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Marketing to the Korean Consumer Through Translation Services

marketing translation services
marketing translation services

Marketing is a vital gear in the large machine that is business. What are your products or services without potential customers? And how do you reach those potentials? Marketing gets the word out and also displays your brand, image, and voice to the world. Choosing the right audience, or demographic, for your marketing campaign is key to setting yourself up for success.

We can all agree that in recent years, South Korea has taken the world by storm through its entertainment and music industries. This K-wave has all of us watching this small but culturally rich country. Beyond their entertainment industries, South Korea is a country for consumers and convenience where online shopping is at an all-time high. With the tech-savvy culture and current marketing trends, the Korean consumer is gold for those wanting to reach international customers through marketing.

Whether you wish to market a product or service, stepping into a global mindset can be tricky, especially when it comes to reaching your audience through their native languages. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at the Korean consumer and how you can use a professional translation company to succeed in your next marketing campaign.

The Korean Consumer Overview

Taking a part in the Korean wave is a smart business move for several reasons. In 2021, McDonald’s collaborated with the worldwide phenomenon that is BTS (Korean boy band BTS). Together, they created a special meal that became was on demand for a short period and sold in over 50 countries. This alone increased McDonald’s market sales by 40.5% for that quarter. Their collaboration was successful due to the popular impact of BTS, and professional Korean translations, which made their materials and concept accepted in each country.

Tech-Savvy Korea

South Korea is known for more than just its exciting Kpop groups ( Kpop is short for Korean pop music). This country has a complex IT infrastructure and 92% of the population has access to the internet. With a population of over 51 million, that percentage puts South Korea at an advantage in its mobile capabilities. In 2018 (pre-pandemic), mobile spending reached over 2.67 billion USD. With these statistics, it’s no surprise that internet advertising is incredibly important to marketing success in that country. Another interesting fact is that Korean consumers are becoming less attracted to domestic brands and have started seeking out international options.

Choose Your Platform for Marketing

When looking for a platform to market to your Korean audience, you will find a plethora of options to display your message and products, especially through digital platforms. If you prefer to market your product through e-commerce sites, you are in luck! South Koreans often use platforms you already know, but they also have large sites like Coupang (Coupang is a South Korean e-commerce company based in Seoul) and Gmarket (Gmarket is an e-commerce website based in South Korea).

The average South Korean consumer loves to follow trends: one thing goes viral, and everyone wants to try it or buy it! With this habit, social media marketing is a great way to connect with the South Korean audience. Whether you use Tiktok, Instagram/Facebook ads, or go more personal with micro-influencers, social media marketing has become a leading player in not just South Korea’s marketing trends, but around the whole world. So using Korean translation services to showcase your products and services there is a must.

Additionally, there are two Korean companies that you would like to consider and review for your marketing campaigns: Kakao (Kakao is a South Korean Internet company that was established in 2010. Wikipedia) and Naver (Naver is a South Korean online platform operated by the Naver Corporation. It debuted in 1999 as the first web portal in South Korea to develop and use its own search engine. Wikipedia). While using Google Ads would still reach your target audience, Naver is the most used search engine in South Korea. As a global tech platform, they dapple in social media, location maps, and messaging apps. Kakao also is known as the largest messaging app in South Korea. They have pushed beyond that and have made everything Kakao brand: kakaomaps, kakaobank, kakaotaxi, kakaoenterprise, and so much more.

Professional Translation Services

Marketing is a complex system full of digital/inbound strategies. To champion your campaign through English to Korean translations, you will need professional Korean translators who know and are aware of the humor, imagery, and cultural intonation used by the Korean audience. The success of your marketing strategy depends on how well you know your Korean audience and who you will select to help accurately portray your content and message. Working with an experienced translation services partner will help in every step of your journey.

Korean Cultural Nuances

The Korean consumer is not always loyal to brands, but they do pay special attention to brand names. They often make purchases for image and status. When translating your marketing campaign to a new language, you need to transcreation and adapt your message to reach the audience you want to connect with. Language, wording, imagery, and even colors are important, it’s all a part of knowing the culture and its people and using culturally sensitive Korean translation services to manage all these elements to help you get you there.

There are many nuances that a good Korean translation service would be able to catch. Did you know that writing a name in red in Korea is considered taboo? Writing someone’s name in red is for those who have already passed away. This small example shows that every detail counts, things might not be as simple as translating your content word for word when it comes to marketing translation.

Partnering for Successful Korean Translations

A professional translation agency, like JR Language, provides much more than the translation you might get from Google Translate. A true partnership is full of quality individuals with specific abilities. JR Language will provide a team of project managers, localization engineers, designers, linguists, and more to help your business succeed in a multilingual marketing campaign. Below are examples of what content could be translated:

  • Social Media Translation– social media is a leader in all marketing campaigns. Social posts, copy, hashtags, graphics, and Instagram Reels are all examples of what could be taken from Korean to English or English to Korean translation.
  • Website Translation– Where do potential buyers go to check out who you are as a company and what your brand is about? Your web pages. Detailed web translation allows your brand to be accessible to a more global audience.
  • Audio/Video Translation Services Maybe you have created some amazing promotional material, but want to use English to Korean translation services to broaden the reach of your videos. Our professional translation service can offer subtitles, dubbing, graphic translation, and more.
  • Document Translation– Marketing is not only about digital content. Your physical marketing documents can become quality translated text as well, or maybe you are partnering with a Korean company and need Korean translators to adapt content to support that business relationship.

These are just a few examples of the options you have to open your marketing campaign globally. It can seem complex at first, but with the right Language partner at your side to support your translation journey, you will see growth in your business and will be open to new opportunities and client relations in their languages.

Victoria Wildow
Victoria Wildow
Since 2018, Victoria Wildow has brought her technology centered mind forward in her role as Project Manager at JR Language. She is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Media Arts and Technology program. Victoria helps ensure our clients' various designs maintain the same look and feel in their new languages while also managing projects in various media. She loves learning about new technologies and is currently learning Spanish in her free time.