Seoul-cial Media: Can An Unknown Western Artist Use Kpop Marketing Strategies To Build A Fanbase?
The KPOP industry has taken the world by storm with their ability to create and maintain loyal fanbases. They do this with specific marketing tactics, focused on fan engagement. However, since the beginning of COVID, there have been less opportunities to function in the same ways as the industry is used to. Established KPOP artists have been able to transition easily with simple elimination of contact with others, without any damage to their fanbase. Yet, new groups who have debuted during 2020 have seen consistent rises in fandom members. These groups have thrown themselves into social media marketing, rather than relying on show appearances. They strategically oversaturate their fans with content, like YouTube reality shows and TikTok accounts. There are standard practices used among Korean idols when it comes to specific areas like day to day curated content, release and event promotions, and distribution. These practices, while not entirely unique to the Kpop industry, have been utilized to their advantage in a way that no one else has been able to accomplish due to tactical changes that the Korean entertainment industry has added over the years. I chose to take it upon myself to see if the Korean style marketing strategies could be utilized by artists not associated with the Kpop industry. Using my own artist career and social media accounts as the test subjects, I conducted a five month social experiment to coincide with the question: Can unknown western artists use Kpop idol marketing tactics to create a fanbase? I found through this experiment that while it is possible to grow a fanbase using these strategies, it is not as rapid or successful as what is typically seen for Korean artists. The biggest factors for this is the lack of time and resources and a general difference between what goes into a Kpop idol identity and that of a DIY artist.
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Wynans, Abigail. “Seoul-cial Media: Can An Unknown Western Artist Use Kpop Marketing Strategies To Build A Fanbase?.” Master's Project, Berklee College of Music, 2021. https://remix.berklee.edu/graduate-studies-global-entertainment-business/105