With the rapid evolution of mobile devices, major media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have pioneered the use of native ads.
Seven years on, Baidu’s news feed ads have evolved into a robust system that offers invaluable solutions to businesses and has become the preferred choice of advertisers.
And this is precisely why we’re highlighting this product now.
What are Baidu news feed ads (百度信息流广告)?
This strategic integration aligns closely with the swift evolution of mobile technology, positioning Baidu, China’s leading search engine, at the forefront of digital advertising.
Their innovative “Information Stream” ads are a testament to this, as they place advertisements seamlessly into a user’s organic content feed, without interfering with the user’s experience.
As of 2023, there are approximately 60 mainstream news feed advertising platforms. Among them, Baidu stands out with more than 600 million monthly active users and an average of six billion daily searches, pushing over 15 billion pieces of news feed content every day.
With each passing year, Baidu’s platform has refined its capabilities, capitalizing on user behavior data to equip advertisers with unmatched targeting precision.
Whether a user is reading news, perusing articles, or executing searches, Baidu’s Information Stream ads are adept at delivering relevant and timely ad placements.
This makes them a valuable resource for businesses eager to penetrate the expansive Chinese digital ecosystem, ensuring ads resonate with users’ preferences and needs.
Where will your Baidu feed ads show?
Baidu news feed ads contain three channels.
Foremost among these is the Baidu app, which serves as the primary gateway for mobile traffic, covering 95% of netizens in China, with monthly active users reaching 600 million.
This channel is our main choice for news feed ads. Your advertisement will appear on the Baidu APP homepage and will also be strategically placed in specific articles and comment sections.
Next in line is Baidu Tieba, the world’s largest Chinese-language community, boasting over 3.5 billion daily page views and over 300 million monthly active users.
Tieba functions as a unique combination of a search engine and a forum, allowing users to share insights, ask questions, and debate, but also serves as a source of firsthand information and opinions.
Its user-generated content covers a vast range of topics from
- academics, and
- local events.
Given Tieba’s forum nature, we recommend it for clients in the gaming and education industry and those promoting app downloads.
The last one is Baidu’s external collaboration traffic channel, named “BaiQingTing” (百青藤), which includes information, tools, and video partners, such as Sohu and iQiyi.
We recommend this channel exclusively for clients seeking extensive brand exposure.
The bidding model
Baidu news feed ads offer three bidding models.
Beyond the familiar CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPM (Cost Per Mille) methods, it’s noteworthy to mention the conversion-based bidding model — oCPC (Optimized Cost Per Click).
This innovative approach is an advanced advertising strategy where advertisers set bids based on the perceived value or potential conversion rate of specific clicks.
The oCPC bidding model dynamically adjusts bids in real time based on algorithms that predict the likelihood of a click leading to a desired action, such as a sale, sign-up, or other conversion goals.
This approach prioritizes clicks that have a higher probability of converting, ensuring that advertisers potentially achieve a better return on investment.
This intelligent bidding model requires a phase of goal accumulation.
During this period, the conventional CPC bidding method will be used. Once there are 20 conversions, Baidu will calculate a conversion model based on the targeting preference.
It then automatically seeks high-quality conversion audiences, raising bids for those with higher conversion potential and broadening matches. Conversely, for audiences with low conversion rates, their exposure is reduced, ensuring efficient spending.
The oCPC bidding model can save us significant campaign management time. However, this doesn’t mean we no longer need to manually optimize our campaigns.
The first 20 conversion goals in the initial phase are crucial. Only by achieving these initial high-quality conversions can we lay a solid foundation for the optimization phase.
Beyond basic attribute targeting, such as age, gender, and education, Baidu also supports intent-based, location, and audience targeting.
Intent-based and location targeting
Let’s use the example of somebody who wants to buy a car.
He regularly browses car-related forums, has purchased car exhibition tickets in the past, and lives in Shanghai. Based on these behaviors, he’d be identified as a potential buyer, and advertisements from car brands would appear in his news feed.
Moreover, he has actively searched for terms like “Buick model comparison” and “Buick Regal prices,” and through his Baidu map record, we know that he has previously visited a Buick 4S dealership.
Given this data, he’s assessed as a user with a high interest in Buick cars.
When he’s in an area near a Buick 4S dealership, he can be precisely targeted through “nearby business recommendations,” which may encourage him to visit the store and make a purchase.
