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4 tips to remember when running Influencer marketing campaigns in Japan

Social Media Marketing or “SNS Marketing” as it’s known in Japan constantly changing, just like other parts of the world. Updating relevant and useful information on your brand’s Social Media channels is useful, but it’s a good idea to couple it with influencer marketing. This is because many of your audience prefer to hear from a trusted source or friend rather than a brand direct.

It has been increasingly popular to involve Influencers and Key Opinion Leaders within a brand’s marketing ecosystem. However as audiences becomes more savvy and aware of brand partnerships, the following points are crucial when working with Influencers in Japan:

1. Don’t be a control freak

Remember that the reason you’re paying influencers to market your product or service is because they sit on the same side as the audience you’re trying to reach. If you over control them creatively, it’ll just be an obvious brand voice represented within an Influencers feed — it will appear no different than a normal advert. The creativity and message needs to involve the Influencers, coupled with the important brand message that need to be delivered. Influencers know how to reach their audience in their own words and ways. This method can be used to increase the engagement on sponsored posts in Japan.

2. Using Japanese Hashtags

Most Japanese people can understand and spell simple hashtags in English. However for brands and services it’s become increasingly important to use Japanese hashtags to understand how they perform within the context of Japanese conversation. It’s good to know which kind of people are aware of your brand in Japan and where it sits in terms of trend, taste and style.

So if you’re lining up Japanese Influencers for your campaign, definitely set up at least one cool and creative Japanese hashtag. The tone of the hashtag also defines how “up to date” you are with the trends in Japan. Make sure you work with a native Japanese marketing expert who understands the trend, culture and current sentiment around words so you won’t be using a hashtag that feels out of date.

3. “Kuchikomi” building

Another great thing about creating and using Japanese hashtags is that you can create communities. The hashtag should not be your product name, but something more inclusive in other situations. Encourage the audience to start posting their own version of the UGC (User Generated content), so trends don’t stop once the influencer has posted. Posts made by the community will be created using the perspective of end consumer and it has a real “word of mouth” also known as the “Kuchikomi” effect. Make sure you create a space for the community to participate in your campaign. Kuchikomi is massive.

4. Authenticity

It’s import to choose influencers who will authentically represent your brand or service. Many consumers can spot when a brand partnership looks out of place. Make sure to choose influencers who might even be interested in your product even without paying them so it feels authentic and natural to the core.


At JapanBuzz we’ve run many influencer campaigns in Japan, so get in touch to discuss your ideas!

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