Good brand publicity both traditionally and digitally is an important goal for many brands operating in Japan. While traditional PR has been declining in Japan, the appeal of a digital market has delivered measurable outcomes.
To gain any notice on any online publishers, you’ll need strategic content that will not only entice Japanese media influencers but also the daily Japanese audience to pay attention to you.
This includes a combination of various online activities in tandem including blogging and different forms of marketing such as social media, influencers, search engines, and content.
Here, we will explore a few tips on how international brands use one of these strategies to get good publicity in Japan.
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Understanding Japan’s PR Landscape
Public relations, also known as PR, is still an essential role to be successful in Japan. However, this is becoming less essential for both big and small brands to just rely on just traditional PR. While traditional media such as TV, newspapers, magazines, and radio is still a part of people’s everyday lives, Japan has realized the power of digital marketing. This includes pay-per-click or PPC social media marketing and Google Search Ads which allows companies to track their campaign performances.
Many brands have pushed to integrate themselves into the expanding marketing and advertising departments. If you are outsourcing your PR work, you can find many kinds of services that offer more than just traditional advertising and marketing.
For foreign brands, instead of trying to integrate into Japan’s complex PR system be different. By being a “foreign” brand, there are a few more options to get coverage whether it’s the digital or traditional forms of media.
Finding Networks and Influencers
First, understand the influencers that can help you gain coverage. These individuals aren’t just social media influences, they can and have established trends and have dedicated audiences that listens to them.
Whichever platform or channel you are getting to get publicity on, one or several influencers have the power to promote your band.
The first hurdle is finding these influences and not only convincing them but also their audience about your product.
Therefore, building long-term relationships with these media influences is essential and can help your company to start content planning and promoting your brand through different forms of public activities. It’s also important to manage these relationships, especially with native Japanese speakers where communication is approached differently. When you found the right media influencers to publicize your brand, it amplifies your message to your targeted audience.
How to Find Relevant Influencers
While media influences include journalists, columnists, industry experts, and tv/radio producers, there has been a rise in digital influences.
Some digital influences might be managing their Youtube channels, while others can be categorized as industry news channels that work with experts and act as a leader. Others might be known as marketers who are tasked to run a lifestyle blog or vlog.
Here are some times for searching for the right media influences:
- Setting up a Google Alert for any industry-related terms to see who is writing this type of content and the important topics
- Identify your competitors and their influences who promote them
Find influences who don’t already post content related to your company, but share a similar target audience. This can provide value to those who are already in your targeted audience.
- Ask your existing audience the type of content they consume and the platform and influences they follow
- Look at writers/journalists who are publishing content about brands similar to your own.
Make Your Brand Appeal to Japanese Influencers and Audiences
The mindset of the Japanese consumers is a bit different from what you think. You need to make a few essential changes to your brand and the way you present yourself to customers to appeal to the Japanese market.
Localization would be helpful before any sort of engagement in PR or marketing campaigns.
Gaining food publicity also depends on content creation to an extent. It is recommended to have Japanese creative talents such as designers or writers that can help your brand engage with publishers that their audiences read.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Invest in research and have a spokesperson for your brand for any project
- Have a resource hub that shares original and engaging content about topics relating to your brand
- Creating an infographic has analytics but also can be read easily
- Start a podcast and invite influencers to share their thoughts with your common audience
- Create an animation or short video that demonstrates the uniqueness of your brand
- Launch a “free trial” version of your product/service
- Offer some course/lesson that shares knowledge and skills with your audience
At a minimum, one should invest in a press pack that will showcase your brand to Japanese journalists and news companies. This will not only create credibility for your company but also show people that you have some sort of approach to the local market.
LEARNING HOW TO PITCH WELL
When establishing an initial connection with new contacts, it is important to pitch how your product can benefit journalists or publishers.
To do this, it is recommended to personalize this approach to platforms and/or individuals. This requires knowing their channel and site so that you’re able to reference specific aspects of it. This includes audience breakdown, trending topics, content that is featured, and anything that will signal to the individual that you understand their market and your product will align with their audience.
Remember to think about the long-term plans and relationships with publishers. For instance, having a narrative that supports a piece of content that ties in with your product with features can be more attractive than a single spontaneous idea.
How to digitally Pitch on PR Platforms
There are several PR platforms such as PR times that allows brands to publish their press releases to thousands of other media outlets and publishers to gain some sort of publicity in Japan. And with the right press pack and newsworthy content, getting noticed here can be good.
However, this type of outreach lacks that personal interaction that can go a long way in Japanese PR. So, it is recommended to do your best to organize distributions by segments and adjust releases. This will allow you to speak value to certain groups more precisely rather than sending a general press release to many platforms.
PITCH TIPS FOR GETTING PUBLICITY IN JAPAN
- Be Humble: Be kind, respectful, and polite when doing your PR pitch to new people. Show gratitude for someone’s time. Also, understand that publishers encounter numerous outreach and other pitches daily. So ideally, this should feel like a collaboration where everyone benefits rather than a forced transaction
- Be Open to Other Ideas: this doesn’t have to be an immediate yes to establish a strong relationship with the Japanese
- Be Sincere About Your Goals: Being a brand that is training to gain traction in a new market, it’s pretty obvious that your main goal is to get exposure. It’s best not to try to hide this fact, and it is recommended to clearly state your goals. Whether it’s SEO or trying to access a niche market. People are more likely to respect this rather than hide your intention
Integrating Your Publicity with SEO Strategy
Digital publicity in Japan is amazing to build an online presence and gain traffic. Some companies will even launch an entire PR campaign to gain SEO through natural link clicking. This allows them to build a reputable domain for their brand.
As a result, it’s advocated to combine SEO with a content marketing strategy that can leverage the power of PR activities to boost your website’s traffic. When interested users click through your site, you’re gaining referral traffic. So it is worth spending some time and money to address how things will tie together.
Sometimes it’s possible to create spectacular content and repurpose it in several ways across different platforms to gain traction and publicity in Japan. But important to focus on quality rather than quantity.
Paid Promotional Content
Paid social promotion is a useful tool to promote the content you already have. Even though it is an advertisement, this allows your product to be boosted in from of people online outside your audience range. This increases the chance of it being picked up organically. So whether it’s a promoted tweet, a Facebook or Instagram ad, or paid promotional this content will guide people to your PR content.
Final Tips on Getting Good Publicity in Japan
While PR isn’t a priority for most foreign brands who recently entered Japan, it can be more strategic and less rickey to focus on measurable digital marketing tactics that offer a lower barrier of entry.
However, there are plenty of companies that miss out on easy PR opportunities that can help with what they have already going on. Instead of thinking of publicity in Japan as a separate entity that requires separate people and content, plan your project comprehensively.
When creating something you are passionate about, there’s something you can invest in to promote it. Whether it’s through advertising, marketing, and/or PR.