One request we often get from our German customers is to run advertising for them in Korea on its Naver search engine. Unfortunately, this is something that we cannot guarantee, due to the extremely high standards and strict guidelines that Naver imposes on companies wishing to place ads.
Comparatively, the rules in Korea for search engine advertising are some of the strictest worldwide. This article will discuss these criteria, the sign-up process, as well as the benefits of going through with the registration and actually using Naver to promote your business as well as your products.
Naver - An Introduction
The most important search engine in Korea is Naver, which draws its name from navigate, meaning to “discover the world.” Its logo is an explorer’s hat—which has been used since 2000.
Naver (Korean: 네이버) was founded in June 1999 and is currently the most used search engine in Korea. Much like Google and Baidu, Naver initially started as a pure search provider, and then developed related products and services. These include blogs, forums, news, Q&A, maps, books, and e-mail. In addition, Naver operates a dedicated portal just for children and young adults called “Junior Naver” (jr.naver.com), the online charity portal “Happy Bean” (happybean.naver.com), and the top online game portal “Hangame” (hangame.naver.com). All of these different channels, products, and services make Naver incredibly attractive from an online marketing standpoint—especially for a company looking for an entryway into the Korean market.
Still, there are several rules and criteria that must be met before being able to run ads on the search network.
Opening an Account for German Companies
In order to advertise on Naver, it’s important for a German company to have a desire to enter the Korean market. Furthermore, one needs patience, a reasonable budget, and personnel in place to manage all of the requirements.
The requirements for opening a corporate account with Naver by a Korean subsidiary of German company or by a local citizen are the following:
- Registration certificate of the Korean subsidiary of the German company, including the registration number and the company address
- A website in Korean (that will be advertised)
- Detailed information of a contact person, including their name, identity card, mobile phone number (to receive SMS verifications and updates)
Alternatively, a Naver account can also be registered by a Korean national, and requires a valid Korean passport and a Korean mobile number.
The other alternative option is to have a Naver marketing agency registers and then manage the account for a German company without a physical presence in Korea. This option will require extensive communication overhead, and should be taken into account when deciding the best option for registering with Naver. The effort and time required is not at all comparable to that of Google, for example.
Naver Advertising Options
Due to its extensive product range, there are several advertising opportunities for German businesses on Naver. Many of these are especially suited for B2B companies looking to generate leads and build brand awareness in the Korean market.
The design itself of Naver is quite different from that of Google and Baidu, and other search engine giants. Actually, when a user types in a search query, all results are displayed on a single page under specific categories such as ads, blogs, photos, forums, Q&A, news, etc. Only a very limited number of results per each category are then listed on this initial search page. In order to see more results, the user can click on 더보기 (more). For this reason, search engine optimization (SEO) is mostly ineffective in Naver for Korea. Even a fully-optimized site will never be listed at the organic search. Therefore, only via search engine advertising can a website or company improve its rankings and viewership.
Click Choice—Cost Per Click Advertising Program
Click Choice is an advertising program that is similar to Google AdWords and has the ability to run ads on search and content networks. For the search network, there are two areas for ads-“Power Link” and “Biz Site” (see screenshot below). Rankings here are influenced by the keyword price and the quality of the website. “Power Link” displays rankings from 1-10, whereas “Biz Site” shows rankings from 11-15.
Advertising on the content network is placed both on external websites, on the Naver Blog, and the platform Naver Knowledge.
Click + Choice—for Mobile Networks
This advertising program is designed for mobile devices and contains special features such as click-to-call, website previews, and related images. As of 2013, 73% of Koreans were smartphone users. Therefore, incorporating mobile advertising into your online marketing strategy is essential to be successful in the Korean market.
Brand Ads—Optimal Branding via Search Engine Results
With Naver Brand Ads, companies can increase their brand awareness. These ads always appear first (ranked #1) in search results. The display consists of a title, description, image/logo, news (w/ direct links), and product images (also w/ direct links). If a search term includes the brand name, then these types of ads are displayed. They are charged on a cost per impression (CPM) model. The minimum required budget for Naver Brand Ads is 500,000 Korean Won (about 350 EUR) per day. Furthermore, campaign duration is between seven and ninety days for these types of ads.
Special Notes on Account Set-Up & Operations
There are a few important notes to consider for German companies when setting up a search advertising account for Naver.
- A Naver account is only valid for one linked domain. If you would like to run ads for multiple domains or websites, then each one must have a unique Naver account as its parent.
- Starting July 2016, Naver will change its system to be on par with Google. An ad group contains one or more ads which target a shared set of keywords.
- It is not possible to add negative (excluding) keywords or criteria.
At effective world, we understand that Naver is an essential tool for online marketing in Korea, but that it can also be difficult for German and local Korean companies alike to setup and work with. We have dedicated marketing experts with experience in Korean market who are happy to assist you in setting up an account or managing an online campaign.
This article appeared in the April 2016 edition of KORUM, a business magazine on korea, enterprises, markets, and new technologies published by KGCCI. You can download the complete magazine here: No. 62 April 2016 - Sourcing in Korea.