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Influencer Marketing in Japan – The Ultimate Guide

By using Japanese Influencer marketing, brands can quickly become popular in Japan. This guide provides an in-depth analysis of the current state of social media influencer marketing in Japan, as well as strategies for businesses to effectively utilise this method of marketing.

  1. Most popular Japanese Influencer platforms
  2. Number of influencers in Japan
  3. Most popular influencers in Japan
  4. Rules for PR paid ads in Japan
  5. Hashtags for Japanese Influencer Marketing Campaigns
  6. Japanese influencer Prices. How Much Does it Cost?
  7. Best strategy for working with Japanese influencers
  8. Measuring the effectiveness of Japanese Influencer campaigns

These are the most popular social media platforms in Japan in terms of the number of Influencers.

  1. Instagram
  2. YouTube
  3. TikTok

You can also read more about these platforms in our Japanese Social Media guide.

YouTube

Japanese YouTubers create content on topics such as beauty, gaming, comedy, travel, and lifestyle. They attract a dedicated audience by being charismatic, producing relatable content, and partnering with brands to promote products. These influencers have the power to influence the opinions and buying choices of viewers.

Instagram

Instagram influencers in Japan promote products and services to their large following, with a focus on fashion, beauty, food, and travel. They often collaborate with brands and have polished content with high-quality images and video. Instagram influencers leave a strong impression on their followers and are good for awareness campaigns.

TikTok

Japanese TikTok influencers create short-form videos showcasing their talents and interests, often in fashion, beauty, food, and travel. They also cover niche topics like anime, gaming, comedy, music, and dance. With creative and engaging content, they collaborate with other influencers, interact with fans, and promote brands to monetise their presence on TikTok. TikTok is good to work with influencers of a younger generation and is expected to soon reach a wider demographic.

Number of influencers in Japan

Based on the research and records of JapanBuzz the number of influencers in Japan on each of the 3 main platforms are as below:

Number of Influencers in Japan 2023

Number of Influencers in Japan 2023 (Active users with 10k Followers/Subscribers and above)

Instagram
71,000 Users: Male 35%, Female 65%

YouTube
52,000 Users: Male 25%, Female 75%

TikTok
40,000 Users: Male 30%, Female 70%

Instagram

Naomi Watanabe, 9.91M Followers
Rola, 8.49M Followers
Kiko Mizuhara, 7.31M Followers
Sakura Miyawaki, 6.34M Followers
Kento Yamazaki, 5.95M Followers

See the full list of popular Instagram influencers in Japan.

YouTube

KidsLine, 12.5 Million Subscribers
Sen, Momo, Ai & Shii’s Channel, 11.3 Million Subscribers
HikakinTV, 10.9M Subscribers
Hajime, 10.3M Subscribers
Boram Tube Play, 8.52M Subscribers

See the full list of popular YouTuber influencers in Japan.

TikTok

Junya Gou, 41.1M Followers
Bayashi, 32.9M Followers
Hina Kagei, 11M Followers
Ues P, 11.2M Followers
Michael Jackton, 11M Followers

See the full list of popular TikTok influencers in Japan.

Rules for PR paid ads in Japan

In Japan, stealth marketing widely known as ‘stema’ is severely criticised if it’s found out, therefore companies need to be careful when promoting their products. That is why Japanese companies make sure that #PR or #ads are stated at the top of the posts when running an influencer campaign.

Hashtags for Japanese Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Using hashtags when running an influencer marketing campaign is essential as it helps your content to be found, reaching a wider audience. However, how do we find out the right hashtags? In Japanese, hashtags can be written by using four alphabets, Kanji, Katakana, Hiragana or Romaji. For example, #写真好きと繋がりたい (I want to connect with photography lovers) has been a trending hashtag. English language hashtags like #ootd are also used when posting about fashion. Often the difficulty of the language makes it hard for non-Japanese speaking marketers to enter the Japanese market.

Japanese influencer Prices. How Much Does it Cost?

Costs for working with Japanese influencers can vary based on popularity, content type, social media platform, and campaign length. Rates can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars per post, and factors such as project scope and usage rights can also impact cost. Researching and comparing rates from different influencers can help find a good fit for your budget and goals.

Best strategy for working with Japanese influencers

The best influencer marketing strategy will vary depending on your goals and the type of audience you’re trying to reach. However, some general tips for building a successful influencer marketing campaign include:

1. Work with a local Japanese agency

This is one of the key elements when running a campaign in Japan. Often influencers do not understand English, let alone a lengthy contract. By working with a local Japanese influencer marketing agency you can avoid a lot of confusion.

2. Define your target audience

Start by identifying your ideal customer and understand their needs, preferences, and interests.

3. Choose the right influencers

Look for influencers who have a strong connection with your target audience and align with your brand values. An influencer agency should be able to provide a strong list that matches your brand.

4. Set clear goals and objectives

Define your campaign goals and what you hope to achieve through influencer marketing. Make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive (SMART).

5. Develop a creative and engaging campaign

Working with influencers is not just about making a post. Brands need to create compelling and authentic content that resonates with their followers and aligns with your brand.

6. Track and measure your results

Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and adjust your strategy accordingly.

7. Focus on long-term relationships with influencers.

By creating long-term relationships with your influencers you can build brand loyalty and maximise your return on investment.

Measuring the effectiveness of Japanese Influencer campaigns

1. Use affiliate links

Use affiliate links to track clicks and sales. These links provide a unique code that identifies the person and allows you to receive a commission if they make a purchase. You can use these links to see which products are selling well and to better monitor engagement and monetize users that click through. Ask influencers to embed your affiliate link in their posts for more accurate tracking.

2. Track impressions

Track impressions to determine the potential reach of your influencer campaign. Impressions provide hard data on how many people may have viewed your content. However, it’s important to note that impressions don’t equal engagement, and only show how many people were served the content. While impressions help you understand the size of the influencer’s audience, they don’t indicate the level of traction your campaign gained.

3. Track engagement

Engagement includes likes, comments, shares, retweets, and reactions. These publicly available metrics help evaluate an influencer’s level of engagement with their followers. To calculate engagements, add up the interactions to determine how many people engaged with your content. Divide these by impressions to create an engagement rate.

4. Set goals

Set quantifiable goals for your influencer campaign. Targets like achieving a certain engagement rate or driving clicks to your landing page can help you measure success. Setting realistic targets will allow you to see if using an influencer is effective and help you choose the right one for your campaign. This also gives clear expectations of what you want to achieve and helps the influencer create an effective plan.

5. Monitor traffic before, during and after the campaign

Track your site and social media traffic before, during, and after your influencer campaign to determine its effectiveness. Note any spikes and dips in traffic and compare them to your stated goals. Assess your follower counts and engagement rates on social media. Analysing this data against your marketing strategy will help you determine if influencer marketing was a worthwhile investment.

6. Determine your KPIs

Set relevant KPIs to measure your company’s performance and determine if you’re achieving your business objectives. Use the SMART method to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based objectives. KPIs should be relevant to your brand and industry, and include objectives such as boosting brand awareness, improving website traffic, increasing lead generation, or reaching new audiences. Tracking and reporting on these KPIs at the end of the campaign is essential..

Conclusion

Japanese Influencer Marketing is a powerful tool for businesses looking to expand their reach in Japan and extremely popular. By following the best practices outlined in this guide, businesses can use influencer marketing to reach their target audience in Japan and achieve their marketing objectives.

If you are looking to run a Japanese Influencer Marketing campaign then please get in touch.

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