For many globally-minded brands looking for new ways to expand their businesses, moving into the Asian markets can provide vast opportunities for growth and while many companies will consider targeting Chinese or Japanese markets, far fewer consider that with a little local knowledge and some clever digital marketing, Korea can offer savvy e-commerce businesses a great return on investment.
Consider this: South Korea has 40 million smartphone users, the fastest Internet speeds in the OECD and 100% penetration for wireless broadband, so while it presents a smaller overall market than its larger siblings, its super-connected population are more than ready to engage with innovative brands wherever in the world they are located.
2018. Digital Media & News Trends in Korea. Source: Reuters Institute & Oxford University for the Study of Journalism
While it has great potential, the Korean digital marketing landscape is very different to that in the west. While in Europe and America, Google is the dominant force and pay per click (PPC) is the poor relative of organic search, in Korea this is reversed. Google is outranked by native search engines Naver and Daum, which between them have a 93% market share. Both also heavily favour PPC results; roughly 70% of traffic from these two portals comes viapaid-for advertisements.
The way in which users interact with these results pages is also very different, and for these reasons, successful digital marketing strategies used elsewhere cannot be replicated for a Korean audience.In addition to a preference for PPC, most Koreans are using their smartphones to access the Internet, so mobile-friendly websites are also pivotal.
A little more on Naver and Daum
Naver provides "combo search" - it splits its results into a number of areas in a way that Google does not. PPC is given prominence, followed by shopping results, “café” (essentially a community forum), blogs and Yahoo answers. Similarly, Daum offers a combo search featuring videos and café results. A robust Korean digital marketing strategy will not simply pour money into PPC, but will address all areas of the combo search: developing a creditable brand through an optimised website, quality content in the shape of blogs and articles,as well as PPC advertisements.
Ready to start work in Korea? InterAd is a specialist Korean digital marketing agency with the know-how and experience to get non-native brands noticed in what, to an outsider, can be a confusing environment. We know the culture and the language, and with project partners in 37 countries we have well-developed and tested strategies for executing successful Korean SEM and digital marketingcampaigns. Some of our global clients include Yahoo, Microsoft and Samsung, so we really are the best at what we do.