In the age of fast changing digital PR the platforms marketers use change quickly. After Instagram changed its algorithm, influencer campaigns became even more popular across the globe. Can the same apply to Japan? The answer of course is “yes” and brands can promote themselves in the Japanese market using influencer marketing, digital PR 2.0. Worry less about using Snapchat or Instagram Story, just follow those your target audience love and adore. Wherever they are, your audience will follow.
Marketers should consider native advertising because traditional ads are declining in impact. No one wants to click on ads anymore. Everyone wants to follow popular people on Social Media, so it’s not a surprise that we’re seeing a lot of automated platforms in Japan where influencers and brands can connect to run campaigns …. this is up until the point where marketing managers start pulling their hair out because Japanese influencers work in such a different way that it requires a lot of hands on management.
Japan has always been so different — general customs, food, the attitude of people, art, etc. That’s what makes the country so incredibly interesting, but when it comes to marketing it can suddenly be daunting thing to deal with.
Here we list a few things brands may face when they enter the world of influencer marketing in Japan.
BRANDS EXPECTATION vs REALITY
JapanBuzz has worked on many campaigns for luxury fashion brands and each starts the same way — setting expectations and convincing clients to accept the current landscape of influencer marketing in Japan. Many come with global campaign ideas and want to treat the Japanese market the same as other nations, this can take a little adjusting and the process can be a little daunting. Instagram campaigns can be easier to carry out as Instagram is self contained, only a few things differ in terms of expectations. Blogs however can really cause a lot of issues, due to a lack of luxury sentiment and low quality photos, Many blogs in Japan are hosted on feature limited blogging platforms that often lack transparent tracking information. For this reason clients often consider publisher websites to be individual blogs. Talking to someone who knows the scene in Japan helps clients understand what they want to achieve from the market and how they can do it. This will allow them to understand how their Japan strategy sits within a global campaign strategy.
Influencers are like ready made marketing machines. They’re wonderful! However many Japanese influencers can be quite naive about the whole process. Many of them require step by step support and often need someone to give them a call to explain points. Some don’t use email on a desktop computer and others struggle to open excel or word documents. At this point you really don’t want to be having another problem such as a language barrier, many do not speak or read English. However when handled well, they are absolutely wonderful to work with. Most of them have very good due diligence, you will rarely find a typo in articles and the photos they take are wonderful in a Japanese way. They are helpful, polite and nice.
If you run a good campaign targeting the right crowd of people by utilising the popularity of influencers, it can be a very powerful marketing tool. It feels more so when we consider that in Japan a very high proportion of consumers follow niche trends. If you are able to make that first big impression in the right way, many customers will jump on your trend.
If you need advice on running an influencer campaign in Japan, please get in touch.
JAPAN BUZZ Team