There are more than 51 million people in South Korea, and the country has a rich culture. 97% of the population has internet access, and over 45 million are social media users. With the fastest internet speeds and 100% penetration of wireless broadband, this country is hyperconnected. In addition, in recent years, South Korean culture has had an incredible impact on the world, especially in terms of K-drama and K-pop. The rise of the entertainment industry opened up English viewers to K-entertainment. Because of this, South Korea is a tempting market for global brands looking to do business online.
In terms of digital marketing, the Korean market has certainly made waves. This is because of smart technologies and innovation hubs for startups. And with consumer attention on the rise, digital marketing in Korea has never been more important. In South Korea, you can reach target audiences using a variety of digital platforms, including webtoons, videos and forum marketing to gain brand visibility and brand performance.
South Korea is one of the few countries that does not use Google as their primary search engine, even though it is widely used worldwide for search. Instead, Naver and Daum have taken over Google as the largest search engines. The key to navigating the South Korean digital marketing scene successfully will be to understand the market demands, as well as the consumer preferences.
South Korea is definitely competing for a strong digital presence on the global stage. In 2022, South Korea’s total ad spending is projected to reach US$8.4 billion, dominated by search advertising.
If you’re looking to seize a presence in the Korean market, we can help. We’ve helped many of our clients expand into the South Korean market with our hyper local insights, and industry specific marketing solutions.
If you want to grow your brand in South Korea, you must know KakaoTalk, the number one platform that every Korean uses. It has over 45 million active monthly users, a majority of whom are females in their teens to mid-40s. The superapp has become a part of Koreans' everyday lives and offers a range of services and functions, such as cab hailing, e-commerce, and banking.
As a digital marketing platform, it offers a variety of ad formats from banner ads, Kakao channel, smart SMS, bizboard, and story ads. KakaoTalk serves as a medium for connecting Korea's vast audience, many of whom have integrated it into their everyday lives.
Launched in 1999, Naver is the most used search engine platform with over 85% market share in online search queries in South Korea. Similar to Google, Naver provides performance-based advertising, targeted more specifically for the mobile community. With Naver, users are able to search, email, blog and shop amongst other things.
From an advertising perspective, Naver offers five types of pay-per-click (PPC) ad formats - brand search that triggers banner ads, text ads on websites, content ads (Naver blog and Naver cafe), shopping ads (for local businesses) and display ads.
For SEO, Naver's blogging service is recommended as it's fast and easy to rank on Naver's first page.