Influencer Marketing in South Korea 2024

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Influencer Marketing in South Korea 2024



Why is influencer marketing so popular in South Korea?

Influencer marketing is nothing new in South Korea, since Koreans are fashion-forward and have a trend following mentality. Actually, the country has the 3rd highest level of social media penetration in the world, with 93.4% of the population using social media (Statista).

71% of Korean consumers are more likely to purchase based on a social media reference and 86% of women browse on SNS before making a purchase. Ad spending on influencer marketing in South Korea is projected to reach US$433.1 million (Statista). KOTRA also affirmed that the market is getting bigger because Millennials and Z generations spend huge amounts on online shopping.

Best platforms for influencers

The most frequently used social media in South Korea are Youtube, KakaoTalk, and Instagram. However, KakaoTalk marketing is usually done through branded content rather than individual influencers. If you are looking for a content creator to help your brand to get more awareness, it is better to put the focus on these platforms:

  • YouTube: It is the Nº1 video platform in Korea, with a user base of around 43.6 million. Doing YouTube marketing in Korean channels can be quite profitable: In 2019, there were 12,000 channels with over 10k subscribers, over 2,000 channels with 100k subscribers and more than 2000 channels with 100k subscribers, and more than 200 channels with 1 million subscribers.
  • Instagram: In recent years, the popularity of Instagram is growing, even surpassing Naver, especially among younger users. As of March 2024, there are 23.93 million users. Naturally, the rapid growth of this SNS has led to the emergence of thousands of influencers, and many of them have started to promote their own brands.
  • Naver: The preferred search engine for Korean internet users has a strong focus on user-generated content (USG) along with its properties Naver blog and Naver CaféThe platform has the Naver Influencer Center, which contains information for influencers and marketers interested in working with Naver. One of the features of the Influencer Center is the Brand Connect, which allows companies to filter influencers based on a list of criteria. Screenshot of Naver's Brand connect service

As you can see, businesses can filter based on a variety of subject categories, such as fashion, gaming, IT, pets, etc. You can also sort based on age, gender, and whether or not the influencer has experience working with brands. This allows marketers to easily find influencers, who fit what they are looking for, who are also open to working with brands.

Top Instagram Influencers in South Korea

As of July 2024, the celebrities with the most followers on Instagram were:

  • Lisa from Blackpink (103.9 million followers)
  • Jennie from Blackpink (85.2 million followers)
  • Jin from BTS (48.9 million followers)
  • Rose from Blackpink (78.7 million followers)
  • Jisoo from Blackpink (46.7 million followers)
  • RM from BTS (46.7 million followers)

Korean Lifestyle and Fashion Influencers

However, this list is mostly integrated by idols and actors, which are quite difficult to reach for most brands and companies. We have curated a list of Korean non-idol influencers, mainly focused on fashion and beauty that you can follow or contact for collaboration.

Ehwa Kim

Followers: 649k

A fashion influencer with a casual style followed mainly by young females. Kim Ewha has developed a cute and joyful personal brand and currently runs a female clothing brand company with her sister.

Park Sora

Followers: 1M

Park Sora is a Stylenanda and 3CE ambassador, and a popular face in the Korean influencer community. She has a feminine chic style and prefers wearing monotone clothes.

Su-min Nam

Followers: 540k
Another popular fashion and lifestyle influencer, who also owns her own fashion store in Café 24.

Bora Kim


Followers: 1.1M
Korean model based in Seoul. She posts about beauty, travel, and lifestyle. She also has a YouTube channel where she uploads videos on a monthly basis.

Bora Kim Influencer Korea

Lee Ho-Jung

Followers: 1.5M
Korean fashion influencer who has appeared in some dramas and music videos. However, her main focus is on the fashion industry and she is one of the top k-fashion influencers in Korea.

Irene Kim

Followers: 2.8M
Irene is a popular model and Korean American instagrammer that travels de world from fashion show to fashion show. She is girly, has a fun style and has no fear to experiment.

Jeong-ah Kim

Followers: 464K
Jeong-ah Kim has a young and playful style and amazing makeup skills that make her look like a doll. She has a strong preference for pastel tones and beauty products.

Eudeum Shim

Followers: 788K
Pilates instructor and YouTube creator, Eudeum Shim helps you to have a better lifestyle and look great along the way.

Tips for your influencer campaign

Many Korean influencers, especially on Instagram can be approached directly or through influencer marketing platforms. On these platforms, you can search for influencers depending on their age, gender, number of followers, and posting categories. When you start looking for an influencer for your brand, keep in mind some tips to succeed in your election:

  • Audit the influencer profile: Many influencers have bought fake followers to get better deals with brands, which might end up resulting in poor performance. Partner with an influencer agency that has the technology to undercover fake followers and predict engagement rates. Also, it is important to get clear statistics of their audiences, since Korean influencers are usually followed by users from other countries (Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand)…
  •  Be transparent in your sponsorships: Influencers that partner with companies must clarify the fact that they are being paid to promote a specific product. The Fair Trade Commission made this decision because influencers have increasingly deceived users on YouTube and Instagram by pretending to have bought and used products without having done so.
  • Analyze their content: Every influencer has a unique style and focuses on different themes. Take your time to scroll their feeds and identify the ones that best fit your business before going for a partnership.

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