Audience package targeting
Baidu has launched an audience package tool platform named “Guan Xing Pan” (“观星盘”), which is a cutting-edge targeting tool to enhance advertising precision on the platform.
Rooted in Baidu’s robust data infrastructure, “Guan Xing Pan” categorizes users based on their
- search behaviors,
- browsing patterns,
- click-through rates, and
- various other online activities
By doing so, it automatically generates audience segments or “audience packs” that advertisers can utilize for their campaigns.
Advertisers can select from these pre-defined audience packs and have the flexibility to customize their own based on specific business needs.
On top of this, the platform provides features for re-targeting—allowing to reach users who have shown prior interest in their products or services.
Overall, “Guan Xing Pan” taps into Baidu’s rich data ecosystem so advertisers can connect with the right audience at the right time, driving more meaningful and effective engagements.
Let’s continue using the automobile industry as an example.
“Guan Xing Pan” offers audience segments tailored for the automotive sector. Advertisers can choose from various predefined audience packages, categorized based on price, vehicle type, visits to 4S dealerships, and interest in new energy vehicles.
This diverse segmentation ensures that advertisers can precisely target their desired audience, maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of their campaigns.
Similar to other news feed ads, Baidu’s information stream advertisements consist of the following components:
- images or a video, and
- interactive elements. (optional)
Here is an example for US immigration.
The advertisement utilizes a three-image layout; integrated with an interactive consultation form.
When users click the “Book Now” button, a form appears, prompting them to fill out their contact information.
Users even don’t need to redirect to the landing page.
The landing page
Now, let’s talk about landing pages, which was my primary motivation for writing this blog post.
In the past, many of our clients had poor experiences with their mobile websites, which were unsuitable for news feed ads.
However, Baidu has now improved its website-building tool “Ji Mu Yu” (“基木鱼”), which is a versatile tool tailored for advertisers and businesses keen on establishing a strong online presence in China.
You can get a basic introduction to “Ji Mu Yu” by reading this blog post.
Here are its key features:
- User-Friendly Interface: Designed with user experience in mind, “Ji Mu Yu” offers a drag-and-drop system, enabling users, even with limited technical knowledge, to create professional-looking websites with ease.
- Mobile Optimization: Recognizing the dominance of mobile users in China, the tool ensures that all websites created are mobile-friendly, providing visitors with a smooth browsing experience on any device.
- Analytics Integration: The platform offers integrated analytics tools that allow businesses to monitor website performance, track user engagement, and understand visitor demographics.
- Custom Templates: Customizable templates are available, catering to diverse industry needs and ensuring a unique look and feel for each website.
- Rapid Deployment: Once the design is finalized, websites can be launched swiftly, allowing businesses to capitalize on online opportunities without any delay.
With the assistance of this tool, we can design landing pages that offer an outstanding user experience and have clear conversion goals.
Additionally, it facilitates rapid A/B testing, enabling us to optimize our pages based on real user interactions and feedback.
Click here to check an example we designed for an all-girls American high school.
Our promotional goal is to collect user forms. Therefore, we
- designed this landing page, integrating promotional touchpoints and highlighting the school’s advantages,
- added a form on the first screen of the page to ensure users with strong interest can immediately enter their details, and
- detailed the school’s history, strengths, and upcoming enrollment activities to guide users to leave their contact information at the end.
We created this landing page in just two days (including time for team discussions and design revisions).
This means that if the landing page doesn’t yield the desired results, we can quickly make adjustments.
Are Baidu feed ads right for you?
In China, mobile phone usage is the dominant trend. Based on the current digital landscape, Badiu feed ads are worth considering if
- your brand is famous and wants to expand its marketing awareness,
- your website already offers an excellent mobile experience and conversion path, or
- your mobile site experience isn’t up to scratch, but you need more traffic and conversions, (designing an H5 for feed ads can be a great experiment).
Then what’s the budget for Baidu news feed ads? If you already started to promote on Baidu PPC ads, you only need an extra $500 to start. If you don’t, $1,500 is the charge up front for feed ads.
Of course, this advertising method may not be suitable for everyone. If you want to know if your business is right for Baidu news feed ads, feel free to contact us.
Do you have any questions about Baidu news ads or anything I’ve mentioned today? Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below.
For everything else China or China marketing-related, there’s our China Digital Marketing 101 page.