The vast majority of educational institutions, tourism establishments and destinations in
North America have yet to start using sponsored links on social media and browsers' search engines to be found by prospects of Chinese, Japanese and Korean origin.
My question is Why Should They? Such campaigns are often less effective than when run to engage local American and Canadian audiences in English, Spanish or French.
Here are TEN TIPS before deciding on a budget to deploy digital strategies including content marketing, advertising and re-marketing on Weibo, Baidu, Google Japan, Yahoo! Japan, Daum or Naver in Korean and other major platforms in those Northeast Asian languages.
by Michel Bonin, Digital Marketing Researcher *
- Potential visitors of Northeast Asian origin to North America have needs and come from a different geo-cultural perspective than those living in countries and identified with a traditional Western tradition (mostly European and Latin American).
- Students and long-haul travelers originating from Northeast Asia first require to have their Attention raised and their Interest satisfied for many months before they finally even Desire let alone wish to take Action by visiting a website hosted specifically for a particular North American school, tourism establishment or destination. That was determined by applying the analytical framework of the A.I.D.A. formula of events to the buying process of Northeast Asians toward services (like Travel and Education) to be finally delivered once in North America.
- Generating leads through a funnel usually happens over a 12-month buying process which can make conversion quite challenging. For approximately 95% of an estimated 10,000 educational institutions, tourism establishments and destinations wishing at some time in the future to attract potential students or travelers of Northeast Asian origin to North America, it can become superfluous particularly to do it through their own website. That is because those are made up of small independent business types.
- Cost-Per-Click and Cost-Per '000 Impressions come at a higher premium than in English to generate qualified leads in Northeast Asian languages among prospects planning to study or travel to the United States and Canada.
- Site-targeted and geo-targeted placements across multiple sites are often unidentified or target profiles are sketchy at best. It is particularly relevant in those countries where the unbound digital world has taken over the real world of law and order.
- There is an exponential growth in the amount and variety of content on popular, foreign sites with higher traffic registered in Northeast Asia including .com and particularly .cn (in Chinese), .jp (in Japanese) and .kr or .net (in Korean). Most tend to focus the surfer on a wide choice of worldwide study and travel choices rather than North American destinations in particular.
- Call-To-Action strategies (traditionally poorly hosted on agent sites for school and travel destinations) have become more popular in the past decade through world booking sites (like eLong in Chinese et al). Now also available through social media such as Weibo and other ubiquitous equivalents like Facebook in Northeast Asian languages, Call-To-Action can be a premature Inbound Digital Marketing strategy. Potential students and travelers who think of coming to North America first look for generic marketing content to satisfy their curiosity. The more cost-efficient alternative for the vast majority of schools, tourism establishments and destinations may well be to secure a presence through third-party platforms such as online directories and Wikipedia-type sites offering choice and comparison all on the same platform on which they land for information.
- Malpractices are common particularly in China where groups of low-paid individuals are hired to click on text-based, display image ads and also more recently, on Call-To-Action types of social media ads.
- Looking for the right editorial context for text-based ads and display ads must often get around Content Marketing issues raised by running search engine-based campaigns that are unique to Chinese, Japanese or Korean. That is because their individual characters (or group of characters) may convey different meanings unlike most keywords (including long-tail) used in Western languages.
- Recurring inbound digital marketing campaigns for North American destinations, specifically Call-To-Action driven in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, generate overall less efficiency (on both ROI and CPA goals) than the same money spent toward a constant year-round presence on well-visited and maintained third-party online directories whose hundreds of pages are search engine optimized (SEO) individually in each of those languages.
* Based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, the author, Michel Bonin, publishes on Best Practices to be found online in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Below is one of his recent presentations. It can also be accessed with the complete notes through this link: TEN TIPS TO BE FOUND EARLY ONLINE IN JAPANESE, CHINESE AND KOREAN
TEN TIPS TO BE FOUND EARLY ONLINE IN JAPANESE, CHINESE AND KOREAN