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Hainan Airlines
airline company
Using Direct:
since 2014
In business for:
22 years

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Hainan Airlines
airline company
Using Direct:
since 2014
In business for:
22 years
Hainan Airlines is one of the largest airlines in China. Jiang Zhiang, the company's brand marketing manager, told us about working with Russian customers and how advertising on Yandex helped to promote the launch of flights to Russia and continues to drive the growth of online bookings.
— When and how did you start flights to Russia?
— We launched our first Russian flight from Beijing to Saint Petersburg in 2007 and we began flying to Moscow two years later. Around the same time, Russia became one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists, so we began to expand our flight map with these new promising destinations and, in 2009, we opened an office in Moscow. Since then, our passengers have accumulated 10,000 flying hours between China and Russia!
— Are Russian passengers different from your customers in other countries? Are there any particularly interesting differences?
— Russians are more focused on price. Most of our Russian passengers are businessmen and students, who often buy group rate tickets in advance. As for Russian tourists, they like traveling on their own and rarely go in groups. This is where they are very different from Chinese tourists who seldom fly alone. Russian tourists often buy tickets spontaneously during promotion campaigns. On average, their trips last 10 to 14 days.
— When did you launch your Russian language website? What did you pay most attention to when designing it?
— We localized our website at the end of 2011, when we decided to offer online flight booking. Of course, the most important and difficult thing was to turn all the content into high-quality Russian. This took us several months. Getting good texts and translations is the most important part of localization, mainly because customers don't usually trust foreign companies as much as local ones. However, you can quickly address this issue by talking to your customers in their own language. By the way, wherever we have a branch of Hainan Airlines we hire a lot of local employees.
— What advertising channels do you use in Russia? How do you select them?
— We started with newspapers and magazines, different "glossy" and business publications. But with the appearance of our Russian website, we immediately launched contextual advertising. In all the countries where we operate, we spend 50% of our advertising budget on contextual ads, and Russia is no exception. Before deciding where to direct our main advertising funds, we studied the Russian internet and realized that, unlike in many other countries, its leader is a local search engine. This is how Yandex.Direct became our key channel for attracting customers.
— What results did advertising on Yandex bring?
— The results were very good from the beginning. Just a week after launching Yandex.Direct ads, our website traffic increased by 30%
People who come to us from Yandex.Direct ads most often reach our desired goals
— How did you manage to "sharpen" your ads to get specific results?

— We have advertising campaigns on Yandex search and separately configured ads on thematic websites in the Yandex Advertising Network. This helps us to display different texts on different platforms. For example, for ads displayed in search results, we often use ad templates (when keywords are automatically placed in the text). As a result, our ads better correspond to what people are looking for in the search box. But for content websites, we try to invent more "flexible", emotional texts for ads and complement them with some colorful artwork.

We also have separate retargeting campaigns. This is how we "reactivate" users who visited our website but left without completing their booking.

In addition, we make our own advertising campaigns for different regions, to coordinate them with our bonus promotions.

— What phrases do you use to trigger your ads?
— All our keywords are divided into three large groups: brand keywords (for example, 'Hainan Airlines', 'Hainan Airline Company'), flight routes (for example, 'Moscow-Beijing', 'Saint Petersburg-Beijing', 'Almaty-Beijing'), ticket price and discount quotes (for example, 'airline ticket price', 'hotel prices in Beijing', 'cheap airfares to China').
— How do you decide whether the advertising is successful and is worth investing in?
— We use the Yandex.Metrica counter on all our website's pages. This provides us with a lot of useful information: exactly where visitors come from and what they do on our website. People who come to us from Yandex.Direct ads most often reach our desired goals. As our main goal is to increase the number of bookings, we continuously monitor the conversion rate for Yandex.Direct. This is very good now, which means that our ads don't just attract clicks but also a large number of real customers.
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