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LINE Ads Platform: Starter Guide

About LINE Ads

LINE, Japan’s most popular messaging app, was founded in 2011 and now has over 94 million monthly active users in Japan. This equates to approximately 70% of the entire population. Globally, there are around 189 million users, mostly in other Asian countries such as Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand. For more on the Asian market and its most popular social media platforms, please read our article here

Although it’s mostly known as a messaging app, LINE is more than that. The platform includes a news stream, digital payment system, blogging platform, and video on demand. It also has a programmatic advertising model called LINE Ads, which can be used by companies large and small who wish to increase brand awareness, sales and customers.

This starter guide gives an overview of LINE Ads’ main features and benefits, as well as how to apply for and start running LINE Ads. 

Feature #1: One of Japan’s largest platforms 

LINE Ads is used by over 20,000 brands. The ads are typically placed at the top of LINE chat lists and Timelines, as well as on popular family-friendly services such as LINE NEWS and LINE Manga.

In addition to the LINE app, ads can be placed on other services and partner apps through the LINE Ad Network. 

Different display options

Feature #2: Its targeting and distribution functions that utilize data

LINE Ads has targeting and distribution functions that utilize data to increase the ads’ effectiveness. Based on user information such as age, gender, location and on ‘deemed attributes’ like behavioural history, LINE displays advertisements to users who are likely to react, such as when visiting a shop or making a purchase. This increases the ads’ cost-effectiveness and ROI. 

LINE Ads Targeting capabilities

(1) Audience targeting/re-targeting 

Advertisers can use their own data to deliver advertisements to targeted users. For example, if they have the device ID of a user who purchased a product or service for the first time, they can use that data to show advertisements that encourage them to purchase again.

(2) LINE targeting

By segmenting users based on their attributes and interests, ads that target such segments prove to be highly effective.  

(3) Look-alike audiences 

Through look-alike audience targeting, LINE searches for users who are similar to a specified segment, distributing ads to a wider target audience. Advertisers can select the level of similarity from 1 to 15%. The size of the audience decreases as the level of similarity increases. 

The process from registration to operation 

1. Create an account 

To use LINE Ads, you will first need a LINE Business ID. You can create a LINE Business ID using your LINE account or email address. After creating an account, you will be able to log-in and see the ads management page after confirming and agreeing to the Terms of Use.

(If you wish to open a LINE Official Account for the Japanese market, you will need to set this up separately. Please contact DMFA.)

2. Create groups and ad accounts

After logging in, you can create groups and ad accounts to manage your LINE Ads. Groups can be created by bundling ad accounts. You must create an ad account for each product you are promoting, and you also must input basic information such as the company name and the URL of your website.

Please note that in order to create an advertising account, you must first open a LINE Official Account, as this will be linked to your advertising account. This can either be verified or unverified, however only businesses with a registered entity in Japan can apply for a verified account. The process of obtaining a verified account involves a rigorous pre-approval check and is in Japanese, but DMFA can assist you with the entire process.

3. Upload media and install LINE Tags 

Upload the media (creatives) for your ads. Creatives should be in accordance with the regulations set by LINE. Be sure to place the tracking tool LINE Tag on the landing pages you wish to measure and track.

4. Set up the ad

Next, create the campaign, ad group and ad. In the campaign section, you will define the objective of the campaign. In the ad group section, you will set the target audience, bidding method and budget. And in the ad section, you will put in the landing page URL, as well as the graphic and copy for the ad. 

5. Complete final checks & start running the ads

After LINE has finished reviewing the information entered up to this point, the ad’s status will change to ‘Available’ and the advertisements will begin running.

Please note that if you are not based in Japan, you will not be able to set up steps 2-5 or bill on your own. We at DMFA have a contract with LINE and can assist you every step of the way, from account creation to ad optimization.
To get started on LINE Ads, please feel free to contact our bilingual digital marketing team today.

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