What is Naver?
Naver is South Korea’s largest web search engine, as well as a global ICT brand that provides services including LINE messenger, currently with over 200 million users from around the world, the SNOW video app, and the digital comics platform NAVER WEBTOON. NAVER BAND, a group social media platform, boasts one million monthly active users. Don’t claim you are familiar with Korean Market if you have never tried/heard Naver Advertising.
Why Naver Advertising is great for the Korean market?
Naver is the No 1 search engine platform, recorded around 70% market share on the Search Engine market in Korea. Due to their success in the Korean market, your potential customers very likely visit Naver in order to get the information they want. By showing your products/services on Naver SERP(Stands for Search Engine Result Page), you will be able to reach a large number of audiences, regardless of demographics.
Types of Naver Search Advertising
Naver has 7 Search Ad products as below.
- Site Search Ads (aka Click Choice)
- Contents Search Ads
- Brand Search Ads
- Shopping Search Ads
- Place Ads
- Click Choice Plus Ads
- Click Choice Product Ads
Naver Ad Format Explanation
Site Search Ads
It contains two main sections – Power Link and Biz Site. These are moderately similar to Google Ads and has the ability to run ads on Search and Content Network. Naver Ads rankings are determined by the two main factor – Quality Score of the ads and Keyword Bids.
Search Ads can be placed on the content network, such as Naver blogger websites, Naver Knowledge page and Search engine partners – Gmarket, Interpark, Auctions, 11street, Danawa etc.
In terms of search ads, advertisers will pay on cost-per-click (CPC), and costs per keywords depend on how competitive your target keywords are. The lowest keyword bid on Naver starts from 70 KRW.
This type of ad product is recommended for those who
- Looking for flexible daily budget
- Do not have much rich ad contents such as videos, images, etc
- Has no experience in Naver Advertising and would like to test the performance
Power Link – The most eye-catching ad type which allows you to advertise your products on the first top 10 results on the desktop version.
Biz Site – This is located just below Power Link ads and another 5 ads will show on this section.
Desktop version, Power Link and Biz Site Ads
Mobile version, Power Link and Biz Site Ads
Contents Search Ads
These ads allow an advertiser to show their contents to the audiences who search for related information. This one will be located just below Power Link ads and once they clicked the ads, it will take them to the blog pages.
This ad product is recommended for those who
- Will create or already have Naver blog and would like to promote the service by taking them into the blog pages
- Companies do not have their own website and use Naver blog as their alternative
- Advertise your service/product by showing know-how or review contents to audiences
Brand Search Ads
If you are willing to increase the awareness with rich contents such as texts, images, and video, Brand Ads could be one of your options.
For instance, if audiences search your brand keywords (e.g brand products or names) ads will show with a title, description, and image. There are a few conditions before you run this ad – the duration for the campaign is from 7 days to a maximum of 90 days, and you need to allocate a daily budget of at least 500,000 KRW.
This ad product is recommended for those who
- Advertisers with a large number of advertising budgets.
- Would like to show the ads with more rich contents such as image and videos
- The main objective of the campaign could be building up the brand image, rather than short-term conversions.
Shopping Search Ads
This ad allows you to show your products on Naver Shopping network. In order to run this ad, you need to register Naver Shopping store, and that should link to Ads account.
Place Ads is a great way to show their physical stores to the people around their location. This ad is currently open for those registered SME companies in Korea, and unlike other search type ads on Naver, this ad is paid by cost per impressions (CPM).
One of the merits of this ad is cheap. It only costs 1 KRW per one impression, and ads will be placed with the details such as a company name, logo, location and ad texts. The ad will be located on Naver content websites such as News and Naver Blog.
Click Choice Plus Ads
This ad is specially optimised for mobile search, and it provides great UI for those customers who search their information on mobile. Unlike usual Click Choice ads, it provides a preview website about your services before it takes you to the final URL. Unfortunately, for this type of ads, currently it only available for 4 types of industry – Photo studio, party and event planner, baby goods rental and accommodations.
Click Choice Product Ads
This ad is specially designed for advertisers who are selling clothing, fashion goods and jewellery. The advertiser can show their ads with product image and price. Unlike Click Choice Plus, these ads can show both PCs and mobile.
Ad placement – Top of search result page with 9 images on mobile, 8 images on PC
Google Ads vs Naver Ads
Unlike most parts of the world, Google is not the No 1 search engine in South Korea. Although Google search is gaining its market share slowly, still Naver is taking almost 70% of total search market share which makes perfect sense that you should consider Naver ads when you are entering the Korean market.
Is that means you should not consider Google Ads at all in Korean market? It depends on your digital marketing strategy. In this section, I have listed out some pros and cons between Google and Naver ads in terms of performance.
Naver Ads is, most likely, better in conversion performance
Some Koreans believe that Naver search results are optimised for current Korean trends and their needs, rather than global search engines. It could be quite true since Naver has more data about user behaviours in the Korean market. That means Naver is could be final, if not first, marketing funnel when it comes to purchasing products.
In some ways, Google search could contribute conversion during the customer journey. We are living in the mobile world now and the Android phone market is quite a dominance in South Korean smartphone industry. That means, when people are on the move, they could do a mobile search on Google and find out your company, then convert it via Naver.
In a nutshell, you could consider to run both ads and see if which ad performance is better than the other. Then again, you can adjust the marketing budget between two platforms to optimise the results.
Naver Ads keywords, especially very generic ones, are very expensive
This is the common advertisers’ complain toward Naver ads. Compare to Google keyword bids, Naver seems more expensive on most of the generic keywords. This is one of, if not the most, reasons why some advertisers switch their digital marketing strategy to Google platform from Naver Advertising.
Here’s one example. If you would like to advertise ‘Translation’ in Korea, you need to pay around 20 USD dollars to be on the Top 5 SERP. On Google Ads, it just costs around 1 USD to be on the top SERP. (found from Keyword Planner on 5th July 2019)
Good Quality Score and Optimized Bidding is definitely very vital especially for generic keywords.
Google is stronger on Display and Video Ads
If you have display and video ads in mind, you must consider Google Ads as part of your strategy. Google Adsense is installed on most of the popular blog websites in Korea and widely used by bloggers (Tistory, Egloos) and YouTube is the No.1 video platform in South Korea which makes it undoubtedly the most attractive marketing placement. Naver Advertising is less powerful when it comes to Display and Video Format.
For those advertisers who would like to build brand awareness or just entered the Korean market, display and Video Ads could be your option Google Ads can be a great tool for remarketing too since it allows you to target those people who visited or viewed your YouTube channels.
Is it easy to create Naver Ads?
Unfortunately, it is not easy to create a Naver ads account if your company is not registered in Korea. In order to create one, you need to provide a official company registration number and the company address. You cannot create one if you don’t have a physical address or location.
Alternatively, you need a person from local to register a private advertiser account under his/her name.
You should consider a marketing agency who are expert on Naver Advertising. You might also consider running ads along with other platforms to maximize the impact such as Google Display Ads.