Organic vs Paid Marketing: What is The Right China Marketing Strategy?

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Organic vs Paid Marketing? Launching online marketing campaigns in China is no small feat. But fortunately, there are a variety of social media channels to use like WeChat, Baidu, Douyin, to name a few, to reach out to the target audience. With that said, two methods are the go-to of most digital marketers: organic and paid, each one has its advantages and disadvantages. And if you want to generate traffic to your website with SEO, content still remains king on China’s internet.

Baidu still remains the number one search engine platform and effective in generating web traffic. As of this writing, it dominates the search engine market, which accounts for 69% of all platforms. But there are also good contenders like Sogou that can’t be overlooked.

So if you’re planning to capitalize on the power of search engines in China, this article will walk you through the pros and cons of organic and paid methods, and determine the right strategy for you.

SEO Chinese Market

What Does Organic SEO Mean?

Organic SEO means you use content writing and optimize your website to generate traffic in an unpaid method. While some say it’s considered free traffic, technically, it’s not because you still need to hire an SEO expert and Chinese writers to work on the website optimization and marketing.

Pros of Organic SEO

Organic SEO is affordable because you spend money on content creation and other methods like link building, guest posts, capitalizing on social media channels and more.

On top of that, with the right marketing strategy, keywords, on-page optimization, your efforts are rewarding in long term. For example, if you write incredibly educational content that’s helpful to readers, it can rank high on search results even for many months (or years).

That’s not all, if the content ranks well, then you have a 24/7 website promotion. Evergreen posts — those that are not time-sensitive — and provide solutions to the pain points of your Chinese audience are excellent types of content worth investing.

Cons of Organic SEO

Time is the biggest challenge if you choose the path. As you write content, you won’t see immediate results. With organic SEO, there’s no such thing as overnight success on the search engine rankings.

Organic SEO requires dedicated efforts to push content and use other ‘free’ methods to generate traffic. For example, you need to promote the articles on social media channels, submit them to directories or even ask friends to share the article to their network. You need to strategize creative ways to get paid traffic.

Lastly, organic SEO also gives you fluctuating results because of the updates that search engines also release to deliver quality content for users. For instance, Baidu launched its Power Wind algorithm to combat the low-quality content and malicious aggregation.

What Is Paid Search Engine Marketing?

Paid SEM refers to the use of a PPC or pay-per-click approach to promoting your content instantly. Businesses pay for those boxes that you see on top of the search results. They are usually labeled as ‘ad,’ and are subtly blended with organic search results.

Pros of Paid SEM

In contrast to organic SEO, paid SEM gives you immediate results from paying the PPC ads. Not only this will save you time and effort, but you don’t need to wait for the results. The more you pay for ads, the more you enjoy the growth of website traffic.

Moreover, pay-per-click ads let you customize your campaign and reach a specific targeted audience. For example, an experienced Baidu PPC specialist will create ads that are geared towards your market in Beijing or Shanghai, including age, job, gender, and others.

Cons of Organic SEO

Paid SEM is expensive because you need to work with a Baidu PPC Specialist to optimize the strategy with the right bidding on keywords, however, the results are astounding on the spot, especially if you work with an expert.

Search engines also have a mistrust of the quality of content from paid ads. In addition, digitally-savvy users may use ad-blockers when browsing online, so they might not see the ad boxes blended with the organic results.

Organic vs Paid Marketing: What Strategy Should You Use?

Now that you’re armed with the pros and cons of organic and paid SEM, the good news is that you’re bound to explore both methods that suit your budget and goals. If you’re after urgency, then go for Baidu PPC ads to generate quick results.

On the other hand, if you have a limited budget, but willing to invest in writing content in Chinese, including the reward of long-term efforts in ranking on Baidu, choose organic SEO.

You can also mix the two by starting off with PPC ads as your launchpad and then once you gain momentum in your traffic, you can maintain your efforts with organic SEO.


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