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LINE is the WhatsApp and WeChat of Japan, with an attractive user base of over 90 million in Japan1. LINE Ads is a great way to target Japanese smartphone users. As a super app, LINE has some great features including a barcode payment system, ecommerce platform.
Overview of the LINE Ads platform
- Official account
- Ad formats
- Ad Placement
- Ad Targeting
- Ad types
On LINE, businesses can have an account where they can engage with LINE users one on one, just like with their friends and family. Brands can share offers with their audience and even provide customer service.
Types of LINE Accounts
- Unofficial Account
Anyone can open this type of account.
- Official Account
These are verified accounts, usually of brands, products and services. Allows businesses to run LINE Ads and other business services.
- Premium Account
Only select accounts approved by LINE will qualify.
Basic functions include:
- Message users, one on one or by segment
- A/B test messages
- Manage the number of messages sent out
- Post on the timeline
- Share coupons
- Chat with customers (smart chat available)
- Conduct customer service surveys
Once you have an Official Account, you’re ready to start your online ad campaigns with LINE Ads.
The following ad formats are available in both image and video.
These ads are only available in image formats.
There are several different areas within the app where your ads could appear.
- Talk List
Ads appear at the top of the chat page that lists the user’s existing chats with friends.
- LINE News
Ads appear within the news feed and can also appear in one of 324 partner media account’s news feeds.
LINE Timeline has been reborn as the video platform LINE Voom. Users can post videos and enjoy all sorts of short-form videos.
- LINE Manga
This is Japan’s largest online comic service. Ads appear within the LINE Manga app.
- LINE Blog
Japanese celebrities use this to communicate with their fans. Blog posts integrate with their LINE Official Accounts and posts to LINE’s timeline. Ads appear within the LINE Blog app.
- LINE Points
A service that allows users to collect points when completing certain tasks and missions on LINE. Ads appear within the LINE Points page.
- LINE Shopping
An ecommerce platform within the LINE app with over 250 merchants and 100 million products. Ads appear within the LINE Shopping page.
- LINE Ads Network
Allows advertisers to deliver their ads to LINE and LINE-related services. It boasts Japan’s largest ad inventory with 54 million MAU2.
Finetune your reach with the following ad targeting features:
- User demographics (age, gender, location, interest, religion, OS, etc.)
- Audience targeting (display only to specific audiences, i.e. first-time buyers)
- Look-alike audience targeting (finds similar users based on web traffic, in-app events, and friends of users on LINE)
- Re-engagement (target LINE users who have downloaded your app but are no longer active users)
Aside from regular LINE ads, there are other types of ads offered.
Cost Per Friends
Businesses can gain “friends” with these ads. Official Accounts can offer special promotions and discounts to LINE users during this process.
Limited to one ad per Official Account per day, this allows the display of an ad for 24 hours at the top of all LINE users’ timelines.
LINE Dynamic Ads
Based on what types of products a user has viewed in the past, LINE will deliver ads to users that may find interest in your product. Each ad is personalised for each user and the URLs can be unique to each product, helping to increase conversion rates.
The following are some of the industries that are not allowed to advertise on LINE.
- Beauty salons
- Sanitary products
- Political parties
- Medical and cosmetic surgery
What you need to start advertising on LINE
- Apply for a LINE Official Account
- Define your target audience
- Have all campaign creatives and landing pages localised into Japanese
- Choose ad placement locations for ad delivery
- Set targeting measures and ad spend budget
- Embed tags for tracking conversions
Although the LINE Official Account ad management platform is available in English, almost all documents and support for opening a LINE Official Account and running LINE Ads are in Japanese. At DMFA, our team of bilingual Japanese digital marketing experts offer full support and management of both services as well as website localisation. To get started with LINE Ads, please get in touch.
1 Source: Z Holdings 2021
2 Source: Linebiz