Inside Blackpink’s Killer Marketing Plan: 7 Untold Secrets

Inside Blackpink's Killer Marketing Plan: 7 Untold Secrets

There is no denying the global success of South Korean K-pop group Blackpink, who have amassed a staggering 16 billion YouTube views, 71.1 million subscribers, and hundreds of shattered records.

Despite the group’s massive fame, some of their devotees have complained that they return to the spotlight less frequently than other artists.

Even though they’ve been around for nearly six years, they’ve only released music videos for ten of their songs so far. But the issue still stands: how do Blackpink shatter records after records with so little content?

What factors contribute to their fame? Our focus today is on the marketing tactics employed by Blackpink.

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What is Blackpink’s marketing plan?

Blackpink’s marketing strategy depends significantly on scarcity in terms of material, which serves to build buzz and tease the audience, while primarily focusing on distinction through the concept of “female infatuation.”

More so than other labels, YG Entertainment invests heavily in producing music videos with authentic locations and production values.

But now let’s look at the finer points and figure out why the girl group is so well-liked:

Differentiation tactic

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Blackpink’s amazing approach to differentiating their products is the first marketing strategy we’ll be diving into. It’s interesting to note that it’s difficult to single out a single quality that sets them apart from other K-pop female groups.

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In my opinion, it is more accurately described as a synthesis of factors including:

  • It’s a badass idea, not a cute one, and it’s amazing.
  • Each member has a distinct personality, look, and set of skills;
  • A culturally and linguistically varied bunch with roots all across the world;
  • When compared to other girl groups, Blackpink stands out as one of the few without a designated leader due to the fact that each member is a shining star in her own way.

Since there are just four members of the group, and they all get equal promotion, fans may come to know Lisa, Rosé, Jisoo, and Jennie extremely well, making it simpler to form an emotional connection with the brand than with groups that have more members.

This idea of limited resources, called scarcity

Earlier, I discussed how Hermés uses scarcity in their marketing strategy. Artificially increasing demand is a strategy that relies on the psychological urge for individuals to acquire a product due to its scarcity or limited availability.

Even with Blackpink, YG Entertainment used the same tactic. Instead of putting out new music videos frequently over a longer period of time, they go for long stretches without releasing anything new at all.

Uncertainty over when the next video will be produced, along with the lack of material, makes supporters anxious and excited in equal measure.

All of these strategies ensure that when YG and Blackpink finally do release a video, fans will flock to watch it in anticipation. Which drives the number of views to new heights.

Massive advertising expenditures

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But, no matter how much we like Blackpink (and this is in no way an underestimation of their talents), we can’t deny that they come from a firm with a considerably higher production and Marketing budget than other companies.

I wasn’t able to track down exact figures, but being one of the “Big 3,” YG Entertainment undoubtedly has more capital at its disposal for advertising than smaller production houses.

Just look at the high-end companies for which Blackpink acts as an ambassador:

Lisa represents Celine and Bulgari, whereas Jisoo represents Dior; Jennie represents Channel; Rosé represents Yves Saint Laurent, and Lisa represents Channel.

Of course, raises for the whole team are in the mix, too. The company spends a lot of money on marketing so that its music videos, concerts, performances, and other related content can reach as wide an audience as possible, not just in South Korea but around the world.

Typically, businesses do not have the resources to provide all of that for their k-pop acts.

Productivity at an extremely high level.

BLACKPINK - 'Kill This Love' M/V MAKING FILM - YouTube

Not only does YG Entertainment invest much on promotion, but also in sound engineering and other technical aspects of their recordings.

Research suggests they spent $3.1 million for the “How you like that” music video, yet these figures are unofficial and I cannot verify them. They are now spending over $1,000,000 every video.

To be sure, Blackpink doesn’t just throw cash at a marketing campaign. Rather than using green screen, YG constructs elaborate sets for their music videos.

Which is a big reason why the final product is such a work of art, and why these videos are so pleasant to look at. For Rosé’s solo song, for instance, they literally torched a car:

Obtaining a Global Following

When it comes to marketing, Blackpink isn’t just focusing on their home country of South Korea.

From the beginning, the band intended to appeal to an expansive national and worldwide fan base. Let’s quickly examine where they came from:

  • Rosé, who was born in New Zealand but grew up in Australia and is hence proficient in the English language;
  • Lisa, a native Thai speaker who is fluent in four tongues (including Korean), was born in Thailand.
  • Jennie, who was born in South Korea but went to college in New Zealand;
  • Jisoo, born in South Korea.

Fans from all over the world, including those already residing in these nations, are drawn to this variety. In fact, another factor contributing to their global popularity is the prevalence of English vocabulary in their songs. This makes it simpler for listeners of various languages to pick up on the tunes and start singing along.

Blackpink’s songs are more accessible to a wider audience because many of them have English names.

True fact: Blackpink is currently dominating the international K-pop girl group scene.

Pay attention to your own branding.

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In addition to the above, personal branding plays a significant role in Blackpink’s marketing approach, which is something that isn’t done by many other companies or bands. The fact that they are all well-known individuals in their own right also contributes to the group’s success.

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Jennie, Lisa, and Rosé have all released solo singles, and YG has been pouring resources into promoting them; only Jisoo remains.

In addition, every girl has her own set of programs, advertisements, and projects. They are also having great success on their own, which bodes well for the band’s future.

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Each member, unlike in other K-pop groups, also maintains a personal Instagram account, and their combined following dwarfs that of any other K-pop group.

  • Lisa’s fan base is staggering at 71,3 million strong.
  • Sixty-three million people are subscribed to Jennie’s channel;
  • There are 53,500,000 fans of Rosé;
  • To date, Jisoo has amassed 53.9 million fans;

Togetherness that stands the test of time

Finally, when discussing Blackpink’s marketing tactics, we can’t leave out a mention of their dedicated fanbase, the Blinks.

We can’t deny that Blinks have an unhealthy obsession with their beloved band, and that they’re making serious efforts to stream every new video as soon as it’s released.

Its devotion is undeniably helping the group’s already incredible popularity, even if some of their behaviors can be seen as rather harmful. In contrast to many other businesses, Blackpink has a dedicated fanbase. Here, let’s have a look:

There are 71,1 million people who subscribe to YouTube, 20 million who listen to Spotify, 44,5 million who use Instagram, and 17 million who hang out on Facebook.

I know, right?

How come Blackpink is so popular?

Blackpink’s success can be attributed to a number of factors, including a sizable marketing budget, the utilization of distinction through a female crush concept, the creation of highly high-quality, but rare content, an emphasis on personal branding, and so on.

Which girl group has the most fans in South Korea?

Blackpink is currently the most successful girl group in the K-pop industry, both commercially and on social media. They have almost 200 million followers between all of their Instagram accounts and have over 72 million subscribers and 16,476,000,000 video views on YouTube.

Blackpink became popular because of what song?

In 2016, Blackpink rose to fame with the release of their first singles “Whistle” and “Boombayah,” both of which debuted at the top of the Gaon Digital Chart in South Korea and the Billboard World Digital Song Sales charts, respectively. A total of nearly 2 billion YouTube views have been generated by these songs as of now.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. I’m glad you enjoyed my piece on Blackpink’s promotional efforts and I’ll see you in the next one! Feel free to ask me anything in the space provided below. Please feel free to tell us where we’re wrong.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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