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Baidu unit says it can help Japanese companies attract tourists

Baidu unit says it can help Japanese companies attract tourists

TOKYO — A Tokyo-based online ad service that tells its media clients in South Korea and Taiwan how deep readers go into articles now wants to sell advertising services to Japanese tourism-related businesses.

PopIn says it wants to help shopping complexes, hotels and other Japanese businesses looking to capitalize on the surging number of foreign tourists coming to the country place ads with its 350 media partners in South Korea and Taiwan.

The ads will look like articles, and popIn says its technology can help advertisers determine what media sites will give their ads the most visibility and tell them how effective each ad is.

PopIn, a subsidiary of Baidu, China‘s largest search engine, plans to expand the service to Southeast Asia by signing up 100 clients by 2020.

The large number of partners allows for choice. A Japanese hotel might choose to run newslike ads on travel– and gourmet-focused sites. The client later receives a report on how many clicks its article received, how far through the ad each reader got and where the results rank compared to other ads popIn has placed.

The popIn Discovery Global service counts how many characters are in an articlelike ad, then determines how much time it would take an average user to read through it. When a user reads the article, a tracker counts the number of characters a smartphone or other device displays as the user scrolls down. It also measures time spent on the ad.

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Say an average user ne 100 seconds to read a 100-character article, and a user’s device displays 50 characters for 50 seconds. The system then assumes that 50% of the article was read. If the user takes significantly more or less time to read the same amount of text, it judges that the article was not read.

With this information, advertisers can get a grasp of how well their ad is performing beyond the click rate and the duration of time it has been displayed.

The time spent on an article is also analyzed and used as an indication of whether an ad was “glanced at,” “browsed” or “closely read.” This is designed to let advertisers know what types of ad articles — those that are formatted like reviews or those that are more descriptive in nature — are read. This information can be used to improve ad content and strategies.

The service also offers information on the browsing habits of people who read online articles at its partners‘ sites. Perhaps a business news service‘s users often later go to a travel site. A tourism business might look at this information and decide to post an articlelike ad on that business news site.

PopIn launched its metrics service in South Korea and Taiwan in 2017. It will provide its ad delivery service to Japanese clients such as transportation companies, local governments and multipurpose malls. Ads will be carried on its media partners‘ sites, with clients being billed based on the number of clicks.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, South Korea and Taiwan in 2017 were the Nos. 2 and 3 embarkation countries for tourists and other visitors to Japan. China came in first.

Baidu mainly handles ad delivery services in China, while popIn, which Baidu acquired in 2015, targets South Korea and Taiwan.

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