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The future of Influencer Marketing in Japan

This year brands in Japan have been forced to adapt to the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic. In this article we’ll take a look at how influencer marketing has changed during the stay-home period, and what brands can now do to approach consumers. We’ll also look into how influencer marketing in Japan has evolved in recent years and what will happen the near future.

Influencer marketing trends in Japan

A massive number of Japanese people use social media, and for this reason influencer marketing is a growing market in Japan. Above is the market size of influencer marketing in Japan reported by Digital Infact on March 2019. According to this study, the market size of influencer marketing was about 17.5 billion yen in 2017 and about 21.9 billion yen in 2018. Looking at the future growth rate, it’s predicted to grow to about 50.9 billion yen by 2023, and to about 93.3 billion yen by 2028, which is almost 1 trillion yen!

Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter are the most-used influencer marketing platforms in Japan. Youtube is currently the most popular platform – Instagram is also a very popular and it’s estimated their market size will double by 2023. Recently, TikTok has also appeared as a new platform for influencer marketing.

Young people aged 10~30 are especially influenced by influencers. It was also found that men are more likely to be influenced by YouTubers and women are more susceptible to Instagrammers.

The average screen time in Japan has increased as people stay at home longer than before as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the effect of going out less, consumer behaviour has changed and the number of purchases and product contact via the Internet has increased. This means brands need to make effective use of digital platforms. Highly credible influencers are an important source of information for customers and enable effective promotion for brands.

Building a relationship with the Japanese customer

Over the past few months the digitalisation of brand marketing strategy has greatly accelerated. One example is that Instagram live promotions have increased across various verticals. In addition to product explainers and showcases, a demand for content that replaces in-store experiences has appeared, this has resulted in more and more companies working on live streams. For the foreseeable future brands should actively engage with consumers online rather than keeping a low profile.

Social listening and using Data

Brands need to understand their Japanese customer needs and identify the various social categories they belong to. They should ensure to keep track of all social platforms, website traffic, likes, and user interaction with posts and videos. This data driven approach can help form content that will be most effective and cost efficient. Brands and influencers should continue to adapt to the current “consumer mind”, developing approaches that will consciously respond to the needs of their customers and will decide how their brand fits into current habits and lifestyles.

What to expect in the near future

Offline communication with prospective customers has been difficult due to Covid-19. However this has driven more budget into online activities and It’s expected that the digitisation of brand promotion will increase further. Also, due to the increased periods spent at home, time spent browsing SNS such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube has also increased in Japan. Influencer marketing is an effective way to promote your services or products as it’s mainly carried out online on social media platforms. This trend is going to continue for the foreseeable future as marketers learn new digital methods to reach customers. By working with influencers and running online promotions, there will be more opportunities for potential customers to recognise a brand’s products and services.

If you’re looking to run a Japanese influencer campaign, then please get in touch for a chat!


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