Launched in 2011, Zhihu (In english: Do you know?) is a Q&A forum where users can post questions, answer, share or even just put like or invite other users to answer the questions. It can be easily confused with Quora, but if you look deeper at this platform you will find out that it offers much more interesting features.
Zhihu differentiates itself from competitors, like Baidu Zhidao, by providing high-quality and in- depth insight questions and answers on various topics, from culture and TV to technology and politics. This means that it is widely used by experts and professionals so the Zhihu community is mostly a highly informed one.
Two types of places suitable for B2B businesses
- Q&A: Here is where most brands start when opening a Zhihu account. Brands will answer relevant questions and demonstrate their expertise and consequently their service and products. Friendly reminder: these questions should be answered in technical ways and terms because you are talking to users that have already knowledge about the topic.
- Zhihu column: It is where brands can share their knowledge through long and complex articles, thus reaching their niche in a more targeted way and increasing brand awareness. Brands have the possibility to make more engaging content adding images, video or infographics to make the topic clearer.
The Zhihu ecosystem is much more complex than this. We are introducing you to the sections that are primarily of interest to those novice companies on this platform. But becoming more experienced you could take advantage of other tools such as Paid Ads, Live, Roundtables, Paid “Consultancy” and much more.
Advantages of using Zhihu for B2B marketing
It may seem trivial to use a platform like Zhihu for business purposes, but this small step can make all the difference for your business.
With a professional profile, including your field of expertise, qualifications and experience you can build credibility by answering relative questions and sharing articles and knowledge. This will particularly influence online users because most of them will not just rely on textbook information but on your real-life experience, so they will trust your word.
By simply answering questions or sharing experience, your brand will:
- Reach your niche
- Gain visibility
- Build credibility
- Rank high on Baidu search engine, Zhihu is incredibly good for you SEO
- Increase traffic by adding external links to your website, landing pages, blog articles etc.
- Do marketing in a cost-efficient way
However, to maintain an audience on your profile and have some visibility of your responses and content, you need to be as active as on any other platform with an online community. You should reply and react as fast as possible as the Chinese high-speed society (and Zhihu algorithm) requires.
Give to your business a “Salt Value”
An interesting and important feature for a Zhihu profile is the "Salt Value". This system is made up of five categories with scores ranging from 0 to 1000, calculated with different algorithms and data and they are:
- Credibility: is basically your business resume, experiences, qualifications etc. The more details you have and the more credibility you gain.
- Content creation: this values the quantity and quality of the content you post, including asking and answering questions, publishing articles etc.
- Friendliness: is the level of civility, politeness and the degree of respect when your brand interacts with other members of the platform.
- Community Behaviour: different to friendliness, this values the respect of the terms of service of the platform. No libel, plagiarism, illegal or inappropriate content, threatening and harassing is allowed.
- Community Building: this dimension refers to the degree of monitoring and curation of the content on the platforms, so it means it takes in consideration you up-voting or down-voting answers, for example, editing content, reporting some content, encouraging a sort of self-governing of the platform.
These five dimensions, if you think about it, are exactly what a brand should do for its own business success: build credibility, take care about its content, be polite to users and (potential) clients, respect the market rules and keep an eye on competitors (take note of what they do wrong in order not to make the same mistakes or what you can use also for your brand). Zhihu is just one tool that helps you to grow.
Do you want to know more about Zhihu, its ecosystem and how your business can benefit from it? Don’t hesitate to contact us, our team of experts in marketing in China will be happy to help you.