The ultimate goal of business is to capture more customers and close more deals. But this does not happen overnight. Successful conversions start with an initial touchpoint: a website visit, a PPC ad, or a social media post.
Once a prospect is in the lead-tracking system with their basic information, the sales department has the opportunity to understand more about a potential customer and get the sale.
As many B2B marketers know, PPC is an effective way to generate leads in both China and the US. However, to run an effective PPC campaign in China, B2B marketers need to have an understanding of cultural differences and the unique features of the Baidu PPC platform.
Today, I will introduce four exclusive lead generation tactics that B2B marketers can use via Baidu PPC to drive more conversions from Chinese prospects.
Form submission is an essential tactic of PPC that’s used broadly across B2B businesses. The idea is simple: Once a visitor arrives on a landing page via a search ad, he/she fills out a form to express interests in the business.
A form submission comes in many forms: a quote request, a whitepaper download, catalog download or a contact form. No matter what the form is for, a well-designed one can help marketers gather people’s information.
Similar to Google Adwords, you can use form submissions on your site, and then set up goals in the Baidu PPC platform. By simply putting the thank you page as the target URL, you can track the volume of submitted forms and the keywords that brought the user to the form.
Here’s a typical design for a form:
The biggest difference in the forms targeting customers in China vs. customers in the U.S. or Europe is the request for a phone number and QQ number (QQ is the most popular instant chat tool in China).
In China, many people, especially those working in traditional B2B industries, prefer speaking directly by phone or chatting tools and rarely use emails.
Phone Number and Call Extension
As we mentioned before, instant and direct communication is encouraged in Chinese business culture. Prospects like to dial the phone number of a business directly and jump into the conversation as soon as possible.
Many times research on a new product or service starts there and they are able to get the valuable information they need quickly and effectively.
To leverage this cultural norm, Baidu PPC provides B2B marketers with the opportunity to generate incoming calls. See the following SERP of Logistic & Transportation from a desktop and mobile search:
As you can see from these two screenshots, putting the phone number into the ad copy is standard and expected in China. It can be placed in the headline or the description line. It shortens the conversion path and encourages people to take action immediately.
Since the call details cannot be tracked through the PPC platform, I recommend creating a standard form for a salesperson to record where a lead is coming from, what the search terms were (if it is from Baidu PPC), and the products/services they are inquiring about on the call.
This type of feedback helps B2B marketers to continually optimize campaigns.
With Baidu PPC ads for mobile, users can do even more. Marketers can set up Call Extension — similar to Adwords call extension — where when people search for your business on their cell phone, they will see a phone icon identifying Call For More Info. By clicking the icon, they can dial the business directly.
The call extension performance data can be easily tracked in Baidu PPC. You can see impressions, clicks of the calls, and keyword origin. With this data, marketers can optimize mobile bids and adjust PPC campaigns accordingly.
Baidu Shangqiao is a free tool available to Baidu PPC users. Shangqiao is similar to the QQ chatting tool and allows visitors to directly communicate with a sales representative when they land on a site.
Compared to QQ, the benefit of using Shangqiao is it provides additional insight on which ads and keywords drove customers to the site. Moreover, it is free, efficient, and user-friendly.
The sales team can open this app and share the same interface to communicate with customers. When users land on your website, they will see a small pop-up window asking if they would like to chat with a sales person. Since it is a familiar communicatiion channel to most Chinese, the pop-up window will not influence the user experience.
If they close this window, they can still click on a small chatting box shown in the middle right-hand corner to initiate a new chat or fill out a short form on the left-hand side as they browse the website.
The short form includes blanks for message details, name, phone number, address, and email address. It can be a supplement to existing forms. Since it can be also used outside of business hours, you don’t need to worry about losing any lead opportunities.
XunKe (Looking for Business) Conversion Extension
XunKe is a short form shown directly in a PPC ad; it’s a feature that’s available for both mobile and desktop devices. When an ad shows in the top position, people will see a short form that they can fill out to get more information.
Baidu PPC provides a standard format for the forms, but there are different forms for different industries. You cannot customize the form, but you can choose the most appropriate one for your business.
For example, a typical form includes spaces for a name, email address, and phone number. For manufacturing companies, a preferable form includes company name and a drop-down list of product categories in addition to the basic information.
For logistics companies, a form may include the place of departure, the place of arrival or the targeted countries.
The leads coming from XunKe can be easily tracked. Not only are marketers able to get the keyword data, but also the exact conversion time. This data can be sent to your sales team via email in real-time or it can be compiled and sent out as a daily report (see image below for an example).
As B2B marketers learn more about Chinese business culture and Baidu PPC, these four tactics of lead generation will help better leverage the investment on PPC campaigns, and bring more business opportunities.
One final tip: generating leads only is the halfway mark for B2B marketers. In order to convert leads into paying customers, marketers need to work closely with the sales team.
With their feedback and input, marketers can have a better understanding of how to optimize the back-end conversion funnel, uncover new keyword and audience opportunities, and increase the qualified rate of leads.
If you want to expand your Baidu PPC effort, please contact us!