdWords has a flexible label function. You can label not only important keywords, but also other keywords such as “expensive keywords” or “unimportant keywords”, or to denote new ads that have been added or keywords that are being tested. You can figure out the keywords by labels and filters, so you have a lot of flexible choices. With Tuiguang, you can differentiate important keywords from others by putting them into monitor folders and convenient management, but your options are otherwise quite limited.
If you want to test two ads or landing pages to see which ad brings in more clicks or which landing page leads to more conversions, you cannot test them concurrently, as you can in AdWords. You can only test one ad or landing page for a certain period, e.g. two weeks, and then test another one for the same time length to compare their performances.
It is very inconvenient to do the test, and also not easy to compare the two ads’ (or landing pages’) performances to draw a convincing conclusion on which one is better, because the performance data comes from different time periods.
For display network, there are no ‘Age’ or ‘Parental status’ options in the demographics category
Tuiguang’s display network is quite similar to AdWords’ display network. Tuiguang even has floating image ad and video ad formats that AdWords doesn’t. Of course, Google has YouTube that involves video ads. However, in regard of the limitations of the Tuiguang display network, its segment and filter functions don’t have so many options as AdWords, and also there are no ‘Age’ or ‘Parental status’ options in the demographics category. Furthermore, Tuiguang uses an ‘Industries’ option instead of a ‘Topics’ option of AdWords.
Editor is good, but still second to AdWords Editor
Generally speaking, Baidu editor is a good offline campaign management tool that can effectively help you establish, upload and download your campaigns, and even manage your bids. However, compared to AdWords editor, it has its defects. It’s not sensitive to errors, and not so convenient to do text changes.
For example, in Tuiguang, the character limitation for a group name is 30. When you establish a campaign, and copy its groups from an Excel file to the editor, if a group name has over 30 characters, the system just simply pretends it doesn’t know the group, and ignores the group without warning or reminding you when the campaign is being uploaded. You will find that uploaded groups and keywords/ads are less than what you want, and you have to spend a lot of time checking what has happened, and which keywords, ads and groups are missing.
Another example is, AdWords editor can easily make text changes for ads or keywords by functions such as replace text, append text, and advanced URL changes, but Baidu editor doesn’t have these functions.
Despite Baidu Tuiguang having a lot of disadvantages, this definitely shouldn’t deter you from including it in your PPC strategy as it also has some advantages. Based on the above comparison between Baidu Tuiguang and Google AdWords, you can understand how different these two PPC platforms are. If you would like to do PPC advertising through Tuiguang to Chinese people, it’s vital to have an experienced Baidu PPC specialist and an agency that has a good relationship with Baidu to assist in setting up and managing your PPC campaigns.