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The NBH Guide: Did you know about the Zhihu 知乎 platform?
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Thinking of social networks and digital platforms in China, you might think about Wechat, Weibo, and Douyin (Tiktok). But did you know about Zhihu? The brand name can be translated to “Do you know?” and it is the largest Q&A platform in China. The platform can be compared to the American website Quora or a knowledge bank like Wikipedia. Zhihu is not a brand-new platform but has been well mentioned and booming by users the recent years.

NBH goes deeper into what Zhihu is and how it can be a good tool for B2B marketing in China.

What is Zhihu?

Zhihu is a Beijing-based company, launched in 2011, and is now the largest Q&A (question and answer) platform in China. By 2020, Zhihu reached more than 420 million registered users. The main purpose of the website is for users to ask questions and to get answers from the community using the Zhihu platform.

Zhihu is not alone in China providing this kind of service, Baidu, Zhidao, and Soso Wenwen are examples of the platform also having a Q&A website. But Zhihu has succeeded with much stronger reliability by its users compare to its competitors.

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What’s behind the Zhihu success?

Zhihu has succeeded with its platform because of its intimacy, building reliability and trust among its users. The users must for example follow certain rules such as respecting other users and do not link spam. 

The community using Zhihu creates dialogues through questions and answers regarding certain topics, the users tend to have more critical thinking and go deep into different subjects. An active user spends around 40 minutes a day using Zhihu. 

The community of Zhihu is well educated. Data from CNNIC (The China Internet Network Information Center) in 2017, shows that nearly 74% of Zhihus users hold a bachelor’s degree or above, and around 1,6% hold a doctoral degree. Another thing that sets Zhihu apart from other social platforms is the age of the users. According to official data from Zhihu, 98% of their users are older than 18 years.

How can Zhihu be a good tool for B2B marketing in China?

Zhihu is a good option for B2B marketing because the platform has a higher-end base of users than other platforms such as Weibo and WeChat. The main reason for the users to stay on the platform is to research solutions and find answers to different problems. This suits well for specific industries that can interact and share knowledge with potential customers. As an example, a company can search and answer specific questions linked to its expertise. Companies can also link to external websites like their own company, as long it’s related to the actual topic. Companies can also have their own “Organization account” and share more deep industrial-related articles and information.

Zhihu is also an effective tool for SEM (Search Engine Optimization). Because the platform has a high domain authority on Baidu. This means that when you search a specific topic, at least one of the pages displayed will be a Zhihu page. By using Zhihu you, therefore, can increase your visibility.

Zhihu is all about expertise and reliability. By providing high-quality answers and engaging with specific topics, your brand can create long-term trust and relationships with the audience. Zhihu is not about banners, campaigns, and targeted commercials, it is about knowledge and content.

Examples of common sectors using Zhihu for branding are engineering, insurance, human resources, and education. Other sectors like IT, healthcare, and tourism are also well suited.

Using the right content strategy, Zhihu is a viable option for B2B marketers.

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