What is Zhihu?
Zhihu is the largest Q&A knowledge platform on the Chinese Internet and an excellent platform for asking questions and getting answers. With strong growth figures, Zhihu 2022 Q2 results are proving its success and its importance on the Chinese market. Questions and answers are in diverse forms such as text, pictures and videos. It is equivalent to Quora in Europe.
Currently Zhihu has 280 million users, with 26 million daily active users and an average usage time of 60 minutes. So far, it has gathered 410,000 topics, 36 million questions and 170 million answers. The topics cover a wide range of industries, from internet and technology to life and culture. With over a million users following Zhihu specific topics and generating discussions every day, Zhihu users’ UGC has unleashed a huge power and influence.
Who are Zhihu’s users in China?
Zhihu’s users are: highly educated middle-class people, high quality of life seekers and students.
In terms of regional distribution, the main focus is on the first and second tier cities such as the North, Shanghai and Guangzhou, accounting for 41%.
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Why use Zhihu for digital marketing in China?
Chinese consumers trust Zhihu
“When you go to Baidu to search for questions about a product, do you trust the answers from Zhihu or answers from other sources?” Chinese people would definitely answer: answers from Zhihu.
The Chinese market is huge and complex, with a wide range of products and varying quality. Consumers often need to search for relevant information to analyze and verify whether a product meets their purchase expectations. In this process, the content of each platform plays a crucial role.
As a problem-solving tool , has an aura of professionalism and authority, and influences how consumers make their decisions.
Imagine if your product is an internet product/technology/knowledge product/mechanical product, potential users of your brand will inevitably read product reviews on Zhihu and make comparison when they search for relevant questions (whether on WeChat or Baidu), will they still consider buying if they see negative reviews of your products ? The answer is NO.
Also, what happens if they see positive reviews of your competitors’ products on Zhihu? They will believe your competitors’ products have greater advantage.
Therefore, Zhihu is a crucial platform that can influence consumers’ judgment of a brand. Brands must set up their “base” on Zhihu, and use it to share positive reviews about brand’s products and win consumer trust.
What are the advantages of Zhihu?
A powerful marketing tool
Because of the concentration of professionals in various fields, there are answers to all kinds of niche questions on Zhihu, which is very advantageous to the marketing needs of niche products such as digital products, the home appliance, SAAS or pharmaceutical products.
Chinese consumers’ trust
Zhihu has a high quality value marketing atmosphere, so it has high reach and superb word-of-mouth, which makes it extremely easy for brands to gain consumer loyalty.
Flexible marketing approach
In terms of marketing, brands can choose between paid advertising and content marketing; and there are a variety of formats: graphics, videos and KOL collaborations.
Zhihu’s ecological environment is very open, with no traffic barriers, making it easy to connect across platforms.
Through “Zhi+”, brand can achieve the following marketing effect: direct zhihu’s traffic to outlinks (H5 landing pages), mini-programs, WeChat official account, app downloads pages, Tmall stores, Jingdong and other product detail pages, e-shops, Taobao stores, Tmall international stores, etc. These advantages are very obvious.
How to market on Zhihu?
Zhihu’s users are highly educated and have strong purchasing power, which is a very important factor for advertisers.
At present, the advertising formats are:
- Feeds ads,
- Open screen advertising,
These ads are composed of images + copy + links to landing pages, and are interspersed on the recommendation page, question page and answer page.
Open Screen Ads
Open screen advertising has a very high exposure, and is promoted through CPC and CPM billing, i.e. the number of times the advertisements placed are clicked or the number of thousand exposures.
Zhi+ is Zhihu’s traffic support for branded content: as long as you pay, it will give you increased exposure.
With such fierce competition in digital marketing, the future of China is embracing the era of content marketing.
While the current mainstream marketing format is video, and perhaps AR will dominate content marketing in the future. Informative and entertaining videos contain large amounts of information; they can capture users’ attention easily within a short period of time. But will text-based content disappear? Absolutely not.
Because text content will always be the core of all content. Chinese users also still have a strong sense of trust and willingness to browse professional and informative articles.
How to apply for a certified brand account on Zhihu?
Applying for an official account with blue v certification helps to increase user trust, and the content posted by Zhihu official certified account will have greater weight, higher search result rankings, and additional features such as market data analysis.
- You will need to fill in your email address to apply for a Zhihu certified “brand” account. You can apply for certification by
- Upload your business license;
- Fill in the operator’s identity information and photo ID.
- Set the account name, brand logo, and other information
- paying a manual certification fee of 300 RMB.
Overall, Zhihu is a strategic marketing platform in China; both new and established brands should have a presence in and keep their account active. Informative reviews and righteous answers play a decisive role in the digital marketing process. This is why it is vital that brands need to find a professional marketing partner for brand marketing on the mos popular q&a platform.
You hope to learn more about Zhihu? Please get in touch with STAiiRS. We offer digital marketing services and solutions to help international brands expand their reach in the Chinese market.