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5 ways to promote your business in the Japanese market

Do you have a business you would like to start promoting in Japan? Whether your business is B2C, B2B or D2C, the same principles apply when preparing to enter Japanese market. In this guide, we will look at what you need to do in order to succeed in Japan plus the different digital channels you can use to promote your business targeting the Japanese audience. 

What every business needs to know in order to successfully promote their product or service in Japan

1. Understand the Japanese market

It is no surprise that Japan is a unique market – the culture, consumer behaviour, and language are all distinctly Japanese. Therefore, some research on the market is highly recommended before starting to plan your promotions. A good starting point would be to go over our guide on what you should know before launching in the Japanese market

2. Hire an expert Japanese digital marketer

No one expects you to become a Japanese market expert overnight, and this would be difficult to do without actual experience. Instead, ensure you consult with an experienced business professional or agency who has experience with marketing in Japan. Refer to our blog post on how to find the right agency for the Japanese market for tips. 

3. Localise everything into native Japanese

We cannot stress this more. Less than 10% of the Japanese population consider themselves proficient in English, and PPC campaigns see significantly less conversions when the landing page is not in native Japanese. Also, please make sure the translation agency you hire is transcreating and have native speakers who can proofread the work. If you are unsure about the quality of your translated website or marketing material, be sure to contact us as we would be happy to give you a localisation audit, free of charge. 

4. Create Japanese personas for your campaigns

The personas you already have for other markets may not be valid in Japan. In order for your campaigns to speak to Japanese audiences, your campaigns need to target Japanese personas. You can reference our article on how to create personas for online ad campaigns in Japan or ask the expert you hired to create them for you.  

5. Create a Japan-specific marketing plan and calendar

Since Japan has a unique set of digital and traditional channels for promotion, it is necessary to create a marketing plan specific to the Japanese market. In addition, there are Japanese holidays and events throughout the year that are different from other countries. For example, the winter sale in Japan occurs in the beginning of January instead of around Boxing Day in the west. Take a look at our Japanese marketing calendar guide for further details.

We created a checklist for entering the Japanese market successfully. Make sure to go through each checklist and mark them off as you prepare for your Japanese promotions.

Japan’s top digital marketing channels

Japan has a set of unique digital channels – and you will find some familiar ones ranked lower or higher than in other markets. 

Top digital platforms in Japan 2020
Source: Nielson April 2020 Top 10 report on total number of digital users in Japan

As you can see in the chart above, Yahoo! JAPAN had the greatest number of digital users in Japan in April 2020. In a previous article, we explain in depth about the differences between Google and Yahoo! JAPAN. In summary, it’s important to run PPC ads on both channels and adjust the budgets after running some test campaigns.

Social Media Platform Users in Japan 2020-2024

As for top social media channels, you may be surprised to see LINE, which is Japan’s most popular messaging app. On the other hand, Facebook ranks much lower than the others and the number of users is decreasing every year. We have previously talked about why LINE Ads may work better than Facebook Ads if you are targeting Japanese consumers. You can also reference our complete Japanese social media guide for a comprehensive list of all social media channels in Japan. 

Are you ready to promote your business in Japan? Our team of bilingual Japanese digital marketing experts offer research and consultation services as well as online advertising and social media marketing. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive digital marketing support for Japan. 

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